Waterparks can be a great pick for families that want an activity-packed vacation.
Waterparks can be indoors, outdoors or a combination, and feature attractions like waterslides, wave pools, water-play areas for toddlers and more. Indoor water parks are especially attractive to guests because they are protected from bad weather and parents may feel the environment is more contained.
Maybe you’re checking out the water parks in Wisconsin Dells, or maybe you’re heading to Galaxy Erding in Germany or Watercube in Beijing.
The question is: Do you need special insurance for a water park vacation? We take a look at the possibilities.
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Theft at Waterparks
Water parks are crowded, and keeping track of children and all their belongings can get nerve-wracking. Although there are rental lockers available to store valuables like cameras, purses and backpacks, not all belongings can be stored.
You might keep a small wallet with you, or have baby gear that can disappear while you’re in the lazy river.
Homeowners and renters insurance cover the theft of your belongings, even when you’re away from home. You’ll need a police report to file a theft claim, so keep that in mind.
For an expensive and/or overseas trip that includes a water park, you may want to look at travel insurance options. If you’re making large, non-refundable deposits for the trip, travel insurance is a good financial safety net in case you need to cancel. This can include reimbursement for deposits lost on flights, hotels and pre-paid excursions.
“If your personal items are stolen while you are at a water park during a trip, they can be covered by the baggage and personal items loss benefit of your travel insurance policy,” says Steven Benna, a spokesperson for Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison provider. This benefit can reimburse you for the cost of items that are lost, stolen or damaged during your trip.
But the baggage loss coverage within travel insurance is not designed to cover expensive items. Some policies have baggage loss limits of only $500 total. More generous policies offer up to $2,500 for reimbursement, such as AIG Travel Guard’s Deluxe plan, April’s VIP plan and Berkshire Hathaway’s LuxuryCare plan. AXA Assistance USA’s Platinum plan offers $3,000 for damaged and stolen baggage and personal effects.
The best approach is to leave expensive jewelry and electronic devices at home, or make sure they’re fully insured under your home insurance policy.
Injury at a Waterpark
Slippery floors and wild rides can lead to injury, of course. Your U.S. health insurance plan will cover you inside the country. If you’re planning on a water park excursion outside the U.S., where your health plan may provide no coverage, consider a travel insurance policy with travel medical insurance. Travel insurance can also provide medical coverage within the U.S., but check whether its medical coverage would be primary or secondary to your U.S. health plan.
Travel medical insurance “can include coverage for the cost of an ambulance and associated hospital services, as well as other medical expenses that arise,” says Benna.
However, travel insurance would not provide coverage for a liability claim against the waterpark. That would be a separate legal claim.
Insurance for Illness During a Vacation
Water parks can be ripe for viruses, colds and food-borne illnesses. Just as with injuries, your U.S. health plan can cover you inside the U.S. A travel medical plan can cover you both in the U.S. and abroad.
If you are specifically concerned about Covid-19 and will be relying on travel insurance for medical coverage, make sure the plan will cover Covid-19. Some plans exclude it. See Forbes Advisor’s ratings of the best pandemic travel insurance plans.
Approximately three out of five Americans don’t know whether their U.S. health insurance covers any doctor or hospital visits abroad, according to a survey by InsureMyTrip, a travel insurance comparison provider.
“Travelers unclear on whether they have coverage should contact their health insurance company on whether emergency medical coverage will extend outside the U.S. Depending on your specific plan and area of travel, medical coverage can vary widely,” says Cheryl Golden, a spokesperson for InsureMyTrip.
Golden says you could discover you need to stay in-network for coverage, you have limited coverage, or that there’s no coverage at all outside the country. A travel insurance plan with medical coverage can plug these holes.
Summary: Insurance for Water Park Vacations
- Lost deposits due to trip cancellation: Non-refundable and prepaid deposits can be covered by travel insurance. This includes flights, hotels and prepaid excursions.
- Theft of belongings: Covered by homeowners or renters insurance anywhere in the world. Can also be covered by a travel insurance plan’s baggage loss and personal effects coverage.
- Injury and illness: Covered by your U.S. health insurance plan in the U.S.; check for limitations such as in-network requirements. Consider travel medical insurance for trips overseas. Travel medical insurance can be used inside and outside the U.S.