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- Tagged vacation rental travel insurance, Vrbo travel insurance, vrbo trip insurance.
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Vrbo is an online vacation rental marketplace, similar to Airbnb. Part of Expedia’s family of travel companies, Vrbo (which stands for Vacation Rentals By Owner) “connects homeowners with families and vacationers looking for something more than a hotel for their trip.” With more than two million rental properties available on the site, travelers can find a property perfect for their dream vacation in locations all over the world. A cottage in the Cotswolds? Skyscraper in Singapore? Beachfront in Bali? Vrbo has them all!
Renting from a homeowner gives you a way to personalize your vacation that you don’t necessarily get when you book a stay at a hotel. If you prefer to cook your own meals, there’s often a fully stocked kitchen. If you want to bring your cat or dog with you, you can usually find pet-friendly properties. If you’ll be vacationing with a group of friends or family, there are larger rentals available. There are many reasons for booking your next vacation rental with Vrbo, but one thing you should always consider when making any kind of travel plans is what kind of travel insurance you’ll need.
Like hotels that have liability insurance coverage, each property listed on Vrbo is insured under a separate policy. That’s great, right? Sure, but that insurance policy covers the homeowner—not you, the renter.
The good news is that Vrbo offers basic Trip Protection policies that cover the renter as well. They work with Generali Global Assistance to offer Prime, Enhanced, and Elite levels of coverage.
Prime, Enhanced, and Elite plans include:
- limited trip delay, interruption, and cancellation coverage
- conditional coverage for pre-existing medical issues
- 24-hour emergency assistance services
- concierge services
- assistance with resolving identity theft problems
In addition to this basic coverage, the Enhanced and Elite plans offer:
- reimbursement for purchasing necessities if your baggage is delayed over 24 hours
- emergency assistance and transportation services
- accidental death and dismemberment coverage
On top of those coverages, the Elite plan includes:
- coverage for lost or stolen luggage
- medical care or surgical procedures deemed necessary as result of illness or injury
- emergency dental care
- telemedicine services for domestic and international trips
- rental car damages (except for residents of Texas)
- 24-hour roadside assistance
- no out-of-pocket medical costs up to $1000
Though all three plans include some great benefits, they are missing a lot of protections that a more comprehensive travel insurance policy would offer. And while Generali Global Assistance is the only insurance company to offer coverage in partnership with Vrbo, there are plenty of other top-rated companies whose policies will cover you while you’re on vacation and staying in a Vrbo property.
One type of coverage for your vacation rental property that you can’t get through most other insurance companies is damage protection. This type of coverage is available through Generali’s partnership with Vrbo and will protect you if you damage something in the rental. Accidents happen. You might set a hot pan on the countertop and melt the laminate. The toilet might overflow causing water damage. Your dog might scratch the door. You might knock a painting off the wall or break an expensive appliance. In these cases, the property owner has the right to withhold your damage deposit. With damage protection through Vrbo, you could be reimbursed for up to $1500 in damages with no deductible. Vrbo recommends damage protection for anyone traveling with children or pets, those traveling with a group of family or friends, anyone staying a luxury property, or those staying in a long-term rental. This type of coverage can be combined with any other travel insurance plan you choose to offer maximum protection for your trip.
How Do I Decide If Vrbo Travel Insurance Is Enough?
The best way to shop for travel insurance that will cover all of your needs is to use an online comparison shopping tool like the one at TravelInsurance.com. With this tool, you can compare policies offered by reliable insurance companies like Trawick International, John Hancock, and AIG in addition to Vrbo’s partner, Generali Global Assistance. The tool allows you to enter the details of your trip including the cost, destination, number and age of travelers, and country of residence to get quotes from trusted insurers. Once you choose a plan that best fits your needs, you can make a purchase through a secure checkout system and get instant confirmation of coverage.
Here are some other insurance benefits that you should consider when comparison shopping:
Higher Coverage Limits
Experts recommend that travelers have at least $100,000 in coverage should you need emergency medical care on your trip. Vrbo does offer this type of protection through their Elite plan, but it only includes $25,000 of coverage.
You might assume that emergency medical services would be covered by your regular individual or group medical insurance policy, but those policies generally do not cover care received outside of the United States. If you are covered by Medicare, your benefits are limited to only those doctors or hospitals that accept this type of insurance, which do not include international care providers.
Individual Medical Evacuation Benefits
Although the coverage offered by Vrbo through Generali Global Assistance does include $1 million of emergency medical evacuation benefits, that amount is divided among all travelers in your group. This is not typically the case with other travel insurance policies. Usually, the benefit amount is per person rather than per group.
Pandemics as a Named Peril
In insurance terms, a named peril is a listed reason for which coverage is provided. Until COVID-19, pandemics weren’t considered a named peril and still aren’t in some cases. Vrbo’s insurer, Generali Global Assistance, considers trip interruptions and cancellations due to fear of the pandemic and government and destination imposed restrictions as foreseeable events, and therefore, doesn’t cover related losses unless they are included under the specific terms of the policy. For example, if your flight was cancelled for pandemic-related reasons, you would not be reimbursed. However, if you have a fever and aren’t permitted to board your flight, you would be reimbursed for that flight under any of the plans offered through Vrbo as they all generally treat COVID-19 like any other illness. The good news is that most of the insurers at TravelInsurance.com do include contracting COVID-19 as a named peril when it comes to emergency medical, trip cancellation and trip interruption, so if you purchase a policy through one of these insurers, you won’t have to worry whether your unforeseen illness is pandemic-related or not. You’ll be covered either way. When quoting on TravelInsurance.com, make sure to click on the “COVID-19 FAQs” link next to each plan to open a new window with coverage details related to COVID-19.
CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) Coverage
The trip cancellation coverage included in Vrbo’s Prime, Enhanced, and Elite plans is limited to causes specifically listed in the policy. If your reason for cancellation is not on that list, your trip would not be covered under any of their plans. CFAR coverage allows you to cancel for any reason and be reimbursed for a percentage of pre-paid, non-refundable costs. This type of coverage can be added on to many standard travel insurance policies found on TravelInsurance.com.
In short, while Vrbo does offer travel insurance, it is somewhat limited and may not offer all the protection you need while on vacation. When planning any trip, you should consider the specific needs of you and anyone traveling with you and compare your options to make sure you are getting the right travel insurance at the best price. Use an online comparison tool like the one at TravelInsurance.com to see side-by-side costs and benefits and choose the policy with the most comprehensive coverage for your insurance needs, at the guaranteed lowest price.
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