Written by Sonya Willsher
Monday, August 19th, 2019
When my brother invited my children and I to go on a fairly inexpensive vacation to the Dominican Republic with him and his kids, I agreed.
My husband had just switched jobs and couldn't join us, but he supported the cousins all going on a trip together. Travelling with kids and without my husband was something new to me, so I was a bit more cautious than I might have otherwise been.
Despite having traveller's insurance through my husband's work, I decided the additional $60 couldn't hurt and purchased supplemental travel insurance since he wasn't joining us – it not only saved me thousands, but also a lot of time and additional pain.
Why Travel Insurance Came in Handy
In the span of a couple of hours, my daughter developed heat exhaustion and was obviously not well. We huddled in our room with expensive sports drinks and medicine. After she had thrown up multiple times over 24 hours, her stomach settled, but the fever reappeared every time the Advil ran out. Roughly 24 hours later, my daughter's vomiting made a reappearance and her fever was running very high, so at 2:30 a.m. I called our travel insurance company to let them know I was taking my daughter to the 24-hour emergency clinic on the resort.
Walking into the clinic with an insurance case number helped streamline the process and ensured I wasn't paying out of pocket. As we walked in, there was a sign that noted a cost of $250 US for walking in the door. After assessing my daughter's health, the doctor recommended sending her to the hospital for an IV (she was seriously dehydrated, and the doctor suspected she had a bacterial infection) and further assessment by the pediatrician on call.
We were driven to the hospital and directed to a private room. We spent the day at the hospital but declined to stay overnight, since my daughter was on the mend and my son was still at the resort with my brother.
At the time, we didn't see the bill for the transportation to and from the clinic, the on-site care from the physician at the resort (including the follow-up the morning after our hospital visit), or for the hospital stay along with the tests and medicine. It was only after we returned home that we found out her care cost $1,366. The $60 additional insurance I bought as a precaution was definitely worth it.
A Notarized Letter
Another additional expense from the trip was $60 I had spent for a notarized letter stating I had permission to take my children out of the country without my husband. A lawyer friend of ours had recommended this, explaining that it's a good idea for situations when one parent takes the children out of country without the other parent.
It was such a small thing, but after our ordeal, and a plane delay, my kids and I were looking forward to coming home, and the letter meant that customs agents could review it and waive us through to collect our luggage.
At a combined cost of $120, the insurance and notarized letter saved us time and helped provide peace of mind.