After a long, cold winter, many of us—from the young and to the more mature—are ready to make plans for spring break. As your clients’ trusted advisor, you can provide valuable reminders to clients who will travel to take advantage of warmer weather and those who will enjoy their spring break at home.
Tips for Clients Who Are Traveling
1. If your clients are planning a spring break trip, remind them to gather important documents they may need during their travels:
- Passport. If your clients plan to travel internationally, they will need a valid passport. If they need a new passport or to renew their existing passport, they should plan ahead: routine processing can take six to nine weeks, although expedited, urgent, and emergency processing is available under some circumstances.
- Health insurance card. Clients should bring their health insurance card with them on their trip. If your clients are traveling within the United States, they should also contact their health insurance company to ask if the state they are visiting is within their plan’s network. If they are traveling to a state outside of their plan’s network, they should ask which services are covered. In general, routine care is not covered in states that are outside of a plan’s network, but emergency services are covered. However, plans may differ, so it is important for your clients to check with their insurance company.
- Powers of attorney. If your clients have property, accounts, or a business that need to be monitored or managed while they are away, they should make sure they have a financial power of attorney granting someone they trust the power to take care of their affairs until they return. In addition, clients should consider a power of attorney that authorizes someone they trust to handle emergencies while they are away, for example, repairs and insurance claims in the event of a flooded basement or a roof damaged by hail. The document can specify exactly what the individuals appointed under the power of attorney are authorized to do and the time period during which they may act on your clients’ behalf.
- Auto insurance information. In general, auto insurance policies cover drivers in all fifty states and sometimes Canada and Mexico. In addition, if your clients have auto insurance, it will cover a rental car. However, there may be some gaps in coverage if their rental car is damaged or stolen. If they do not have auto insurance, they will need to obtain rental car insurance if they plan to use a rental car during their travels. Clients who are traveling abroad will likely need to obtain rental car insurance and an International Driving Permit, which is a document that translates the information on their driver’s license into at least ten languages.
- Travel insurance. Your clients should also consider obtaining travel insurance, which can include trip cancellations, disruption insurance, or travel health insurance. If your client’s trip was expensive, they could lose a lot of money if they get sick and cannot travel or an incident occurs that prevents the trip from occurring as planned. In addition, if your clients are traveling internationally, their health insurance may only cover emergency care. Travel health insurance may cover out-of-pocket costs that are incurred for medical care. In addition, medical evacuation insurance is available to cover transportation expenses if clients travel to a country whose healthcare is not as good as the care they would receive if they return home or are transported to another location.
2. Remind your clients to make sure that their family members and loved ones have their contact information in case of emergency. Although your clients will likely have their cell phones with them during their travels, some areas, even in the United States, have poor cell phone coverage. As a result, they should provide landline telephone numbers and addresses of the hotels or resorts where they plan to stay during their trip.
3. If you need to be able to reach your clients to discuss important financial matters, make sure you obtain their itinerary and contact information as well. It may provide them peace of mind to know that you will be able to reach them in case an urgent matter arises.
Tips for Clients Who Are Staying Home
If your clients are taking a staycation, they can take advantage of their free time to review their existing financial and estate plans. If they have changed jobs, gotten married, had children, or experienced other life changes, it may be time for an update. If your clients need to update their estate plans, we are ready to help.