Skip to Top Main Navigation Skip to Left Navigation Skip to Content Area Skip to Footer
Texas Department of Insurance
Topics:   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z All

Travel and recreation

November 15, 2023

Protect your home while you’re away


Before you head out for a vacation, we have some tips to keep your home safe while you’re gone.

Set timers on interior lights. Criminals are looking for an easy target. Use a timer on a few lights to make it appear that someone is home, and don’t let newspapers or mail pile up. Make sure valuables aren’t visible to someone looking through windows, and never leave a key outside.

Don’t post on social media. It’s best not to post that you’re away even if you think only friends and family can see your social media accounts.

Lock doors and windows. It’s obvious, but it’s also easy to forget. Before you leave, take one last trip around the house to make sure everything is locked.

Unplug TVs and computers. It’s Texas so you never know when an electrical storm could cause a power surge. To protect expensive electronics, unplug them or use a surge protector.

November 7, 2023

Traveling? Remember to check for smoke, carbon monoxide detectors.

portable smoke detector


Your bags are packed, you’re ready to travel. But do you plan to check your getaway spot for smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors? That would be wise.

CO is a colorless, odorless gas that replaces oxygen in your blood when you breathe it in. It can make you short of breath or cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, weakness—even death.

Each year, at least 420 people in the U.S. die from accidental CO poisoning, with more than 100,000 people going to an emergency room. And a 2019 study tallied over 100 CO poisoning incidents in U.S. hotels, motels and resorts—mostly caused by natural gas-fueled appliances.

Before or when you arrive at your vacation spot, check for:

  • Working CO and smoke alarms.
  • Portable fire extinguishers in easy reach.
  • Directions on how to exit the building.

If you own or rent an RV, make sure it has working alarms.

For less than $50, a small portable CO detector might be worth packing. Use it at your destination and help protect your family.

Learn more

November 4, 2021

Many Americans planning trips; some considering travel insurance

The majority of Americans plan to travel soon—and about one in three travelers say they’re likely to purchase travel insurance, according to a survey by AAA.

The AAA survey found:

  • 55% of American adults are planning a vacation of at least one overnight stay before the end of 2022.
  • 31% of people planning to travel between now and the end of 2022 are more likely to purchase travel insurance due to the pandemic.
  • 69% of travelers said the ability to cancel a trip and get a refund is the most important benefit when considering travel insurance.

In TDI’s latest Texas Insurance podcast, Megan Cruz of the US Travel Insurance Association encourages shoppers to check exclusions in any travel policy before buying.

Cruz also suggests that before you use your policy to cancel a trip, you should contact your hotel and airline. Both could waive reservation cancellation penalties and give credits to reschedule travel. After that, Cruz says, check if the provider of your travel insurance will let you change your coverage dates to a later time.

Listen to our podcast, What does travel insurance cover?

August 19, 2021

Could a travel insurance policy pay off on your next trip?

Air travel is hitting pandemic highs—a record 2.2 million people went through airport checkpoints during the first Sunday in August, according to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.

Still, there’s a lot of uncertainty to travel these days. So for our new video, we talked to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association about protecting your travel plans.

You can buy travel insurance that covers things you already paid for, such as flights, cruise tickets, or hotel deposits. You can also buy a “cancel for any reason” policy, which pays back about 50 to 70% of the cost of your trip if you if you cancel for any reason—or even no reason.

How do you know if you need travel insurance? Well, think about what you’d have to pay if you had to cut your trip short. Could you afford another ticket? What if you had to book an extra night in a hotel? Or if you had to be evacuated for medical reasons? If you can’t cover those costs, consider buying travel insurance.

Travel insurance typically costs between 5 and 10% of the cost of your trip. Adding “cancel for any reason” coverage will cost 40 to 70% more. And while most policies don’t cover the COVID pandemic itself, they may cover things like a quarantine, sickness, job loss, bad weather, or a government-mandated airport shutdown.

Read our tips: Travel insurance: What does it cover and when do you need it?

June 21, 2021

RV, pool, or boat? Insurance for your summer survival tools

Texans typically use the heat index instead of the calendar to mark the arrival of summer. Whether you wait for a 100-degree day or the official summer solstice, summer is here. Stay cool, Texas. We’ve got ideas to beat the heat and make sure your investment is insured.

Hit the road: RV sales are skyrocketing. If you’re part of this growing trend, watch our video to understand how insurance works for your home on wheels.

Hit the pool: Thinking about adding a pool or outdoor kitchen to your home? Yes, please! It’s a big investment, so talk to your insurance agent or company about getting the right coverage.

Hit the lake: With thousands of lakes and 367 miles of coastline, no wonder Texas is home to more than half a million recreational boats. If you have a small boat, your homeowners insurance may include enough coverage. To make sure, check our tips on boat insurance.

Texas Insurance Blog

Insurance tips and help

How to get help or file a complaint: We can answer insurance questions, help with problems, and explain how to file a complaint against an insurance company or agent.

Videos: Our video library has short tips and interviews with experts on dozens of topics.

Insurance tips: Use our tips to get the best deal on insurance, protect yourself from fraud, and learn what to do when you have a problem.

RSS feed