Saturday, March 7, 2020

Summer camp insurance and coronavirus

I received an email from a sleepaway camp where I'm considering sending my younger daughter this summer.  The camp advised families to strongly consider purchasing camp insurance because of the potential impact of coronavirus.

I took a look at the policy being offered for that camp and another one my daughter will attend.  Although they vary in some of the details, the pertinent coverages are the same.  The insurer will reimburse me for camp fees if:

1)  My daughter cannot attend camp because she is sick.
2)  My daughter cannot attend camp because she is personally quarantined.

The policies do not provide for a return of fees if the camps are closed because of coronavirus.

I have reached out to a couple of camp directors to ask whether fees will be returned by the camp itself if camp is cancelled.  The response I'm getting is that they have never had to deal with a situation like this before and they are looking into it.

Some thoughts and takeaways:

1)   Sleepaway camp is the best. Attending and working at them were bright spots in my life, and my younger daughter has loved hers as well.  (My older daughter . . .  let's just say every camp is not right for every kid.)

2)  Before deciding on whether to purchase camp insurance for your child, read the policy that is offered.  If it's like the ones that I have seen, your calculation should not be based on how likely you think that it is that the camp will close.  It should be based on how likely you think it is that the camp will remain open but your child will not be able to attend because he or she is personally sick or quarantined.

3)  I'm not trying to join in the coronavirus fear-mongering.  Whether or not camps close or stay open may well have more to do with the perception of the dangers of coronavirus than the actuality of how dangerous it is.

4)  Obligatory reminder: wash your hands.

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