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Traveler Insurance that saves your money, time and frustration!


Don't forget your travel insurance before you take off for that vacation. I am very serious when it comes to insurance, I do not like to take any chances, I grew up in a family with my mother as a sole bread winner, my father passed away when I was 10 years old without any insurance. Life was very very difficult then. So the same goes with your vacation too! It can cost you an extra few hundreds to thousands of dollars if the tour operator goes bankrupt, or if you need to shorten your vacation due to sickness or injury.

Quick Tip The biggest myth would be that your normal health insurance covers you when you are away, or that since many travelers visit an area or region, access to medical care is easy or affordable.

Here's a quick guide to understanding what a good travel insurance should cover for your vacation to Iceland.

1. Travel Curtailment
If you or an immediate family member becomes seriously ill or is injured during the vacation most traveler insurance companies would reimburse you for the unused portion of the vacation.

2. Travel Cancellation
You would be reimbursed if the cruise line or tour operator goes out of business. It would also reimburse you if you have to cancel the vacation due to sickness, a death in the family or other natural calamity such as Hurricanes listed in the policy. Travel cancellation is very different from a Cancellation Waiver that many travel operators offer. Waivers are relatively inexpensive. They provide coverage if you have to cancel the trip, but they have many restrictions. They must be purchased when you book the trip and will usually not cover you immediately before departure. Most importantly, waiver is not an insurance.

2. Personal liability
Personal Liability is important in case of legal liability, arising out of one's negligence in causing a another person's injury (or death) and or another person's property damage. Some traveler insurance companies even insure against the loss or theft of golfing equipment and laptops.

3. Luggage/Baggage/Flight Delay
This feature comes along with a "Time" excess, meaning that the traveler insurance companies only compensate when the delay exceeds a certain time frame. The limit for loss of luggage/baggage/flight varies, usually with a cap for individual items.

4. Emergency & Medical Assistance and Information Service
Look for those 24-hour services that offer information on visa requirements, foreign exchange, weather forecasts and medical advice etc. Emergency evacuation is very helpful indeed for inexperienced travelers or travelers with medical conditions. These service centers may also offer emergency assistance in the form of embassy, legal, interpreter and medical referrals. Most traveler insurance policies would compensate a couple of hundred dollars for each day of hospitalization up to the maximum limit indicated in their respective packages. This is solely to compensate the traveler for the number of days spent in a hospital overseas and should not be mistaken as hospital or medical reimbursement, which takes care of the hospital and ward charges.

5. Accidental Death insurance
Personal accident coverage, which is to compensate the insured for permanent or temporary disablement or death as a result of an accident.


2 Main Types of Travel Insurance
Annual Policy
Most insurance companies offer traveler insurance on annual basis as well as per trip basis. Annual policies cover unlimited trips made by you during the entire year provided that each trip does not exceed a certain number of days, usually 90 days. No declaration is required. For frequent flyers, this type of travel insurance would be most ideal in terms of cost and convenience.

Family Travel Insurance
Family packages are also designed to cater for immediate families traveling together. Definition of immediate families would include yourself, your spouse and your children. Family travel insurance are usually priced at a lower premium than if individual insurance policies were to be taken up for the whole family.

Special Features ALERT!
Go for travel insurance policies come with higher deductible as this can translate into lower premium. The worst case scenario is you may end up having to bear the first $40 or $50 of every claim that you make. Deductible: (Also known as Excess in Europe) This is the amount that the insured must pay before the travel insurance starts paying for your claim. This may be an annual amount, an amount for the duration of the policy, or an amount for each incident. Choose the latter. For those of you who intend to engage in water or winter sports during your vacation, it would be wise to take up your insurers who offer free coverage for such activities. Some travel insurance companies may charge an additional premiums (fees) for this extension, so it is better to check this point before you effect your cover. Not surprisingly, bungee jumping is excluded from most policies. Watch out for age limits imposed by some travel insurance companies, meaning that persons exceeding a certain age are excluded from their coverage. But if you belong to this elderly group, fret not. There are travel insurance companies that do not impose any age limit and offer the same coverage at no additional premium loading. A unique coverage that is being offered in the travel insurance market is the "Car Rental Excess". This feature takes care of the excess amount that the insured normally has to bear (under the motor policy taken up at car rental companies) in the event of damage to the rented vehicle while driving overseas.

Premium Computation (Fee of Travel Insurance also known as Premium)
For "per-trip" policies, the premium payable hinges considerably on the number of days of travel, the country of destination and choice of plans. For example, if you are from Europe, a vacation in USA warrants a much higher premium than a trip within Europe for the same number of days. Some traveler insurance companies provide the option of higher limits of coverage at of course, a higher premium (fee). If price is of concern, it is advisable to keep on hand the premium schedule from a few insurance companies for comparison before you activate your travel insurance before each trip.

Claim Procedure
I consider this the most important aspect of buying any insurance. All your claims need to be lodge within a certain time frame. You would be required to complete and submit a claim form, which can be obtained from the insurance company directly. In almost all instances, your claims must be accompanied by relevant documents, such as medical receipts for medical reimbursement or hospital cash; a police report for loss of money or personal documents; an official letter from the airline in cases of flight or luggage delay and loss of luggage if within custody of the airline. In all cases, call up and inform your insurance company immediately for necessary advice. There you are... now with a basic knowledge of travel insurance, you are equipped to choose the best travel insurance suited to your travel needs and you are all set to fly!

About The Author:
As a frequent business traveler, Jonathan has traveled extensively within America, across Asia and Europe. Last minute travel is the norm for him, you can check out his Late Holiday Deals Guide site.