travel insuranceOver the years, insurance companies have designed and introduced many Travel Insurance packages according to the requirements of an individual, family, or group. Arrangements for Cheap Travel Insurance can be made at the time of booking a trip to cover just the duration of the trip, or a more extensive and comprehensive insurance can be purchased from Travel Insurance companies, travel agents or directly from cruise lines and tour operators. Whatever source you purchase the insurance from, you have to be careful and understand properly what is covered or not covered in the policy, as some travel insurance packages purchased from cruise lines and travel operators are less inclusive of risks than the insurance packages provided by insurance companies.

Travel insurance packages offer coverage for student travels, business related travel, leisure and holiday travel, adventure travels, cruise travels, and also international travel. Travel Insurance covers many risks associated with travelling and the premium charged depends on many factors like, whether the insurance is for an individual, family, or group, and the destination and duration of the travel, etc. Insurance companies, travel agents, and tour operators provide Cheap Travel Insurance packages for a Single trip return journey, or a package for multiple trips in a year.

The Single trip return journey Travel Insurance package can provide insurance cover for an individual, family or group, and the premium depends on the duration of the travel, the destination or country travelled to, and the risks that need to be covered. Most of these insurance packages offer free insurance for children travelling with adults and cover many of the risks involved in travelling within the country or internationally to another country. Even the Cheap Travel Insurance packages for Single trip return journeys will cover the most basic risks like Medical expenses incurred during travelling, loss or theft of baggage, loss or theft of travel documents, baggage delays or baggage misplaced, cancellations or cutting short a trip due to sickness or injury, etc. This insurance package is good for those individuals who travel once or twice a year or occasionally, and for families planning for a short or long holiday within the country, and especially when traveling to another country.

But a businessman, or an individual who travels extensively, with multiple trips within the country and internationally, this Single trip return journey package is not cost effective and is time consuming as it has to be arranged for every trip within or outside the country. The comprehensive Multi trip Annual package is the answer to a regular travellers requirement for Travel Insurance. There are many other Cheap Travel Insurance packages for short-term trips, like Ski-trip insurance packages, budget backpacker insurance packages, motorcycle travel insurance for those wanting to tour countries on their motorcycles, and insurance for Senior travelers.

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 Offers of “Protection” May Not Provide Insurance Coverage for Your Travel Investment

If you had a recent trip cancelled due to snow or bad weather, you may be considering travel insurance for your spring getaway. But beware – every offer you get for travel “protection” may not be travel insurance coverage. In a bad economy, insurance fraud can be costly to uninformed consumers hoping for better protection of their investment. So, before your buy travel “protection,” the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers these tips and considerations you should review.

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance may not be appropriate for all trips and you may have some coverage from policies you already have – such as a life, health or homeowners/renter’s policy. Read your policy or speak with your insurance agent or company to find out more about what personal property and medical coverage you already have that could provide protection while you’re traveling. Some credit card companies also offer travel insurance if you pay for the reservation with your card. When making your decision, check to see if your company offers those benefits.

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After finding out what coverage you already have, ask yourself the following questions to help decide if you will benefit from the added cost:

  • Do I really need the coverage?
  • What could go wrong before or during the trip? Can I cover those costs on my own?
  • Will the coverage apply if I have a family emergency affecting someone other than myself (the traveler), or does the coverage only apply to personal emergencies (like if I get sick)?

All companies and agents selling travel insurance must be licensed in the state where you are purchasing the policy. While considering whether you will benefit from the insurance, also stop to investigate where you are considering buying the policy.

Marketing and sales material for fraudulent coverage is often difficult to distinguish from real insurance coverage. So, to protect yourself – STOP before you write a check for the premium or sign the application and CALL your state insurance department to CONFIRM that the agent and company are licensed in your state. Many insurance departments also make this information available online.

What Are the Major Types of Travel Insurance?

There are two main types of travel insurance. The first type, commonly called trip cancellation insurance, protects against the loss of non-refundable travel costs – like airfare, hotel or tour expenses. So if you’re making a deposit on a cruise or have non-refundable airline tickets, this would be the type of coverage you’d consider.

The other type of travel insurance offers protection against loss due to medical emergencies, damage to personal property or death that occurs while you are traveling.

Trip Cancellation/Delay/Interruption Insurance

Travel insurance generally covers a very specific list of reasons for cancellation, delay or interruption. Before you buy a policy make sure you’ve reviewed these situations carefully.

  • Trip Cancellation – Reimburses pre-paid travel expenses if you aren’t able to take your trip because you become ill or die.
  • Travel Delay – Reimburses pre-paid expenses if you aren’t able to take your trip because of a travel delay, such as a flight delay or cancellation.
  • Trip Interruption – Reimburses pre-paid expenses if your trip is cut short because you become ill or die, or because of any other misfortune listed in policy. Covered reasons might include bad weather, airline strikes, terrorism, bankruptcy, jury duty, or fire or flood damage to your home.

Medical/Accidental Death Insurance

When considering a medical or accidental death travel policy, ask about pre-existing conditions and age limits. How companies deal with pre-existing conditions can vary widely. Read the terms of coverage carefully if you have a pre-existing condition and be prepared to pay a higher premium to cover them. Some insurers also charge more for older travelers.
American health insurance is generally not accepted outside of the United States. To find out more about the extent of your coverage, speak with your insurance agent or company before you leave home.

  • Medical/Health – Reimburses medical and emergency dental expenses that you incur because of an illness or injury while you’re traveling.
  • Medical Evacuation – Provides emergency transportation to either a hospital in the geographic region where you are and/or transportation back to a hospital near your home.
  • Accidental Death – This coverage is usually split into three parts:
    1. Air Flight Accident – Covers death or dismemberment during flight only.
    2. Common Carrier – Covers death or dismemberment while traveling on public transportation such as a plane, ferry, train, bus or taxi.
    3. Accidental Death – Covers death or dismemberment at any time during a trip.

Baggage/Rental Car Damage Insurance

Homeowners or renter’s insurance may cover baggage or personal property damage when you’re traveling and your auto insurance may extend to a rental car, but you should always check the terms of your current policy or ask your insurance agent or company.

  • Baggage Loss – Reimburses for lost, stolen or damaged personal items. This usually doesn’t cover personal items lost or damaged by an airline. If you buy baggage insurance, be sure to review the policy for the list of property that is not covered and the value limits associated with the property.
  • Rental Car Damage – Reimburses for damage or loss to a rental vehicle. If you purchase this coverage you can decline the rental car company’s “collision damage waiver.” This coverage doesn’t provide liability protection.

Is a Waiver the Same as Insurance?

Cruise and tour operators may offer Cancellation Waivers. Keep in mind that waivers are not insurance policies and are not regulated by the state, and therefore do not have the same consumer protection as a travel insurance policy.  Read all of the restrictions before you buy a Cancellation Waiver.

What Red Flags Should I Watch For?

Here are some warnings against possible fraudulent policies:

  • The insurance is advertised through blast faxes, spam e-mails, Internet pop-ups or signs posted on telephone poles.
  • The company claims you can save a considerable amount on travel insurance.
  • The company uses high-pressure marketing and an extreme sense of urgency, telling you that you “must act now” or “this one-time offer.”

Just remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

What Should I Check Before I Buy?

  • Are the company and the person I am buying the policy from licensed by the state where I live to sell insurance?
  • What is the refund policy on prepaid expenses? How long in advance do I have to cancel to get a refund?
  • Other than a full refund, what benefits will the insurance company offer? Will they rebook a flight or help me find a new hotel room?
  • Read the policy to see if the coverage applies only to the traveler, or if an illness or emergency with a family member will also trigger the coverage.
  • If you’re working with a travel agent you trust, ask about his or her experiences with any recommended travel insurance companies. Have their customers filed claims? Were those claims paid?
  • If you’re planning an adventurous vacation (i.e. skydiving, scuba diving), ask if the insurance will cover those activities.
  • You don’t have to buy travel insurance from the travel agent booking your trip. You may get a better deal if you work directly with the travel insurance company. Just make sure the quotes you’re comparing are for the same coverages.
  • If you buy from your travel agent, ask to speak with the licensed insurance agent in their office, and check with your state insurance department to make sure that person’s license is up to date.

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Spirit Airlines said it will work with other air carriers to keep flying if its pilots strike on Saturday.

Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson said on Tuesday that the airline is “partnering with other air carrier providers to continue to serve our customers.” She declined to identify whom Spirit planned to work with, or to say how much of its schedule it will maintain in a strike.

Spirit is negotiating a new contract with its pilots, who are in a 30-day “cooling-off period” mandated by federal law before they can strike or the company locks them out. If there’s no deal, the pilots have said they will walk out when the cooling-off period ends at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. The talks are being held in Washington and are guided by the National Mediation Board.

Spirit is a small, privately held carrier based in Miramar, Fla. It operates about 150 flights per day, many of them from the eastern U.S. to Latin America.

Sean Creed, a Spirit captain and the head of its Air Line Pilots Association unit, doubted that the airline had arrangements that would keep it flying through a strike.

“Obviously they’re free to replace us according to the law,” he said. “I think if they were going to have a plan to continue operation, it would need to have some specific details.”

Creed and the airline both said the final issues are pay and work rules.

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(Washington (AP) USAToday)

MUMBAI, India (AP) — A strike by Air India employees entered its second day, forcing the cancellation of over 100 flights — one more blow for the beleaguered national carrier days after one of its planes exploded in India’s worst aviation disaster in over a decade.

Analysts say the strike reflects a deepening crisis within Air India, which lost an estimated $1 billion last year and has been plagued by friction between management and employees.

Early Saturday an Air India flight from Dubai overshot the runway in the southern Indian city of Mangalore, killing 158 of the 166 people on board.

Members of two of Air India’s 14 unions walked out shortly after noon Tuesday to protest a management order not to talk to reporters and delayed salary payments.

J.B. Kadian, general secretary of the Air Corporation Employees Union — which says it is Air India’s largest union with 12,000 members — claimed that 15,000 workers walked out. The engineer’s union joined the agitation.

Air India spokesman S. Chandra Kumar said Wednesday that only 1,000 workers had walked out.

Kadian said workers protested after management disciplined union leaders for talking to the press. He said staff have also been upset by six months of delayed salary payments and short staffing of cabin crews.

When asked about the appropriateness of striking so soon after a deadly crash, he hung up the phone.

The government took a hard line as union talks Wednesday yielded no immediate progress. Officials did not rule out the politically contentious step of laying off striking workers.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told reporters that management is “free to take any strong action.”

“This is absolutely irresponsible behavior,” he said.

Spokesman Kumar said 76 flights will be canceled Wednesday, after more than 32 flights were grounded Tuesday. Almost all the affected flights are domestic.

Indian television stations showed images of angry and despondent passengers stranded during a peak travel season in India.

Kumar said the airline had not ruled out firing the striking workers. “We are trying to be fair but firm,” he said in a telephone interview.

He said it’s too early to tally the financial cost of the strike, but about 30 percent of Air India’s flights have been affected.

Unions that did not strike condemned the action.

“At a time when we are mourning the death of our colleagues and passengers, it’s grossly incorrect,” said Sanjay Lazar, general secretary of the All-India Cabin Crew Association, which says it represents 3,000 Air India cabin crew and executives. “It’s a time for us to heal and move forward. All the bodies have not yet been identified.”

Air India was once a source of national pride. Founded by J.R.D. Tata, one of India’s most revered industrialists, the airline has disintegrated as a viable business and survives thanks to a 20 billion rupee ($421 million) government bailout.

Today, a visit to an Air India ticket office can be a trip back in time, with four employees watching a fifth laboriously write out tickets by hand.

“When you have a large section of the organization striking a few days after a national tragedy, it reflects no concern for the organization,” said Kapil Kaul, chief of the India unit of the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation, an independent aviation research group. “It is a wake-up call for the government — the situation is so deep that their continuing inaction could be fatal for the company.”

The government has demanded a turnaround plan and cost reductions, but stopped short of ordering layoffs. Kaul estimates that the airline’s 30,000 staffers should be slashed by half.

Kaul expects the airline will lose as much as $5 billion over the next five years.

An attempt to trim performance-linked pay resulted in a five-day strike by pilots in September, with some 400 canceled flights.

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(By ERIKA KINETZ AP Business Writer)

Planning for travel abroad program is very exciting but many people overlook planning for the “what ifs” that may occur. This can be a costly mistake, and also ruin your exchange programs reputation based on an incident. When it comes to emergency situations it’s not the problem, but it’s how the problem is attendant too.

Over the years our company has seen it all; Students becoming entrepreneurs and importing illegal goods. Students becoming “one with nature” to the point that they need mental attention.  Missionaries evacuated while natural disaster strikes in a foreign land.

Whatever the situation may be, it would be nice to know that you had medical, legal, and other advocates available 24 hours a day to mitigate your program risk.

All of our emergency protection programs are custom to our clients needs. Acquiring coverage is easy and most importantly cost effective.  Please contact us with your questions.

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