Friday, November 23, 2007

The Importance of Medical Travel Insurance

When traveling abroad on holiday, no one expects to fall ill, and if you are visiting overseas destinations it really is important to give some thought to the healthcare available and how to deal with an unforeseen medical situation in a foreign country. The unfamiliar environment can contribute to great distress for the unsuspecting tourist. Having to communicate in a foreign language with different and unfamiliar customs and the inability to understand what is happening can be very frightening. It is important to know that there are some unscrupulous medical centres around, particularly in popular tourist resorts where they prioritize financial considerations over quality of treatment and there are plenty of pitfalls to affect the unsuspecting tourist.

In Europe most countries have a very robust State healthcare system that provides the very highest levels of medical facilities and expertise. Generally if you fall ill, there is no shortage of medical care available, however, if you travel to Southern Europe, along the Mediterranean coast, (this area includes countries such as Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus etc.) you may find that, although there are State Health facilities, many private outpatient and inpatient hospitals have been built specifically to deal with the tourist market and one needs to take certain precautions if medical attention is required.

Often in these countries there is a whole network that has been established to take tourists directly to a private hospital or its affiliate outpatient centres where they commence an elaborate treatment regime which is often very expensive and often clinically unnecessary, purely for monetary gain. If you have traveled without Travel Insurance or without a reputable insurance product, this can lead to great personal hardship with treatment costs often ending up in thousands of dollars.

One infamous example of this type of abuse, which has been highly publicized in the European Press, occurred recently in Corfu. It was found that numerous tourists, who, after suffering a minor fall which resulted in a mild ankle sprain, were being x-rayed and operated upon under general anesthetic for a procedure which was not medically appropriate. Not only was this potentially life threatening and likely to cause unnecessary complications but also very expensive the average cost being $20,000. Incredibly these clinics are still operating unabated today.

Many of the hotels in major tourist resorts will also offer free health checks particularly to the elderly. Beware, Most elderly people will have some underlying medical condition which is maintained with regular medication prescribed by their GP. There have been numerous cases, where people have gone to these health checks with a medically stable condition and found that their treatment regimes were being altered which then caused complications resulting in admission to a private hospital and the loss of a holiday.

Additionally, hotels, taxis and even travel reps are often given commissions for taking tourists to a private clinic and indeed in many tourist resorts the ambulances are provided by the private hospitals purely to capitalize on the tourist dollar. For example, it is quite common in an emergency for a patient to be driven past a major State Hospital with all the appropriate emergency facilities and be admitted instead to an inferior private clinic. This is because the private hospital network is funded largely by the tourist market.

It is also worth knowing that in many European countries, whilst the State Hospitals offer a high level of medical care the nursing care is limited to medical attention only. This seldom includes the type of care we take for granted here in Australia such as welfare and general personal hygiene issues as they see this as something a relative or loved one would take care of. In such a situation it is possible to arrange for a private nurse to assist and this may even be covered by a Travel Insurance policy.

In African and Asian countries the biggest issue is the actual availability of healthcare and if you suffer from a more serious underlying medical condition then often the nearest medical facility will not have sufficient resources and expertise to deal with it. It is therefore quite common in serious cases to medically evacuate patients to a more suitable hospital which can cost anything up to $100,000. Even in this situation caution is required as there are unscrupulous Air Ambulance companies that act independently from the hospital with the sole aim of transferring a patient to another hospital outside the existing health arrangements which can prove extremely costly.

Healthcare in North America, including the Caribbean and Mexico, is very expensive and no one should consider traveling to these destinations without a comprehensive insurance policy. Whilst the medical care is of a high standard the costs are also extremely high and can easily escalate to hundreds of thousands of dollars. If holidaying in the Caribbean or countries in the Gulf region, again there is the risk of requiring a medical evacuation into the USA for treatment and this adds further to the already expensive costs.

There is no substitute for having a good quality travel insurance product. This will ensure that well trained medical assistance staff will always be on hand to offer all the support that you need in any such unforeseen situation.

Experienced multi-lingual staff will always be available to guide and assist you through these difficult times and the highest standard of medical expertise will always ensure that you have the appropriate medical treatment at the right time so you can avoid the complications of inappropriate and potentially dangerous medical treatment and the worry of unnecessary medical fees. They will also make sure that you arrive home safely if your travel plans are affected.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Buying Travel Insurance Online

Many travelers take the easy option when buying travel insurance for their holiday, and often buy it from their travel provider such as their travel agent or tour operator. But that isn't always the best option. Travel insurance bought through travel agents is still expensive whereas you can now get much better deals from a wide range of companies directly, cutting out the middleman many of which are online.

There are many benefits to buying travel insurance online, one of which is the ability to visit a shopping site to compare the prices of similar travel insurance policies without the need to trawl through loads of sites individually. You will usually get more detailed quotes if you visit each site separately however, so it's best to use the first method to narrow your choices down to half a dozen or so, and then investigate each insurer in more detail.

There are a growing number of dedicated travel insurance specialists who only operate over the internet, meaning you can usually get a lower price as they have lower overheads. Full details of all the policies they offer should be made available to you to read before you actually buy any cover. If you have any questions or any requirements that don't seem to be covered, it's worth emailing or phoning the company to iron these out first. Also make sure that the policy is underwritten by a reputable underwriter.

Once you have bought your policy you will be able to print it out immediately. This is another benefit of buying online, no queues, no waiting and no problems. You can buy at anytime, day or night. Simply choose your cover, pay online and print out your documents.

One thing to bear in mind however is how important it is to read through everything thoroughly after you have bought your cover, because if there are any errors these need to be corrected straightaway. If you don't check your policy and you need to make a claim, any errors may invalidate your cover.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Planning Ahead to Get Cheap Student Travel Insurance

Students that wish to travel at home and abroad often think of air fare as their major expense. The cost of flying to and from major destinations throughout the world may be high but it can be compounded without travel insurance. Insurance companies have begun to address the growing market for student travel with special insurance policies to protect against lost luggage, medical emergencies and flight cancellations. You can protect yourself against travel disasters by finding cheap student travel insurance well ahead of your trip.

The key to finding cheap student travel insurance is to leverage the competitive market to your advantage. You should get quotes from multiple insurers in the United Kingdom with student insurance plans in order to find the best value. A matrix of benefits and premium costs generated from these quotes can help you determine a policy that works for your travel needs.

You need to figure out details of your student travel experience when looking for a cheap insurance policy. Insurance companies need flight dates, accommodations and the overall length of the trip in order to assess their level of risk. A student travelling to Paris for four days has a lower risk than a student spending a month abroad in Russia. You can create an itinerary of your latest travel plans to get an accurate quote on student travel insurance.

A great resource for student travel insurance that won't harm your limited budget is within the walls of your university. Student travel offices, study abroad departments and other sections of your school have access to information on travel insurance geared toward university enrolees. You can arrange for a one-on-one meeting with an experienced traveller at your school to determine the best path to cheap insurance policies. These meetings can also provide you hidden resources known to student travel organisations for use in future trips.

One overlooked path to cheap student travel insurance is the use of your fellow travellers to help decrease the overall financial burden. Insurers that meet with multiple travellers may be inclined to provide the lowest possible premiums based on their assessment of risk to ensure a higher volume of business. You should work with classmates and friends to find a time to meet with a travel insurance agent to find a policy that works for everyone involved. It is important to use all of the aforementioned steps while planning your trip to save your budget for expenses in faraway places.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Worry-Free Travelling with Insure and Go

Trust the largest travel insurance provider in the UK - Insure and Go. Insure and Go provide travel insurance no matter what the purpose of your travel whether it be a family holiday to adventurers and thrill seekers looking for the ultimate extreme sports high. Insure and Go offer a very wide range of benefits and cover no matter what your needs. Insure and Go is now allied with AIG a global player in the insurance market to continue building upon their high quality service and product range.

Look no further for your travel insurance needs as Insure and Go is any family's one-stop provider. Free insurance for children is just one standard feature for the travelling family. Providing full insurance coverage for children travelling in your family is just one of the many fantastic benefits Insure and Go provide to keep the total cost of travel within your budget.

For those piling on the miles, they have an annual insurance package for the frequent traveller. Frequent travellers can save time and money by using their simple and cost-effective annual policy that does not need them to repeatedly find and complete a suitable policy every time they travel and provides peace of mind with a comprehensive coverage to protect you wherever you find yourself. The proof of the pudding with insurance policies is in the ease with which they are settled when there is a claim. Insure and Go have a claims payout record that is the envy of the travel industry. Let Insure and Go take the hassle out of your busy life and leave the insurance worries to them.

If you have a desire to climb that mountain, surf that big wave or throw yourself out of a perfectly serviceable aircraft then you need Insure and Go's extreme sports coverage. Getting coverage for extreme sports is usually difficult as anyone who has tried in the past knows only too well. Relax and concentrate on getting a buzz out of following your dreams and leave the insurance worries to Insure and Go with our comprehensive extreme sports coverage and affordable premiums that will not push your thrills out of the reach of your bank account.

Business trips and travel are a fact of life in the modern global economy. There is no substitute for face-to-face meetings and getting your own people down on the ground to see what is actually going on before committing to a new venture or dealing with an existing management issue. This will involve sending staff to those areas of the world that are less than friendly tourist destinations and present their own unique risk coverage challenges. Insure and Go provides excellent coverage even for high risk destinations which will allow your business to cover the staff whose hands you need on deck.

An additional benefit from Insure and Go for the frequent traveller is the Insure and Go Travel Club. Whether travelling for business or pleasure, the Insure and Go Travel Club will provide additional coverage options and benefits that are unique to Insure and Go and cannot be found anywhere else.

Insure and Go are committed to delivering the very best in customer service and policy coverage. One size never fits everyone so their policies are designed with flexibility as well as your pocket in mind. Bolt on the riders and additional coverage options you need and save money by avoiding excessive cover for risks you will not be facing while on your travels.

No matter what type of traveller you are and no matter what your travel insurance needs, Insure and Go will provide the very best coverage for price than any of their competitors in the travel insurance market today. Insure and Go deliver exactly what they say - you're insured and ready to go so have a nice trip!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

International Travel Medical Insurance and Traveling Abroad

When traveling, it's always a good idea to investigate your destination for potential issues, especially if you are traveling outside the US. It's also preferred to get international travel insurance.

A good website to check is This website gives information on international travel for US citizens, Visas for US citizens, Visas for foreign citizens, and children and family of US citizens. It was also give you alerts for various countries.

The State Department strongly encourages American citizens planning travel abroad to register their travel with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact a traveler if necessary, whether because of a family emergency in the United States or because of a crisis in the place the traveler is visiting. Registration is a free service provided by the State Department, and is easily done online at

If your family needs to reach you because of an emergency, they can pass a message to you through the Office of Overseas Citizens Services, which can be contacted from within the United States at 888-407-4747 (toll free), and from overseas at 202-501-4444. The Office of Overseas Citizens Services will contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country in which you are traveling in order to pass the message to you.

Make sure you have a signed valid passport, and a visa, if required, and fill in the emergency information page of your passport. Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page and visas with family or friends, so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.

Familiarize yourself with local conditions and laws. While in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws. The State Department website has useful safety and other information about the countries you will visit.

Take precautions to avoid being a target of crime. To avoid being a target of crime, do not wear conspicuous clothing or jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money. Also, do not leave unattended luggage in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers.

While traveling, contact the US Embassy in case of an emergency. Consular personnel at US Embassies and Consulates abroad and in the U.S. are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens. Contact information for U.S. Embassies and Consulates appears on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at Also note that the Office of Overseas Citizen Services in the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs may be reached for assistance with emergencies at 1-888-407-4747, if calling from the U.S. or Canada, or 202-501-4444, if calling from overseas.

While you are planning your trip, see your doctor at least 6 weeks before you leave. Some vaccines don't reach their highest protection up to 6 weeks after you get the shots.

Have medical and dental check-ups before your trip, so you can be aware of problems and to find out about medicines you might want to take along.

Check your overseas medical insurance coverage. Ask your medical insurance company if your policy applies overseas, and if it covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation. If it does not, consider supplemental insurance. Bring your eyewear prescription, and wear a medical information bracelet if needed.

And lastly, look into buying international travel medical insurance. International travel health insurance plans include international travel insurance and student international travel insurance for international travelers. Coverage lengths can be flexible and vary according to your plans.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Thailand Travel Insurance

You've booked your flight, made reservations at the hotel, got someone to bring in the mail and watch the dogs, what about the travel insurance? I know what you're thinking, "I'm only going for two weeks", "I'll be fine I'm in great shape", "other people get sick on vacation, not me", but what if you're wrong?

Thailand is known for being a bargain for westerners. Cheap clothes, food, hotels, entertainment, even the hospitals and clinics are cheap compared to the west and with some of the best doctors in the world. Contrary to what some people may believe Thailand has excellent health care. Even though Thailand is cheaper than the west in almost every category if you wind up in the hospital for a week or two it's still going to cost you and it will be more than you bargained for.

If you need some stitches or you pick up a bad case of pink eye then a clinic can patch you up easily and the cost will be minimal...around 700 Baht - 1200 Baht ($20-$30) and thats including all the medicine you'll need to take for whatever length of time. But if you have seriously problems and are admitted to a hospital then the bills start to rack up. Hospital room, medicine, diagnostics, and so on. Then you could be looking at 30,000 baht and do the math.

Whereas travel insurance won't be much help for the minor ailments it will certainly be worth the cost if something major comes up. On average for a two week trip most travel insurance will cost you $20-$30 which isn't much in the grand scheme of things. That amount will usually cover major medical, flights to your home country if it's decided thats the best place for you, and most even have an added bonus that if you're hospitalized for a week or longer they will have a family member flown to you.

Travel insurance can also cover trip cancellations, lost luggage, and a change in travel plans depending on what options you choose. You may not have a great vacation if you get sick but if you have to pay for it out of pocket as well then it's sure to be a memorable trip and not for the right reasons.

I'm writing this because I came down with acute tonsillitis on my first trip to Thailand. Luckily a few trips to the clinic got me back into shape but it could have been bad and I wouldn't have been covered as I didn't even think about insurance.

The flight to Thailand is a long one if you live in the states (17 hours non stop from JFK International) Which will have you nice and dehydrated if you don't drink a lot of water. The temperature in Thailand is HOT which can and will dehydrate you further if you don't take care. Foreign food, foreign microbes, burning the candle at both ends, endless sight seeing, and a host of other things can and will come back to haunt you if you don't take care. Even if you do take care to prevent sickness there is always the unexpected and in Thailand that could be anything from an over amorous elephant, a motorcycle taxi running you over and a host of other things just waiting for you around the next corner.

You may have great insurance in your home country but in most cases they won't cover you overseas.

Find a good travel insurance and buy it for your trip no matter where you're going or for how long!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Travel Insurance Ins and Outs

So you've done it. After months of shopping and browsing through brochures you've gone ahead and setup your dream vacation and finally decided on your perfect destination of choice.

But wait there's one more thing you may not have thought about during the excitement of the vacation destination selection process. That one more thing… travel insurance. It's very likely that you travel agent will offer your travel insurance with you vacation package however it may be worth it to try arranging your own travel insurance online.

You'll find that obtaining a travel insurance quote online is much easier than you realize. Buying travel insurance online is an easy convenient way to find and buy a good policy, insurance whether you're looking for single trip insurance or multi trip travel insurance. If you travel only occasionally, like once a year, a single trip travel insurance policy will probably be suitable. On the other hand if you take two or three trips per year, or even more, it is well worth considering a multi trip travel insurance policy.

Multi trip travel insurance travel policies are also be known as annual travel insurance policies and can be big money savers in the long run. When arranging your travel insurance policy be sure to establish what coverage is provided and look for any items you may expect to be covered that are excluded.

Remember that like most things you are probably looking at a compromise between the coverage your travel insurance policy provides, and the premium that it carries. You should not assume that because an insurance company offers a policy at what appears to be a cheap premium it does not also offer good coverage. Be aware this also works in reverse. Meaning just because a policy covers a heft price tag does not guarantee that the policy covers every aspect of coverage you need and require.

Monday, November 5, 2007

How to Get a Cheap Travel Insurance?

Insurance is getting costlier by the day. In case you do not buy an insurance you may end up paying a lot more and may even end up bankrupt. This is a catch-22 situation, either way you have to pay. However the smart individual can reduce the amount he pays on insurance to a great extent by keeping in mind few things.

Buy travel insurance online-Buying travel insurance online can save up to 20% of the cost as you do not have to pay to an agent. Most travel insurance companies encourage buying online as it reduces their overhead costs also.

Group travel insurance-If you are traveling to a place in a group, it is smarter to buy group travel insurance or a cheap family travel insurance as the premium will be marginally higher than for an individual. However if all individuals buy separately they will end up paying lot more than if they had bought a group cover.

Existing insurance covers-Most health insurance covers in the United States provide for health insurance in foreign countries also. Hence check up whether your existing health insurance provides cover and to what extent and then buy a travel insurance policy. Also check up whether your home insurance covers and auto insurance covers. Most auto insurance covers do not cover for driving in foreign countries. The idea is if you are already covered partly, then buy the travel insurance to cover the remaining items you wish to, rather than paying for the entire cover.

Deductible-Deductible is the amount of the bill you pay and the rest of the bill is paid by the travel insurance company. The higher the deductible, the lesser the premium.

Co-insurance-Co-insurance is the percentage of bill that you will have to pay when claiming costs under an insurance cover. The higher the co-insurance the lesser is the premium. It is a matter of striking the balance between deductible, co-insurance and premium to suit your pocket.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Most Common Risks That Are Covered By Travel Insurance!

Travel insurance is insurance that is intended to cover financial, medical expenses and other losses incurred while traveling, either within one's own country, or internationally.

Travel insurance can usually be arranged at the time of booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip or a more extensive, continuous insurance can be purchased from (most often) travel agents, travel insurance companies or directly from travel suppliers such as cruiselines or tour operators.

Travel insurance often offers coverage for a variety of travelers. Student travel, business travel, leisure travel, adventure travel, cruise travel, and international travel are all various options that can be insured.

The most common risks that are covered by travel insurance are:

• Cancellation
• Curtailment
• Delayed departure
• Loss, theft or damage to personal possessions and money (including travel documents)
• Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
• Emergency evacuation/repatriation
• Overseas funeral expenses
• Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
• Legal assistance
• Personal liability and rental car damage excess

Some travel policies will also provide cover for additional costs, although these vary widely between providers.

And in addition, often separate insurance can be purchased for specific costs such as:

• high risk sports
• travel to high risk countries
• pre-existing medical conditions

Travel insurance can also provide helpful services, often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that can include concierge services and emergency travel assistance.

So Find right travel partner to give you complete details and assistance for your travel insurance requirements.