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10 Traveler’s Insurance Tips

Travel insurance companies estimate that less than 30 percent of travelers have adequate coverage, yet the number one problem faced by travelers abroad is accidents. The wise traveler considers traveler’s insurance a necessity, not an option, but the options can be confusing. Travel insurance may include medical transportation, accident insurance, emergency medical/dental benefits, accident medical expenses, in-hospital indemnity legal referral, medical emergency evacuation, repatriation in case of death, and a 24-hour emergency assistance hotline in English. A certified travel counselor (CTC) can assist in understanding the fine print and selecting the best package.

Ten Tips for the Traveler

1. Purchase travel insurance through licensed or state-approved third party companies.

2. Check out the difference in travel protection purchased through a travel agent and a travel insurance company. Licensure by state agencies is not required of suppliers of travel protection plans, so investments are not protected if the supplier defaults or declares bankruptcy.

3. Determine if your current health insurance covers any medical needs abroad. Many policies require the insured to front the costs (increasingly demanded in cash) and submit claims with copies of bills in English to be reimbursed.

4. Read the fine print for exclusions, time/place restrictions, and dollar ceilings.

5. Consider a membership plan for an annual fee or per trip which gives ultimate risk management as you travel. One of these is internationalsos (see below).

6. Call the American Consulate to assist in an emergency situation.

7. Keep folks at home informed as to your whereabouts.

8. Check on a foreign government’s requirements for incoming travelers

9. Visit these websites for starters:

World Nomads

10. Include travel insurance as part of your travel budget and enjoy the enhanced peace of mind.

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