Friday 16 March 2012

What Travel Insurance cover?

The scope of Travel insurance coverage varies from insurer to insurer.

Usually It may cover the following:

1. Travel Medical expenses - Travel insurance may cover the medical expenses that could occur while travelling. This expenses may include the hospitalisation charges, Medicinal cost and evacuation costs.

2. Baggage Insurance - Travel insurance may cover for the lost baggage. It provides reimbursement for the stolen baggage.

3. Trip cancellation - Some time due to illness, the trips may be cancelled and this may be be covered by the Travel insurance. It may also cover the situations like .... you become sick during your trip and you need to cancel the travel and return home.

4. Trip delay - Some insurers provide reimbursement for delays in trips like delay in departure time of flight.

5.  Flight Insurance - Covers Accidental Death & Dismemberment while you are traveling on the commercial aircraft.

Apart from all these most of the insurance companies provides a 24 hour help line for their customers to assist them in handling various tight situations that could happen while they are on their trip.

There is an insurer which provides 24 hour Assistance to their customers and strictly use medical professionals to answer their emergency assistance lines. That means during a medical emergency, where minutes can save lives, an insured's call for assistance is answered immediately by a real doctor or nurse. There is no screening process and no waiting on hold for an available nurse.

The cost of the insurance you opted depends on your age. If you are Young the trip rate will be low. Travel medical and evacuation plans are quite inexpensive, especially if you are young.

Purchasing a Travel insurance from a trusted insurer will :-

protect your financial investment
protect your personal items while traveling
cover the high medical costs that could occur during your trip
protect your health and well-being.
cover the cost of being evacuated to a medical center  or back home.

Finally the Peace of mind..

So next time when you travel Make sure, You had purchased a Travel Medical Insurance....Safe Travels

Friday 27 January 2012

Travel Insurance for Kids!

Travelling with kids? They need travel insurance, too!

The Travel Heath Insurance Association of Canada recently released a travel warning for March Break travellers.

The article talks of the important fact that while a parent maybe careful while travelling, children are usually excited and unaware of their new surroundings; and therefore not careful and perhaps more susceptible to having an accident.

Though, accidents are not the only peril one should consider. The imune systems of children are often more fragile than that of an adult. Travel in new places and countries bring the risk of infection. Whether from sanitary conditions of the hotel/resort, or from new foods or bugs therein; an infection can potentially lead to several days in a foreign hospital.

If you believe the comments by Medipac Travel Insurance: "Travel Medical Insurance claims can often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, or upwards of $20,000 per day in a foreign hospital.". Most families would not be able to afford a prolonged sickness of their child. Perhaps this is why provincial governments often remind the public of the importance of travelling with proper travel medical insurance.

One source of government travel warning is DFAIT - Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

This agency publishes several FREE booklets that are key to travel. The most related to this blog is the Bon Voyage But...

Have a look at their other publications are well, they do provide some interesting facts about travel.

Thursday 19 January 2012

Insurance for Travel to Hurricane Alley

Typically, if there is a travel warning issued by a government organization that suggest restricting travel to a particular area on the globe, travel insurance will not cover any loses that may occur in those destinations.While most travel warnings are issued to address unrest in developing countries or war zones, during the hurricane season governments will also issue warnings against travel to such areas as  Hurricane Alley.

Here is a link to travel warnings issued by the United States.

Other travel related organizations also issue warnings, not about travel, but about the importance of purchasing proper travel insurance, or knowing what your travel insurance policy will cover in such locations and events. A few examples of such organizations are the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (or of the United States), and the Canadian Snowbird Association.

Here is a link of travel warnings, compiled by an insurer, posted by Canadian government organizations.

"Hurricane Alley is an area of warm water in the Atlantic Ocean stretching from the west coast of northern Africa to the east coast of central America and Gulf Coast of the southern United States. Many hurricanes form within this area."

"Traditionally, hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring during August and September, although major storms have also caused considerable personal and property damage in July and October in recent years."

Here's a company that when a hurricane passed through Florida, the travel insurance company, during the off travel season for Canadians, went to inspect the damage of their clients' winter homes. How's that for an impressive level of service?

Thursday 5 January 2012

Dual Benefits of Travel Insurance

Most of the travellers who travel outside country would admit that financial saftey is as important as health safety. Here comes the importance of Travel insurance. A good Travel insurance policy from a reputable trust worthy insurer can assure travellesr with both financial and health safety.

As you know the medical expenses in countries like US are high, So, It is very important that the people who are traveling outside their country should be properly insured to meet the unfortunate health issue which might happen during their travels If you are holding a provincial insurance, make sure sure what is the scope of coverage of that isurance. If not covers the emergencies outside country, then make sure to purchase a travel health insurance form a reputed private insurer which can cover the medical emergencies outside your country.

Canadian Snowbird Association and Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs advises Canadian travellers or Snowbirds who travels to United States during Winter to have a travel protection plan with proper coverage. Have a look on the Travel insurance plan suggested by Canadian Snowbird Association.

Travel insurance - a key component to safe travelling

Here's a great article by the CBC. It talks about all those little things that a person needs to remember when travelling. You'll note that even in the comments to the article, that readers have recognized that when travelling, financial safety is just as, or more, important as health safety.

That is where travel insurance comes in. travel medical insurance actually address both issues; health and financial issues. And both the Canadian Snowbird Association and the Department of Foreign Affairs stress the importance of having a travel protection plan with proper coverage.

In addition to having proper travel coverage, "MacKenzie also advises Canadians to be aware of the rules that exist for how long a person can be outside a home province before losing health coverage; also for long visitors can stay in a host country as a tourist.". These are important issues to consider when you are an avid traveller. According to some provinces, residents will lose their health benefits should they remain outside their province and or Canada for a period greater than (usually) six months.

There are some provinces that understand that many seniors travel for six months outside, but also travel inside the Canada. An example of this is Ontario or Newfoundland. These provinces permit their residents to travel outside their provinces up to 212 days in any particular year. All other provinces limit travel to 183 days.

Resident however can make appeals to their home province ministries of health to revieve extensions to these limitations. The same goes for travel insurance.

Some companies, like Medipac Travel Insurance (endorse by the Canadian Snowbird Association), actually have rates that extend to 212 days for travellers from Ontario and Newfoundland. Also, where travellers have received extensions from their resident ministries of health, some travel health insurance companies can use this evidence to offer extend travel insurance.

Should you be one of those travellers that apply for such extensions, note that travel insurance premiums are not linear. The longer you are travelling the greater risk of a medical emergency taking place. As such, the increase in premium for the additional travel protection will be mildly exponential - proportionately greater increases in premium with greater trip lengths.

Happy travels!

Monday 26 December 2011

Some of the Reasons for Claim Denial

Answer correctly to the Medical questions:
One of the main factors that can lead to a Claim denial is Improper answering to medical questions in Insurance application. While answering make sure you understand the questions well, If not ask the insurance agent. Use insurance company's help line to contact with experienced medical staff to clear your doubt. If you are not sure about your medical condition, then consult a doctor.

Recently a senior couple was billed $107000 despite having a travel health insurance only because of pre-existed heart condition, atrial fibrillation, which wasn’t disclosed on the insurance application.

So Never give incorrect answers to the questions, Always disclose any relevant information about your medical history while answering to insurance application. Failure to disclose can lead to some unfortunate surprises which may result in denial of your claim.

Understand Your policy
Usually travellers purchase Travel Health Insurance for peace of mind. First of all insured must understand the insurance policy that they had purchased. They should be aware of which all conditions are covered by the policy. Claiming for a medical condition or illness which is not covered by the policy can lead to denial of the claim.

Insured must make sure  which all pre existing conditions are covered by Insurance policy:
Pre-existing medical conditions attempt to address any medical condition that an insured had prior to travel, and therefore is not covered by the emergency nature of the travel insurance policy. Read my previous article to know about Pre-Existing conditions and its definitions.

Confirm the scope of your insurance policy:
Your provincial insurance policy will cover only a very small fraction of medical expense that could happen in an outside country trip. So make sure to insure yourself with a good travel insurance plan provided by a reputed and trust worthy private insurance company. Check how to choose the travel insurance.

Some Travel Health Insurance Tips

Matters that Snowbirds should be aware of

Before snowbirding to US vacation places, it would be appreciable if snowbirds check themselves to confirm whether they are aware of certain important matters such as...

  • How to handle emergency situations like accidents or illness that may happen while they are in US.
  • What are the tax implications on vacation home in US, if you own it.
  • Will you have to file US tax return if you have earning from your US holdings.

How to handle emergency situations like accidents or illness

Emergency situations can be any thing like illness, accidents or baggage loss that may happen while you are travelling. So snowbirds  must make sure that they are well covered from all these. Provincial Health insurance will cover only a mere fraction of your outside country health care cost. Snowbirds are strongly advised to purchase an additional health insurance from a private insurance company before you leave your home province. Without insurance, an unexpected medical expense in the U.S could drain the savings of your life time.

Surveys of leading travel organization suggest that Comprehensive Coverage is the most important attribute to travel medical insurance. So find a reputable company that understands the risks of travelling with medical conditions, and that write insurance policies that actually cover insureds for such conditions, at reputable prices. Travel Organisations such as CSA(Canadian Snowbird Association) and Royal Canadian Legion recommends Medipac as a good option for travellers.

Declaration of foreign Property
Foreign property includes the US bank accounts and foreign stocks in your Canadian brokerage account. You have to mention this while you submit Your Canadian Tax return. in the form their will a question like -- "Did you own or hold foreign property at any time in 2011(Assessment Year) with a total cost of more than $100,000 (Cdn)?" -- and here you have declare your foreign property.

File US Tax Return and US Estate Tax
If you stay more than 122 days a year in US, then IRS (Internal Revenue Service) will treat you as a resident Alien. Submit IRS Form 8840, a Closer Connection Exemption Statement for Aliens to prove you are a resident of Canada so that you are exempted from filing Tax in US.

If you die while owning U.S. property worth of over 60,000 US Dollars, your executor will be required to file a U.S. estate tax return, whether or not any U.S. estate tax is payable. The typical Canadian snowbird's estate should be exempt from U.S. estate tax if the worldwide value is under 5 million US dollars. The exemption limit is changeable according to Government Decisions.

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