• International Insurance Blog

  • Saturday, March 17, 2018

Ransom negotiators and SWAT teams may look glamorous on screen, but when it happens to you, you’re best prepared with adequate international travel health insurance that includes kidnap and ransom coverage. When you’re visiting a foreign country and you become a victim of kidnapping, adequate coverage can save your life.

Kidnap and ransom coverage is usually offered as an optional rider to regular international travel health insurance. Plans such as International Major Medical Plan offer coverage within the United States as well. If you’re traveling to countries with a high rate of kidnap, such as Columbia or Peru, the coverage is worth considering.

Under this coverage, the underwriters reimburse expenses that are incurred as part of a kidnapping event. Usually, coverage also extends to crisis response team fees. Crisis response teams assess the kidnap and/or ransom situation and advise the family according to the assessment.

You will require kidnap and ransom coverage if you are perceived to be wealthy or powerful. It is not necessary for you to be actually wealthy to benefit from the coverage—kidnappers work more on perceptions than reality. Remember that most kidnappings have ransom as the primary motive, and in most cases, the ransom is paid.

This year’s international travel hotspots include many countries that have been associated with strife and war last year—so if you find yourself visiting any of them, you’d better carry adequate international travel health insurance. Trends indicate that among popular international destinations this year are Sri Lanka and Iraq.

But all destinations are not about war and guns—Turkey, for instance, will see a huge surge in tourist travel, because of its capital being christened one of the European Cities of Culture this year. Also, South Africa, simply because of the forthcoming FIFA Soccer World Cup to be held there, will see a huge influx of tourists as well.

When traveling abroad, especially in countries where war has been a way of life, it is best to check often whether the U.S. government has issued warning or alerts against travel to the country. If your bookings are non-refundable, it is best to also purchase trip cancellation insurance with “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage.

It is also a good idea to check what the ground reality is, by asking some friends or immigrants who are originally from that country. Take that opinion with a pinch of salt, though, because locals might always have a different perspective of “safe” than an outsider. Bon voyage!

This new year, 2010, is touted as the beginning of the reversal of fortunes, with the economy starting to look up greatly. For international students, this year could well be the turning point—so it's important to stay healthy with international student insurance.

Now that the spring semester has begun, you should know where you stand in terms of academics. If you are entering your second semester of studies, it is the time you can pull up your socks, and get over your initial feeling of homesickness to excel at studies.

If you are entering your third or fifth semesters, it is also a time for deciding about your future, and training your sights on your future plans—be it entering into a doctoral program, or getting that coveted job, with a work permit. While winter is at its peak, it is also the time that you must be careful about your health, and ensure that your international student health insurance remains unused.

If you do fall sick, remember to use your health insurance when you receive treatment. Also, winter can be a trying time in terms of mental health, and keep in mind that your student health plan usually covers mental health as well.

For missionaries serving in remote places, the season is too full of activity, and missionary insurance can go a long way in helping deal with some of the fallout of the extra busy season. Special coverage helps missionaries with the costs of falling ill, if that should occur.

For missionaries who are not celebrating with family, the week of Christmas and New Year can be really hectic (and sometimes, depressing). Typically, missionaries visit several villages and towns around the season, spreading the idea and joy of Christmas to one and all. Those on missions double up as Santa Claus, elves, and sometimes, the preacher as well.

A typical “working” day can last for over 12 hours up to Christmas. Even after, the activity is only somewhat lessened, as missionaries need to visit villages that were left out, and with accounts and other housekeeping activities of the Church occupying a lot of time. All this activity, unfortunately, makes for higher susceptibility to infection and illnesses.

Adequate missionary insurance, with consultation and prescription fees covered up to 100% outside the United States, provides the perfect solution. If the illness moves beyond the “home remedy” stage, it is always best to travel to the nearest hospital and get checked out. It is very important that missionaries save their receipts and other information, to enable better reimbursement.

When you dream of a vacation on the beach, you should automatically factor in international medical insurance as well. Insurance will help protect you against unexpected healthcare costs. If traveling with family and children, this becomes all the more important.

However, the kind of insurance that you purchase will depend on a few factors. Is your travel itinerary dependent on making each stop on schedule, or are you planning to play it by ear? If the latter, then you can purchase medical insurance without trip cancellation benefits.

If, on the other hand, your return home on the planned date is of utmost importance, or if many of the reservations are non-refundable, then you would want to purchase trip cancellation benefits as well. When purchasing trip cancellation benefits, be sure to check the clauses and conditions that it covers—else, you might want to add “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage to your plan.

The duration of the plan will also determine whether you want to purchase long-term insurance or short-term insurance. While short-term insurance can be purchased for up to 24 months, it does not cover preventive medicine and pre-existing conditions. So, if you’re planning a trip for more than six months, you might want to consider purchasing a long-term medical insurance plan.

As 2009 draws to a close and the new year just waiting in the wings, it is a time for retrospection and celebration for all! This is especially a great time for international students, who have their first long break of the academic year right about now. It is also the time one can consider purchasing better international student insurance if the student has the default college-sponsored plan.

While first enrolling in college, the international student typically checks off the default insurance option, which offers limited coverage. Oftentimes, better coverage can be purchased privately, at lower cost to boot. This is the perfect time for international students to research insurance options.

Students must remember to also purchase adequate insurance for their dependents, and if required, choose a plan with maternity coverage. Some plans also cover pre-existing conditions, and they might be worthwhile looking into as well.

All in all, the time is right for students to look for alternate insurance. Also, if the student already has purchased insurance for a whole year, it might still be possible to cancel the plan with little or no penalty. It’s a great time to save money—the new year!

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International Medical Insurance - Short Term
International Health Insurance - Long Term
Trip Cancellation Insurance


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