• International Insurance Blog

  • Friday, February 23, 2018

Not all international travel is for leisure, and specialized insurance plans such as marine crew insurance takes care of the insurance needs of the crew of seafaring vessels. These plans are usually available in short-term and long-term versions, with coverage extending to the home country as well.

One such plan is the Global Crew Medical Insurance, offered by the International Medical Group. Rated A (excellent) by A.M. Best and Company, the plan features a lifetime maximum benefit of $5 million, with two plan options: for worldwide coverage, and for worldwide coverage excluding the United States and Canada.

Some of the plan’s highlights include coverage for hospitalization, surgery, consultation, prescription medicines, transplants, and ambulance services. The plan also offers benefits for emergency medical evacuation and $25,000 toward repatriation of remains. Previously existing conditions can be purchased under the Global Crew Medical Insurance plan after 24 months of continuous coverage, and maternity is covered on the purchase of the optional maternity rider.

To be eligible for the plan, you must be a full-time crew on a vessel that is expected to spend a considerable amount of time outside U.S. territorial waters, and you must also be less than 75 years of age.

Let’s say you’re the next Pele. Or aiming a bit lower, that your success at your profession depends on your being able to move. Sometimes, international travel health insurance is just not enough. You know that the accidental death or dismemberment benefit of $50,000 will not adequately cover your family.

Fortunately, you can purchase extra insurance in the form of a high-limit ADD insurance policy, which can insure you for up to 10 times your declared annual income. One such plan, the High Limit Accident Insurance plan administered by Petersons International Underwriter, provides that extra coverage with three types of plans.

While the 24-Hour Coverage plan includes coverage for both air travel and travel by common carrier, Common Carrier Coverage and Air Travel-Only Coverage are self-explanatory. Air Travel-Only Coverage includes all certified air transport vehicles, including military air transport.

The benefits of the plan range from Accidental Death only, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, and AD&D and Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The third benefit also provides coverage for death of a plan holder up to 72 hours after the sudden onset of a cardiac arrest, and is available only with the 24-Hour Coverage plan. The plan premium varies by coverage desired.

International flight insurance, with accidental death and dismemberment benefits, is a cost effective policy that pays you or your beneficiary a fixed sum in case of loss of life or limb in a plane accident. Most flight accident policies cover terrorist attacks, but exclude acts of war.

Benefits are 100% (i.e. equal to the amount insured) for loss of life, and loss of both limbs and eyes. Some plans provide for a reduction in benefits for the loss of one limb or one eye. In case of a fatal flight accident, the policy specifies the time within which, if the body is not found, the claim can be made. Benefits of a typical flight accident policy would extend to medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, emergency reunion, and political evacuation; return of minor child and 24/7 travel assistance services. Policies can be taken trip wise or for a specified period.

Flight accident polices cover you only if you fly commercial airlines. Some policies cover chartered flights and authorized domestic flights too. The flight must be operated by a regularly scheduled airline and flown by a certified commercial pilot.

Some low cost flight accident polices do not include medical benefits like hospitalization, physician visits, and emergency procedures, so you may need to purchase a separate medical insurance policy for those benefits. You can choose from a variety of flight plans such as Travelex Flight Plus, Travel Guard Flight and Liaison Traveler.

When traveling in a group, you may wonder whether it is best to purchase individual international travel health insurance or group international insurance. The answer really depends on the nature of your group, and how you’d like to be covered.

With group travel insurance, the hassle of looking for and purchasing individual insurance plans is reduced to a great extent. Everyone has the same insurance, and so, there is less to keep track of. There is also another huge factor in favor of group insurance, and that is cost. Compared to individual international travel health policies, group plans offer a better rate.

However, there are a few restrictions when it comes to group travel insurance plans. One of them, which most group insurance plans insist on, is that all members of the group get similar coverage—that is, the same maximum benefit (for all members under 70 years) and deductible.

To be eligible for the Atlas Group Travel Series, for example, groups must comprise at least five people. Typical benefits of group travel insurance plans are similar to those of individual international travel health insurance plans. Usually, groups of people of roughly the same age group and large groups will benefit greatly from group travel insurance plans. Also, if you’re organizing an overseas trip, it will be easier for you if you purchased group insurance.

Here’s one apology that you don’t see often: A Pacific island tribe has apologized to the descendents of a Christian missionary—for killing and eating their ancestor! While things are not so dire anymore, missionary work is still a path fraught with danger and worry, and it is just common sense to purchase adequate missionary insurance.

One of the reasons missionary insurance becomes so important is that the work of missionaries and that of non-profit workers (who are often included in missionary insurance) focuses on the downtrodden and the less fortunate in the world. That means that they live and work in places that make them more susceptible to illness.

Usually, these places also have little or no quality medical help available, and the nearest hospital is miles away. So, keep in mind that when you purchase missionary insurance, you must look for a policy with emergency medical evacuation.

Most missionary insurance plans also offer coverage in the home country and throughout the world, so you need not worry about break in coverage when you visit home. However, keep in mind that the co-pay is usually higher in the home country. Most missionary insurance plans also offer repatriation of remains benefits, although it wouldn’t have been of much use in the case of the missionary who was eaten!

Traveling with children can be a bonding and learning experience for the parent. But imagine for a moment that you fall sick when you are traveling alone with your children. To ensure safety of the children, you should opt for an international travel health insurance plan that includes the Return of Minor Children clause. This clause provides for return of your children to your home country in case any emergency medical condition should affect you.

There is normally an upper limit to which the insurance provider will compensate for the expenses incurred due to the return of minor children. Minor children are those under the age of 18 (age differs according to policy taken) and they should be left unattended, to avail this benefit.

The insurance provider normally pays for the return economy fare to the home town of the children, less value of credit from unused ticket. If it becomes necessary for an escort to accompany them to ensure safety/welfare of the children, then the insurance provider will arrange for the attendant and bear his costs.

More than one child can also be covered under this benefit. Some policies specify the time duration (for example: 36 hours) when the children are left unattended, before the clause takes effect.

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