How to Make Annual Travel Insurance Work for You

Holidays used be a luxury: generations ago, the idea of crossing nations was intimidating for its expense and difficulty, while the concept of crossing oceans was only possible for the lucky few. Nowadays, packing your bags for a trip is almost an expectation for many middle-class families, and the travel industry is booming.

The need for travel insurance has grown as well and, while many travel now and then, there some families and individuals who can afford regular trips. If this is the case for you and your family, you need to consider how to make annual travel insurance work for you.

Choose the right provider

The first step is probably the most obvious. Choosing the provider of your policy comes with its own set of expectations, including reliability, efficiency, and, of course, value for money. But picking an annual travel insurance policy from the plethora of companies flooding an already bursting market can seem daunting. The key is to focus on the quality of a provider’s guarantees, matched with the openness and simplicity of their plans. Solid, small and reliable firms are usually backed up by larger insurers, and offer plans which, while simple to quote and easy to book online, always come with a clear explanation of exactly what you can expect if you plan your regular trips. Choose wisely, and whether you’re heading off to Spain on short weekend trips or have a few conventions to cover in Ireland over the summer, you know you have a policy you can trust.

Choose the right plan

Even the smallest providers will offer a range of plans. It’s not always a simple matter of narrowing down a number of annual travel insurance plans offered by a few companies and going with your gut instinct. The intelligent way to make your plan work for you is to ensure you only pay for what you need. Year-round cover varies, and whether you are a businessperson, family, couple, or individual will, along with other factors, affect the efficacy and cost-efficiency of your plan. Checking the fine print will save you from paying for things you might never need.

Choose the right extras

The nature of annual travel insurance means that it’s is based on the rather pessimistic premise of portentous injury, accidents or loss of valuables. But even if the best-case scenario occurs and you never need to make a claim, a policy can be made attractive with some potential extras. Free cover for children, cover for cruises or golf equipment, 24 hour emergency contacts and other perks can make your plan work for you all the harder even harder – and save you money!

Top 4 Reasons to Pick Annual Travel Insurance

Choosing a travel insurance policy is not exactly an exercise one looks forward to with excitement. You rarely find anyone who is enthusiastic about premiums, the extent of cover, and the feeling of putting pen to paper on a policy document! Most people would much rather be wistfully imagining rolling waves, endless beaches, imposing monuments and mountains of fun.

But putting effort into finding the right policy is as important as putting effort into the itinerary of your trip, especially if you travel frequently.

Why face risk?

You may be an optimist, feeling yourself impervious to danger or thinking that most hazards in strange places are exaggerated by the fearful; or you may be a pessimist, feeling sure that if the worst could happen, its bound to happen to you. Risk does not care either way. A realist realises that risks are dependent not merely on your outlook, but the nature of your trip and destination. This is why for the frequent traveller, annual travel insurance is never a waste of money. In the event of an accident, injury, mishap or loss that affects you, your family or your belongings, you will not regret having the safety net of a solid policy.

Why waste money?

Once the regular traveller realises, however begrudgingly, the need for a solid policy, attention invariably turns to money. Since it all lies in the realm of risk and potential, you should ensure you only pay for what you need. The benefit of good annual travel insurance plans is that they focus on giving the consumer plenty of options, while making sure that in light of the destination and type of trip to be taken, you’re not paying for anything you won’t need.

Why waste time?

Your travel time is precious – and so is the time taken to plan every trip. Buying a separate policy every time not only wastes money, it consumes time. This is why annual travel insurance is so helpful. Furthermore, it gives you a chance to focus even more on making the most of a short business hop to Brussels, taking advantage of a regular foray into the Amazon for an ongoing field study, or spending your cash beach-hopping around the Mediterranean.

Why not benefit?

The greatest benefit of annual travel insurance lies in the peace of mind it gives you. But you also have access to extras like free cover for children, free cover for cruises and golf gear, 24 hour contacts, and even bonus access to certain perks. This makes your cover seem less like strain and more like shopping! But all the while you should remember that you can’t put a real price on peace of mind.

Personal or Unsecured Loans

Personal loans, or ‘unsecured loans’ involve taking a loan or borrowing without any upfront collateral. They usually involve less paperwork compared to secured loans like mortgages but the period of loan is shorter and loan amounts smaller. Because there is no collateral put up or any repossession on default of loan payment, personal loans pose considerable risks for lenders due to the risks involved. Hence, the rates may sometimes be higher.

For people with bad credit ratings or scores, it can be quite difficult to obtain a personal loan and the interest rates can be high; however some lenders do arrange a deal if the loan applier has a co-signer to stand guarantee.

These loans can be utilized for almost any purpose from college tuition fees, settling medical bills or to take a vacation. Basically, it provides access to funds for an immediate need. Some of the other uses of a personal loan can be:

• To buy a vehicle,
• For wedding expenses,
• For home refurbishment or improvement,
• To make a down payment on property purchase,
• To meet business expenses, and so on.

Advantages of a personal loan

There are many advantages a personal loan can provide.

• These loans are available to those with good credit scores at low interest rates.
• They offer fixed repayment periods and interest rates
• Consolidating high interest rate credit card payments with low-interest rate personal loans can help save a lot of money. Unlike credit cards, fixed rate loans do not have a ‘default’ clause and penalty payment.
• It is a faster and easier process and can be done even online; the availability of funds can be done in just a few days’ time.

Applying for a unsecured loan

Since this kind of loan is not backed by any collateral, the applicant’s credit history is of prime importance. On completion of necessary application, the applicant has to authorize a credit check and give sufficient documentation to prove that the loan repayment can be made. The lending company or bank completes the underwriting formalities through automated systems or through human verification process and the loan can be approved or declined. If the loan is approved, the money is transferred to the applicant’s bank account or a bank instrument sent to the applicant’s address. Direct bank transfers usually follow an online personal loan application request.

Caution

The single most important requirement for an unsecured or personal loan is good credit; sometimes lenders are willing to provide personal loans to applications with bad credit rating depending on the situation and if guarantee can be provided by a co-signer.

However, there are several instances when people have been duped by shady firms and agencies working on the Internet; they lure people with bad credit by advertising these types of loans without credit checks. They may request the applicant to provide processing fees or even make a couple of monthly installment payments to provide good reference. The money is as good as gone and there will be no evident sign of any loan forthcoming.

4 Pillars of Protection – Products To Consider In Your 4 Pillars of Protection Insurance Portfolio

With a wide range of insurance products available today it is important to understand the differences and benefits to you and your specific situation. A basic portfolio for any person but more specifically for a self-employed person should encompass the 4 following aspects.

Disability

By far one of the most important products for anyone, specifically self-employed people is disability insurance. We all work to handle our weekly and monthly expenses in addition to providing the “little extras” if we have anything left over. Employees of a company for the most part will have benefits provided to them however, being self-employed our livelihood depends on our ability to go to work and earn an income. In the event your ability to work is suddenly removed, disability insurance could be the key to your survival. Your income is the fuel for everything. Remove that and over time all else will fall apart.

Life Insurance

Life insurance has so many uses that it could essentially apply to everyone. However, the general consensus of life insurance is that it is suitable only for people with a family. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Life insurance can be used to protect a debt over a period of time, provide for your survivors after final expenses, or give to a charity upon your death. For people who would like the idea of having a benefit as well as a savings or investment vehicle, life insurance could also be an option for you. Life insurance must be carefully evaluated to ensure that it is structured properly based on your specific situation.

Critical Illness

In my experience I have seen this product misunderstood the most. The important thing to understand about CI is that it will pay a lump sum benefit in the event you’re diagnosed with a “specific” covered illness. Most CI products will protect against heart attack, cancer, and stroke however, each policy will differ between companies for other covered illnesses beyond these. Do not make the mistake like most do in thinking that this operates like disability insurance. Yes, they are both living benefits but they provide protection in varying ways.

Investments

Within financial circles it is encouraged to have a minimum of 6 months of disposable “liquid” income saved. For most people this is a tremendous feat and some people often throw their hands up in the air and forfeit the idea that they too can have investments. Life insurance can be designed in such a way that not only do you have protection but also an accumulating asset. Outside of life insurance there are many ways to protect and grow your money. The concern for most people is having a large sum of money lying around to be able to invest.

If having a large starting capital is a concern of yours like it was for me, then I welcome you to consider an alternative to the “traditional investments and savings plan”.

Should Your Insurance Company Offer Cyber Protection?

Cyber security has become a growing concern for U.S. companies over the past couple of years, and for good reason. Information breaches have not only become increasingly common, but also much larger. Nothing illustrates the state of modern web security quite as well as the most recent breach, which saw hackers target the IRS by exploiting faulty security to compromise over 100,000 taxpayer records.

Similar breaches have also affected much smaller companies, and it’s common to see a forward-thinking insurance company racing to adapt. Here is what you need to know to determine if, first, you’re actually in need of cyber insurance and, second, what you should look for in a policy.

Are You At Risk?

If you work with customer information of any kind, then the answer is likely yes. The term to look out for here is Personally Identifiable Information, or PII. It’s not a technical term, but rather a legal term that carries some teeth if you have to deal with it.

At its root, PII is any piece of collected information that could potentially allow a third party to identify a business’s individual clients. Given how good the Internet is at leveraging even tiny hints to track down a person, that definition is awfully broad. Full names, email addresses, site nicknames, and (sometimes) even web cookies can all qualify as PII.

If you’re storing anything that falls under the PII umbrella, you’re at risk of a breach. Breaches are enormously costly, both for affected customers and for the company responsible for the loss. Companies in the healthcare and retail industries are obviously at an increased risk, but when it comes down to it, any business that makes a habit of collecting information should ask their insurance company about cyber policies.

What Your Cyber Policy Needs

You’ll need to look for a few things in any cyber insurance policy. As you may expect, a good policy should cover the financial damages directly caused by a breach. However, cyber attacks can cause financial damage in a wide variety of ways. In particular, make sure that your company is protected against:

– Losses caused by lost time and productivity. A major hack can cause company gears to grind to a halt. Find an insurance company that guarantees coverage for the revenue lost during this period.
– Indemnification caused by a third party. Few modern companies handle their data on their own. Outsourced IT support or other companies can fall victim to a breach that affects your customers.
– Loss of Reputation. Breached companies, even those that have done their due diligence, almost always take a PR hit in the wake of an attack. A good policy offers some cushioning against the customer losses that generally ensue.

Finally, also try your best to work with an insurance company that has an educational component. Some plans will also come with training to avoid a breach. As nice as protection is, it’s safe to say that it’s best left unused. Installing a set of best practices can help keep you from having to rely on a safety net in the first place.