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Life Insurance

Term life insurance might provide the best bargain for the frequent traveler to supplement other whole life insurance. Term insurance can provide a great deal of protection, for a short period of time, at relatively low premiums. When a company issues a one-year term life policy, it promises that it will pay the face amount of the policy if the traveler dies during that one-year term.


Travel Accident Insurance

This type of insurance has generally been linked with air travel. Scheduled flight, charter flight, annual travel, and complete travel comprise the options available.


Such protection can be purchased to protect one from the date/time of depar­ture to the date/time of return. Generally, coverage is limited to accidental loss of life, limbs, or sight. Annual travel accident insurance is available to those who travel frequently. While similar to individual trip insurance, it also provides medical expense benefits, along with coverage for accidental loss of life, limbs, and sight.


A principal difference between policies of various companies is whether protec­tion is provided only while riding as a passenger or whether 24-hour protection for the duration of the entire trip is included. It should also be noted that some policies provide double indemnity for certain occurrences of accidental death, such as being struck while a pedestrian.


Insurance to protect against loss of income can also be provided through disability income coverage and through riders to life insurance. Some contracts provide income benefits for disability caused by travel-related accidents only; others, for both travel-related accidents and sickness. In either case, whether a disabling injury qualified one for accident benefits depends on how "injury" is defined in the policy.


For example, the category of "accidental bodily injury" is very broad, and only the result need be accidental, while "bodily injury by accidental means" requires that both result and means be accidental. In an example of the latter case: one may strain one's back while waterskiing. The injury is accidental; the means, however, is not. The waterskier did just what he or she intended to do - ski. On the other hand, if the traveler were to receive a back strain from slipping on a wet boat dock, both the injury and means are accidental.


How much is the benefit? Some contracts state the amount of the benefit in terms of dollars per week or month, while others state it as a percentage of base salary. In either case, the insurer is always careful to avoid offering a benefit equal to anything approaching 100 percent of one's salary. Typically, the amount is limited to around two-thirds of earned income. Also, benefits for sickness are not as generous as those for accident. For example, a policy may provide benefit payments for five years if disability is caused by accident, but only for two years if caused by sickness.


Homeowners Insurance

Most homeowners policies provide coverage on personal property, anywhere in the world, up to a limit of 10 percent of the amount of coverage on personal property on the premises. Generally, broad specified-perils coverage, including theft, is provided. A special limit, commonly $500, applies to loss by theft of jewelry, watches, furs, and precious and semiprecious stones.


Health Insurance

A traveler should think about health insurance before traveling overseas. Will a current policy cover the traveler abroad? A traveler could become responsible for major medical bills incurred while in transit. For example, what if the traveler had to be evacuated on an airplane, due to a medical emergency? Costs could easily reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. Where does the surgical coverage in a health plan apply? In some cases, if minor surgery is performed in a doctor's office, insurance will not pay. Does the policy have a deductible? Is the deductible waived for an accidental injury treated in the emergency room? Does the treat­ment have to be within 48 hours of the accident?