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Archive for July, 2007

Aid Programmes – Summer 07

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

At travelandinsure.com we really do try and make a difference.  As our Homepage declares, “travel insurance with a difference,” our intention is to identify aid programmes that support self sufficiency and not create a culture of aid reliance and dependency.  We welcome feedback on priority areas on which to focus our efforts and indeed are always receptive to particular projects that come to our attention through our customers.  Primarily our concerns are to alleviate the effects of poverty and we support existing aid organisations that already have established efficient infrastructures so that we can be confident that funds are being used to target specific problem areas.  This is an efficient use of resources but also means that we can carefully monitor where and how funds are being used and the effectiveness of individual aid projects.  In this, we liaise closely with Trade Aid International who have been generating funds for several years to support aid efforts globally.  We are proud to be involved in this important work.

So what have we supported so far in 2007?  Through the charity, Links International, we have provided essential funding to purchase water filtration units to help bring clean fresh water to remote villages in Uganda that have no source of safe clean water.  The units work by a simple filtration system which will take any water, no matter how polluted, and by a gradual overnight process will filter a bucket of filthy water into water totally fit for human consumption.  These units work on a small scale so each family in a village can have their own supply.  This is an exciting new project with huge potential worldwide.  Access to a safe and clean water supply is denied to well over a billion people so we are carefully monitoring the success of these units in Uganda with a view to distribute them to other countries with people in similar need.  Funding has also been directed to primary healthcare teams in Southern Africa.  Training is provided to local staff who travel to remote villages and locations to instruct on simple healthcare issues with tremendous success.  These teams have proven to be a very effective instrument in improving infant mortality rates and overcome the misinformation and obstructive thinking on such crucial areas as aids, childbirth, nutrition and basic healthcare.  We hope to maintain this effort as an ongoing project.

Female Travellers – Extra Care When Abroad?

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Sadly in the modern world we live in, the honest answer to this question is yes. Although the following tips are aimed at ensuring a hassle free and safe trip abroad, many are just common sense suggestions that equally apply to travelling in the UK. Although this article contains information to help you stay safe, this does not mean you don’t need Travel Insurance,even cheap travel insurance will do.

When checking into hotels, use only a first initial. Don’t use a title such as Ms, Mrs or Miss. Never leave a key where someone can note your room number. Don’t leave your window open if your room is on the ground floor and use a door wedge on the inside of your hotel room door for extra security. Be careful about opening your door to anyone – if in doubt check with reception.

When travelling around, the key is to act confidently. Wearing dark glasses can boost confidence and think about how your clothing will fit in with local customs and attitudes. If travelling alone, you may attract unwelcome attention and you may receive unwanted propositions or remarks. It is best just to ignore them. Never accept car rides from strangers or

hitchhike and if possible try and double up with someone you know when travelling by taxi. Always pack your own baggage and never leave it unattended. Never carry packages or anything else through customs for other people.

Try and stay in touch. Keep your family and friends aware of your plans and leave a copy of your itinerary, passport, travel insurance documents and credit cards with someone at home. It is worthwhile taking a copy of these with you when travelling and keep separate from the originals. Once abroad, e-mail or telephone home regularly. Carry a list of British Consular offices in the countries you plan to visit, travel insurance companies normally provide a list or information on what to expect from them.

Don’t forget to check out the latest travel advice from the FCO  before you go and find out about the culture and customs of the countries you will be visiting. And why not take a look at the travel advice section on the www.travelandinsure.com website which contains easy to read advice on the support you will probably receive from embassies and consulates worldwide should you get into difficulty.

Cheap Travel Insurance?

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

More and more of us are doing our shopping on the internet.  We do so for the convenience but the main reason continues to be the innate desire to find the best deal.  The success of sites such as e-bay is evidence of this.

The travel insurance market is no different but you need to be ‘savvy’ in your search and the increasing number of price comparison sites can often be a hindrance rather than a help.  Why is that?  Well, simply these sites highlight the ‘headline grabbing’ figure, not to mention that many only show insurance providers that pay them a commission, so the consumer is often given a confusing and false picture.

So can you find ‘cheap travel insurance’ on the internet?  Most definitely, yes, but you do need to check that what is being offered will provide you with the cover you need.  When looking for cheap travel insurance, there are some simple rules to apply.

Do your homework.    Firstly, know what you want.  Are you looking for a policy to cover you for just one trip or if you are going to travel more than once, then why not consider an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy instead?  That could save you money over the year.

Read the policy schedule.  Most internet sites are good at giving an instant quote – that is what they are designed to do but fewer provide easily accessible information to indicate what the policy covers.  At the very least you should look at the policy schedule.  This is the table that shows the level of cover against various risks.  Choose a policy that satisfies your needs.  The areas that cost the most in a travel insurance policy tend to be cancellation, personal effects and medical cover.  If you are booking long in advance, then cancellation cover is a must (normally around the £3000 figure is sufficient) as this safeguards you if you have to cancel because of, say, a close family illness or being called for jury service, to name but two examples.  If however, you are taking a last minute holiday, then perhaps cancellation cover is not as necessary so you could reduce your premium considerably by choosing a policy with limited or no cancellation.  Likewise, reducing your baggage cover can see your premiums nose dive.  When it comes to medical cover, the FCO recommends a level of £2 million as being more than adequate, so do you need to buy the policy that offers £10 million?  This is another example of ‘gold plating’ a policy which will attract a higher premium.

Check the small print.  Very few of us take the time to read the small print but the ‘devil is in the detail’ for sure.  Ask yourself some key questions.  Is where I want to travel covered by the policy, for example, is Egypt in Europe or Rest of the World as definitions do differ from company to company?  Am I covered if caught up in a terrorist incident?  Do I need to produce a police report if I have money or personal effects stolen?  What about hazardous activities? Am I covered to bungee jump on my trip for instance?  Make a list of simple questions relating to your trip and then check the policy.

So is there such a thing as Cheap Travel Insurance?  Most definitely there is but the simple rule of thumb is that the cheaper the policy, the more restrictive it is likely to be.  But you can help yourself by knowing what to look out for and wherever possible tailoring your insurance to your exact needs and that way make your travel insurance cheaper.