Sunday, July 20, 2008

Travelers Insurance

Enhanced modes of transport have made extensive travel a common indulgence. However, there is a distinct need for the 21st century traveler to check out insurance coverage on every segment of travel to ensure real value for the money spent. Travel involves adventure and risk and hence the need for insurance. It is essential to have travel coverage in place, especially in the case of a frequent traveler. This way, you get to enjoy the trip to the maximum and within the security of insurance. If you are adventurous, a sport enthusiast, a globe trotter or a business person who travels extensively, there are a myriad of insurance offers to finance you and take care of everything from ticketing to accommodation. Travel insurance is designed to minimize the financial risks that a traveler faces due to last minute cancellations, medical emergency, delay or loss of baggage or the ultimate nightmare - loss of cash!

A traveler cannot rule out the possibility of a missed departure or loss of passport and the subsequent legal expenses. Such occurrences can really drain you of patience and the leisure time on hand. However, it is better to be safe than sorry. These emergencies cannot be ruled out and hence, need to be covered via travelers insurance. The insurance will largely depend on the category of traveler you fit into. You could be categorized under single trip or multi trip, short or long trip, one time or frequent or tourist or adventure sport enthusiast. Whatever the category, there is a traveler's insurance designed for you.

The insurance company covering you under the traveler's insurance supports every effort made to plan the trip or vacation and ensures that nothing untoward happens. In other words, the travel insurance is a designed 'back up' for the unexpected turn of events, if any do raise their ugly heads. The covers provided under the different insurance packages include ticket reimbursement and medical expenses. It is important to understand that the ticket expenses are reimbursed in event of the trip getting cancelled or interrupted due to ill health. This could also be the case in event of the sudden loss or serious condition of family member. The traveler's medical insurance plan takes care of all medical expenses, including hospitalization during travel.

There are other specialized package plans available for particular travelers, like the student's plan that covers the student for a semester or even a year of travel. There are insurance plans that cater specifically to students studying abroad. In these travelers insurances, the premium is calculated on the basis of the plan module and the additional expenses that are naturally applicable to an overseas student, which differ from one cover to another. The backpacker's travel plan is designed for individual and extensive travelers. Since most of such trips involve trekking and road travel, the overages offered too relate to associated expenses.

There is a traveler's insurance plan specially designed for senior citizens who travel around the world, post retirement. However, the premiums calculated are higher since the insured are senior citizens, who are more likely to fall ill and make claims. The businessmen who travel frequently can invest in a special plan put together for them, which offers them the choice of an annual plan or a multi trip plan insurance coverage. The insurance plans designed for travelers also cover toddlers who are exposed to the risk of getting some infection or disease in transit. In such an unfortunate event, if the family trip stands cancelled, the plan provides for eventualities.

There are traveler's insurance covers that also provide for various types of groups. These include club member tours, tours organized by the civic authorities or the church or some youth organization. The group is covered for both a tour within and outside the country and covers the young and older members of the group. The risk factor associated with extreme sports like bunjee jumping, jet-skiing, parascending, water rafting, windsurfing, yatch racing and scuba diving cannot be denied. Such travelers are covered by the travel insurance companies under separate packages at extra costs. They cover the hazardous activities and calculate the premium according to the risk and age factor. info from

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

4 Simple Tips for Choosing Texas Individual Health Insurance

If you're shopping for an individual health insurance plan in Texas, it's easy to become confused by all the different options and terminology.

HMO's, PPO's, indemnity, riders, inclusions and exclusions... it's enough to make your head spin. But, never fear - all you really need to know are a few simple tips to help you choose the best policy for you and your family:
1. Know the policy limits of coverage. When choosing Texas individual health insurance coverage, it's important to understand the differences between coverage limits. Most plans you find are what is known as "managed-care" plans. Managed care plans cover your health costs even if they exceed the amount you've paid into your policy, up to the policy limits in your plan.

So, it's important that you know what the policy limits are so you can be prepared in case of a catastrophic, life-threatening, or extended illness. This is a very personal decision, and should not be made lightly; by all means, make sure you get the coverage limits you are most comfortable with.

2. Know the difference between HMOs and PPOs. HMOs arrange for or provide health care services on a prepaid basis, and generally limit you to providers that are in the HMO's network. On the other hand, PPOs often provide more flexibility, both in the levels of coverage provided as well as by allowing you to see the physician of your choice. So, most folks, when given the choice, would prefer a PPO over an HMO, since the PPO offers the greatest flexibility in coverage and choice of health care providers.

3. Know the policy limitations on preexisting conditions. Many health coverage plans contain limitations on preexisting medical conditions. These exclusions are governed by federal law, and are generally limited to conditions you received care for or were recommended to receive care for in the six month period preceding your enrollment dates. So, be aware that any preexisting conditions that fall within those guidelines may be excluded from coverage under a new health care coverage plan.

4. Know what the deductibles are. The deductible is the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company is required to pay your expenses. Generally, a higher deductible means a lower monthly premium, and vice versa. Make sure that, if you choose a higher deductible, that you have the means to pay it in case of a hospitalization or major surgery. Those lower monthly premiums could very well end up costing you dearly down the road; make sure you plan accordingly.

So, to recap... Know your limits of coverage, know the difference between HMOs and PPOs, know what the limitations are for preexisting conditions, and know what the deductibles are for the policy you are considering.

About the Author

Mike Massie is an independent insurance agent specializing in individual, family, and small business health coverage for Texans. He offers instant texas online health insurance quotes at his website, .

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Suicide and Life Insurance

It might not be discussed much during the negotiation of a life insurance policy, but suicide can lead to difficulty between an insurance company and the beneficiary of an insurance payout. In fact the subject of suicide is not mentioned in the conditions of most policies.

But the subject of suicide is constantly brought up in online insurance forums, because this grey area in life insurance is confusing.

Most policies are voided if the policy holder suicides within a fixed time of the policy being written. In most cases this timeframe is one or two years. An insurer would not expect anyone considering suicide to wait two years after taking out a life insurance policy.

There is very little information on the relationship between suicide and life insurance. One study that does open up this area of research is The Trouble with Suicide: Mental Health, Suicide and the Northern Ireland Conflict by Mike Tomlinson. In this study Tomlinson mentions the relationship between suicide and insurance and he states that people with insurance are less likely to commit suicide.

It was found that the suicide rate of the insured was only about a third of the overall rate in the population, probably because the insured earn more and because of insurance screening which results in the insured having better mental health than the population at large – Mike Tomlinson This study, although making assumptions about suicide and life insurance, does bring up the point that a screening process does reduce the risk to the insurer. Another point is brought up in this study about suicide records. Because life insurance can be voided if suicide is the reason for death, a number of suicide cases may not be recorded as such. About 4000 people commit suicide each year in the UK, and this figure does not include the 30 to 50 per cent that most experts agree go unreported. The statistics show that young males are in a higher risk group, but most people who commit suicide have some form of psychiatric illness. Life insurance companies can sometime request psychiatric evaluation of a new policy holder.

About the Author

Simon Harvey is a freelance writer who lives in UK. Rita has worked in the health industry for more than 15 years. Get more information regarding illness and life insurance void life insurance policies.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why hire an Accident Lawyer?

Many years ago, Allstate Insurance hired a team of consultants to help in redesigning their claims handling process. Their conclusion: Get the lawyers out of the claims process. Their studies found that by doing this, they could settle claims for substantially less money.

Even in small cases under $15,000.00, those persons represented by lawyers received substantially more in settlement, even after paying their attorney, than people who were not represented by a lawyer.

In larger cases, the difference was even more striking as the studies found that lawyers are able to get their clients exponentially more money as the claims value increases. Still want to handle your claim yourself?

Hiring an attorney early in your case will ensure that your rights and interests are protected. An attorney will usually charge a fee that is a set percentage of your eventual settlement or judgment amount. If you retain the attorney sooner rather than later, the attorney will have more time to ensure that your case is developed to its maximum potential value. The result - MORE MONEY IN YOUR POCKET.

If you have already determined that you should probably hire an attorney, these are the reasons you should hire that attorney NOW rather than weeks or months down the road:

1. An experienced attorney will be able to determine what evidence you will need to prove your case to the adjustor or at trial and how such evidence can be recorded and preserved in the meantime.

2. An attorney will help coordinate all available medical insurance coverage to make sure that you get prompt and thorough medical care.

3. An attorney can help you get medical care when you do not have any health or med-pay insurance.

4. An attorney will help you document all of your losses to make sure that you can recover for as much of your damages as possible.

5. An attorney will deal with the insurance companies on your behalf.


Most accident attorneys will work on your case on a "contingency" basis. This means that you will not have to pay your attorney for any work on the case until, and unless, that attorney secures a settlement or judgment on your behalf. If your attorney does not recover any money on your behalf, you do not pay your attorney for his time. Please note that most attorneys will require you to pay for necessary expenses they incurred in preparing your case regardless of whether or not your case is successful.

Any attorney that you consider hiring is required to advise you of alternate types of fee arrangements (such as an hourly fee or flat fee) and give you the option of selecting one of these alternate types. However, these types require you to pay for your attorney's time and work up front, regardless of whether or not they recover any money on your behalf. Consequently, most accident cases are handled on a contingent basis.

Important Tip: You will be paying your attorney the same amount whether he works on the case two months or two years. Why not give that attorney as much time as possible to make sure that your case value is maximized?

WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK WHEN HIRING A LAWYER? By asking the following questions when first meeting with a lawyer, you will quickly gain an understanding of the ability of that lawyer to adequately protect your interests:

1. How many years experience do you have in representing accident victims? A qualified attorney will have several years experience in representing accident victims. Make sure that your case will not simply be passed on to other, less-experienced attorneys.

2. Will I work with you directly or mainly with paralegals and legal assistants? Frequent involvement directly with your attorney will help ensure that your case is prepared as thoroughly as possible.

3. How do you keep yourself informed of the latest developments in this area of the law? Skilled accident lawyers spend many days each year at seminars learning new developments in this area of law.

4. What professional groups are you a member of? There are several professional organizations that allow attorneys to learn from other lawyers and stay better informed of recent changes in the law. Look for membership in a State Bar Association and state trial lawyers association.

5. Do you also represent insurance companies? Many qualified accident lawyers also function as "Insurance Defense" lawyers and represent at-fault drivers or their insurance companies from time to time. This may mean that your prospective attorney may have a "conflict of interest" and be legally precluded from representing you in a case that involves an insurance company with which that attorney has an ongoing business relationship.

6. Will I have to pay for your services even if you do not recover a settlement or judgment for me? If you retain your attorney on a contingent basis, you will not, in most states, be responsible for paying your attorney's fees if they are not successful in securing a settlement or judgment on your behalf.

7. Am I liable for any costs associated with investigating and preparing my case? Under many states laws, if your attorney intends to hold you responsible for the costs necessary to investigate and prepare your case, they must advise you in writing of this fact before signing you up as a client.

8. How much will associated costs be for my case? A typical auto accident case will require expenses for such costs as copies of the accident report, copies of your medical records as well as any fees charges by expert witnesses that may be necessary to present your case. These costs can vary greatly from case to case but even a simple case can cost several hundred dollars to prepare.

9. Are there any difficult issues in my case? An experienced attorney should be able to quickly identify any problem issues and be willing to discuss these issues with you.

10. How many other cases will you handle at any given time? The more cases an attorney has, the less time and personal attention those cases will likely receive.

Caution: Many of the accident lawyers that you see advertising on television or in multi-page phone book ads handle HUNDREDS of cases at any given time. While this type of practice may be financially rewarding for the attorney, it prevents the attorney from working personally on their clients' cases and can compromise their ability to effectively represent their interests.

You may also want to research any attorney with your State Bar Association. These resources will allow you to discover whether your prospective attorney has ever faced any disciplinary actions or had complaints filed against them by previous clients.

Caution: Not all attorneys focus on representing accident victims. Unlike some states, Colorado does not grant special designations to those attorneys who limit their practices to this area of law.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Medical Solutions: The Tummy Tuck

Removing fat from localized areas of the body has become a growing trend in weight loss surgery. Furthermore, helping to streamline one's appearance and tightening loose skin is an oft heard goal from those seeking the care and expertise of a plastic surgeon.

If seeking a tummy tuck, there are a few surgical procedures performed by trained and experienced plastic surgeons that involve tightening and flattening the skin of the abdominal area. The procedure is often requested by women who are looking to slim up their waist line, flatten their waists, and to tighten skin that has loosened over time for various reasons.

Skin can loosen after child birth, due to weight gain and then loss, and just from gravity's pull. Keeping a healthy lifestyle and diet can help to prevent weight gain which is one reason that skin begins to sag. A tummy tuck primarily involves tightening and flattening. For those who wish to lose abdominal fat prior to the procedure, the procedure can be done in conjunction with liposuction. With the two procedures combined, patients can remove excess fatty deposits and then have skin tightened and slim down their appearance.

There are benefits and risks with all surgical procedures of course and it is important to find an experienced and trusted plastic surgeon who can discuss the treatment with you and who can answer questions associated with the procedure. There are a number of procedures which help patients to lose weight and if liposuction is not a viable options, surgeons can recommend other weight loss procedures that can help to minimize body fat. It is always best to research natural ways to lose weight, meaning a healthy diet and exercise. Implementing healthy lifestyle practices is best to do anyway since no surgical procedure can offer a permanent freedom from weight issues. A tummy tuck is not only associated with weight loss, but can be caused by a number of issues. Finding out what technique your plastic surgeon uses is a great idea to make sure that it best suits your goals. Also, having realistic expectations is a great idea because surgery is usually a last resort when the patient has found that other methods have not delivered the desired results. Furthermore, the #1 best way to maintain a positive self image is to maintain a healthy life, both physically and psychologically. So keeping that in mind can enhance your decision to undergo a tummy tuck or not.

Since a tummy tuck can involve benefits and risks, all scenarios ought to be thoroughly discussed. Patients benefit from understanding the entire procedure, including how long it will take and what their recovery time will be. Satisfaction certainly goes up when patients know what to expect and have a clear understanding of what the procedure can reasonably do for them. It is thus best to get a handle on the procedure and what your goals are and how you plan to make sure that you maintain the investment. Since cosmetic procedures such as this are not covered by health insurance providers, it is a good idea to implement a sturdy commitment to greater health to maintain the look that the surgery provides. This is all part of the process and part of a satisfactory experience.

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More information on a tummy tuck, stomach stapling and a cosmetic surgeon in your area is just a click away.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

The Real Reason for the Health Insurance Mess

Why does health insurance cost so much in America? Obviously there are a variety of factors contributing to the ever escalating cost of insuring the average American. The first and foremost is the nature of the system. Health insurance companies, like all business entities, consider the bottom line first. Corporations are, above all, responsible to earn profits for their stockholders. If they can increase profits by raising prices, then they are obligated to do so. This is the nature of our system of capitalism.

While most Americans enjoy and appreciate our capitalist system, many believe that some things do not belong in that game. The most advanced countries have eliminated health-care from their list of entrepreneurial avenues. And whether or not you concur, or disagree, there is no doubt that profit is a contributing factor to the rising cost of health care.

The lack of uniformity is another contributor. Every state has its own set of rules. Every state has its own licensing regulations. In addition rates vary by the area in which you live and the geographic areas in which you wish to be covered.

The absence of preventative medical treatment is also a factor. Consider how many serious ailments might have been averted had they been discovered in the earliest phases. An increased availability of less expensive diagnostic and preventative treatments, could greatly reduce health care costs in America.

The continuously rising costs of health care in itself has led to the increase of health insurance premiums. New treatments, new discoveries, new tools and new regulations have all caused our basic health care ticket to rise dramatically, forcing insurers to increase rates accordingly.

Fraud, litigation, a degrading environment, improper diet, lifestyle choices, and stress are all factors leading to an increase in health care conditions and the rising costs.

We seem to be in an endless circle. The more effective and expensive a treatment, the more people will default on their payments, forcing an increase in the costs for those who are able to pay. As the costs of treatment increases, so does the cost to the insurer and thus the insurance premium. As insurance premiums increase, fewer people are able to afford coverage, resulting in more people defaulting on their medical payments, again leading to further increases in treatment and coverage, and so on and so on and so on.

While it's easy to exclusively blame the insurance carriers, it would be wrong, for they're just playing their part in the game. They're no worse than the officers of any successful corporation. No worse than the oil companies. It's the nature of the business, not the individual, that has them profiting from suffering. The agents, the general agents, the carriers, the re-insurers are all just doing their part, keeping the ball rolling. If the ball seems to be flat, don't blame those keeping it in play, repair the hole, or get a new ball.

About the Author

Jeff Wild is an independent health insurance agent and a representative of some of the highest rated insurers in the United States. His Web Site, Simple Health Coverage was created to educate, inform and connect you, the consumers with the best carriers, policies agents and choices in your geographic area.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Being prepared is not so difficult, here are some tips

Considering health plans at a young age isn't easy especially when you're healthy but that does not mean you will not require protection at some point; which makes preparing for this by arranging a critical illness insurance policy all the more important. Providing financial peace of mind for your family by taking out protection for a mere few dollars each week, does not seem as important to most of us as having that luxury cup of coffee every day during lunch.

Insurance providers, acting on the statistical information they receive from research institutes now offer this type of protection to every one of their customers.

These studies make for somber reading when you consider around one in five men will contract one of these conditions before they reach retirement age. For women, this figure is slightly lower with only one in six being affected by before retirement.

Of course, most people do not actually feel they require critical illness insurance and would explain why they are so reluctant to start a plan. This type of policy is designed to protect those around you who you love but the primary reason why people organize critical illness cover is to ensure mortgage repayments do not lapse.

Whilst over the last few years the amount of insurance policies arranged online has increased dramatically, not every type of policy was available but coverage for critical illness has now been added. Unfortunately, being a relatively new facility, there are new problems that occur as more companies start offering services over the Internet for the first time. This is because many insurance providers who offer this type of coverage wish to have the applicant take a medical examination by an independent physician to ensure there is nothing untoward right from the start. If you have to make a claim on your critical illness insurance policy, the last thing you want is insensitivity or apparent non co-operation from your insurer.

One group of high risk people are those that smoke, in fact they usually ask each applicant if they have smoked within the previous year and if the answer is 'yes', they will be rated higher. Insurance companies place smoking at the top of their list but other areas of your life can affect how much you pay for your premium like your age, physical health, activities you may participate in and the type of work you do.

Whilst critical illness insurance will not cure a person, the financial help it provides to a person who has a terminal illness cannot be dismissed. No person can guarantee that they will always be there for their family but insurance plans are one way to ease the burden if you are diagnosed with a critical medical condition.

About the Author

Francisco Segura owns and operates Alcoholism Disease

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