Travel insurance: what to look for?

Travel insurance: what to look for?

Regardless of the season, most of us have a desire to go on vacation. And during the New Year holidays, this desire becomes simply irresistible! Wherever you go to a foreign tour or to the ski slopes, do not forget about the important "talisman" of your future travel insurance.

Not all of us know that insurance is not a simple formality, but a very important component of the “travel suitcase”: it can help, perhaps, in the most difficult situation with health problems. It is thanks to the good choice of insurance to prevent many troubles.


Travel insurance is only needed for the sole purpose of solving possible health problems while traveling. If, for example, in Ukraine and the CIS countries most of the issues can be solved in a “manual” mode (you just need to remember to save money and take it with you), then in Europe, the US or China you cannot hope for this option. Moreover, when applying for a visa to any of the countries, insurance will be required.


The principle of travel insurance is simple insurance company organizes and pays medical assistance to the policyholder in case of health problems arising during the trip. Another option is possible when the insurer compensates the client for the costs of treatment that he incurred while traveling. It is necessary to understand that the organization of medical care is not engaged in the insurance company itself, but in its partner, the service of assistance that the insured calls for health problems. For example, some insurance companies work with several such services depending on the countries and directions of travel. It is the employees of the assistance service who advise, organize the assistance and accompany the client.


I must say that if you are traveling under a voucher or accompanied by a travel agency, then most likely your insurance issue has already been resolved. As a rule, it is solved formally, to obtain a visa at the embassy. But I am sure that this is not a reason not to understand the nuances, but also to rely on formal insurance. Many of my friends and colleagues in the insurance market buy an insurance policy for travelers on their own, instead of or in addition to the policy that is already included in the package from the travel company.

Perhaps I would give 5 basic tips for those who choose travel insurance for themselves.


Tip 1. Check if the insurance matches the selected country of travel.

If you get a visa, be sure to check out the list of accredited insurance companies at the embassy. If the insurer is not listed, its insurance will not be accepted.

Tip 2. Choose the right policy type.

It is very important to choose the right type of policy, based on the regularity and length of trips abroad during the year. The simplest solution is a one-time policy for a specific number of days. The ideal solution for those who go just on vacation. But there are also policies that cover a certain number of travel days per year, regardless of when you go abroad. There are “unlimited” solutions to travel for a whole year, and the insurance will be valid. Naturally, such options will be more expensive, but for avid travelers, this is fully justified, all the more it is not necessary at every trip to think about purchasing insurance. For example, one of our regular customers makes an average of 20-25 trips per year, each for 3-10 days, including work abroad and vacation tours. In this case, the annual policy cannot do!

Tip 3. Pay attention to the amount of insurance coverage.

It is set in euros or dollars. As part of this amount, the insurance company undertakes to pay for the prescribed drugs, as well as medical services rendered to you by medical institutions and specialists. As a rule, when traveling to EU countries, the standard insurance amount that the embassies require when issuing a visa is 30 thousand euros. The responsible insurance companies have a peculiar principle: the more exotic and remote the country the client goes to, the more substantial the sum insured we offer him. For example, when traveling to Thailand or Mexico, it makes sense to choose coverage of 60 thousand USD. What for? Because getting high-quality medical care in these countries is not an easy and very expensive task. On the Internet, you can find a lot of cases of experienced tourists who are faced with this problem.

In addition to the sum insured, it is worth remembering about the franchise. A franchise is a part of the cost of medical care that the insurance company will not pay.

So, if the insurance program provides a deductible of $ 50, and in the local hospital you have been rendered services for $ 200, then the insurance company will only compensate $ 150.

The higher the deductible, the cheaper the insurance is the obvious pattern.

Tip 4. Ask about what you are protected from insurance.

To do this, you need to consult with the manager in detail, or even better, carefully read the documents that you will be given when you make policy. There is a clear dependence of the cheaper the insurance, the fewer health problems it covers.

The cheapest options include only emergency medical care and the elimination of pain. I strongly advise you to read the section separately.

"Exceptions" in the insurance contract to understand when insurance does not work. For example, if you go on vacation to a ski resort and plan to ride injuries while playing sports should not be on the list of exceptions! Surfing, rafting, parachuting, diving, skiing about all the extreme plans need to tell the insurer and extend the standard policy you need coverage.

Tip 5. Do not neglect additional services and programs.

A full insurance program, in addition to medical services, provides for the cost of an interpreter, the cost of telephone calls in the service, and other important options. So, if you are traveling with children, it is important that the option of paying for the flight for a child be included in the insurance, if you suddenly have to be treated abroad, and the children have to return home before you have completed the treatment.

You can also include additional options in travel insurance, namely:

  • Accident Insurance. There is an additional fixed payment for injuries or disability of the insured as a result of an accident.
  • Baggage insurance. Tourist luggage during flights and not only can be lost in this case will help this option. Baggage will be reimbursed by the insurance company
  • Insurance against the impossibility of travel. If the trip is canceled for reasons stipulated by the insurance contract, you will be reimbursed for its cost. A typical example is the health problems of a tourist or the embassy’s refusal to issue a visa without explanation.
  • If you are driving your car, it is important not to forget about the Green Card. If a driver abroad becomes the culprit of an accident, the insurance company will pay damages to the injured person instead of him. However, without the Green Card, none of our fellow citizens will be let through at the border.

What important we have not asked you yet?

There is a very significant detail: in order to expect the insurance company to pay for your treatment, all actions must be coordinated with it through the help desk, which I have already mentioned. Insurance company managers always warn customers that their first action in case of health problems is a call to the helpdesk. If you are treating yourself without warning the insurer, it is possible that he may refuse to compensate you for costs when returning to Ukraine, even if you keep all the receipts and receipts for medical care.

Practice shows that it is in vain: it is much easier to buy insurance (its cost is usually 3-4 times lower than when traveling abroad) than to take additional “financial reserve” in case of health problems, or to look for a hospital yourself in some unfamiliar village. Insurance here will be useful.

Just do not be afraid to use it and get only positive impressions from trips and travels!
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Travel Insurance in the USA

Travel Insurance in the USA

Do I need medical insurance to travel abroad? Most likely, an American will not even have such a question - the inhabitants of the country with the most expensive medicine in the world are accustomed to the fact that all problems are solved by insurance since childhood. What is medical insurance in the US - consider in this article.

US health insurance: how does it work?

The organization of the health care system in the United States differs significantly from that in most countries. It is dominated not by the state, but by private medicine, and private insurance, which until recently was, moreover, voluntary. This meant that the person could not pay for insurance, but was forced to pay in full for any medical services, which is very expensive. Therefore, on a voluntary basis, private health insurance covered more than 80% of the population at the end of the last century. For the most part, an employer pays for a medical insurance policy in the United States. With a tax of approximately 15% of the income that the entire working population pays, a state social insurance program is provided for unprotected segments of the population.

In 2010, the ex-President Barack Obama introduced the new law - ACA (AffordableCareAct), according to which every legal resident of the country must enter into an agreement with an insurance company or pay a fine. In this way, the state programs Medicare and Medicaid (Medicaid) have received more funding - at their expense, the poor, people with disabilities, the unemployed, people over 65 or those who have lost their ability to work can count on medical care.

The cost of health insurance in the United States depends on many factors: the type of insurance, the level of income, the state of health, age. The older a person is, the more chronic or genetic diseases he has, bad habits - the greater will be the monthly payment for the policy. On average, it costs 200-600 dollars per month for a “middle class” person, of whom the majority in the States.

But do not think that insurance in the United States allows you to use any medical services for free. Depending on the type and cost of the policy, an American has to apply only to those institutions that accept its insurance, although coverage with popular insurers is very decent. But the recourse to “its” network of clinics does not guarantee free maintenance. As a rule, part of the cost remains mandatory for the patient. In general, medical insurance in the United States is more like a guarantee of protection against "excessive spending" that may be necessary in case of a serious illness or surgery.

Interestingly, the traditional exceptions from most insurance programs in the States are "eyes" and "teeth": to receive the services of an ophthalmologist and a dentist, you must enter into a separate insurance contract.

Travel Insurance in the USA

Living in America are accustomed to trusting their doctors, who, in turn, provide them with the highest quality services. No wonder medicine in the United States is considered one of the most advanced on the planet, and people often travel to the country for the purposes of so-called medical tourism. Insurance companies clearly control all the services provided by doctors to patients, in particular, therefore, they do not recognize many “unconventional” treatment methods so popular in Ukraine. This includes all sorts of dietary supplements, droppers with vitamins and saline, herbal medicine, hypnosis, acupuncture, and the like. Our compatriot could have been surprised a lot when he learned that half of the popular drugs prescribed by Ukrainian doctors are not generally considered medicinal products in the United States and are not used.

The cost of medicine in the States is so high that only the richest people can afford life without insurance, but they also prefer to have a good policy. In addition, there is not accepted to buy drugs at a pharmacy without a doctor's prescription - they simply will not be sold without a prescription. Such a conservative approach to health issues fosters a responsible approach among doctors, and among the population - discipline and lack of self-treatment.

Going on a trip abroad, an American is more likely to purchase travel insurance. There are several reasons:
  • First, Medicare and Medicaid programs do not work outside the United States.
  • Secondly, the internal insurance will not include the entire list of services that the traveler may need. Some programs allow you to reimburse the cost of medical services abroad, but this is not always convenient since the tourist will have to keep on hand a large amount of money "just in case."
  • Thirdly, almost every American is accustomed to filling out various electronic forms of policies and documents, which is not associated with additional stress - on the contrary, in a state with a rule of law and protected document circulation, a person has a psychological calm and a sense of security.

To buy travel insurance in the United States, you must contact any reliable private insurance company. Experts recommend that American tourists purchase a policy that necessarily includes the cost of medical evacuation and repatriation, as well as having insurance coverage of $ 100,000 for the whole world.
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A new superbank will appear in the USA; insurance is getting more attractive

A new superbank will appear in the USA; insurance is getting more attractive

Twitter report on the fall of monthly active users to 321 million from 330 million, concerns over the US negotiations and the growth of the global economy on Thursday caused IT, raw materials and materials to drop by 1.4% and the fuel and energy complex by 2.1%, reduced the main foreign indices by 0.9%: S & P - up to 2,706.05; Dow 30– up to 25,169.53 points. At the same time, real estate securities - one of the two leaders of this year with a result of + 11.4% - continue to go up.

The reason for the fall is in the US commentary about the lack of chances for the leaders of America and China to meet until March. The exchange has been waiting for a clearer announcement of the meeting since December 25 and has regained most of the positions lost on intensifying the conflict between the two countries since the beginning of October. During this time, the ETF for IT and discretionary consumption added + 17% in dollars excluding dividends.

The joy of a part of sectors was caused by strengthening the patience of the Fed in raising interest rates. Real estate and housing services were a plus of + 7% and + 6%, respectively, compared with October. Essentials returned only 1% below the beginning of October and increased by + 10% from December 25 on fears of a recession, which was expected among a quarter of Wall Street. The growth of manufactured goods by + 21% from December 25 is partly due to the increased aggressiveness of the defense doctrine and the increase in large international orders. But IT, part of the consumption and fuel and energy sector may be vulnerable.

According to S & P, an increase of + 11% per year in dollars is likely with chances of 55% after reporting an absolute majority (about 70%) of disclosed S & P companies. The day before yesterday, it showed only + 3.6% per annum of total returns including dividends, and today it is already + 7.0% per annum. This is a lot for one month!

The likelihood of a breakthrough in negotiations with China is 3% since the specifics on the implementation of structural reforms and on the implementation of the IP protection plan in the PRC will be a success, considering that there has been a plan since 2010 and has been developed since 1994. I do not exclude, with a probability of 6% -8%, an agreement on royalties of Chinese companies towards the United States.

Among the risks, for example, the deadline for the Shatdaun on February 15, on the national debt ceiling on March 1, the possibility of lowering the US rating is still in force, then the road to the new arms race is open. The upward movement of the Nasdaq took into account past expectations of a deal with China and, over time, leads to profit taking as it moves toward the realization of these undertakings.

Papers capable of growing by 20% are less and less, and growth in January was clearly part of the leverage, which can choose liquidity on a number of securities while taking profits. With a probability of 15%, you need to keep in mind the possibility of a side effect.
With a probability of 3%, a combination of risks is possible, leading to a decrease of 30%, and with chances of 16% -18%, a drop of 20% is possible.

So, from the baseline forecast for growth of + 11%, we come to a probabilistic forecast of profitability in the region of + 1.8%, which says a lot about the risks of decline. My baseline scenario is based on a unique combination of soft DCT and weak inflation with strong government support in many industries and suggests that it is not the worst option to diversify, including through alternative investments.

From positive news, a new, 6th largest bank will soon appear in the US: BB & T has bought SunTrust and will now change the brand. Together, BB & T and SunTrust will have $ 442 billion of assets, $ 301 billion of loans, $ 324 billion of deposits. Together, the top 6 US banks (JPMorganChase, BankofAmerica, WellsFargo, Citigroup, GoldmanSachs, MorganStanley) earned more than $ 120 billion in 2018. This year we can expect about + 11% in dollars from the papers of leading international investment and credit institutions. Suntrust has already shown this growth, other banks are not.

The merger, which is expected to close before the end of 2019, if approved by the regulator, is positive both for SunTrust and for the industry as a whole. In particular, for JP Morgan and BankofAmerica, the prospects for which we still do not appreciate the best way. The process of consolidation of the industry represents a certain risk for the positions of leaders only in the longer term, but it makes sense for active investors to wait until the exchange assesses the consequences of the news, and by the trend at a more favorable price, when confirmation of improved business conditions in the form of accelerating lending rates.

After negative reporting in the insurance industry, the number of candidates for purchase increases. The S & P life and health insurance segment is priced at a year-over-year profit forecast at a very attractive level of 8.0, which was only at the beginning of 2014 and 2016. MetLife on this indicator is only slightly worse than the average, 8.25, which is understandable: a company with a high capitalization has a lot of weight in the sub-index. For this reason, I would rate the paper in the context of the indicators of the industry as a whole and would look at increasing profits when determining the potential for improvement.

I think that in the very near future life and health insurance services will be in demand in America and around the world, and profit growth of +30% - + 40% per year in this sector will not be the rarest phenomenon. Against this background, a 5% reduction in the accounting value of Metlife is fraught with the consumption of capital. But if investors do not have the opportunity yet to find options for diversification with the help of other well-known securities of the sector - Aflac, Principal, Prudential, and Unum - then Metlife is a good choice if we see the growth of the market as a whole. To buy these financial instruments, like any other, you need, of course, not half a pint, but with knowledge.
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In the USA pet insurance in 2018 spent 72 billion dollars

In the USA pet insurance in 2018 spent 72 billion dollars

Americans spend more and more money on pets, in particular on medical insurance for their pets. The pet products and services industry in the United States grew from 17 billion in the mid-1990s to 72 billion last year. Of these, $ 1 billion comes from medical insurance. About this reports the publication of UNN with reference to the Voice of America.

Such goods and services for four-legged ones like funerals, cremation, fashionable clothes, smart collars, safe car seats, treadmills, frozen food are becoming the norm. Some employers even reimburse the cost of animal life and health insurance to their employees reports the publication.

In veterinary medicine, they actively use magnetic resonance imaging, chemotherapy for cancer, acupuncture, water therapy, cataract surgery. Owners of health insurance for animals from one of the American companies pay an average of $ 30 a month. In case of need for medical intervention, the company covers part of the costs, but customers still have to pay, often several thousand dollars, the material says.

As reported by UNN, 65-year-old Joey Henney from Pennsylvania lives with two alligators. One of them, Wally, 1.4 meters long, was registered by the man as an animal of emotional support, noting that it has a calming effect on people.
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Insurance in the USA. Car insurance in California

Insurance in the USA. Car insurance in California

1. Types of policies

In principle, everything becomes clear if you say two words: MTPL and CASCO.

The principle of operation of the Russian MTPL and CASCO is taken entirely from the insurance system in the USA.

In this part of the comprehensive in CASCO in some states is optional, but in California, it needs to be included. 

2. Parameters affecting the cost of the policy

What parameters are taken into account when calculating the cost of the policy for you personally:

• age (up to 25 years insurance is significantly more expensive, since the insured driver in the category is the young driver and, according to statistics, most accidents are made by people under 26 years old, so the coefficients are increased for this category of persons)

• availability of local rights (if you are a resident of the state, then you must have local rights, plus insurance is much cheaper with them)

• driving experience (even the one who was in another country counts for as long as you need to send a copy of the rights)

• availability of higher education (discounts up to 10% if there is a VO (especially if you are an engineer)

• availability of stable work and high income

• marital status and having children

• type of the insured car, its age, and price, availability of a pledge for a car (credit/leasing is 10–30% more expensive)

• availability of anti-theft systems

• the presence of a garage (with it insurance can go cheaper)

• credit history

• driving history (were there any penalties for the last year, how many points for violations were removed, this item is most affected, as it characterizes you as a driver)

• the presence of a certificate of the school of emergency driving (in fact, online re-read the brochure with the rules, can help knock out a discount of a couple of dollars)

• the state where you live and you will use the car (where the accident rate by states is taken into account)

• the county in which you live (again the accident rate by county, the median income of people living in the county and other less obvious parameters)

• indicators of insurance premium payments for the previous year, for example, because of hurricanes on the East Coast in the winter of 2016 and a large number of payments, insurance companies increased policy prices from June 2016 for all states.

Next, let's talk about the limits in coverage. 

3. Limits and conditions of payments

California in 2017 defined the following minimum limits for driver liability coverage (California Insurance Code §11580.1b):

• $ 15,000 - damage/death of one person

• $ 30,000 - damage/death of two or more persons

• $ 5,000 - damage to property

But! Of course, these minimum values ​​are not enough, since only one appeal of the victim with a small fracture will be more than $ 15,000, and payment for pain is necessary (moral damage can be 3 times higher than the hospital bill), payment of physical disability (sick leave, calculated by day based on the daily salary of the victim). Plus payment of lawyers, a fine, payment of damage to the property of the victim, etc. Naturally, the minimum coverage for this is not enough and the person will owe a huge amount of money. And then either sell everything or take out a loan. Plus, their own car will also be broken and it will have to either be disposed of for your money or sold without repair. Therefore, it is better not to save money on this and find a good CASCO with high limits.

With CASCO easier, the most optimal is the limits $ 150.000 / $ 300.000 (damage to one person/damage to several people), uninsured motorist liability for $ 150.000, damage to property for the same amount, comprehensive for $ 50.000.

In addition to the limits of sums in the coverage still, need to pay attention to how much you pay from your pocket before the insurance begins to pay its main part. This amount is called the deductible. It can be either fixed ($ 100, $ 250, $ 500, $ 1000, etc.) or as a percentage of the final payout amount (much cheaper when paying for insurance, but in the end, it can turn against you).

That is, upon the occurrence of an insured event, you will need to pay out of your pocket a sum of, say, $ 200 in order for the rest to be covered by your insurance. A simple situation, you parked the car on the street, a certain asocial element decides to profit from something from your car and breaks the glass, opens the glove compartment, digs there and hides. You come in a couple of hours and see this disgrace. Your actions: compile the police report (the application to the police, most often online), take a photo, online from your personal account you submit a claim (claim insurance payment, describe the situation, attach the photo, the number of the application to the police). If you have comprehensive coverage - you are good, your insurance will cover the repair of your car and valuables missing from the glove box/car. Then you come to an authorized insurance repair center, where the service bills say for $ 1000, plus things for $ 500 are missing. You have under the terms of the policy deductible - $ 200. This means that you will now pay $ 200 out of your pocket, and the remaining $ 1,300 will be covered by insurance. Regarding the choice of auto repair shops, you can turn to your favorite service, but then all the negotiations about what to repair and for how much, you have to carry on with the insurance itself with the application of all accounts and not the fact that the insurance will cover everything.

A similar calculation, if an accident occurs, your insurance compensates the damage to the injured party minus the deductible, and if there is coverage for you and your car, then you will repair it.

There is also the concept of total damage, this is when the insurance decides that the car is inappropriate to recover and pays an amount equal to the cost of the car on the market at the time of the accident. All costs for the disposal, storage, and transportation of such auto insurance assumes (but it also depends on the company where the policy was purchased, not all insurance behave so well). If you decide to keep the car yourself, then its status changes to salvaged and you must buy it from the insurance for an amount equal to the residual value of this car after the accident. Insurance deducts this amount from the payment for your car. But there will be another question, what will you do with it ... Not all salvaged cars can be registered after repair. 

4. Where to buy auto insurance?

You can go to sites - aggregators, drive in data, SSN number and get quotas. Then on the site of insurance to issue a policy.

You can contact the agent who can find suitable insurance with discounts and further advise on issues related to it. The word of mouth is already working here, since finding a good agent is easier through acquaintances.

Well, the option in the forehead, ask around friends who have some insurance, impressions and go to the insurance site. But this is far from a guarantee that the price you will have is the same low since everything is very individual. Discounts may even be for the fact that you also insured a house in the same company.

In any case, everything is done via telephone and regular email. Even if no luck and accident happened.
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How do foreigners get a life insurance policy in the USA

How do foreigners get a life insurance policy in the USA

Foreigners often buy a life insurance policy in the United States, since the American version is quite profitable. The cost of a life insurance policy issued in the United States is usually cheaper compared to products offered in other countries, and in some cases can offer great benefits, such as a guaranteed universal life insurance policy that may not be available in other countries.

Family income

The most obvious reason to buy a life insurance policy is to protect your family. A policy purchased in the United States will provide protection regardless of the place of residence insured after it was purchased. The policy will remain in force as long as you pay for it. In the event of the death of the insured, the entire amount of the policy will be paid in US dollars to the beneficiary (beneficiary) upon presentation of the death certificate.

Future income along with protection for loved ones

A life insurance policy can serve as protection for the family of the insured person, as well as a way of obtaining future savings for the insured himself. “Cash value” is a part of the coverage that can be used by the policyholder during life. As a result, insurance policies can generate non-taxable dividends, which can lead to a substantial increase in your cash value over time. 

Payments from the Cash Value are provided to the insured upon his request, as a rule, free of charge, that is, they should not be returned back. Also, these payments are not taxable.

Property tax

Although US citizens and residents are exempted from property tax of $ 11.2 million (adjusted for inflation), non-resident foreign citizens - those who are not US citizens and have their main place of residence in another country, usually do not pay tax on the property only up to $ 60 thousand. The cost of residential real estate in the United States, acquired by foreign buyers, will almost always exceed this amount.

In addition, the top tax rate increased from 35 percent to 40 percent in 2013. 

This means that if a non-resident foreign citizen owns a place of rest in the United States, his heirs may face a tax of up to 40 percent of the market value of the house in effect at the time of the owner’s death.

The smart way to protect an inheritance from a possible high tax obligation to pay real estate tax is a life insurance policy. The US Tax Code considers life insurance for the life of a non-resident foreign citizen, rather than “located within the United States” and, therefore, is not included as part of the gross property in the United States.

Simply put, the death benefit is not payable on property tax in the United States upon the death of the insured person and should not be inferior to the heirs and/or beneficiaries. Acquiring a life insurance policy in the amount of the estimated property tax can help ensure that the heirs and beneficiaries of a foreign non-resident citizen will have the funds necessary to pay any assessed property taxes in the United States.
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Insurance in the USA. General review

Insurance in the USA. General review

It is no longer a secret that for a successful and less painful life in “capitalist countries” a certain amount of insurance is required for all occasions. Without this, life is, of course, possible, but it will be very “painful” in case of any unforeseen situations.

The main insurances that you need to purchase or receive immediately are: medical (general, eye, and dental), automobile and tenant liability insurance.

If with health insurance you can still pull a little up to 2 months and then not get a penalty for it, then with a car or with tenant insurance it will not work. You may not be given an apartment/house, where insurance is a requirement, or you cannot register a car without minimum insurance (analogous to OSAGO), you can get a penalty for not having it or even suspension of rights, and in some salons they will not even be allowed to leave without insurance on your newly purchased car.

Therefore, when you move to the States, the first thing you have to do is deal with a huge number of types of insurance, their conditions, restrictions, and look for offers that are beneficial for you, since their prices vary greatly and can be simply unaffordable for beginners.

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