Deepanjali B Sarkar
Check the fine print!
Ignore the fine print and you could end up a real loser! Look out for the hidden clauses in your travel insurance!
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Beware of the fine print in your travel insurance!
The GoDubai Travel Desk would like to forewarn all travelers of the small print - clever little clauses contrived by Insurance Companies to reduce their liability - which means getting away without paying you for damages you have incurred. In their parlance its called 'Exclusions'.
If your travel services provider has magnanimously provided for trip cancellation insurance, you can be sure there are plenty of loopholes in the agreement. Coverage provided by travel service providers often carry large number of conditions and exclusions, such as pre-existing medical conditions or flights that are cancelled due to airline work slowdowns or stoppages.
Very often these insurance contracts limit your recovery to promises of future discounts. In fact, if you go through the policy with a fine toothed-comb you will discover it is not an insurance policy after all, but merely contracts that promise to reimburse you or part of your down payment. It often excludes last minute changes in destination that the charter company makes due to inclement weather.
Travel Cancellation Insurance policies sold by travel providers usually do not protect you against the source of many travel interruptions, the travel service provider itself. To ensure that you recover non-refundable deposits should your travel provider suddenly go out of business, purchase your TCI from a third-party insurer that offers a tour operator default option.
The bottom line is read your agreement carefully before signing.
Sorry for being a spoilsport! For those of you who are terribly anxious and think you have taken care of every little contingency through your travel insurance - here's something to get you all knotted up! No travel insurance will cover you against losses incurred from fluctuations in exchange rates or against HIV infection and AIDS. On a more dramatic note - confiscation of your belongings by Customs(or any other government officials) or radioactive contamination are some of the stuff no travel insurance will take responsibility for!
We welcome your suggestions. Any amusing travel anecdotes you would like to share...
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Most travel insurance policies do not cover accidents from hazardous sports. Which means skiing, bungee jumping, paragliding etc. So if you are looking forward to some skiing in Switzerland, ask for specific policies which will cover you in case you meet with an accident.
We had planned this luxurious cruise for our whole family - to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Got to know then that it's essential to go in for a "trip cancellation" insurance - to protect yourself against non-refundable packages like cruises or group tours. The same policy is very useful if you are travelling with kids or elderly parents who might fall ill. Infact someone we knew went in for this because he was travelling during cyclone season to the US.
Basically what trip cancellation insurance does is it reimburses non-refundable costs in case you are forced to cancel your scheduled trip due to illness or family emergency. In our case - as we found later - it is particularly helpful if you have purchased expensive travel packages like cruises.
Travelling with children
If your child is traveling alone, you should write all the numbers that
would be helpful for the child on a note, or in a little date book for the time when she/he arrives at the final destination.
Don't count on your toddler being willing to eat airline meals and snacks!
Pack some items in a small, insulated bag. Little chewy fruit snacks work
great during takeoff and landing - they keep his ears comfortable, and the
different shapes keep kids interested. Lollipops are good for earaches
While preparing your little kid for his/her first airplane trip, be
concerned about the noise of the plane, since some kids get terrified of
loud noises such as those of vacuum cleaners, hairdryers, mixers, etc. Make frequent stops by your local airport (1-2 times weekly) to acquaint him/her with the noise of the airplanes.
When travelling with children, be sure to pack a change of clothes for
yourself, along with spare dresses for them. Time and again children have
spilt sticky drinks all over themselves and all around them on the plane.
Before starting on the trip, visit a local hospital and ask if they can
make one of those plastic bracelets for each of your children. You can then put whatever information you'd like on a slip of paper
and insert it into the bracelet. If you're traveling to/through foreign
countries, you may want to put the information in several languages.
Always keep a recent photo of your child in your wallet - in case you loose
them in a crowed area, and need help in locating them.
Buy an inexpensive camera (with flash) for children old enough to use it.
The trip is then photographed from the child's perspective. She can then create
a memory book with her photos.
Use baby wipes not only for wiping hands, face, etc., but also for removing stains from clothes.
To help kids remember their trip in their own words, buy postcards of the
places you visit, and on the back of each one, ask them to write down whatever
they want to remember. At the end of the trip, punch a hole in the corner of
the postcards and put them on a ring. This way they have their own special mementos of the vacation.
Else, prior to your trip, prepare a homemade "book" with a page for each day
you will be gone. Write the day/date at the top of each page. As you travel,
your child can use any 'sit-down' time to fill in what you are doing that day,
draw pictures of interesting things you saw, paste brochures, or get autographs of anyone - from your waiter to the occasional celebrity! Your
book will be just the thing to share with your friends when you return.
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