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Travel Insurance Glossary

Travel Assistance
Travel Assistance services may be bundled into an international medical insurance or trip protection plan, but these services are not considered insurance. The term travel assistance covers a broad range of services, often including but not limited to: toll-free multi-lingual 24-hour emergency telephone numbers, local offices around the world, web sites offering aid and advice to travelers in need of travel, medical or legal help, translation services, passport and visa assistance, assistance filling prescriptions, and virtually any special assistance useful to travelers in crisis who are far from home.

Maximum Policy Coverage
This is the maximum amount of money that the insurance provider will pay for covered expenses. This may be an overall maximum or an amount for each accident or illness.

The amount that the insured must pay before the insurance company pays covered expenses. This may be an annual amount, an amount for the duration of the policy, or an amount for each incident. For example, you have a $250 deductible, after which your insurance company pays 80 percent of covered expenses. If your costs are $600, you will pay your $250 deductible, plus 20 percent of the additional cost, which makes a total of $320. Your insurance picks up coverage after the $250 deductible, and pays 80 percent of the remaining $350, that is $280.

Coinsurance or Copayment
This is the amount of expenses that the insured pays (if any) after the deductible is paid. The coinsurance rate is usually expressed as a percentage of charges. For example, if the insurance company pays 80 percent of the claim, you pay 20 percent.

These are the expenses an insurance provider will consider for payment. They normally include expenses for surgery, hospitalization, doctors' services, x-rays, laboratory tests, prescription drugs and other treatments, as well as travel expenses such as necessities in the event of travel delay, baggage delay or loss, and non-refundable travel pre-paid travel costs in the cases of trip interruption and/or cancellation. Some of these expenses may be limited by the insurance contract. See exclusions.

These are the expenses that the insurance company or travel protection provider will not pay. Examples include: expenses resulting from illegal drug use, pregnancy, conditions which existed prior to the purchase of the insurance (see pre-existing conditions), participation in various dangerous activities, participation in certain types of sports (see hazardous sports and activities coverage), expenses resulting from acts of war, riot, insurrection, etc. Most insurance contracts have many of these exclusions. It is important to read brochures carefully.

The amount you pay in exchange for insurance coverage. Premiums may be paid in advance, on a per trip basis, annually, monthly, quarterly, or by semester, depending on the policy. Premiums for travel protection plans are usually paid in advance, either annually or on a per trip basis.

Emergency Reunion
Also known as "visitor to bedside". It means covering the expenses for having a family member transported to the injured or ill insured during a medical emergency. Lodging expenses are generally covered.

Repatriation Benefits
Pay the cost of preparing the body of a person who dies in a foreign country and returning the body to the deceased's home country. These benefits are often bundled together and included in international medical insurance and travel protection plans.

Pre-existing Condition
Any medical conditions that have been diagnosed before the insured was covered by his current insurance policy.

Hazardous Sports & Activities Coverage
Coverage for medical expenses and/or trip cancellation resulting from engaging in certain hazardous, high risk sports and activities such as scuba and sky diving, rock climbing and bungee jumping (to name a few), is often explicitly excluded by international medical insurance and travel protection plans; however, some plans offer special hazardous sports and activities coverage that is optional and usually results in a only a modest increase in premium. Always make sure you are aware of the exclusions noted in the plan or policy you're considering, and if you plan to participate in any high-risk activities, look for plans with optional, supplementary hazardous sports and activity coverage.

Single-trip plans cover one trip, usually up to a maximum of 180 days.

Annual Multi-Trip
Annual multi-trip plans cover all trips taken within a year (often with a maximum duration of 15-180 days per trip).

Individual Plans
Individual plans are designed and priced to cover one person.

Family Plans
Family plans are designed to cover all members in a family traveling together, and premiums are usually priced at a discount compared to the rate for a single person. Some family plans include relations beyond the immediate family, such as grandparents and in-laws.

Primary Coverage
Primary coverage plans provide coverage without regard to any other insurance or coverage the plan holder may have.

Secondary Coverage
Secondary coverage plans require plan holders to have primary coverage, and the secondary coverage only covers those expenses not already covered by the primary coverage plan.

The amount payable by the insurance provider to a claimant, assignee, or beneficiary under each policy.

The person or persons designated by the insured to receive the proceeds of an insurance policy upon the death of the insured.

Common Carrier
Any conveyance for transporting passengers is a common carrier, such as a bus, train, airplane, ferry, limousine or taxi. A rental car or private vehicle is not a common carrier.

Daily Indemnity for Hospitalization
A fixed sum calculated per-day that the insured receives to replace lost income for each day spent as a hospital inpatient.

How an insurer determines whom it will accept for insurance coverage. Underwriters generally evaluate the likelihood an insured event will occur, determine its likely cost, and whether or not the company should assume a particular risk (accept an applicant and offer coverage).

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