Travel Insurance for Winter
Most of us will agree that at one time or another we have had to file a claim against an insurance policy, whether it was an automobile accident, a homeowners incident, or even something in the medical field. Insurance benefits can vary, however depending on how you go about securing it, or more importantly, who you choose to purchase it from. No, all insurance companies are not the same, so don’t make the same mistake that so many other policy holders have made. If you have been listening to reports from the national consumer
league, you might be confused as to why they are suggesting that travel insurance is usually a bad idea, especially if you have benefited from having other kinds of policies.
Whether you are a frequent traveler, or you take an out of town trip once a year, you know that there is always the risk of having to cancel your trip. This could be due to medical reasons, or something coming up that simply could not be avoided. This is one of the primary reasons why you should purchase a travel insurance policy. The future is next to impossible to predict, otherwise things would be a lot simpler, we would just avoid certain scenarios. Unfortunately, most travelers don’t have the ability to see a few months down the road and as in the case of everything else, they should have an exit strategy.
Some travelers may not think of interrupted travel plans as a big deal, of course they are probably in the minority, if only for the fact that most of their fellow travelers tend to save for quite some time before boarding that plane, train or cruise ship. On the other hand, the opposite side of the coin would be the ones who are so serious about their travel plans that they think about them as an investment, in their sanity. Whether you have identified a vacation as something of value, or something disposable, when you book it, chances are that you don’t really want to lose it. This is the reason why travel insurance makes perfect sense, especially in the upcoming winter months.
The last thing a traveler wants to hear is that their luggage has been destroyed, especially if there were irreplaceable items in it. This can be a problem in either direction of your trip, but if it happens on your way to your travel destination, it can turn into a really bad day. This might be considered as an emergency for some people, even more so if a special event like a wedding or golden anniversary happened to be the reason for your trip. We may not be able to have prevented the destroyed luggage, but we can make sure that, if necessary, we will have clothes to wear.
If you don’t think of travel insurance as a way to protect your assets, you should consider it as a tool to help your trip go a little smoother, especially if you end up getting sick along the way. The winter months can be a troubling time to travel anyway, especially if you end up getting delayed on a flight. Can you imagine what would happen if you end up getting sick when you got into a strange country and you have to use their medical services, will you be covered for such an event? Or maybe your travel plans took you to the Caribbean and you did not foresee the hurricane that was bearing down on that small Caribbean island, as you are told that an evacuation was in effect.
The holidays are supposed to be a special time for everyone and as stated above, a lot can go wrong, is it really feasible to think that we would not be disappointed if we lost even part of that vacation to an unexpected event? When winter rolls through, the potential for something to go wrong increases considerably, should we take the chance and hope that our trip goes off without a hitch? As consumers, we should seriously think about protecting our interests and not through the company we are traveling with, because they usually think about themselves, but through a separate third party.
How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft Not Just during the Holidays But Everyday
There are more instances of identity theft in the United States than all other crimes combined. Most people go through their daily routines while never giving a thought to the fact that there are identity thieves out there just waiting to get their hands on their personal information. Whether it is during the holiday season, or any other time of the year, you have to be diligent about protecting your identity and your funds. Here is some information to review and to implement, to help you avoid becoming a victim of an identity thief.
Expect the Unexpected
A thief is a thief period, and if you have the belief that you can spot a thief when you see one, you have lured yourself into a false sense of security. Feeding into the stereotypes about certain groups of people, will only leave you broken hearted, and with an empty bank account. Times have changed, and so has the unsavory art of thievery. Remember that there is no particular profile when it comes to identity thieves. An identity thief can be a person of any size, shape, age, or nationality, so you need to always be mindful of that.
Safeguard Your Wallet or Purse
Ladies should always be careful not to leave their purses unattended in shopping carts, or on counters in stores. Women should select purses that contain zippers, or a fold over flap that snaps or buttons closed. Bags that are open and allow for easy access due to the design of the bag should be avoided, and bags with long shoulder straps should be carried close to the body, and with one hand securely on the actual purse. Men should avoid placing their wallets in their back pockets, as doing so affords an identity thief a greater opportunity to get his or her on your credit cards and other information by pick pocketing.
If You Don’t Need it Leave it
If you are like most people you could probably go through your purse or wallet and find a lot of things that have absolutely no business at all being in there. Take for instance, your social security card. Unless you are on a job interview, and you need to fill out some paperwork for employment, or you actually have some business down at your local Social Security Administration office, your social security card should be kept at home, and in a secure place. Something else that has no business being in your wallet or purse is your pin number to your debit card. In addition, Passports, credits or debit cards that you have no intention of using, and anything that can identify you outside of your drivers license, should be left at home.
Someone Could be Watching Over You
Technology is a wonderful thing, but along with all of the marvels of modern day technology comes new and improved methods for thieves to steal your identity. One of the craftier ways that identity thieves obtain information, is by taking pictures of credit cards during purchases.
The average person would never think that the person standing directly behind them is taking a picture of their information as they are swiping their card. Make sure that you keep the numbers on your card covered during the process of your transaction. Another way to put some distance between you and the person that is directly behind you, is to stand in front of your cart, and unload your items, that way when you make your transaction the person is at least a cart’s length away from you.
Avoid Open or Outside ATMs
If you have to use an ATM make sure you go to one that you can drive up to. Avoid the ATMs that are on the outside of banks, and require you to get out of your vehicle to utilize them, especially at night, and if they happen to be located in an area where there is not a whole lot of traffic or visibility. Open ATMs that are located in department stores, grocery stores, and convenience stores should also be avoided, as it is difficult to protect the information that is on the screen, and there are far too many people passing by that could access your information.
Avoid Payment Methods Linked to Your Bank Account
Your personal checks, and your debit card is directly connected to your bank account, so if you were to become a victim of identity theft, the identity thief could leave you literally penniless in a matter of minutes.
When you are out and about leave the check book and the debit card at home, and use your credit card instead during the holiday season, and when you are traveling out of town, or visiting large conferences or sports arena’s. If you become the victim of identity theft, most credit card companies afford customers 90 days to dispute charges, and report the fraudulent activity, as opposed to the 30 day reporting period that the average bank allows.
Stay Ahead of the Fray
The average person does not have the time or the energy to spend logging onto their online banking service to monitor their accounts each and every day. Sadly however, constant monitoring is pretty much the only way that you can protect yourself from identity thieves. Considering enrolling in a credit monitoring service. Many of these companies will not only monitor your personal accounts, but they also monitor all three credit bureaus for you.
Whether you are cruising the mall, or shopping online, you should be aware of the possibility that you are at risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. If you are an online shopper, you should remember to avoid using public, or unsecured wireless networks. Also you should make sure that your anti-spyware, and antivirus software is current and working properly.
Familiarize yourself with the signs of identity theft like receiving letters informing you that credit has ben denied when you know that you have not applied for credit, and inaccurate entries on your credit report. By law you can request one free credit report per year, and you should do so, however the best way to protect yourself and your funds is to sign on with a reputable credit monitoring service.