Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Eeeny, Meeny, Miney Oh No!

What to consider when you look at travel plan options

Okay, so maybe I'm not the smartest guy (However, I do possess an annoying penchant for pointing out the obvious - obviously) but when faced with a lot of choices for things I don't understand very well. I'm pretty a less intelligent version of Dumb & Dumber.
 When the waiter asks,"would you like that with a creme fraiche sauce?"  Uh, no?  Yes?  Can I get it on the side?  When the mechanic queries me, "You want 10W 30 oil, right?"  Um, right..would it be better for me to get 11W? 9W?  Or maybe I should stick with the W and go for a 40.  Do I have to carry it around in a brown bag?  Anyway, the point is most all of us have come face-to-face with the prospect of having to answer something when we have little idea what we should be considering.  It's a routine, mild intimidation that's sort of on par with the neighborhood kid.  You know, the one who shoots you a dirty look when you ride his tricycle without permission.  Don't laugh - he seems pretty tough for a three year old and he doesn't always let me ride it when I ask.  So I can fully sympathize with clients who may be a smidgen unsure exactly what to do when going through Azimuth's quoting/application/fulfillment system for the Beacon Series travel medical insurance plan.
Fortunately, while I may be Forrest Gump's duller brother, I am a savant when it comes to travel insurance.  As you go through the system, you'll be asked a few questions (fortunately, none that inquire about why you were eating Cheetos in your underwear while staring off into the distance at 3 am.  Okay, so maybe fortunate just for me) including your date of birth (sorry, but if you don't know this one, you are on your own), the date you want the insurance to begin & end and whether or not you want the optional Sports Rider - you know you do, you wild animal you.  Make sure you select it if you think you may finally muster the guts to do that para-sailing you've always said you would or if you decide that it's finally time to do some rappelling down  the mountainside.  For some of us, it's not necessary as the biggest risk we will face is getting accidentally sprayed in the eye with lime juice as we squeeze it poolside.  Next, you will be asked to choose your deductible (for more detail, click here for my older post on this topic).  The best suggestion is to choose the highest one you can reasonably afford, Ms. & Mr. Moneybags.  The next question is to decide how to pick the best overall maximum limit for the time you are traveling.  This one has some trick in the pickin'.  The general rule is pick the highest one you can afford.  After all, since the whole idea of buying insurance is to have the insurer pick up the tab if things go worse than the next William Hung album, you'll want to have as much coverage as possible.  Still, insurance buyers want to have options and options Azimuth has.  Something unexpected can happen to a person's health at any time, but the longer someone travels the bigger the opportunity for a health challenge and for the cost related to it to be larger.  This is a long way of saying that the longer you intend to be traveling, the bigger the overall maximum benefit you should consider purchasing.  If you're going to be away for just a few days, then maybe the $60,000 or $110,000 maximum benefit level is right for you.  Planning on going to the mountain top and spending a few months studying with the guru? Go with $110,000.  Finally taking that year (or more) away from it all and trying carny work in another country?  Better go with the $1.1 million or $2 million maximum benefit and brush up on how to growl "Keep your hands inside or lose 'em on this ride.  She's a mean one." in the local dialect.  Staying permanently or sorta permanently?  By the way, why do they call hair coloring a 'permanent'?  After all, it's gone in a couple of weeks - darn ADD thing.  Then have a look at the Meridian Series for expatriate health insurance needs.  

PS. Insurance is the Brussels sprout of subjects.  You know you need to understand it for your own good and I'll work to make it palatable (if it doesn't work, feed me to the dog under the table).  So, if you enjoy learning a little more about it in an (occasionally) entertaining way, then someone else might too.  Share the love via social media or get on the subscriber list.  After all - Don't cost nuttin' 

PPS. Living or traveling internationally now or soon?  Contact your insurance agent and demand to see what Azimuth Risk Solutions can do for you.  Or, visit www.AzimuthRisk.com to learn more