Month: <span>February 2024</span>
Month: February 2024

Jamaica travel advisory: US issues warning for travelers visiting Caribbean due to increased crime | What to know

The U.S. Department of State has issued a new warning for American travelers headed to the Caribbean due to violent crime that has impacted the local populations of Jamaica and the Bahamas.

US raises travel advisory for travel to Jamaica

The State Department reissued a Level 3 travel advisory for Jamaica last month, asking Americans to “reconsider travel to Jamaica due to crime and medical services.”

“Violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts,” the advisory, reissued on Jan. 23, stated in a summary of what’s happening in the Caribbean country.

Seven Mile Beach, Negril, Jamaica is seen in an undated stock photo.

Seven Mile Beach, Negril, Jamaica is seen in an undated stock photo.

STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images

“Local police often do not respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. When arrests are made, cases are infrequently prosecuted to a conclusive sentence,” the alert warned. “Families of U.S. citizens killed in accidents or homicides frequently wait a year or more for final death certificates to be issued by Jamaican authorities.”

The State Department further reminded that homicide rate as reported by the Jamaican government “has for several years been among the highest in the Western Hemisphere.”

As of time of publication, the State Department has “prohibited” U.S. government personnel under Chief of Mission (COM) security responsibility “from traveling to the areas” listed in the advisory, as well as “using public buses, and from driving outside of prescribed areas of Kingston at night.”

Additionally, the agency said emergency services and hospital care in Jamaica may not meet U.S. standards, because response times and quality of care can vary throughout the island.

“Public hospitals are under-resourced and cannot always provide high level or specialized care. Private hospitals require payment up front before admitting patients and may not have the ability to

Read the rest

Travel Insurance for Trips to Europe

Planning a trip to Europe is equally exciting and stressful, from daydreaming to packing and preparing. While it can’t prevent unexpected hiccups from occurring, Europe travel insurance can help protect against unexpected delays and disasters.

Travel insurance can make or break a trip when unexpected delays, injuries or hiccups happen. Choosing the right coverage and reading the fine print is as important as knowing what to pack.

Do I need travel insurance for Europe?

Travel insurance isn’t required when visiting Europe; however, it can cover your prepaid and non-refundable trip costs in the event of travel delays, cancellations, a medical emergency or lost baggage.

There are 44 countries in Europe, and most can be reached by train, which means travelers can access an array of climates, people and activities in a short amount of time — and open themselves up to a slew of potential mishaps.

When U.S. travelers visit Europe, they typically do so without any health insurance, so investing in a Europe travel insurance policy with medical coverage is crucial to safeguarding your health while exploring the continent.

European travel insurance requirements

Travel insurance isn’t required to visit Europe if you’re an American citizen. However, some travelers are required to obtain a Schengen visa and medical travel insurance if they plan to visit any countries that are part of the Schengen Agreement, or stay in the area for more than 90 days. (The EU supplies a list of countries whose nationals require the visa and insurance.)

What type of travel insurance do I need for traveling to Europe?

When planning a trip to Europe, a comprehensive travel insurance plan that offers well-rounded coverage is strongly recommended. Look for a policy

Read the rest

Travel advisories in Jamaica, Bahamas, Mexico could affect your vacation plans: What to know

As spring break approaches, the United States has issued several travel advisories asking travelers to exercise caution when planning their next trip.

Popular locations for spring break like the Bahamas and Jamaica are both under travel advisories from the U.S. government.

What do the travel advisories mean? Here’s what we know.

More: US issues travel advisory for Jamaica, but it’s not the only one. Here’s a list

Jamaica travel advisory

Beaches Resorts by Sandals, JamaicaBeaches Resorts by Sandals, Jamaica

Beaches Resorts by Sandals, Jamaica

U.S. citizens should reconsider traveling to Jamaica due to crime and medical services, according to a level three travel advisory from U.S. Department of State.

Home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults and homicides are common, the department said.

“Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts,” the advisory said. “Local police often do not respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. When arrests are made, cases are infrequently prosecuted to a conclusive sentence. Families of U.S. citizens killed in accidents or homicides frequently wait a year or more for final death certificates to be issued by Jamaican authorities.”

Hospitals and medical care are often not up to U.S. standards, and can be costly as many places do not accept U.S. insurance. Travelers can obtain traveler’s insurance to cover any financial losses due to trip cancellation or medical emergencies.

More: Jamaica responds to U.S. travel advisory, highlights major security, health improvements

Those who do decide to travel to Jamaica are advised the following:

  • Do not attempt to bring firearms or ammunition. This includes stray rounds, shells or empty casings. The penalties for carrying firearms and/or ammunition, even inadvertently, are severe, and can include lengthy prison sentences.

  • Avoid walking or driving at night.

  • Avoid public buses.

  • Avoid secluded places or situations.

  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.

  • Be aware of your surroundings and keep a low profile.

Read the rest

Travel warnings issued for Caribbean islands including Jamaica and Bahamas

Wikimedia heather0714 Le port de Montego Bay

On January 30, the State Department changed the Travel Advisory for Jamaica. A recent advisory from the US Embassy in Jamaica asked Americans to reconsider travel to Jamaica. The reasons for the advisory included crime and medical services. Earlier, there was an advisory for citizens to avoid traveling to the Bahamas. These recent advisories came before Americans planned to travel this winter and for Spring Break.

The recent warning from the US Embassy is considered a level 3 warning, and a level 4 warning is the most severe as it warns Americans not to travel to such countries.

The Jamaica advisory stated, “Violent crimes such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults and homicides, are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts.”

The advisory also said that responses to severe crimes were slow. It said response time and quality care for emergency services and hospital care varied and differed from US standards. It also mentioned that US insurance did not work on the island and that visitors should get travel insurance, including medical evacuation before travel.

OrganicGreek.comOrganicGreek.com

The US Embassy also said that Jamaica had a high homicide rate. The Jamaican Constabulary Force reported 65 murders from January 1 to January 27, 2024. This shocking number is a little less than in 2023 when 81 murders were reported in the same period. Jamaica has been reporting at least 1000 murders per year since 2003; it has a population of approximately 2.8 million people.

On January 24, 2024, the US Embassy in Nassau (Bahamas) made US citizens aware that 18 murders had taken place in Nassau since the beginning of January this year. The advisory also stated, “Murders have occurred at all hours, including broad daylight on the streets. Retaliatory gang violence

Read the rest

Amazon’s Insurance Business Is Closing After 2 Years

Amazon has closed its UK insurance business after 2 years after its launch. Their refocus is aimed at core businesses like e-commerce, cloud computing, and advertising.

Amazon’s insurance venture offered a range of products, including home, car, and travel insurance, partnering with insurers such as Ageas, Co-op, and LV.

However, industry experts had anticipated the closure, drawing parallels with the struggles of other large brands entering the insurance space. Ranald Mitchell, director at Charwin Private Clients, noted similarities with Google’s unsuccessful foray into insurance with the Google Comparison project.

 

Competitive Challenges and Market Realities

 

Industry insiders emphasise the difficulty of breaking into new markets, pointing out that while Amazon’s brand excels in online shopping, it lacked weight in the insurance sector.

Scott Gallacher, director at Rowley Turton, stressed that the closure highlights the challenges of entering unfamiliar territory. While acknowledging that reduced choice is generally bad news for consumers, experts suggest that Amazon might have faced issues such as thin profit margins, low awareness of its insurance services, or discomfort with UK financial regulations.

Similar struggles have been witnessed with other major brands like Tesco and Sainsbury, which entered financial services but eventually scaled back and closed down those operations.

Stephen Perkins, managing director at Yellow Brick Mortgages, speculates that Amazon might have found the profit margins in insurance less favorable compared to its core business.

 

Insights into Amazon’s Insurance Industry

 

Despite the setback, Amazon continues to have a role in the insurance space, particularly in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on its Marketplace platform.
 

 
The company provides specialist online retailer insurance for more than 85,000 SMEs selling on Amazon Marketplace in the UK. This coverage includes public and product liability, stock and delivery cover, catering to the unique needs of online retailers.

For Amazon Marketplace sellers using the

Read the rest

RSD Travel Ltd. travel group awarded as TOP travel agency

(Información remitida por la empresa firmante)

Towcester, 1 February (News Aktuell).-

Experts recognise the company’s exceptional tourism and economic performance

RSD Travel Ltd. belongs to one of the largest cultural tour organisers in Europe, the RSD Group, which has just been crowned “as a TOP tour operator for its above-average tourism and economic performance”.

Two teams of specialists were involved with the comprehensive audit and corresponding certification: the tourism-related elements were assessed by experts from tourVERS GmbH, a leading provider of the travel insurance certificate that must be provided by law. tourVERS insures more than 1,200 agencies of all sizes from all sectors of tourism. The second audit team was the RINKE TREUHAND auditing firm, which took a close look at the company’s creditworthiness, i.e. its economic resilience. For business partners as well as travellers, in economically turbulent times, this counts as a crucial barometer of a tour operator’s reliability.

The recognised economic strength of his company is of course also of great importance to Managing Director Horst Zsifkovits. He was delighted to receive the certificate: “This special appreciation recognises our overall performance as one of Europe’s leading tour operators.”

Zsifkovits lists some of the service areas in which his tour operator can now boast of being an above-average provider: “This begins with the detailed telephone advice given to customers and extends to the presentation of our fantastic range of holidays, their top quality and the excellent price-performance ratio, as well as top customer satisfaction ratings. As a team of dedicated travel professionals, we deserve to be a little bit proud of this.”

tourVERS Managing Director Michael Wäldle adds: “This award as a top tour operator sets you apart from numerous competitors in the field of educational and leisure travel sector.”

Emisor: RSD Reise Service Deutschland GmbH

More information:

Phone:

Read the rest

TTG – Noticeboard – Successful return for Freedom’s highly-rated travel insurance

Freedom’s travel insurance products, with cover for pre-existing medical conditions, return to the market with new A-rated insurer.

One month on, Freedom Insurance Services Ltd is delighted with the performance of its travel insurance products since fully returning to the market in December. Hundreds of travellers with pre-existing medical conditions have arranged their cover via their award-winning Cambridgeshire contact centre or through their website.

 

The direct-only products are underwritten by Millstream Underwriting Ltd on behalf of Allianz Worldwide Partners, ensuring Freedom’s valued, loyal, customers have comprehensive coverage and peace of mind, in advance of and during their travels.

 

Roland Gilliam, Director of Freedom, expressed his enthusiasm for the relaunch, stating, “We are proud of our reputation for responding to customers’ needs and providing the best possible travel insurance options through our website and dedicated contact centre. We have worked with our underwriter to design products that re-affirm our commitment to enhancing our customers’ travel experiences. Our team loves to hear about their travel plans and give them the peace of mind of comprehensive travel insurance.”

 

Rob Amati, Managing Director at Millstream Underwriting added, “We are delighted to partner with Freedom to deliver exceptional travel insurance products. Our shared commitment to outstanding service aims to provide peace of mind for Freedom’s valued customers.”

 

The reintroduction of these premier travel insurance schemes marks a significant milestone for Freedom. With over two decades in the industry and a focus on excellence, extensive coverage, and top-tier customer service, Freedom aims to make travel insurance more accessible and reassuringly clear.

 

Freedom collaborates with other businesses, including travel agents and charities, providing a range of affiliate programmes. Contact our Business Development Manager, Harry, for more details.

 

Affiliates Contact: [email protected]

 

Media Contact: [email protected]

 

For more information about Freedom’s travel insurance products, visit their website at freedominsure.co.uk or

Read the rest

Budget Direct Insurance Sets the Benchmark in Digital Transformation

Singapore, (ANTARA/PRNewswire)- Budget Direct Insurance, an acclaimed industry leader, proudly asserts its position at the forefront of digital transformation for elevated customer service, backed by a proven track record of innovation.

As one of Singapore’s pioneering tech-driven insurers, Budget Direct Insurance adopted the Singpass Mobile login service, enabling customers to seamlessly access their online insurance accounts. Additionally, the company emerged as an early adopter of Myinfo, streamlining the car insurance quoting process by leveraging data from government sources.

The recent integration of PayNow QR (and SGQR) further enhances the customer experience, offering a convenient platform that simplifies payment, making it an efficient and user-friendly choice for Budget Direct customers when it comes to buying insurance. PayNow extends to the claims process too, allowing instant payouts for approved motor and travel claims through electronic fund transfers. In addition to these advancements, Budget Direct Insurance maintains one of the fastest quote processes, providing indicative quotes within a mere 30 seconds.

The integration of PayNow QR provides an efficient and user-friendly choice for Budget Direct customers when it comes to buying insurance.

Another technological stride by Budget Direct is the introduction of the SMS policy purchase and renewal option. This feature ensures a faster and more secure process, allowing customers to reply to an SMS for instant policy purchase or renewal.

Simon Birch, CEO of Budget Direct Insurance, remarked, “As Singapore propels itself toward becoming a smart nation, we lead the way as a truly smart insurer. Our commitment to embracing and implementing technological advances reflects in our customer-centric approach and consistently low premium prices.”

In the pursuit of next-generation customer service, Budget Direct Insurance has partnered with Genesys, a global leader in cloud customer experience solutions. The company has introduced cutting-edge call routing systems, enabling efficient matching of customers

Read the rest

Doc Holiday: How far in advance can I get travel insurance?

Escape’s Doc Holiday, Dilvin Yasa, answers your travel-related questions.

We’ve paid a non-refundable $1500 deposit for a Princess cruise for November 2025 but we’ve been unable to get travel insurance as the trip is more than 12 months away. Is this normal?

One of the many unfortunate things about travel insurance (apart from the eye-watering cost) is that most providers typically only allow travellers to buy coverage up to 12 months before departure. In a few cases, such as with NIB Travel Insurance you can purchase a policy up to 18 months in advance, but of course, with your cruise still so far away in November of next year, this still leaves you unprotected for several months before your holiday.

I spoke with the team at Princess Cruises about their cancellation policy and they informed me that deposits for bookings only become non-refundable 180 days (six months) before sailing with two exceptions: if guests have booked under a promotion offering a significantly reduced deposit (say $99 per person), or if guests choose to book EZair with the cruise line for the voyage and select a restricted flight. The latter must be paid for at the time of booking and is non-refundable by the airline so that Princess Cruises will pass on this fee should you cancel your cruise as this will also cancel the air booking. If you booked a super-cheap deal (the former), these are typically non-refundable and are advertised as such.

If you are certain your deposit is non-refundable two years before your voyage, I’m assuming you’ve booked your Princess Cruise through an agent who will have their own booking and cancellation policies. It’s best to give them a call to discuss your concerns, then lock in travel insurance in May. Although it may be a little too

Read the rest