A Travel Insurance Primer

Purchasing travel insurance can be so overwhelming at times that some travelers don’t even want to bother thinking about it. However unpleasant the task may be, ignoring it is a risk that’s not worth taking. A little effort to get coverage can be a life-saver if something goes wrong during your trip. You can easily find a policy that fits your needs and your budget.

Policies generally cover financial losses you may incur while travelling, and also your medical expenses. Trip cancellation or Trip delay insurance is the most widely-bought travel coverage. This policy will cover you and your co-traveler if you had to cancel or delay your trip. Insurance companies differ on what an acceptable reason for cancellation is, so make sure that you know what’s accepted and what’s not. Some generally accepted reasons for trip cancellation are business conflicts, delay in processing your visa or passport, sudden illness, injury and weather related issues.

Flight cancellations have become so frequent these days that some domestic frequent travelers prefer to have travel insurance at all times. If your flight is cancelled or delayed, your travel insurance may cover your expenses not covered by the airlines, like cab fares or hotel costs. It’s not a bad idea to buy a travel insurance policy that offers medical coverage of up to 1 million and cover you for illness, medical assistance or flight accidents. Try to keep your deductibles low while buying travel insurance as this will be the amount you pay out of your pocket before the insurance kicks in. Double-check that your insurance policy covers you for repatriation to your home country. If you are travelling to different countries then make sure that your insurance policy covers all the stops on your itinerary.

Travel insurance comes in many forms and sizes. You can purchase it for a single trip or multiple trips, or maybe even take an annual policy. It all depends on the frequency of your travel. Check with your insurance provider to find out how you need to claim the expenses. Find out if the insurance company will pay the providers directly or if they want you to pay for the expenses and redeem the money later. If you have to submit your claims later, then you need to record all your expenses and keep all expense related documents.

One important thing most travelers overlook is pre-existing conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition then make sure that you let your insurance provider know the complete details of it. Don’t try to cut the cost of your insurance by hiding your condition; it defeats the whole purpose of purchasing the insurance. Always purchase a policy that gives you the flexibility to extend your trip. Get in touch with your credit card company before purchasing your insurance as some credit companies offer free travel benefits such as insurance on lost or damaged luggage. If you already have a health insurance, check with your provider to find out what their policy is with regard to travel.

It’s quite possible that you may never use your travel insurance, but having yourself covered will at least let you be at peace while travelling.

Everything You Need to Know About Travel Insurance on Your Credit Cards

A GUIDE TO TRAVEL INSURANCE

Whether you’re planning to take your family to meet Cinderella at Disney World, or do so some serious mountain biking with your buddies in the Sierra Madre Mountains, flight cancellations or hospital visits are never on the itinerary. Travel insurance can deliver piece of mind both while enjoying your trip, and if you’re in a seemingly desperate situation. Not all trips are alike, but they may share some familiar headaches:

    • Pre-destination: travel cancellation (e.g. flight, hotel, tours, etc.) due to unforeseen circumstances
    • Travel Transportation: missed, canceled or delayed flights; lost, stolen, or delayed baggage; accidents while on common carriers (e.g. planes, trains, busses, boats); rental car damages and disablement (e.g. towing, delivery of gas, etc.)
    • Non-medical Issues Abroad: all types of liability (i.e. you damaged something or injured someone); legal costs; hotel burglary; robbery; stolen documents; travel interruption due to unexpected, urgent, or emergency situations
  • Medical Issues Abroad: general medical emergencies; sports and leisure injuries; visit to a local doctor; getting prescription medicines; medical transportation or evacuation; dental problems; insect bites etc

Without even knowing it, you may already have some travel protection. This can come from a variety of places. It’s important to read and understand your policies before you travel to make sure you know the extent of your coverage. Print out the details, and take a copy of it with you in your carry-on.

CREDIT CARDS

Not all credit cards offer the same bundle of protection features, but in general there are some similarities between them:

    • No-Fee Credit Cards ($0 per year): Normally you won’t find any travel insurance with these basic cards
    • Mid-Range Credit Cards ($1-99 per year): May offer some elements of travel insurance such as flight delays, baggage loss or delay, common carrier accidents, or trip interruption. Sometimes includes basic medical insurance. Certain cards may include car rental insurance (Collision Damage Waiver). None cover travel cancellation or hotel burglary
  • Hi-End Credit Cards ($99+): Typically include trip interruption, flight delays, baggage loss or delay, common carrier accidents, travel medical protection, and rental car protection. May offer trip cancellation and hotel burglary

As much as we love to generalize, there is no escaping the fine print. There are certain conditions that apply, especially for medical insurance (e.g. amount covered, length of trip covered, age of traveler, coverage of spouse and children, and exceptions). Some cards include exceptions for rental car insurance in the case of vehicles over a value of $65,000.

CAA (AUTOMOBILE MEMBERSHIP)

The obvious benefit of being a CAA member is the automobile services they offer if traveling by car. In case you purchased your travel tickets through CAA, you automatically receive Travel Trip Insurance ($100,000 maximum for basic CAA members and $500,000 for CAA Plus and Plus RV Coverage members).

There is always the option of purchasing additional insurance outside of your membership fees, which will provide you with an extensive travel protection plan.

VARIOUS MEMBERSHIP CARDS

Look in any direction, and you’re certain to find some kind of club that wants you as a member, be it an airline or a hotel chain. These memberships may come with extra perks like travel insurance. The Hilton Honors program offered by Hilton Hotels for example, provides a Collision Damage Waiver when you rent a car through their partner, Sixt. Or maybe you are already a member?

UMBRELLA PROTECTION

Ever think that an insurance policy could have you covered if you break a whole stand of Swarovski crystals? Think of umbrella insurance as additional liability protection on top of your other insurances. It may protect you against many types of accidents while on vacation such as bodily injury to others as a result of a car or skiing accident, or paying legal expenses for a court abroad. Check to see if you have such coverage, and the extent to which you are protected.

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT HEALTH INSURANCE

As a proud Canadian citizen, you can count on the government to bail you out in an emergency if you’re traveling through Siberia, right? Not so fast. Medical treatment abroad can get very expensive, costing several thousands of dollars. Although your provincial health plan may have you covered when you fall off a ladder in your backyard, it is very limited as soon as you cross the border. Take Ontario and Quebec as examples:

    • Ontario Health Insurance Plan pays up to $200 per day for inpatient general services and up to $400 for such inpatient services as operating room or intensive care
  • Regie de l’assurance maladie in Quebec pays up to $100 per day for hospitalization

These amounts clearly are not going to pay thousands of dollars per day that you may be charged in U.S. for staying in a hospital

A SAFE BET

When it comes to visiting the hospital while abroad, make sure stress and regret isn’t what you’ll ultimately be treated for. Without coverage from credit cards and limited protection from the government, you’ll most likely require additional medical protection for you and your family. If you’re anything like us, you’ll probably be doing some rock climbing, downhill skiing, scuba diving or hot air ballooning while on your adventure, which are not necessarily covered. Make sure that your medical coverage does not exclude the activity you plan to be enjoying, whether you’re a professional or just do it for recreation.

For some extra peace of mind, review what you are protected against by your current sources. If there is an important type of coverage that you do not have, strongly consider purchasing a more extensive plan for the duration of the trip. In an unfortunate situation, you’ll know you can keep calm and carry on. Travel insurance is provided today by many insurance companies (e.g. Manulife, Co-operators) and multiple banks in Canada (e.g. TD, RBC), just check their web pages.

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER

    • Review your home policy, as some insurance providers require arranged supervision (e.g. checking every 7 days) while you’re away to cover any damages that occurred in your absence (e.g. breakage of plumbing due to freezing)
    • Read, understand, photocopy, and carry your insurance policies in your carry-on luggage. Some countries explicitly demand that you demonstrate insurance protection while entering the country
    • Some providers may refuse coverage if you are going to “unstable” parts of the world. The list varies from one provider to the next, and changes with time, so explicitly ask if you’re destinations are covered. Some providers use a list from the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
  • Get vaccinated if necessary and talk to your doctor. You will need to start dealing with vaccination 4-8 weeks before departure. To see which vaccinations you may require, check out the web site from the World Health Organization

Auto Insurance in Miami – Basics

Seeking out auto insurance in Miami is an easier task than you may think. You have a great deal of power in choosing your own insurance and many resources are available to gather information and find ways to save. This article is one such resource, so take a few moments to read through it to gather more information in your quest for the best deal on Miami auto insurance.

Minimum Requirements for Auto Insurance in Miami

Miami residents must adhere to the state of Florida minimum requirements for car insurance. The state of Florida has some of the lowest minimum requirements for car insurance in the nation. All that is required of drivers is to have vehicles covered with Personal Injury Protection insurance with a limit of $10,000 and Property Damage Liability also with a $10,000 limit. There are no mandatory requirements for bodily injury liability as with most other states. Although, some drivers, once they have been in an accident, may face a court order to purchase bodily injury liability. It is recommended to carry some amount of bodily injury liability, even if it is not required, to protect you from accident liability and lawsuit.

The Cost of Auto Insurance in Miami

When shopping for auto insurance in Miami, you will need to keep in mind that you are going to be paying a bit more for coverage. Auto insurance is more costly in large urban areas where the cost of living is higher, theft and vandalism rates are higher, and traffic congestion leads to more accidents. For example, in the city of Miami, there are 23 accidents per year per 1,000 residents, putting it at the top of the list for Florida. Also, there were nearly 4,000 vehicle thefts in Miami in 2009, tops in the state.

Florida, overall, is just above the national average when it comes to car insurance premiums, with Miami at the top of the list for highest average cost of insurance in the state. You do have room for savings, however, by managing your risk factors, seeking out discounts and shopping around for the best rates.

Miami Auto Insurance Companies

Luckily, you have many options when it comes to finding car insurance in Miami, which means many ways to save. You can scout nationwide car insurance companies as well as local Miami insurers to see which offer you the best combination of coverage, service and price. Online resources allow you to research companies, policies and discounts. Some of the most notable names of insurers licensed to sell auto insurance in Miami include:

  • Acceptance Insurance Services
  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • Blockbuster Insurance Consultants
  • GEICO
  • Florida Auto Plus Car Insurance in Miami
  • Nationwide Auto Insurance

These are only a few of the options you have, so don’t settle for the first car insurance company you come across. To learn more about each of these companies you can visit the website of the Better Business Bureau of Southeastern Florida, which offers reviews of insurance companies in the city of Miami.

Auto Insurance in Miami Affected by Traffic Congestion

Miami is the 10thmost congested city in the nation when it comes to vehicle traffic and tops in the state of Florida. Only taking into account those driving to work, over 11 million minutes are spent on Miami roads each year. What that means to you is a higher risk of fender benders and collisions. This means the same to your insurance company, which is why you will pay more for car insurance if you live in Miami. This is also another reason to shop around for the best rates available.

Auto Insurance in Miami: Comparison Shopping

If you have specific questions concerning Miami auto insurance, looking for information about car insurance companies or would like to file a complaint, the contact information for the Florida Department of Insurance Regulations is below.

200 East Gaines Street

Tallahassee, FL 32399

850-413-3140

To truly find the best deal on auto insurance in Miami, you must comparison shop. Comparison shopping is easier than ever before with online rate quotes. There are many sites that allow you to gather multiple rate quotes for free and without obligation. The savings can be hundreds of dollars per year and the time commitment is less than 30 minutes. Also, don’t forget that while shopping for auto insurance in Miami you can also shop for homeowners insurance as well for added savings.

It is never too late to save money on auto insurance in Miami. Even if you have a current policy with an insurance company, you can still look for ways to save. You can cancel your current policy at any time, so when you have a few minutes to spare review your current policy and compare your current rates to other companies offering the same coverage. Remember, coupling your homeowners insurance with your car insurance is a great way to save.

Trends That Will Make Your Business Thrive In 2018

A new year is here and along with it comes a new set of goals and purpose for your business. The trends of the year are already heating up, and your company needs to form early adoption to ensure you make the most of these moneymaking opportunities. Consider investing in these trends of 2018 to help your business startup flourish throughout the year.

Local Advertising

Reaching your local customers has never been easier or more important as localized advertising takes this promotional activity to a whole new level. Through advanced search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, you are able to make your business startup visible to the exact base of customers that have interest in your product. Using local landing pages, city keyword search terms, and the use of pages such as Google MyBusiness, you can allow your company to be found by those that are searching for a business near them. This personalized approach to reaching customers is hot for 2018 and is a sound way to market your business throughout the year.

Advanced Technologies

Hardly a day goes by without a mention of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), or Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies are allowing business startups to interface with their customers in a new and exciting way. Adding these advanced technologies into your business not only can improve the customer experience for consumers, but it can also streamline and make your operations more efficient.

Higher Wages

For 2018, you’ll see a surge in the minimum wage being paid to workers. Increasing your wage earnings for your employees can make your business a more attractive place to work and help garner talent that would otherwise not have been possible. Your employees are a direct reflection of your business startup and paying them a little more can go a long way in ensuring that you have a workforce that maintains your company vision and brand.

Remote Workforce

More and more employees are signing up a for positions that offer remote working environments. As your business grows, you can expand your presence globally through a remote workforce. This will allow your business startup to secure top talent from around the world and keep your operations flowing 24/7. You’ll be able to maintain a lower overhead with a remote team and give your employees a position that is highly desirable and sought after in 2018.

Millennials

The focus of the New Year is on Millennials as this large population of customers has come of age and has an immense buying power to wield with business startups. This gaggle of buyers is focused and ready to make buying decisions that can help to increase your business startup’s revenue. Understanding and honing in on this generation of consumers can provide a generous bump in your profits as you target them with technology-enhanced products and services that you market to them on the very channels they submerge themselves in. Emphasizing Millennials for 2018 can add to your business startup’s bottom line and increase your fan base and followers throughout the year.

Influencers and Experts

In 2018, the need to have a subject matter expert or influencer support your business startup’s products or services can boost your brand’s visibility with consumers. These experts have clout with customers and are often the reason that they choose your business startup over your competitors. Consumers are turning to subject matter experts and influencers to give them advice and provide them with the solutions to their everyday problems with your products and services. Th opinions of these experts matter to the masses and can help bolster your business startup in 2018.

Blockchain

If you haven’t heard of blockchain, you soon will as the technology is making strong headway in 2018. This technology allows for real-time, safe documentation and monitoring and can help your business startup become more transparent with your customers. The ability to hold digital transactions in a more friendly and accountable way makes blockchain a technology that can literally change the way that you do business in 2018 and beyond.

E-Commerce

The need for a brick and mortar store has literally become passé as consumers choose to do the majority of their shopping online. E-commerce is taking over, and more business startups are making a foray into online sales in lieu of a physical store location. Consumers are responding with resounding acceptance making it possible for your business startup to thrive in the e-commerce space and gain consumer loyalty with online sales.

Values

The trend in 2018 for businesses alike is a focus on values. Consumers are turning to brands that have the same values that align with their own and foregoing the ones that don’t. Outlining the values that your business startup stands for early on can give you traction with customers that are like minded and believe in the same morals as your company does. Keeping your values front and center with your customer base is a new way to attract clients to your business and keep them coming back for the long haul to buy your products and services.

Customer Experience

In 2018, the customer experience also becomes more important as consumer look to brands that provide them a positive buying experience. Interacting and engaging with your customers can help achieve loyalty with them. When buying from your business startup is an occurrence that a consumer enjoys, they are more likely to return to your business for a second, third, and fourth purchase. They spread the word that your business startup is one to frequent and keeps your company top of mind with many new customers.

Keep these trends in mind as your business moves in 2018 to help it achieve maximum success in the New Year. You’ll reap the rewards of staying on top of the trends that your customers are demanding and increase your revenue with vigor as you find these new ways to promote your business startup and interact with your customer base. Good luck and continued success in 2018!

 

Discover the 8 Secrets of Beautiful Skin and How to Look Younger Longer

So, what are the secrets of beautiful skin? Everybody wants to be beautiful. A large part of this is getting beautiful skin. Since it is the largest organ of the human body, your skin needs all the attention you can give it. Basically, the key to beautiful skin is a healthy lifestyle. This includes the right amount of sleep and the right kinds of food that you eat.

So how do you make sure that your skin is getting all the care it needs? Here are tips which you can take note of and stick to so that you can achieve healthy-looking and beautiful skin:

1. Get the right amount of water. Make sure that you are able to drink two liters of water daily.

2. Get the right amount of nutrients. Getting healthy would not only give you a good feeling, but would also give you beautiful skin. Eat fruits and vegetables, as well as organic and natural food. Stay away from processed food, as these are loaded with unhealthy preservatives.

3. Get the right amount of sleep. Give your skin time to rest as well. When you sleep, your body replenishes and recharges. This is one of the secrets of beautiful skin which most people overlook.

4. Get a skin regimen. Find out what your skin type is. From there, come up with a regimen that you would do every day.

5. Get fit. Exercising would improve your skin, as it improves your health.

6. Drink less alcohol and caffeine.

7. Get a good natural sunscreen. The sun’s UV rays are harmful to the skin. Make sure that you do not get out of the house without the right protection.

8. Use only the best natural skin care products. This is vital, because nowadays many creams, lotions, and moisturizers use ingredients that can cause cancer, depression, irritability, acne, and a host of other adverse reactions.

If you still do not have a skin regimen, here are steps to take for you to have beautiful skin:

Cleanse. Use a mild soap to clean your face and neck.

Tone. The toner would remove traces of dirt that your soap or cleanser was not able to remove.

Moisturize. If you have oily skin, do not think that you do not need moisturizer. The sun, pollution and other factors cause your skin to lose its essential hydration. Get help by getting a natural moisturizer that fits your skin type.

If you give your skin the right attention it deserves, you would be able to have perfect skin. Remember that using the right natural skin care products will determine how you look years from now, so educate yourself on what ingredients are good and what are bad.

If you’re interested in learning what Rebecca uses to get her skin looking young, and beautiful, read the follow-up article on her website today, where she shares her secrets of beautiful skin.

Buying Travel Insurance? Then Read This Article

Travel insurance is not normally top of the priority list when planning holidays but it should be. Tour companies know that, and that’s why they normally insist travellers have insurance. Travel insurance typically covers cancellation and curtailment, personal liability, personal possessions, injury & illness and emergency assistance.

The most significant insured risk is the medical one. If you have a serious medical emergency whilst abroad, valid travel insurance could literally be the difference between life & death, and will cover the assistance costs – an air ambulance back to the UK from the East Coast of the USA could set you back £50,000 otherwise. Without travel insurance and faced with an emergency, your only option would be to contact the nearest UK consulate or embassy who will no doubt help as best they can, but will not pay for assistance.

Like most things in life you tend to get what you pay for with travel insurance, and the low cost options sometimes have limitations. Apart from the specifics of the cover, the variables that determine the price are the number of days and geography covered, the number of people on the policy and their age.

Some basics to consider when buying a policy….

Travel insurance is sold as an annual policy or single trip. If you are going abroad more than once a year then an annual policy may work out cheaper. If you insure a single trip, take the policy out as soon as you have committed to the cost so that you have cancellation cover immediately.

Typically three options are offered for geographic cover: Europe, Worldwide excluding USA & Canada, and Worldwide including USA & Canada, the latter, with widest coverage, being the most expensive. Remember though, the further away from home you are, the more expensive emergency costs are likely to be, so the more important it is to have travel insurance.

Individual, couples and family policies are normally offered as standard. Couples and family policies will normally be cheaper on a per head basis. Family policies typically cover two adults and their children, but they do not normally provide cover for minors travelling on their own.

The cost of travel insurance increases with age. Standard travel insurance policies would typically have an age cap of between 70 & 80, but it would be unusual for the older traveller not to be able to get insurance if they shop around. There are a number of insurers who offer travel insurance for the older travellers at a price that reflects the increased risk. That said, travel insurance for the older traveller with significant pre-existing medical conditions can get very expensive.

Always consider the policy exclusions. Cover for skiing is normally an extra. Standard annual policies typically provide a limited number of days cover in a year – if you need more, there are specialist policies that provide this. Undeclared pre-existing medical conditions are not normally covered, neither are alcohol or drug related medical costs.

And when you travel…..

Take a copy of your policy certificate with you and the travel insurer telephone numbers. The insurer may have three different numbers for customer services, claims and 24 hour assistance. If your travelling in Europe take your EHIC card.

In the event of a medical emergency, contact the 24 hour assistance number who will advise on a course of action. If you act unilaterally and without insurer authorisation, the assistance costs incurred may not be insured. In cases of theft, always report it to the local police and get a crime reference number or equivalent and call the insurer claims number as soon as possible. As a general rule, inform the insurer as soon as possible in the event of any potential claim to confirm cover and give the insurer the opportunity to mitigate the costs of the claim.

Travel Insurance for Older Travellers and Pre-Existing Conditions

Young people seeking to purchase travel insurance do not have the worry of increased premiums that face many older travellers. Unfortunately, it is an unavoidable fact of life that many older travellers have pre-existing medical conditions, and consequently have to pay more for travel insurance.

The need for higher premiums is not because insurers have anything against older people, but because the reality is that older travellers are more likely to make claims on their travel insurance for health-related problems.

There are several factors at work:

Older people tend to have more disposal income and free time and therefore can afford to take more trips and holidays. Unfortunately, this translates to more claims for emergency medical care for accidents and illnesses abroad.

A larger number of older people than ever before are travelling long distances. They are statistically more likely to claim on their travel insurance for emergency medical care – and the costs can be astronomical. This is particularly true if medical problems arise in destinations like the United States where medical treatment is extremely expensive. Consequently, insurers have to make up for the losses, and it inevitably means higher premiums for everyone – but especially for older people travelling to the U.S.

The cost of repatriating someone by air ambulance from far-flung destinations such as Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Canada and the United States is extremely costly (up to £50,000 or more).

In remote destinations of the world the medical facilities may not be adequate to treat serious illnesses or injuries,making it necessary to transport the patient to a neighbouring country for treatment before repatriation. Again, all very costly.

Frequent travellers who faithfully renew their travel insurance policy with the same company each year may find there is a sudden jump in the premium. They may have crossed an age threshold that they were not aware was imminent and have to decide whether to stay loyal to their trusted company, or shop around elsewhere to find a better deal.

Insurance premiums for older travellers vary from company to company, as far as age ranges and premiums. If pre-existing medical conditions are an issue there may be an additional charge to cover a certain condition, or the insurance may be issued to exclude any claims related to that condition. Some may have specific cut-off ages for any type of travel insurance and some may increase the premium and/or excess for certain age groups.

Comparison sites may be a way for an older traveller to search for a cheaper quote, but remember that not all insurers choose to be listed on the comparison sites and you may find a cheaper price by checking elsewhere. If you do opt for a cheap policy on one of these sites, always check the levels of cover – especially for medical care. A very cheap quote may mean that the levels of cover have been cut, or the excess (the amount you pay towards a claim) has been raised to compensate for the low price

If you are one out of the five people in the UK that does not purchase travel insurance, consider whether you are in denial about the potential financial ruin you – or your family – could face. This is especially true if injury or illness should strike when you are halfway round the world. Contrary to the mistaken belief held by many, your consulate or embassy does not cover these costs and, without insurance, it is up to the affected person or their nearest and dearest to come up with the money!

Many travellers are under the impression that insurers try to wriggle out of paying claims and so it is not worth having insurance. This is a very unwise attitude as insurance policies need to have sensible terms and conditions. Ultimately it is up to the purchaser to ensure they purchase the right insurance for their needs, and also understand what is and is not covered. The truth is that insurers pay out huge amounts in claims – and the higher the claims the more the premiums are inevitably pushed up for travellers in all age groups.

Parents with grown children leaving on round-the-world trips or gap year adventures could save themselves a headache by purchasing travel insurance as a leaving gift, to ensure that these vulnerable young people are covered. A Backpacker or long-stay policy is very affordable for a young person and most provide basic cover for the very important medical, liability and legal costs. Check that cover is included for all their planned activities. If there is any possibility they may participate in skiing or snowboarding or other winter sports why not pay a bit extra to have this added to the policy, just in case.

(For those who think that cheap Backpacker policies are only available to teenagers or those in their twenties, it may be a revelation to know that many companies offer policies that are valid for travellers up to their late forties in age).

For travellers within the EU it is important to obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), as this will pick up most of the cost of emergency medical care in participating countries. However, it is important to also have travel insurance to pick up costs that are not covered under the EHIC – including very expensive medical repatriation, if this becomes necessary.

When purchasing insurance it is important to check that the policy includes adequate cover for emergency medical care and medical repatriation. It is widely believed that the minimum should be £2,000,000, but obviously higher levels are better – especially for Worldwide travel. Medical cover up to £5,000,000 or even £10,000,000 would be preferable – especially for Worldwide cover – and should be enough to cover just about any serious medical problem.

Paying a higher premium for travel insurance because you are in an older age group is an unfortunate fact of life. However, the extra cost is worth it for the peace of mind it provides. No matter what age you are, the important thing is that you feel free to enjoy foreign travel for as long as you want to and are able to!

5 Things You Need to Know About Business Phone Systems and What to Look For

Before you take on the task of researching the best business phone systems out there, here are a few general things you need to know to help you make the best decision for your business communication needs.

1. Premise-based PBX vs. Hosted PBX

For the most part, there are two types of PBX business phone systems: Premise and Hosted. A premise-based business phone system requires clunky equipment to be stored within your office and is usually seen in larger enterprises. Small business owners are recommended to use hosted business phone systems for seamless expansion and cost efficiency.

2. Expensive Equipment is Not Always Necessary

One way your PBX business phone systems save you money is by not requiring you to make expensive purchases on hardware. With BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), you can use your mobile phone or keep using your existing hardware without any issues. Wiring and cabling is also not necessary as hosted PBX business phone systems are powered using your internet connection.

3. It Can Boost Productivity and Help Retain Customers

You won’t have to worry about letting a message slip through the cracks. Many business phone systems have features in place like call continuity and voicemail to email to ensure you always stay on top of your messages. Cloud receptionist features like auto attendant are also available so you can offer an overall better customer experience and keep your buyers satisfied.

4. Promotes Workspace Flexibility

Modern systems provide users with the freedom to work from anywhere. These days, you don’t need to have an office to have a business phone system; all you need is a reliable internet connection and electricity (unless you’re using a virtual PBX and operating straight from your cell phone). It’s also easy to expand your team and add extensions, as well as move from one location to another with an easy plug and play solution.

As you search for business phone systems, you will come across providers ranging from those that have been around for decades and some that have sprouted in the last few years. Although we praise experience, it may not always be best to choose a provider solely on their shelf life. Go with a provider that focuses their efforts on business solutions (some providers go as far to make focus medium-sized and small businesses their main focus) to ensure that your business communication needs are being met. Check out their services and decide whether or not they have what your business needs.

5. Not All Business Phone Systems Are Created Equal

How A PBX Phone System Can Benefit Your Business
Don’t be fooled by the jargon and heavily technical literature you may find on PBX systems. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be tech-savvy to learn how to operate a PBX system. If you’re purchasing hardware from a provider, you will most likely receive a pre-configured phone that is ready to use as soon as it arrives. This makes it possible to just plug in the device and start making calls with barely any set up. Cabling and wiring is not necessary with a hosted PBX system so installation fees and downtime is not something you would have to worry about.

All of these benefits lead to one thing: more savings. Without set up costs or expensive hardware, you can use the time and money you’re saving and invest it back into your business. For even more savings, you can choose a virtual PBX phone system that allows you to run your business from your mobile phone using your business phone number. It’s the simplicity and professionalism many entrepreneurs look for without the cost of a major PBX phone system provider.

Small Business Phone System Features to Look Out For
If you’re looking for any limitation that PBX business phone systems bring, it would be that they rely on an internet connection to function. As long as you’re using a reliable internet provider your system will stay up and running; however, many PBX business phone systems offer the ability to forward your calls to an external device, like your smartphone. It’s an added security feature that gives business owners peace of mind knowing that they won’t miss an opportunity regardless of unexpected circumstances. Just like this simple call forwarding feature, there are many services within a small business phone system that can save your business.

Call recording is a great way to keep voice records, just be sure to follow your state’s laws in regards to voice recording. It comes in handy with industries like travel agencies and medical offices when there is miscommunication or an incident regarding an exchange of information over the phone. It’s a way to meet compliance standards for certain industries and has been a crucial tool for business owners who rely on record-keeping for accountability and training purposes.

You can easily streamline your customer’s calling experience with an automated attendant and customized caller menu. These two features work together to give your caller relevant information, like new promotions or upcoming changes to your office hours, and direct them to the people they need to speak with. Your callers will appreciate the updates and their positive experience will encourage them to recommend your service to others.

Overall, keep it simple. You might not need all the bells and whistles a major provider might offer, so be sure to understand your specific business communication needs. Look for business phone systems that reduce the headaches, not add to it.

Alicia Sandino has been working in the virtual phone service industry for several years providing insights on the benefits of business phones.

Do You Know How to Be an Engaging and Highly Effective Educator?

Anyone can teach. We teach each other every day. For example, we give instructions to each other for such things as cooking, putting together furniture, and completing household other tasks. However, teaching someone is different than the process of educating someone. Consider the difference between informal learning and formal learning. An example of informal learning would be following a recipe to learn how to cook. In contrast, formal learning occurs within a classroom and usually is accompanied by evaluation and assessment. It may seem that teaching and educating are the same thing; however, the difference has to do with the place or context for learning.

This is the same distinction can be made for teaching informally (giving instructions) and teaching students in a formal classroom environment. A person enters the field of education as a profession – either full time in traditional academic institutions or as an adjunct (or part time) instructor. The reasons vary for why someone would choose to be in the classroom. A traditional full time professor may likely be responsible for conducting research, teaching, and publishing scholarly work. An adjunct instructor may teach in a community college, traditional college, or an online school. When someone teaches students in higher education he or she may be called a facilitator, instructor, or professor. This is important as there isn’t a job with the word educator in the title.

The questions I would like to answer include: What then does it mean to be an educator? Does it signify something different than the assigned job title? What I have learned through my work in higher education is that becoming an educator is not an automatic process. Everyone who is teaching adult students is not functioning as an engaging and highly effective educator. However, it is possible to learn how to educate rather than teach and that requires making a commitment to the profession.

What Does It Mean to Teach?

Consider teaching as part of the system of traditional, primary education. Those classes are teacher-led and children as students are taught what and how to learn. The teacher is considered to be the expert and directs the learning process. A teacher is someone who is highly trained and works to engage the minds of his or her students. This style of teacher-led instructional continues into higher education, specifically traditional college classrooms. The teacher still stands at the front and center of the class delivering information, and students are used to this format because of their experience in primary education. The instructor disseminates knowledge through a lecture and students study to pass the required examinations or complete other required learning activities.

Within higher education, teachers may be called instructors and they are hired as subject matter experts with advanced content knowledge. The job requirements usually include holding a specific number of degree hours in the subject being taught. Teachers may also be called professors in traditional college classes, and those positions require a terminal degree with additional research requirements. For all of these roles, teaching is meant to signify someone who is guiding the learning process by directing, telling, and instructing students. The instructor or professor is in charge, and the students must comply and follow as directed. Here is something to consider: If that is the essence of teaching, is there a difference between that and educating students? Is the role of a teacher the same as that of an educator?

What Does It Mean to be an Educator?

Consider some basic definitions to begin with as a means of understanding the role of an educator. The word “education” refers to giving instruction; “educator” refers to the person who provides instruction and is someone who is skilled in teaching; and teaching is aligned with providing explanations. I have expanded upon these definitions so that the word “educator” includes someone who is skilled with instruction, possesses highly developed academic skills, and holds both subject matter knowledge and knowledge of adult education principles.

Skilled with Instruction: An educator is someone who should be skilled in the art of classroom instruction, knowing what instructional strategies are effective and the areas of facilitation that need further development. An experienced educator develops methods that will bring course materials to life by adding relevant context and prompting students to learn through class discussions and other learning activities. Instruction also includes all of the interactions held with students, including all forms of communication, as every interaction provides an opportunity for teaching.

Highly Developed Academic Skills: An educator must also have strong academic skills and at the top of that list are writing skills. This requires strong attention to detail on the part of the educator and in all forms of messages communicated, including anything written, presented, and sent via email. The ability to demonstrate strong academic skills is especially important for anyone who is teaching online classes as words represent the instructor.

The use of proper formatting guidelines, according to the style prescribed by the school, is also included in the list of critical academic skills. For example, many schools have implemented APA formatting guidelines as the standard for formatting papers and working with sources. An educator cannot adequately guide students and provide meaningful feedback if the writing style has not been mastered.

Strong Knowledge Base: An educator needs to develop a knowledge base that contains subject matter expertise, as related to the course or courses they are teaching, along with knowledge of adult education principles. I know of many educators who have the required credit hours on their degree transcripts, yet they may not have extensive experience in the field they teach. This will still allow these educators to teach the course, provided that they take time to read the course textbook and find methods of applying it to current practices within the field.

Many schools hire adjuncts with extensive work experience as the primary criteria, rather than knowledge of adult learning principles. Those instructors I have worked with who do have a strong adult education knowledge base generally acquired it through ongoing professional development. That was my goal, when I decided on a major for my doctoral degree, to understand how adults learn so that I could transform from an instructor to an educator.

Becoming an Engaging and Highly Effective Educator

I do not believe that many instructors intentionally consider the need to make a transformation from working as an instructor to functioning as an educator. When someone is hired to teach a class, someone other than a traditional college professor, they often learn through practice and time what works well in the classroom. There will likely be classroom audits and recommendations made for ongoing professional development. Gradually the typical instructor will become an educator as they seek out resources to help improve their teaching practices. However, I have worked with many adjunct online instructors who rely on their subject matter expertise alone and do not believe there is a reason to grow as an educator. For anyone who would like to make the transformation and become an engaging and highly effective educator, there are steps that can be taken and practices that can be implemented.

Step One: Continue to Develop Your Instructional Practice

While any educator can learn through time on the job, it is possible to become intentional about this growth. There are numerous online resources, publications, workshops, webinars, and professional groups that would allow you to learn new methods, strategies, and practices. There are also social media websites such as LinkedIn and Twitter that allow for the exchange of ideas and resources within a global community of educators.

You can also utilize self-reflection as a means of gauging your effectiveness. I have found that the best time to review my instructional practice occurs immediately after a class concludes. That is a time when I can assess the strategies I have used and determine if those methods were effective. Even reviewing end of course student surveys may provide insight into the perspective of my students.

Step Two: Continue to Develop Your Academic Skills

I know from my work with online faculty development that this is an area of development that many educators could use. However, it is often viewed as a low priority – until it is noted in classroom audits. If an educator has weak academic writing skills, it will interfere with their ability to provide comprehensive feedback for students. For online instructors, that has an even greater impact when posted messages contain errors with spelling, grammar, and formatting. The development of academic skills can be done through the use of online resources or workshops. Many online schools I have worked for offer faculty workshops and this is a valuable self-development resource.

Step Three: Continue to Develop Your Subject Matter Expertise

Every educator has subject matter expertise that they can draw upon. However, the challenge is keeping that knowledge current as you continue to teach for several years. The best advice I can offer is to find resources that allow you to read and learn about current thinking, research, and best practices in your chosen field. This is essential to your instructional practice as students can ascertain whether you appear to be current in your knowledge, or outdated and seemingly out of touch. Even the use of required textbooks does not ensure that you are utilizing the most current information as knowledge evolves quickly in many fields.

Step Four: Continue to Develop Your Knowledge of Adult Learning

The last step or strategy that I can recommend is to gain knowledge about adult learning theories, principles, and practices. If you are not familiar with the basics there are concepts you can research and include critical thinking, andragogy, self-directed learning, transformational learning, learning styles, motivation, and cognition. My suggestion is to find and read online sources related to higher education and then find a subject that interests you to research further. I have found that the more I read about topics I enjoy, the more I am cultivating my interest in ongoing professional development. What you will likely find is that what you learn will have a positive influence on your work as an educator and will enhance all areas of your instructional practice.

Working as an educator, or someone who is highly engaged in the process of helping students learn, starts with a commitment to make this a career rather than a job. I have developed a vision related to how I want to be involved in each class I teach and I recommend the same strategy for you. You may find it useful to develop teaching goals for your career and link your classroom performance to those goals. For example, do you want to complete the required facilitation tasks or would you rather put in the additional time necessary to create nurturing class conditions?

After developing a vision and teaching goals, you can create a professional development plan to prompt your learning and growth in all of the areas I have addressed above. While this strategy may require an investment of time, it is helpful to remember that we always make time for whatever we believe is most important. Being an educator is not sustaining a focus on job functions, rather it is cultivating a love of what you do and learning how to excel for the benefit of your students. Becoming an engaging and highly effective educator occurs when you decide that teaching students is only part of the learning process, and you work to transform who you are and how you function, while working and interacting with your students.

Education Capitalization

Education carried out by government and also private sector requires a real operating expenses height. Most all sector is relating to education must be bought. Book, chalk, ruler, and teaching aid readily uses for example, must be bought. Therefore, education requires cost.

Presumption like that not then is followed up with closing eyes and ear with interest places forward commercial factor than social. Education is not commodity, but effort carries out system and certain mechanism that man is able to improve; repair their/his self, can make balmy itself, and solvent of interaction as man.

Education paradigm growing in Indonesia in this XXI century step by step has started leaves aspiration of the founders this republic nation-state that is that every citizen entitled to get education that is competent. The republic founders aware to that performing of the education are addressed to makes man is humanitarianly and can make process towards at fullness of spirit hence would very ironic with situation of education these days.

The Role of the Government and Private sector

Education is responsibility of all suborder. By referring this assumption, education organizer is not merely government but also entangles the side of private sector individually and also group. Thereby, governmental hoped all members of publics responsible educate Indonesian.

Despitefully, because of limitation of cost, governmental given opportunity of it’s bigger to public to participate and develops business through education. This assumption comprehended by public by building opening school, courses, or skilled education type with facility that is better than school build and owned government. By giving supporting facilities for education that is rather differs in, rather complete, and promises makes education managed the side of private sector must be redeemed with cost that is not is cheap. So expensive education.

Indonesia has ever owned Perguruan Taman Siswa carrying out education for public? People with motivation educate public? People. Indonesia also has education system of pesantren (Islamic models) which is not collects payment which in the form of money from it’s the student. Student in pesantren modeled this salaf (classical) not only studies public sciences (like biology, physics, mathematics, language, and art) they also studies Islam science for the sake of individual and public.

Without realized already happened friction of motivation of organizer and the management of the existing education. Education organizer of private sector tends to sells dream with equipment of facility which they perform. They disregard condition of Indonesia public most doesn’t have purchasing power and energy? Power to bargain. Pupil old fellow will be given on to reality “expensive school” and “go to school for rich man children”.

Of course, must also be confessed that the school requires cost. However, collects expense of height for education is a real wrong deed; more than anything else in Constitution 1945 has expressed that any citizen [is] entitled to get education.

Capitalist: Having Under the Law

Shifts it purpose of education levying from formulated by the Republic of Indonesia founders is really peeping out suborder concern. If education only be carried out just for man who is having money, hence the biggest layer of Indonesia public? People will not have formal education. Poor people and people, who don’t have purchasing power, will yield apathetic generation. Thereby, will lose also one civilization links a nation.

Education carried out with only menitikberatkan at present financial advantage will only make man is more individually and once in a while overrules that the man basically is created autonomous. Tendency and dependency to get it’s (the capital returns will make education product to enable all ways, machiavelistical.

Other side, education system this time makes detached man from it’s (the area and sometimes abstracted from its (the community root. Properly is critical that education system this time makes educative participant not autonomous and sometimes forgets spirit to as social creature or according to opinion Aristotle’s that the man Zoon Politicon.

Semestinyalah had if education aimed at accomplishment of copartner ship standard (company) must be refused. Ideally, education must load agenda for “humanizes man” (humanization), non dehumanization. By collecting expense of height because law barium; by itself education has been transferred to accomplishment of industrial requirement. More than anything else in Indonesia, diploma is respectable reference and the only equipment to get work that is competent.

By positioning education carried out by government and also law barium private sector must, public trapped at acute dilemma. In one public sides requires education to increase it’s the humanity reality, medium on the other side no cost is small monster or endless nightmare.

Tussle between fears and desire of public to send to school it’s the children exploited by certain party sides. This condition is a real condition profits if evaluated from the aspect of business. Panic buyers are really condition hardly to the advantage of my pelaku-pela is business.

Opinion: Education is Sacral Factor

Indonesia Public till now still of opinion that formal education is equipment the only to improve; repair life, to get work with good production, good salary, and to fulfill primary requirements, beside can boost up degree. This assumption by generations and always is looked after causing peeps out assumption and places formal education as thing which sacral.

Though all formal education, vocational school is not interesting means. As it’s (the impact, vocational schools teaching is skilled becoming not draws. Vocational school is school for member of marginal public. Vocational school teaching how facing and draws up life is assumed not elite and ancient. Despitefully, vocational school is not place of for rich man children, but majored for children from poor family.

Social Lameness as poison impact goad to school which only is enjoyed by rich man children will peep out oppressed feeling and not balmy among poor people. Poor public of which cannot send to school it’s (the children will assume it as destiny which must be received and assumes it as penalization of God. Irony, of course. But this is reality when schools becomes is expensive and poor people [shall] no longer have place in school.

Minister of National Education in Indonesia for the existing likely increasingly far from nationality vision. Even with movement of schools autonomy increasingly clearly shows capitalization symptom of education. Now education is managed by using management of business that is then yields cost is sky. Expense of education more and more expensive, even impressed has become business commodity for the owner of capital (capitalist). By using pre-eminent school label, favorite school, peer school etcetera expense of education increasingly strangles poor people. Our education increasingly grinds marginal clan. Where situation of our education justice if certifiable school of that is just for they having money only?

While as man who sure is normal of public will choose best life. However, because of its (the disability and its (the kepicikan in looking at education problem, its (the objectivity is also disappears. Indonesia Public of course requires resuscitation that education is one essential part to improve; repair quality of it’s (the humanity. Of course, there is no guarantee that education will make people to become rich, influential, famous, and in command.

Cover? Conclusion

Debate of length still need to be strived before Indonesia public can look into formal education as not the only equipment to improve; repair its(the life. Public must realize formal education is not as of its (the pitch.

Resuscitation need to be trained to pebisnis. School that is till now is viewed as the only equipment which able to be used to reach for and can realize its (the aspiration is not farm to get advantage. Therefore, not righteously school utilized as means to make a living. In school still and ought to slip between idealism, so that there is no reason again to expensive of education that is with quality, complete supporting facilities, and has various facilities.