How to talk like a pirate


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In honor of international Talk Like a Pirate Day which is celebrated on September 19 every year, we’re offering some lessons in pirate speak in the video below or you can check out the pirate glossary. Buccaneers and landlubbers alike should keep an eye out for pirate booty offers on your social media timelines. We heard that visiting a local Krispy Kreme today and ordering in pirate speak will get you a free donut; visiting in full pirate regalia will get you a dozen free donuts. If you need help looking the part, try pirate fashions.

Internet pirates are fun, but the real thing is another story indeed. If you are in a global shipping or maritime industry, you may need insurance coverage against piracy. If your travel needs are more pedestrian, trip insurance might be just the thing – take the travel insurance quiz. For questions about piracy coverage or any other form of risk management, find a local independent insurance agent near you.

A not-so-gentle reminder that travel insurance might be a good idea


Here’s a rather scary piece of video footage, a scene from cruise ship during a storm off New Zealand in 2008. Apparently, the footage from an on-board security camera has just made its way to the web.

Hat tip to Workers Comp Insider, where we found the video in a post with more information about the event. Of course, our thoughts turn to insurance. The news report says that 42 passengers were injured – looks fortunate that it wasn’t more. Plus, it’s likely that there may have been damage to some of the passengers’ possessions. Would travel insurance help in a case like this? Before you buy any insurance, it’s important to learn exactly what it will and won’t cover. For a primer, see the Insurance Information Institute’s Travel Insurance. As for the medical coverage involved in trip insurance, III suggests, “Before purchasing this type of coverage, check with your own health insurance carrier. Find out what type of coverage you have when traveling abroad and if there are any limits. Also, ask if the policy will pay to fly you home or to a country with first-rate medical care.” In a scenario involving a serious injury, medical and evacuation coverage is important.
And as for business insurance for the cruise liner – well, that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish!

Volcanoes and travel insurance: is my trip covered?


If you bought trip insurance before the recent volcanic eruptions, your travel may be covered by the policy, depending on exclusions. But if you are hoping to get travel insurance to protect you from any volcano-related disruptions in the future, you are probably out of luck – Scott McCartney of the Wall Street Journal reports that as of April 13, there is no ash coverage anymore. It’s similar in principle as to why you can’t call your agent to buy a flood insurance policy in the middle of a hurricane. Insurance covers unexpected events, not events that are in progress.
Now if you already had trip insurance, are you covered? That’s a complicated issue because there are no standard travel insurance policies – they vary widely. Whether or not you are covered will depend on the type of coverage you bought, how much coverage you bought, what the exclusions are, and the specific practices of the company you bought it from. McCartney says:

Even if purchased before April 13, travel insurance can be of limited utility to travelers. If airlines refund tickets for canceled trips, for example, there’s no claim with insurers. If you haven’t left home, you won’t get money for hotels and accommodations under most policies. And many policies have limits on daily expenses if you are stranded away from home.

He notes that even if you have a prepaid stay, trip insurance often only covers rooms that are deemed “uninhabitable.”
It’s too soon to get an estimate of how many travelers have been displaced, but the final tally will no doubt be enormous. Insurance companies report that they are being deluged with queries and calls for help. An article in the New York Times tells us that trip insurers are looking at an event that will cost millions.

“While there can be some exclusions, companies have typically covered nonrefundable prepaid travel that can pay stranded passengers $150 to $250 a day for a maximum of $1,500.”

InsureMyTrip.com offers a brief note about Volcanoes, airport closings, and trip insurance, as well as a longer release about how trip insurers are aiding stranded travelers.
More resources
The Insurance Information Institute offers an overview of the various types of trip insurance. A prior blog post featured a Travel Insurance Quiz. Also see CNN’s article:6 Tips to avoid travel insurance fraud