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If you travel outside your home country for business and pleasure, the health care plans you may have in your home country may not be designed to provide coverage while you are out of the country. Whether you travel for business or pleasure, international travel involves risk. A travel insurance policy is a very good idea. It is possibly the best way to protect you against medical costs for illness or injury, against theft or loss of possessions and other accidents that may occur during your travel. With this in mind, we recommend that you buy travel insurance, which provides coverage for international travelers. Coverage depends on the type of insurance that you buy. You should ask for details on any policy before you decide to buy. In addition, you shall buy travel insurance as early as possible before you start your travel. In China, better travel agencies may buy insurance for their clients.
China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) issued a Regulation in May, 2001, which orders all travel agencies to buy insurance for their clients. The Regulation became effective on September 1, 2001. According to the Regulation, in order to protect tourists' interests and legal rights, especially those traveling to dangerous places, the National Tourism Administration issued a notice requiring all tourism agencies to buy "travel agencies' liability insurance." This insurance policy replaces the original Personal Accidence Insurance and becomes the new legal-based practice in China.
-- Insurance Scope
As required by the notice, tourism agencies concerned must make compensation to tourists or their dependents in the following situations:
They must cover related costs of medicines, medical treatment, travel and accommodation charges if physical injury or death occurs;
They must cover losses if tourists' belongings are lost, broken or stolen;
They must cover all legal costs for their tourists if lawsuits are brought against the agencies.
The Administration also stipulated related compensation standards:
The limit for compensation to a tourist on domestic trip is set at RMB80,000 (US$9,700); and 160,000 yuan (US$19,400) for a tourist traveling overseas.
At the same time, the Administration stipulated compensation limits for tourism agencies.
A tourism agency's annual compensation must be within RMB2 million (US$243,902) if it specializes in domestic trips, while an international tourism agency's limit is RMB4 million (US$487,804). If tourism agencies launch highly risky travel services, they must co-ordinate with relevant insurance companies about related compensation standards and limits.
This new Regulation will definitely improve the travel security environment in China.
-- Insurance Time Limit
As for the inbound travel, the insurance time limit begins from the start of traveler's tour and ends with the finish of the outbound procedure.
As for the outbound and domestic travels, the insurance time limit begins from the boarding on the vehicles that are ordered by travel agencies and ends with the leaving of vehicles that are ordered by travel agencies.
As for tourists who end their travel themselves, the insurance time limit ends with the ending of the tour.
Tourists who don't travel according to the itinerary made by travel agencies cannot enjoy the travel insurance.
-- Insurance Sum
The insurance sum bought by travel agencies cannot be under the basic standard as following:
1, inbound travels: RMB300,000 per tourist;
2, outbound travels: RMB300,000 per tourist;
3, domestic travels: RMB100,000 per tourist;
4, One-day travels (including inbound, outbound and domestic travels): RMB30,000 per tourist.
In addition, travel agencies can consult with insurance companies on insurance sum of some special tour items such as climbing, shooting, floating according to different danger levels.
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