Business and Travel Security

There are so many facets to contemplate when considering the subject of business and travel security. Every security expert worth his or her salt understands the different variations as almost stand alone security issues.

For example every single aspect of business and travel security presents its own unique problems. Airlines, flights, air travel, vacations, travel agents, travel tours, travel insurance, medical insurance, kidnap for ransom insurance, business insurance travel, holiday home security, backpacking, gap year travel all require some form of risk assessment and personal risk management to minimise security risks.

Business travel and business travel security encompasses everything designed to minimise the security risks to you, your family and/or your business associates. Threats are ever present and although every individual professional security expert operates in a permanent state of professional paranoia it is unrealistic to expect occasional travellers to act the same way. There are however many simple security strategies which every traveller can utilise to minimise the risks.

Once again the risks factors vary and are ever changing due to increased terrorist and organised criminal activities around the globe. When considering travel tours to politically hot spot destinations, the first priority has to be to purchase kidnap for ransom travel insurance from a security related brokerage. Most kidnap for ransom insurance or K&R insurance as it is known in security expert parlance is underwritten by Lloyds of London. It is a myth that kidnap for ransom insurance is only available for VIP’s and senior corporate executives. Due to the exponential increase in kidnap and the taking of hostages K&R insurance is available for everyday tourists and it is not as expensive as most people believe.

Your K&R insurance broker may stipulate certain security procedures must be undertaken to qualify you for cover. For example some insist on basic security awareness training. Depending on the country or countries you intend visiting they may insist that you participate in a 1 to 2 day close protection training programme run by professional bodyguard instructors. Elements of risk identification, risk assessment and risk management, advanced observation skills and counter kidnapping measures are taught. Security Expert Tip: Prior to the end of the last Millennium if we removed the obvious trouble zone of Lebanon, we found that six countries dominated two-thirds of the recent terrorist attacks, namely Columbia, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Spain and Belgium. However fast forward to current day and the shift has moved to war zone areas like Iraq and Afghanistan. However terrorist attacks are increasing in many other global destinations. Security and close protection officers are advised to conduct rigorous threat assessments prior to close protection operation deployment to these areas.

Regarding business and travel security I advise all travel agents offering world travel tours to exotic locations to include a security update in their customers travel guide. I have delivered security training for business clients and close protection training for travellers and tourists. The benefits provide far more value than cost. If you think for a moment about the trauma of being a kidnap hostage then a 1 day security training programme is a positive investment.

Although every security expert will reinforce the fact that there is no such concept of 100% security, the knowledge you will gain from close protection training will seriously reduce your security risk. Don’t harbour any fears of joining a troop of muscle bound bodyguards fending off terrorists in a jungle fortification, because you can purchase a comprehensive home study security close protection training programme which requires no actual residential training. Many professional close protection officers purchase these training programmes to study when on operational bodyguard duties in the field.

Be under no illusion of all the international special forces, professional bodyguards or close protection officers are the finest security specialists to prevent attacks against individuals or the abduction by kidnap. Much of their close protection training curriculum consists of avoidance over confrontation. They place meticulous emphasis on the clients under their protection not being placed in an environment conducive to attacks or abduction. Forget Kevin Costner and Whitney Huston, and think more of The US Secret Service who provide presidential protective services.

The next security requirement is to book travel, luggage and medical insurance from your travel agent. Entering a hospital in an overseas destination can be very expensive. Ensure your medical policy covers you for return emergency flights back to your home country. It is also wise to ensure your insurance covers you for a daily cash payment in the event of your cash, cards and valuables being stolen. Insist on a maximum daily limit and ensure you have a cap on the amount of days you can receive cash. Kidnappers target hostages just to clean out their daily limit on a cash card ATM machine. Fortunately most of these kidnappings take place in Asia and once the money runs dry hostages are generally released. Not always, but frequently.

Another aspect worth considering for business and travel security is deciding which travel agent and travel agency to book your holiday or vacations with. Security is paramount. Travel agents hold much of your personal data. If this data was accessed by organised crime or a terrorist organisation then you may be targeted for kidnap for ransom. These criminal organisations are technology smart and in some cases victims are chosen before they have even left their country of origin. At the risk of sounding obvious your travel agent and/or travel agency should have the finest security data-safes installed in a very secure area of their business premises.

From a personal security perspective it is important to deal with a credible travel agent and/or travel agency. Home based criminals would welcome information which informs them when you and your family members or business associates are away from your home or office for a week or two.

No one escapes the business and travel security leprechaun. An innocent trip backpacking to Australia turned into a nightmare for British backpacker, Jamie Neale in July 2009. Playing a football match in Jakarta could have had serious consequences and resulted in large fatalities for the Manchester United football team, had they stayed in the Ritz-Carlton hotel a day earlier when it was blown up by suicide bombers.

Piracy and hostage taking is on the increase globally, suicide bombings, muggings, child abduction, violent assaults and theft is also increasing in many tourist destinations. I’ve heard more than one security expert attribute this growth to the current economic downturn.

Purchasing top quality security products and services falls under the tactical equipment section of most e-commerce web sites. It is advisable to visit Europe’s largest e-tailer of security products and services.

If this business and travel security seems like a doom and gloom article then please understand it is not. If you take one thing from this article then take this. Organised criminals, terrorists, pirates and kidnappers will always focus on soft targets. If you present as a hard target they will almost always leave you alone and focus on a softer target. They particularly welcome individual targets who live their life in what every security expert calls ‘Condition White.’ This is the concept of an individual not having any security awareness what so ever.

For any business employees or executives travelling overseas you should consider a visit with a security expert prior to booking your trip. The old saying of a little knowledge is dangerous, does not apply in the security industry. Being security aware will get you out of scrapes that softer targets are unable to avoid.

Copyright (c) 2009 Dr Mark Yates

What You Need to Know About Trip Cancellation Insurance

Anytime you purchase a vacation trip from a travel agent, you will normally be offered trip cancellation insurance. Before you make a decision as to whether to obtain this protection, there are several things you should consider. One of the first things you will need to decide is which conditions you wish to be insured against.

The least expensive policies only provide reimbursement for the prepaid costs of the trip if you must cancel prior to departure. Even these policies contain restrictions which limit the allowable reasons for cancellation. If your concern is a pre-existing condition which may flare up and prevent travel, it probably won’t be covered.

Other common exclusions can be pregnancy complications or sports injuries. Be sure to check the approved definitions of terms such as “traveling companion,” “close family member” and “unforeseen” to insure that your needs will be covered. You should also be aware of expiration times and dates.

Some trip cancellation insurance plans include trip interruption coverage. These plans will protect you in the event of a personal or family emergency while you are on the trip. Again, be sure to read the fine print so that you will know exactly what is covered and what is not. Your hotel may be damaged by storms, or have an outbreak of an epidemic, but if it is not declared uninhabitable, you may not be covered.

There are policies which include medical insurance. These could be particularly beneficial to someone who does not have a primary health insurance policy at home. If you have such coverage, you should determine what if any costs it will cover if you become ill or injured while away from home. You may want to consider supplementing your current coverage with one that will cover repatriation should you become ill while out of the country.

Most plans do not cover “Acts of God” which, in their interpretation sometimes includes acts of terrorism, natural disasters, and other major events. They also do not cover if you lose your job and can no longer afford to travel.

One solution to all of this is a “cancel for any reason” policy. This is the most expensive type of trip cancellation insurance but it eliminates the need for concern about whether or not this or that little thing will be covered. There will still be some rules and restrictions, and you still need to read the fine print, but for the most part, this type of policy will give you the most peace of mind.

You have several choices of places to obtain trip cancellation insurance. It is sold through airlines, cruise lines, tour companies, travel agents and from online vendors. The typical policy costs between 4% and 10% of the cost of the trip for a standard policy, and between 6% and 12% of the cost for the “cancel for any reason” coverage.

With this, as with other financial decisions in your life, the most important thing is to know what you are buying before you part with your hard-earned money.

About Life Insurance Leads

Life insurance is a lucrative industry, and as more and more people come to understand the benefits of life insurance it becomes even more rewarding. However, even though there are countless individuals in need of life insurance, generating life insurance leads can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, with knowledge of a few tricks of the trade, it is much easier today than ever before to generate new leads.

Before the Internet became a popular form of communication, insurance agents had a harder time finding clients. Indeed, they often resorted to cold calling potential customers, or even traveling door to door in hopes of meeting a prospective client. Of course, both of these techniques result in fairly low sales. This isn’t so much because people aren’t interested, but more because these methods feel invasive and uncomfortable to the average person. If a salesman was lucky enough to catch someone at home, it was usually during their leisure time when being hassled by a sales call or visitor is highly undesirable. This made finding potential leads much more difficult than it needed to be.

Today this has all changed. We live in technological times and even the average individual is quite tech-savvy. Today it is possible to find quality life insurance leads without cold calling or going door to door. The Internet provides the easiest alternative to traditional approaches. However, there are other offline approaches that prove beneficial too.

Although some of these newer methods can seem slightly intrusive too, they are definitely less invasive that home visits. They also provide much better results. Leads are often generated through search engines such as Yahoo, Google, or Bing. These search engines provide an effective way to directly reach customers in a seemingly unobtrusive manner. More importantly, advertising opportunities are targeted, which allows an agent to reach people that have some sort of interest in finding out more about life insurance. This increases the sales rate significantly.

Additionally, agents can buy quality leads that often lead to sales. These leads are generally generated by online forms filled out by those interested in learning more about life insurance. Most forms include a variety of information relevant to a person’s insurance needs. Information collected includes: sex, age, family size, type of insurance desired, etc. Upon purchasing leads like this, and agent already knows quite a bit about each prospective client, and most importantly he knows the individual is already thinking about buying life insurance.

With the Internet, it is possible for agents and insurance companies to get in touch with potential clients like never before. There is a host of different methods available. Online advertising, free newsletters, website pop-up ads, search engine advertising, and free reports with opt-in newsletters have all been used with success by some professionals. Of course, no matter how you get your leads, actual sales will be a result of your own ability. Nonetheless, today’s technology makes life insurance leads easier than ever.

The Need For A Backpacker Travel Insurance

Who does not want to travel? Everybody does. Exploring different places is something that everybody dreams of. It is the most relaxing way to spend money. Though when you travel, you are on your greatest risk. You are more likely at risk to illnesses, and crime. So to ensure the safest travel, it is important to purchase a backpacker travel insurance.

Backpacker travel insurance is specially planned to meet the needs of the backpacker. It provides a huge and extensive coverage for your protection that you might use on your way. Some of the features of the backpacker insurance are coverage for financial cost in the event that you seek medical attention. In addition to that, in case you seek medical assistance, and you need to be rescued; all costs, including the helicopter rescue will be covered. It also covers personal liability. In the event that you might unintentionally cause an accident on other people, all expenses will be paid. It also includes holiday cancellation. There are times that you need to cancel a flight because of an unanticipated situation; the cost of cancellation will be return to you. They also covered a protection to your baggage, or else you can claim for lost or stolen baggage.

With just a little cost, it will make a big difference in your life. All you need to do is go to your travel agent and inform him the details of your trip. After that, travel agent will give you a quotation of the coverage. It is important to read all the prints in the quotation to avoid problems that you might be encountered later on. Always remember that once you signed the policy, everything that is written there is final. In case it is written something that you do not like, ask them for some adjustments.

Travelling nowadays had become more dangerous than it used to be. You will never know any unfortunate event may happen during your trip. It is best to be prepared all the time. Always get a backpacker travel insurance wherever you go. Have a safe trip! Enjoy your travel!