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 through illness or injury, against theft or loss of possessions and other accidents that may occur during your travels. 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, 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 instructs all travel agencies to buy insurance for their clients, effective September 1, 2001. According to the regulation, in order to secure 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.
According to the notice, tourism agencies must compensate tourists, or their dependents, for losses in the following situations:
If physical injury or death occurs, tourism agencies must cover related costs of medicines, medical treatment,travel and accommodation charges;
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 trips is set at 80,000 yuan (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 2 million Yuan (US$243,902) if it specializes in domestic trips, while an international tourism agency's limit is 4 million Yuan (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 newly enacted regulation will definitely improve the travel security environment in China.