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VIDEO: Pacific Prime Receives IHI Bupa's 2013 Travel Insurance Award

Pacific Prime is pleased to announced that IHI Bupa has named Pacific Prime the "Top New Business producer" for travel insurance in 2013.

"Pacific Prime has been a big supporter of IHI Bupa's travel insurance plan for a number of years and we won this award for being the biggest distributor of IHI Bupa's travel plan in 2013," said Neil Raymond, CEO of Pacific Prime. "We're incredibly proud to have won the award, and we will continue to advise travelers about the benefits of this plan. It is by far one of the top selling policies at Pacific Prime." Raymond explained that the IHI Bupa plan is such a popular option for travelers because it is extremely flexible and appeals to a wide range of people. "First of all, it's backed by an incredibly good insurer, IHI Bupa, a very trusted brand with tremendous service capabilities and a big global support network, but secondly, the plan itself is simply an amazing plan," said Raymond.

"From an inpatient perspective, the medical benefits are unlimited, which is unique in the market, and there is also a slew of other advantages to the plan such a unique modular form, extensive cover for maternity, and flexible dates of coverage." "Overall the health insurance market is growing substantially, not only the annual health insurance policies but the travel insurance business as well," Raymond explained. "A plan with the unique benefits such as IHI Bupa's is very attractive for travelers, so we look forward to selling a lot more of their travel insurance plans in the rest of 2014, and hopefully we can win the award again next year!"

Pacific Prime is an insurance intermediary based in Hong Kong that offers local insurance solutions and a wide range of health plans to cover individuals and families. With more than twenty years experience in the insurance industry, Pacific Prime offers superior advice on how to get the best insurance and where to get it from.

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A Quarter Of Expats Not Being Offered Moving Allowance

No less than a quarter of employees being asked to relocate to a new country are not being provided with an allowance to do so by the company they work for. This is among the findings of research carried out by Lloyds Bank, which surveyed 1,039 British expatriates across 13 destinations to collate the results.

Further to this, 26 per cent said they had not been helped with the cost of accommodation and 69 per cent of respondents had not been assisted in organising schooling for any children involved in the move, reports Employee Benefits. This is despite the fact that 57 per cent of those workers who were aided in navigating the pitfalls of education abroad found it useful.

Many overseas assignments mean living in a country with a different language, but 63 per cent were left to overcome this difficulty on their own without training provided by their firm. Some 56 per cent of expats who were offered language courses as part of their package stated that it had been handy to have. No assistance was given to 58 per cent of respondents in terms of social or networking events, but 51 per cent who had received such support thought it was a positive thing to be helped with. It is additional benefits such as these that help families to settle into a new life, which often involves a lot of upheaval.

Richard Musty, international director at Lloyds Bank, told the news provider: "Even though there has been a slight decline in people moving abroad as the UK economy picks up, working abroad remains popular because many people jump at the chance to experience different cultures and lifestyles first-hand, or just escape the weather. "When sending employees abroad, it is important that employers consider their needs as well as their contract in order to ensure a successful assignment."

He went on to say that he understood why some costly elements are not always included, but stated that help with relatively low-cost issues such as language learning and children's education can make all the difference.

Expatriate Healthcare specialise in providing international health insurance. Make sure you're protected. © Expatriate Healthcare

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India Travel News Advice Warnings: State Assembly Elections Delhi Wednesday 4 December 2013

State Assembly elections will be held in Delhi on Wednesday 4 December. Most public offices will be closed, there will be increased security in some areas and there is the possibility of some disruption to public transport.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel in the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than at Wagah. The FCO advise against all travel to Manipur and all but essential travel to Imphal, the state capital of Manipur. 

The FCO advise against all travel to Jammu and Kashmir with the exception of the cities of Jammu and Srinagar, travel by air to the cities of Jammu and Srinagar, travel between these two cities on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway and travel within the region of Ladakh.

The tourist destinations of Phalgam, Gulmarg and Sonamarg fall within the areas of Kashmir to which the FCO currently advise against all travel.

Cyclones and tropical storms are common, particularly off the east coast. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms.

There is a high threat from terrorism throughout India. Recent attacks have targeted public places including those visited by foreigners.

The Indian government has relaxed the rules on re-entering the country while on a tourist visa.

Over 800,000 British nationals visit India every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

Before you travel to India, take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance.

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Spain Travel Advice and Warnings: Rail Workers Strikes Planned Dec 2013

Rail workers have planned 24-hour strikes on 5 and 20 December.

Check local announcements and the Renfe website for further information.

Over 12 million British nationals visit Spain every year. Most visits are trouble-free. A strike is affecting lifeguard services in the area of Arona, South Tenerife. Take extra care if there are no life-guards, flags or signs on beaches.

There have been several deaths as a result of falls from balconies. Don’t take any unnecessary risks, especially when under the influence of drink or drugs.

You should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel. If you already have an EHIC, make sure it hasn’t expired. Some medical costs aren’t covered by the EHIC so you should also take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel to Spain.

 

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Bahrain Travel Advice and Warnings: 30 November 2013 March Planned

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. Around 8,000 to 10,000 British nationals live in Bahrain, and thousands more visit each year. Most visits are trouble free.

Female visitors should take care when travelling alone at night. You should use one of the reputable taxi companies.

On Saturday, 30 November, a march is planned from the entrance of Daih village to Daih Cemetery, starting at 1530. Demonstrations, protests and disruption are expected to continue. These activities may include attempts to disrupt traffic, protests in villages and near economic centres, burning tyres, throwing Molotov cocktails, and the possible use of improvised explosive devices. As a result there could be clashes between government security forces and protesters. While there have been no direct threats or attacks on UK citizens to date, it is strongly recommended that you maintain a constant awareness of your surroundings wherever you are on the island.

Violent protests do pose a risk to those who might inadvertently find themselves in the vicinity of an active demonstration. If you encounter a large public gathering or demonstration, leave the area immediately. Likewise, if you see any suspect item, do not approach it or touch it. Move away from the vicinity and notify the police, calling 999 or the Police Hotline 8000 8008.

We would also like to draw your attention to a recent reminder from the Ministry of Interior regarding the compulsory carrying of photographic ID for all residents of and visitors to Bahrain. Under Bahraini law, it is an offence not to be able to present photographic ID, if asked to do so by a member of the Bahraini authorities, and you may be subject to a fine of up to 300BHD.

Travel on the main routes during daylight hours is generally orderly. There are some police checkpoints. In September 2012 the Ministry for the Interior issued a warning about explosive devices on major highways. Don’t approach or touch any suspect item; move away from it and call the police on 999 or 8000 8008.

During demonstrations, roads can become blocked, resulting in diversions. These may re-route you to areas you are unfamiliar with. You should familiarise yourself with alternative routes to and from areas you frequent.

Developments in Syria, Iraq and on the Middle East Peace Process continue to have an impact on local public opinion in the region. You should be aware of local sensitivities on these issues. Follow news reports and be alert to local and regional developments, which may trigger public disturbances.

The Government of Bahrain has imposed a curfew on the waterways around Bahrain between 6pm and 4am. You should respect this curfew.

You must have legal status in Bahrain when you depart.

There is a general threat from terrorism. Terrorists continue to issue statements threatening to carry out attacks in the Gulf region.  

 

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Congo Travel Advice and Warnings

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to the Likouala province due to a large influx of displaced people from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

UNHCR estimates around 110,000 refugees are currently in Likouala province. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the Pool region.

There is no British Embassy in the Republic of Congo and the level of consular assistance the FCO can offer to British nationals is limited. If you need consular assistance you should contact the British Honorary Consul in Brazzaville, Mr Dominique Picard (telephone: +242 06647323 or 055513 251) or the British Embassy in Kinshasa, DRC.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel to Congo.

You must get a visa before travel. For further information, contact the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Congo in the UK, 3rd Floor Holborn Gate (HRG), 26 Southampton Building, London WC2A 1PN; Telephone: 020 3077 9958; Fax: 020 7404 6810; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.

Yellow fever vaccination certificate

You will be asked to produce a yellow fever vaccination certificate on arrival in the country. Failure to do so will result in a further vaccination being administered, for which a charge is made.

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Paraguay Travel Advice and Warnings: British Embassy in Paraguay Recently Re-established

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel to Paraguay.

The British Embassy in Paraguay has been re-established recently. The Embassy can provide emergency consular assistance to British nationals in Paraguay. Notarial and documentary services for British nationals are provided by the British Embassy in Buenos Aires - please contact them on +54 11 4808 2200 and visit their website for further information.

For emergency consular assistance only, please contact the Consular Officer in Asunción via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. during office hours. Outside of office hours, calls should be directed to the British Embassy in Buenos Aires +54 11 4808-2200.

A small number of British tourists visit Paraguay every year. Most visits are trouble-free, but violent crime is increasing. There are multiple outbreaks of dengue fever in Paraguay. You should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites. 

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Bolivia Travel Advice and Warnings

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel to Bolivia.

Social conflict is common in Bolivia and blockades may occur along the main roads. Public transport can be disrupted at very short notice and strikes may result in widespread road blockades, including on roads to and from airports. You should never try to cross a blockade.

There is a risk of ‘express kidnappings’. Take care when travelling around Bolivia, particularly when you first arrive. If you take a taxi, use a registered company.

There is a low threat from terrorism.

Carry a photocopy of your passport, including the personal details, entry stamp and disembarkation card with you at all times in case it is requested by immigration officials or the police. S

Parts of Bolivia, including La Paz are at high altitude. 

Contact your GP around 8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and useful information about healthcare abroad, including a country-by-country guide of reciprocal health care agreements with the UK, is available from NHS Choices.

The local Bolivian authorities have confirmed an outbreak of AH3N2 flu throughout the country. The most affected areas are La Paz, Oruro and Potosi due to low temperatures Yellow Fever vaccination is required for travellers over 1 year of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

In addition yellow fever vaccine should be given to travellers 9 months of age and older travelling to areas below 2,300m east of the Andes Mountains. These areas include the entire departments of Beni, Pando, and Santa Cruz, and some areas in the Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz and Tarija departments. Yellow fever vaccine may not be suitable for some individuals so you should seek further advice from your GP, practice nurse or private travel clinic.

Medical facilities in major cities are good and acceptable in the main tourist areas. Elsewhere, facilities may not meet acceptable standards. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, carry a letter from a doctor describing the medical condition and any prescribed drugs. If you bring medicines with you, make sure they are in their original containers and clearly labelled.

Dengue Fever is common to Latin America and the Caribbean and can occur throughout the year. Malaria is also common in lowland tropical areas (Beni and Pando) and the area known as Chaco in the south (Yacuiba, Paracari). Some areas have been designated as ‘high risk’ for yellow fever. When outbreaks occur, the government sets up vaccination points at police checkpoints. At each of these, you may be vaccinated if you do not hold a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate.

Parts of Bolivia, including La Paz are at high altitude. This factsheet includes advice on how to reduce the risk of altitude sickness and what to do if you develop symptoms.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 118 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

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Russia Travel Advice and Warnings

British nationals made around 127,000 visits to Russia in 2011. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan and the districts of Budyonnovsky, Levokumsky, Neftekumsky, Stepnovsky and Kursky in Stavropol Krai. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to North Ossetia, Karachai-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria (including the Elbrus area).

Kuban Krasnodar play Swansea City and Rubin Kazan play Wigan in Europa League matches on 7 November.

There is a high threat from terrorism. Attacks have occurred most frequently in Moscow and in the North Caucasus. Political rallies can occur in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other places across Russia.

You should be aware of the risk of street crime. 

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Australia Travel Advice and Warnings For Expatriates, Tourists and Business Travelers

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. Over 590,000 British nationals visit Australia every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

Australia is prone to seasonal natural disasters including tropical cyclones, flash flooding, dust storms and bushfires (forest fires). Local authorities anticipate the 2013/14 bushfire season could be more dangerous than usual as the pre-conditions for bushfires have worsened in the past year.

Several large bushfires around New South Wales in October 2013 have resulted in two deaths, around 250 properties destroyed and another 130 damaged. Further severe weather conditions are forecast. A state of emergency has been declared, with communities on alert to evacuate at short notice. Check with State authorities for up-to-date information.

Australia is a vast country. You should plan journeys carefully, particularly if you’re travelling to remote areas, bushwalking or going swimming. You will need to get a visa before you travel. Beware of scam adverts claiming to help you extend a working holiday visa. Several British nationals have had their visas cancelled as a result.

Australia Travel Advice and Warnings For Expatriates, Tourists and Business Travelers

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Expatriate Health Insurance

Compare Expatriate Health and Medical Insurance Plans, Coverage, Quotes and Companies, with iPMI Magazine. iPMIM represents leading providers of expat medical, health and travel insurance plans. Find the right and most appropriate Expatriate Health Insurance for overseas travel, global mobility and relocation