How to Make Annual Travel Insurance Work for You

Holidays used be a luxury: generations ago, the idea of crossing nations was intimidating for its expense and difficulty, while the concept of crossing oceans was only possible for the lucky few. Nowadays, packing your bags for a trip is almost an expectation for many middle-class families, and the travel industry is booming. The need … Continue reading “How to Make Annual Travel Insurance Work for You”

Holidays used be a luxury: generations ago, the idea of crossing nations was intimidating for its expense and difficulty, while the concept of crossing oceans was only possible for the lucky few. Nowadays, packing your bags for a trip is almost an expectation for many middle-class families, and the travel industry is booming.

The need for travel insurance has grown as well and, while many travel now and then, there some families and individuals who can afford regular trips. If this is the case for you and your family, you need to consider how to make annual travel insurance work for you.

Choose the right provider

The first step is probably the most obvious. Choosing the provider of your policy comes with its own set of expectations, including reliability, efficiency, and, of course, value for money. But picking an annual travel insurance policy from the plethora of companies flooding an already bursting market can seem daunting. The key is to focus on the quality of a provider’s guarantees, matched with the openness and simplicity of their plans. Solid, small and reliable firms are usually backed up by larger insurers, and offer plans which, while simple to quote and easy to book online, always come with a clear explanation of exactly what you can expect if you plan your regular trips. Choose wisely, and whether you’re heading off to Spain on short weekend trips or have a few conventions to cover in Ireland over the summer, you know you have a policy you can trust.

Choose the right plan

Even the smallest providers will offer a range of plans. It’s not always a simple matter of narrowing down a number of annual travel insurance plans offered by a few companies and going with your gut instinct. The intelligent way to make your plan work for you is to ensure you only pay for what you need. Year-round cover varies, and whether you are a businessperson, family, couple, or individual will, along with other factors, affect the efficacy and cost-efficiency of your plan. Checking the fine print will save you from paying for things you might never need.

Choose the right extras

The nature of annual travel insurance means that it’s is based on the rather pessimistic premise of portentous injury, accidents or loss of valuables. But even if the best-case scenario occurs and you never need to make a claim, a policy can be made attractive with some potential extras. Free cover for children, cover for cruises or golf equipment, 24 hour emergency contacts and other perks can make your plan work for you all the harder even harder – and save you money!

Suicide Risk

According to Alberta Health Services, this province has a higher rate of suicide than the national average. In fact, suicide is a leading cause of death in Alberta surpassing motor vehicle collisions, AIDs and homicides.

Most people don’t have a lot of training or experience with suicide. As a result, a great deal of fear and helplessness can accompany the thought that someone might be suicidal. There are several things that you should know about suicide:

1. Treat every threat as serious – Never ignore, minimize or promise confidentiality when someone talks about suicide. Listen carefully and do not interrupt.

2. Think about warning signs – Has the person been faced with a difficult situation recently such as a job loss, unplanned pregnancy, divorce or health problem? Do you notice any changes in their mood, sleep, appetite, or participation in activities? Are they giving things away? Do they seem pre-occupied with death?

3. Consider the history – Have there been suicide attempts or incidents of self-harm in the past? Were there friends, relatives or role-models of the individual who committed suicide?

4. Ask the question – If someone “hints” or implies that life is not worth living ask “Are you suicidal?”

5. Don’t make assumptions – People who commit suicide might never have suffered from mental illness. Most individuals who have suffered from mental illness are not suicidal.

6. Assess the risk level – Some people have thoughts of suicide when life is overwhelming but do not have any intention of following through. Their statement may be a “cry for help”. Support and problem-solving options might be what they really need.

7. Determine if there is a plan – Ask questions about what the person might be considering. Be direct and get very specific information about what they are planning to do. Medium risk involves having thoughts, impulses and a plan.

8. Find out if they have the means – Does the person have opportunity to access what they need to fulfill their plan? If so, they are high risk. Do they have a gun, pills, a vehicle or other means that match their plan? Remember that being under the influence of a substance at the time also increases the risk.

9. Don’t try to be a hero – Access services of a professional who will do an assessment and create a treatment plan. Call a Suicide Crisis line, take the person to the hospital or ask police to transport for you. Make sure that you share the information you have gathered with the professionals involved.

10. Let go! – Sometimes individuals are taken to an Emergency Room and are not admitted or are hospitalized and then released a day or two later. You may not agree with what is happening but it is up to the professionals involved to develop an appropriate treatment plan to help the individual. It is NOT your responsibility to keep the person safe or alive.

Suicide affects so many people – the individual, family, friends and society at large. It is therefore important that we learn as much as possible about suicide and then are wise and compassionate.

Is Payday Lending the Right Choice?

There are many people who find themselves in significant financial straits and do not know what to do about the situation. If such a person learns about payday loans through an online search or by driving past a storefront with a sign advertising this type of loan, a quick decision to pursue this type of getting fast money might be made. It is a frequent occurrence that a person applies for this type of loan without doing due diligence about the negative consequences. Local Credit Unions would recommend that other sources of obtaining some financial relief. Prior to applying for a payday loan, one needs to learn the pertinent facts about the loan.

BIG FEES WILL BE ATTACHED TO A PAYDAY LOAN

Most people are aware that any loan will have interest and require proof of income. However, one needs to know that the interest on a payday loan can come in at anywhere from 24 to 39% which adds up to a lot of money that one already doesn’t have available. Even if one lives in a state that has put a cap on payday loan interest rates, interest is still high. A person who gets this type of loan might not be able to pay it back on his/her next payday and extends the loan. When this situation occurs, interest fees have to be paid again. In addition, there are several high fee “administrative” fees for the loan that will have to be paid. It can happen that people who become involved with a payday loan find themselves seeking one payday loan to pay off another, the situation spirals out of control and financial ruin looms in the near future.

SIGNIFICANT FACTS TO REMEMBER

Those who get a loan fully intend to repay the debt. However, when one has a payday loan, it is to be paid by the next payday. However, one must remember that there are other bills to pay, food and gas to buy and the funds for the loan payment may not be there to repay the loan. For these reasons, one can become involved in a vicious cycle of trying to find more cash streams to meet all financial obligations. Such a cycle seems never ending until the outcome may have to be a bankruptcy filing. Declaring bankruptcy is something that most people want to avoid.

Dealing with the horrible cycle of debt will have an effect on the whole family. Worry becomes constant and the bill collection calls, letters and threats can result in overwhelming stress that can cause depression and other medical problems. Some people become unable to work and unable to take action or seek help to solve the financial problems. If people are fully informed about the negative ramifications of payday loans, they should be able to avoid this solution to lack of money.

OTHER OPTIONS FOR FINANCIAL HELP

Local Credit Unions would suggest that people having financial problems consider getting a low or no interest credit card that can be paid down gradually when household obligations are met. In addition, people should talk with representatives of local Credit Unions regarding any programs that they might offer that could help with family financial issues. Most of these agencies offer both secured and unsecured loan packages. In addition, one will find that payments and interest rates with credit unions are typically lower than with other financial institutions. It is in the best interest of anyone to avoid becoming involved with a payday loan and investigate the other avenues of procuring the needed money to assist with finances. There are viable alternatives to the highly advertised payday loan.

10 Amazing Reasons To Eat Insects

1. Nutrition & Health

One of the most convincing arguments why you should consider eating insects, is from a health point of view. Insects generally are very high in protein, beneficial fats, vitamins, minerals and all essential amino acids.

Vitamin B12 for example is not available from plant sources, and many vegetarians and vegans are deficient in this. Insects are a great source of Vitamin B12. Nuts and pulses, though very healthy in other nutrients, lack this essential vitamin.

The combination of un- saturated omega- 3 and omega- 6 fatty acids is also high and comparable to that found in fish, which is higher than in pork and cattle.

As most insects are eaten whole, unlike conventional meat, the entire exoskeleton, muscle tissues and vital organs are consumed. This is part of the reason for the high micro- nutritional value of insects.

2. Less land requirements

Farming insects requires less land than farming traditional livestock. In fact, insects even like to be confined to small spaces, which can be seen in the way the cluster into certain patterns. Furthermore they can be stacked vertically unlike bigger animals.

If you compare the weight of protein produced with other livestock, insects require 2 to 10 times less space. Traditional livestock is presently occupying two thirds of the worlds’ land masses, and are the cause of some of our biggest environmental challenges. Climate change, over- fishing, pollution caused by fertilizing as well as pesticide use, are all reasons why the environment is being maxed out and something needs to change.

3. Less CO2 and ammonia emissions

Insects produce significantly less CO2 and ammonia emissions than cattle, pork and chicken. The reason for this is the much shorter lifespan of insects, which means less resources are required. In the case of crickets, they are fully grown at about 8 weeks. Compare that with cows, which are considered adults at about 2 years of age.

4. Quicker protein conversion

Insects are furthermore cold- blooded, meaning increased efficiency at converting food into protein. To produce the same amount of protein, crickets need 12 times less food than cattle, and only half the amount than pork and chicken.

5. Less feed and water requirements

Insects require less feed than other livestock, and about 80% of a cricket is digestible. This is most likely due to the fact that insects are cold- blooded and therefore don’t need food to stay warm. Insects also require significantly less water compared to cattle, pork and chicken.

6. Insects can live off organic waste products

Because insects are easy to please gastronomically, they can live off organic side streams like manure and compost. This in turn decreases environmental impact and adds value to waste products.

Insects could be fed biowaste, and in turn processed and fed to larger animals, which again could be sold to the consumer. Insects such as the black soldier fly, the common housefly and the yellow mealworm, are extremely efficient at converting organic waste, and estimations say that they could convert 1.3 billion tonnes of biowaste per year. Unfortunately this process is not yet allowed due to present and outdated food & feed legislation.

7. Ethical considerations

Insects are further down the food chain than other livestock, and don’t have many animal welfare issues associated with them. This could potentially be an argument for vegans and vegetarians to consume them, especially as they are high in Vitamin B12, which is not obtainable from plants.

8. Small risk of zoonotic infections

Diseases like foot and mouth disease, H5N1, avian influenza and bovine spongiform are less likely to be transmitted from insects to humans, because insects taxonomically are much more different than bigger animals. In recent years we have seen a rapid increase in these infections, likely caused by climate change as well as the intensification of animal production. However, more research is needed in this area.

9. Rearing insects is easy and cost- efficient

Farming insects is easy to learn and doesn’t require a lot of training or resources. Because the life- span of an insect is much shorter than traditional livestock, coupled with the fact that insects reproduce extremely quickly, this also results in quicker economical benefits.

10. No use of antibiotics, pesticides, GMO or hormones

Insects do not require antibiotics, the use of which especially in the poultry industry has led to a lot of debate. Excessive use of antibiotics can lead to bacteria, which become resistant, and in turn become a worrying danger to humans.

The use of pesticides is also not necessary, which logically is better for the environment and human health, as well as being more economical.

The same can be said for GMO and artificial hormones, all of which become superfluous when farming insects.