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Our Vote Goes To…

It’s hard to know you’re making the best choice sometimes. Thankfully, unlike too many past elections, we at Insurance Services of America offer you great candidates to choose from—

When it comes to group travel medical insurance, we’ve nominated only the most qualified, vetted and intelligent of options. No scandals. No flip-flopping. Just honest insurance coverage backed by the world’s oldest and largest health insurance market, Lloyd’s of London, and highly rated by AM Best and Standard and Poor’s. So who are these stellar candidates? Meet them and cast your vote for the one you like best!

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Medical Evacuation from Haiti

Medical Evacuation from Haiti

Most of us are aware of the devastating Haiti earthquake of January 2010. Now, six years and several deadly storms later—including the most recent Hurricane Matthew—the country is still in desperate need of humanitarian, financial and rebuilding aid. But even prior to the earthquake, this impoverished island nation was a popular destination for the humanitarian and church organizations we at Insurance Services of America regularly insure.

One such organization, Bettendorf Christian Church in Iowa, sent a small group of women to Haiti on a mission trip. Not long after their arrival, the earthquake rocked the country and badly injured one of the church’s volunteers. Peggy Wilson suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs when an 8-foot wall fell on her.

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Buckle Up and Don’t Forget to Pack Your AD&D Insurance

The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks deaths resulting from accidents as the fourth leading cause of death for US citizens. Accidents include everything from car accidents, to falls and drowning. But US citizens traveling or living abroad also experience devastating accidents—those that kill or maim—at rates that shouldn’t be ignored.

The US Department of State shows that, sadly, between June 2003 to June 2016, there were at least 10,883 reported deaths of US citizens due to non-natural causes overseas. Of those fatalities, 29.5% were the result of vehicular accidents; 22.3% from homicides and terrorist actions; 15.7% from other accidents including train and aircraft accidents, natural disasters as well as falls, mountain climbing accidents and rafting; and 14% from drowning and maritime accidents. Read More »

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Our Client’s Heroic Navy SEAL Rescue

Dr. Dilip Joseph, a client of Insurance Services of America, realized his life’s dream to provide overseas humanitarian aid when he became the Medical Director at Morning Star Development. In 2012, the Colorado-based organization sent Dr. Joseph to remote, war-torn villages in Afghanistan on a humanitarian mission. The rewarding work was not, however, without its dangers…to say the least.

On a cold December morning in 2012, while traveling to Kabul, armed Taliban soldiers intercepted and kidnapped the doctor and two native colleagues. In his riveting account, Dr. Joseph shares the horror and ultimate triumph of his ordeal in his book Kidnapped By the Taliban: A Story of Terror, Hope, and Rescue by SEAL Team Six (available at

The kidnapping and resulting hostage situation necessitated the deployment of special Navy SEAL Team Six, which only months before had successfully pulled off one of the most famous operations in US combat history: the capture and execution of Osama Bin Laden. The mission was dangerous, true, but Ed Byers, Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL/FMF/SW), was prepared to fulfill his duty to rescue Dr. Joseph.

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Insurance Services of America Awarded Best of Gilbert 2016

Insurance Services of America Receives 2016 Best of Gilbert Award

Gilbert Award Program Honors the Achievement

GILBERT June 9, 2016 — Insurance Services of America has been selected for the 2016 Best of Gilbert Award in the Business Services category by the Gilbert Award Program.

Each year, the Gilbert Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Gilbert area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2016 Gilbert Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Gilbert Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Gilbert Award Program

The Gilbert Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Gilbert area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Gilbert Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

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Take Steps to Safeguard Yourself Before Leaving on Vacation

Not all vacations will work out smoothly, but there are several things you can do that will increase the likelihood that they will. Make a list of things to do before you board that plane or ship and make sure you have everything squared away before leaving.

Things to Do Before Leaving on Vacation

Making sure you packed your tooth brush is only one of the many things you need to do before heading out on vacation. Passports, identification, and making sure you have US citizen travel insurance should also be on that list – especially if you’re heading out onto foreign soil. However, there are some things that are not tangible that need to be added as they will help you get the most out of your visit.

Search the Locale for Entertainment

A lot of people will head out on vacation with a primary goal in mind. For example, many will visit Germany to sample the beer or indulge in real Italian food in Rome. However, searching the Internet for museums, tours and other entertainment near where you’ll be staying, you might get more out of the experience. You may find shops and points of interest that you didn’t even knew existed.

Read Recent News of the Area

Recent news of any particular area can give you an idea of what to expect when you arrive. This is especially beneficial if you’re traveling to areas near war zones or political unrest. It can also be beneficial for finding local and cultural events that are taking place. Not every country shares the same holidays, and you might find that you’re visiting a location that is currently celebrating an event. You can immerse yourself within the populace and learn a great deal about the local customs from such a visit.

Look at Seven-Day Weather Forecasts

Weather can be detrimental to a wide range of vacation experiences. For instance, it might be hard to get safely onto a surf board in Australia if the rain fall is similar to a tsunami. Knowing what the weather patterns are like can prevent you from scheduling an itinerary that can be spoiled by Mother Nature. It’ll also help you to pack your suitcases according to what can be expected.

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How to Choose the Right Volunteer Program


Volunteering in another country can be a rewarding experience, as well as an excellent opportunity to connect with others who are passionate about the same causes you are. If you have always wanted to travel, it might be difficult to decide which country you should visit.

Identifying Which Volunteer Program is Best for You

If you are a passionate person who has a heart for helping others, it can be difficult to pinpoint which organization is best to work with or which country would be the best to volunteer in. Even if you are the responsible type who has already scheduled your shots, updated your passport and checked on long term travel insurance options, you must identify which goals are most important before you can sign up for the right program. Try to define what you are most interested in, whether it is helping people recover from a disaster or spending time with kids who live in an orphanage.

Finding Placement

Once you have decided which country you would like to volunteer in, finding placement can be a challenge without getting outside help. There are plenty of reputable organizations that can assist you in the process from beginning to end. A good way to separate reliable organizations from ones that might not be trustworthy is to examine how many staff members they have, whether they have agents in place in the other country and how well their activities are managed.

Discuss the Important Details

Once you have found a great organization to volunteer with, get as specific as possible and discuss important details with them. You can ask them how they handle emergency situations, if they will provide you with a list of contacts in the other country and how many years they have been in operation. One of the most important things to inquire about is how your family can contact you while you’re away.

Preparing to Leave

In addition to your travel papers and visa, there are other things to remember to take care of before you leave. Cancel or forward your mail to a friend’s house and alert your bank about the fact that you will be out of the country for an extended period of time. Many organizations offer support that can aid in this process as well.

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Traveling Internationally for the First Time


Traveling internationally can be incredibly exciting, especially if it is the first time you are leaving the country. Here are some ways you can be better prepared for your journey.

The First Steps to Traveling Internationally

While planning to travel overseas for the first time can feel exciting, your lack of experience could cause you to feel anxious and unprepared. However, planning ahead can help to ease your mind and make the process feel like it is running more efficiently. If you have not already filed for your passport, this is the first step you need to take. Search for the Passport Acceptance Facility closest to you and bring your original birth certificate and a photo ID with you when you visit. Getting your passport in the mail could take anywhere from four to six weeks, but your passport will last for ten years. It is also a good idea to purchase international travel insurance so that you and your belongings are safe while you are overseas.

Determine If You Need to File for a Visa

This can be a complicated process because countries often change the rules about whether a visa is required or not. Research what rules are in place in the country you plan on visiting, and if you do need to purchase a visa, allow yourself plenty of time to complete the process.

Traveling on a Budget

While it might be more ideal to stay in a hotel while you’re away, a cheaper alternative is to stay in hostels or search for an organized campsite group. If you decide that camping is the best solution, remember to account for rainy weather. Another thing to research ahead of time is what the currency exchange rates are in the country you plan on visiting. While it is not a good idea to carry a large amount of cash with you everywhere you go, it is also not a great situation to have to keep paying fees each time you want to buy a cup of coffee either.

Plan for the Unexpected

If you knew every aspect of your trip beforehand, your journey would be boring. One of the best aspects of traveling to another country is not knowing what to expect. Some of the best memories are made when an unforeseen event happens, so embrace the unexpected with open arms.

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Understanding the Basics of Travel Insurance


Different travel insurance policies cover different things, depending on the type you purchase. Here are some typical things a policy might cover to help you make a better informed decision.

Understanding the Basics of Travel Insurance

When you are searching for travel insurance for American citizens, it might be difficult to understand exactly how the policy will protect you and your family during your vacation. This is because different policies might cover completely different things. If an emergency situation arises and you have not purchased the right one, it can be a devastating experience. Here are some tips to help you better understand the basics of international travel insurance so you can have complete peace of mind during your stay overseas.

Typical Situations That Can be Covered

Depending on which policy you are looking into, there are typical things that might be covered, such as: accidents, serious injuries, theft of possessions, illness and emergency evacuation situations. However, other things might be covered that address the actual act of traveling, including lost luggage, flight cancellations, missed flights and canceled guided tours. The amount you are protected will be determined by the policy you purchase.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Policy

Evaluating a few key things before you decide which policy is best for you is important. If your overall health is in poor quality, it might be a good idea to include coverage for medical situations that might arise. If you are including valuable items in your luggage, purchasing a policy that covers lost luggage and theft might be a wise choice. Purchasing the right insurance for your needs can be determined by assessing how many risks you are willing to take, as well as which areas would prevent you from enjoying your trip if you weren’t covered.

Include Others in Your Decision

If you are not traveling alone, it is important to factor in others when making your decision, especially if you are traveling with your children or other family members. While purchasing an extensive policy might not seem like such a big deal before your trip, if an emergency situation does arise, you will most likely be glad that you made sure you and your family were covered before you left.

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Tips for Staying Healthy While Taking a Vacation on a Cruise Ship

Contagious illnesses often spread among passengers on cruise ships. These tips will help you to stay healthy so that you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest extent possible.

Three Tips for Staying Healthy While Taking a Cruise

Many people enjoy the convenience, comfort and ambiance that a cruise ship vacation entails. From the on-site entertainment and activities to the spectacular views and endless dining options, you may be naturally drawn to taking a cruise for your next vacation. Before setting off on your trip, you’ll want to arrange for US citizen travel insurance and take a few other precautions to reduce your chances of getting sick while away from home.

Get Vaccinated

Many contagious illnesses that spread through cruise ships can be avoided by getting vaccinated before you leave home. Your physician, health department or a travel health clinic can determine which shots you need based upon your health history and the risk factors associated with your destination. Some common travel vaccinations include hepatitis A and yellow fever.

Taking Preventive Medications

If your cruise includes stops at certain destinations, you may want to get a prescription for preventive medications. Many of these medications need to be started in advance of your travels. Anti-malarial drugs may be needed if you’re visiting destinations in South America or Africa, while anti-parasitic medications may be needed for tropical ports of call. Your doctor can help you make an informed decision about whether or not you need these medications.

Hand Washing

Careful hand washing is the single most important action for you to take while aboard the ship. Wash your hands for 30 seconds in warm water with soap before and after eating, after using the bathroom and after returning to your state room when you have visited a public area of the ship, such as a game room or a lounge chair on the decks. In places such as the ship’s casinos or theaters, you may want to bring along a travel sized bottle of hand sanitizer, which can be used to kill germs on your skin when it isn’t convenient to go to the restroom to wash.