Travel Insurance needs and more for the 2018 Olympic Games

This year marks the XXIII Winter Olympic Games which is set in Pyeongchang,  South Korea, in a picturesque setting in the Taebaek Mountains. The Taebaekan National Park is home to the enchanting and ethereal Snow Festival which coincides with the Olympic Games this year. If you are attending the Olympics or just planning a trip, travel insurance may be perfect fit for you.

If you are travelling to the Olympics in South Korea, it is a good idea to purchase travel insurance for you and your family.

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Different types of travel insurance protects you for many things and you need to be aware of the different types and the nuances of coverage for each type. Travel insurance can cover, accidents, illness, and medical emergencies, missed flights, and canceled tours, lost luggage, theft, terrorism, travel company bankruptcies, emergency evacuations and transporting your body home in the event of death depending on a number of factors.    See:  http://Travel Insurance Tips by Rick Steves’ Europe

But there are precautions you need to take before you purchase any certain policy. First of all you have a duty to read any insurance policy and it is in your best interest to thoroughly understand it and ask pointed questions about wording that you don’t understand or that is vague.  You want to be sure that you have comprehensive insurance which cover all possibilities; or if you choose a policy with exclusions, you buy supplements to cover the exclusions or have other options for anticipated occurrences or they are not applicable. For instance, if you don’t intend to participate in sports you don’t need sports coverage.

Trip cancellation and trip interruption are some of the primary reasons for buying travel insurance.  Unfortunately life happens and in many instances if you or one of your party have to cancel it is generally covered.  That may not be the case if the airline goes bankrupt or out of business. This is not standard coverage according to the Daily Mail.

Actually, in this instance you need either Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance or End Supplier Failure insurance which covers you in the event any provider or service you are using, e.g. a hotel, goes out of business or bankrupt.

Another issue can arise if your relying on your health insurance to cover your medical expense for any illness you might experience while traveling so do not take this issue for granted.   Your own health insurance may provide some coverage while out of the county but Medicare generally does not. If that is the case then your Medicare supplement will not usually  cover any expenses but if you have a Medigap policy instead it could.  Your insurance carrier may require pre-notification and authorization before you travel out of the country. Be sure to check with your travel or insurance agent to see if you need a specific travel health plan and what it covers.

Even if you do have cover you may want medical travel insurance to cover anything including deductibles which are not covered by your plan. Also If you have a preexisting illness it may be covered under your trip cancellation insurance if you listed it as a known condition. Be aware that if you or another member of your party has in the past or is presently experiencing mental health issues, they may be denied coverage for health and travel by some carriers so be sure to shop for carriers who do not exclude this group.

Sporting equipment is a very odd item in regard to coverage.   Standard travel insurance covers the items while in transit (similar to Marine Inland); or if the equipment is lost or stolen in some instances, but;   If you are irresponsible and just leave your items accidentally, chances are the loss of the equipment will not be covered.  Additionally, if you leave your items with a stranger you most certainly will not be covered. Also, if you rent a car and leave the equipment where it can be seen in plain sight it will not be covered, but should be if concealed appropriately.  Another exception applies if you check or stow the equipment with an operator of a mode of transport, for example a tour bus or train; your travel insurance may not cover it but the operator of the transport should.

While attending the games you will probably want to use snow related sporting goods so you need to be covered if you are using your own equipment. (Rental insurance usually covers any hazard incurred while using the equipment) While many countries are being inundated with snow and some mountainous areas including the Alps are being blasted by record snowfall, blizzards and possible avalanches this area of South Korea has not receive as much snow since December.

Although South Korea does experience large snowfall events, very cold temperatures and earthquakes it has not had record snowfall this year. However, the ski resorts in the area use snow manufacturing equipment and groom the snow meticulously to prepare for snow related sports and activities so you should be able to enjoy these activities at your leisure depending on the Olympic schedule.

Be aware that simple travel insurance generally and almost universally excludes almost all use of the item for the sport it was intended to be used for.  In other words travel insurance will not cover any damage to your equipment while skiing, snowboarding or other snow related activity unless you supplement it with snow sports coverage. Another very common exclusion is the alcohol exclusion rule which prohibits recovery for accidents while you are drinking.

There are many reasons for having other types of travel insurance in place this particular year.  Regardless of your politics, travel can expose you to dangers you would not normally encounter.  South Korea is of course geographically close to North Korea.  Tensions were high between South Korea and North Korea and Russia as well due to restriction on Russian athlete’s participation, but tensions appear to be lessened between the two Korean countries and Russia after joint participation agreements were reached and invitations were sent promoting participation in the games.  Thus, everyone earnestly hopes for a peaceful and tranquil period during the games.  But there are still other nations with reasons for causing turmoil, , or you may just prefer to be cautious, so terrorism, kidnapping, war & armed conflicts insurance are options you really want to consider. These are generally exclusions from travel so you would need separate coverage.

It is very important to check the U.S. Depart of State for travel warnings regarding Korea.  If one is issued your travel insurance and health insurance may not be honored.

In any event Insurance should be given consideration whether traveling to Korea or anywhere in the world.  Nationwide, Progressive and Travelers are some of the larger carriers which provide travel insurance. See

Many others carriers offer this insurance as well.


Carpet Cleaning

Upholstery and carpet cleaning: Insurance challenges in water remediation and storm damage cleanup

Cleaning carpet and upholstery, while unpleasant at times, is generally a safe business activity for both the owner of the business and the employees of the carpet cleaning business. Some personal safety considerations exist while on a job site, and injuries do occur, but it is not a routinely dangerous or risky type of work.  However, this factor can significantly change when companies engage in water related disaster remediation and storm cleanup. This occupational field is fraught with insurance land mines which could leave you little or no coverage.

Upholstry and Carpet Cleaning Businesses need insurance.

The risk for an upholstery and carpet cleaning business engaging in storm cleanup is heightened for several reasons:

  • Workers are subjected to numerous dangerous conditions while doing cleanup which results in higher workers comp premiums for the business.
  • The property owner may not be covered under their insurance due to pollution exclusions for Category 3 Water damages related to flooding and storm damage which may make them incapable of paying for the cleanup;
  • Workers are dealing with the emotional turmoil experienced by their clients who are already suffering horrific losses from flood and water damage which can be compounded by lack of insurance coverage due to exclusions.
  • Your commercial general liability or business owner’s policy has absolute pollution exclusion which may nullify your general liability coverage.

Storm cleanup can lead to exposure to many toxins and environmental pollutants, including parasites, pesticides, sewage, fungi, bacteria, mud, sludge, toxic chemicals, residue, animal and human bodies, body parts, mold, mildew, rot and, of course; contaminated sea, ground and flood waters from oceans, rivers and lakes.  Additionally, workers can be exposed to rodents, reptiles and animals in the water that all carry diseases transmitted by biting or injecting venom, causing injury and sometimes death.  Employees can also be traumatized by these experiences. This environment leaves the employees in the direct path to acquire related illnesses and injuries.  This factor can influence the rate of workers compensation premium that the business will have to pay in the future and raises the costs for protective equipment that needs to be provided for the health and safety of the employees.  See OSHA Fact Sheets for safety measures to protect employees during water remediation work.

Not only the employees’ health may be affected, but the company’s financial health can be impacted when undertaking storm cleanup or remediation even when it pertains to just floors and upholstered furniture if there is or has been exposure to flood waters. Flood or storm water is by definition Category 3 water previously referred to as black water which is automatically defined as a pollutant.  The company’s Commercial General Liability policy undoubtedly contains numerous exclusions related to Class 3 water, mold and other pollutants. These are pollution exclusions.

Homeowners have policy exclusions for pollutants as well. They may affect the property owner’s coverage for any water damage especially if mold is present, unless they have purchase additional coverage by endorsements which covers the exclusions. You should verify coverage with the Homeowners insurance carrier if you are depending on them for payment for your services.

As a result of the exclusions for both parties, insurance coverage for this occupation is rife with issues and problems for the business owner.  In order to adequately protect the business three areas must be carefully covered.


First, all business insurance is categorized by class codes for general liability, standard industry classification and/or workers compensation.  All of these codes for a standard carpet and upholstery cleaning business change when a company performs storm cleanup and water remediation activities and falls under different class codes. So if your business undertakes water remediation as a new business activity you will need to add additional coverage for these activities by class codes or they may otherwise be excluded. If you proceed without changing your class codes you and you employees may not be covered for any water remediation jobs, so this is a critically necessary step. Many insurer do not cover water remediation firms at all and if you have not clear indicated you are doing that type of work, the carrier may not have to cover you.

Next you should determine what type of pollution exclusions are in your general liability policy, e.g. mold, fungus or bacteria that might prevent coverage. You may encounter any number of pollutants while performing storm water remediation.

Third, after examining your policy, you may need to obtain one or several more types of coverage for items that are excluded. In the past it was extremely difficult to obtain comprehensive coverage for remediation contractors.  Contractor’s pollution liability was thought to be the answer, but the mold exclusion became a huge issue prior to 2006 which could void your entire CGL policy and any contractor’s pollution policy.  See General Liability Insurance & Mold. April, 2008 for an in-depth history.

Refinements were made continuously to contractor’s liability policies and in today’s market CPL’s, together with endorsements are available covering most pollutants but it is up to you and your agent to ensure you purchase coverage for all conceivable risks.  Endorsements are generally available on a claims made or completed operations basis.  Additionally. In order to perform water remediation your business should comply with the ANSI/IICRC S 500 and S 520. Standards for Water Restoration to protect yourself from Professional Liability and purchase insurance covering that risk.

Water remediation is a very complex field and protection from liability is absolutely vital.  Before undertaking this venture be sure you have researched your insurance options carefully. Other material which may be helpful are: 1.  Mold Risk Management by Restoration Contractors  2. Contractor’s Pollution Liability Update;  and 3.. Environmental Insurance: Just the Facts,


Common Flooring Contractors Business Liability Classification Codes

SIC Business Insurance Codes:

  • 1752: Floor Laying And Other Floor Work
  • 3253: Tile Floor Installers
  • 2273: Carpet Installation
  • 3996: Linoleum and Hard Surface Installation

NAICS Liability Classifications:

  • 238330: Flooring Contractors

Business ISO General Liability:

  • 91341: Interior Carpentry
  • 94569: Floor Covering Installation—Not Ceramic, Tile or Stone
Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:
  • 5478: Carpet, Linoleum, Vinyl Installation
  • 5438: Tile Floor Installation
  • 5437: Hardwood Floor Installation and Refinishing
  • 5645: Residential Construction
  • 5651: Commercial Carpentry
  • 5436: California—Hardwood Floor Installation




Image Credit:, CCO Creative Commons: No attribution required.