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Whether you travel outside your home country on business or pleasure, any international trip may have some unforeseen factors, which may result in an accident. We suggest that all travelers take out travel insurance or any other insurance providing cover for your international travel. This will definitely protect you against any accidental events happening on your travels, including illness, injury, theft or other losses. The category of insurance you choose is dependant on your personal financial condition and requirements of course.

 Travel Agencies' Liability Insurance in China

At present, most International Travel Services in China only provide 'Travel Agencies' Liability Insurance' to their foreign clients. This may not be enough to cover any sudden problems that may arise during a tour. Therefore, some other kind of personal accidence insurance, purchased in your own country, is also necessary.

China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) issued a regulation in May 2001 which instructs all travel agencies to provide 'Travel Agencies' Liability Insurance' to protect tourists' rights and interests, effective as of September 1, 2001. This insurance policy replaces the original Personal Accident Insurance and becomes the new legally based practice in China.

 Difference between 'Travel Agencies' Liability Insurance' &  previous 'Personal Accident Insurance'
The most important difference is that the former policy places primary responsibility for the policy-holder, the insurant and the beneficiary all on the travel agency. In other words, for any losses, theft, injury or death directly caused by travel services, they take the responsibility to claim compensation for their clients from the insurance agent. By contrast, in the new policy, the travel agency just serves as the representative of the tourist; in the event of any accident, they do not have any direct liability. Moreover, this policy only insures against personal accidents, and excludes personal loss, theft and any other loss of possessions.

 General Principles of 'Travel Agencies' Liability Insurance': 
Any travel services dealing with tourism should provide this policy for their clients. The insurance agency will compensate the tourist should there be any personal or property damage during the activities arranged by the travel agency.

 Policy Coverage: 
The policy covers the following accidents if caused by the travel agency:
a. Compensation for the injury or death of tourists during their tour.
b. In case of the 'a' situation, the fee related to the injured party's treatment, or the disposal expense of the deceased's body.
c. Necessary aid to the injured, sometimes the family's visitation and minor parties' repatriation fees, payment for doctors, and logical amendments for the delayed or cancelled tour.
d. Loss, damage or theft of the traveler's belongings
e. Legal fees if a lawsuit arises because of the travel agency's liability.

Travelers who take part in a tour arranged by a travel agency should confirm that their physical conditions allow for participation in any and all planned activities; any expenses incurred by a pre known illness or debility will then be the traveler's responsibility. They should obey the guide's arrangements; endeavor to protect minors in the group and all personal property. In addition, the insurance policy does not include any compensation related to travelers' personal offences. The policy also does not take responsibility for any losses after the tour ends, outside the guided tour or during designated free time.

 Compensation standard: 
The National Tourism Administration also regulates the compensation standards for different cases. For domestic travel inside China, the maximum amount is RMB 80,000 Yuan (US$9,700); and for Chinese people traveling overseas or foreign visitors to China, RMB 160,000 Yuan (US$19,400) is the maximum.

The annual compensation limits for a tourism agency should be within two million Yuan (about USD 243,900) for a domestic trip and four million Yuan (about USD 487,800)

For any high risk travel services activities such as car-racing, horse-racing, rock-climbing, bungee jump, surfing or other adventure activities, tourist agencies must coordinate with insurance companies about the related compensation standards and limits.

 Supplementary articles: 
Tourists should purchase personal insurance in their home country before joining in a tour arranged by a travel agency to insure against any unforeseen circumstances.

Note: all prices quoted in USD are estimates only and subject to currency fluctuation.