Sunday, December 29, 2013

Insurance 101 : Car Insurance While Travelling

I decided to write this entry after I read about misconceptions with regards to car insurance in a travel forum. This is not the first time I bumped into either confusion or misconceptions among forum members with regards to how rental car insurance works. Many make wrong decision because they are confused with it.

So I just thought of writing a simple write up on this. But I hope I can write it as simple and as layman as possible (I know am technical sometime). 

When you want to hire a car in some foreign countries, one thing they will ask is whether you want to buy premium insurance to cover you and the car for the duration of the rent. Yes, they normally charge by day, and it makes your rental cost higher. But, don't ever take the risk by not buying the insurance because you will never know what will happen. What happen if you have an accident? What happen if you accidentally knock down a passerby and he dies? Who wants to bear the repair cost of the car? Who wants to pay the compensation to the next of kin of the dead passerby when they sue you? Never, ever rent a car without an insurance coverage. 

But then, when you decide to buy, which package do you want to buy? You sometimes see something like this for example :

Standard Insurance cover : $0 per day (Excess $4,000)
Silver Insurance cover : $25 per day (Excess $1,000)
Platinum Insurance cover : $60 per day (Excess $0)

So, of all the three type of covers, which one should you choose? What does it mean by "excess"? Excess is the maximum loss incurred (in case of accident etc) which the insurance company will not cover. For example, if you have an accident, and the repair cost is $3,000, and you bought the insurance cover with $4,000 excess, then the insurance company will not pay for the repair cost at all. If you buy an insurance cover with excess $1,000, you will have to pay the first $1,000 while the insurance company will cover the next $2,000. If you buy an insurance cover with excess $0, then you don't have to pay anything. Insurance company will cover all the cost.

Easy right? So always opt for 0 excess cover. No hassle. Of course the premium is much higher, but you can drive with peace of mind. Jangan kata boleh hati-hati memandu so tak payah beli insurance. Don't forget, kalau kita hati-hati, orang lain belum tentu hati-hati. So always make sure you are covered!

The excess, many car rental company will take a deposit upfront if you don't buy 0 excess insurance. Normally using credit card imprint as a security in case anything happens. It is an expensive business right? So have peace in mind, just buy 0 excess cover so you don't have to incur a lot upfront!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dessert Day : Carbo loading @ Serai Empire

I am not a dessert fan.. I rather eat savory thing than cakes and such. But there are times when I do enjoy dessert, pudding / jelly / mousse type especially. 
Last Friday was indeed a makan day. I went for lunch with my colleagues to Dave Deli Subang Parade, and decided later on to have dessert with two of them for dinner. They suggested Upstairs, which is located at the row of shop lots near Sime Darby Medical Centre, but there was no parking then. So we changed the location to Serai @ Empire.

Let us talk about the dessert sold at Serai. Serai has quite a number of cakes selection, but I only tasted one - the pavlova. I saw they have red velvet and carrot cake too. As I am not a dessert fan, I hardly glance at their cake counter most of the time.

 I wrote in here that Mr D loves pavlova very much, and he does love Serai's pavlova as well. But Mr D is on a strict diet nowadays (as a result of his recent blood test), so pavlova is a big no no for him. But F, my colleague, did have pavlova specifically in mind when we stepped into Serai last Friday. So pavlova it was for her. As usual, I can eat Serai's pavlova, but it is not my favorite. The crust is too sweet to my liking. It kills me if I don't eat it with that sour strawberry. 

I went for goreng pisang this time, one of my favorite in Serai. Many thought it is crazy to spend that much on goreng pisang, which we can definitely buy at a much cheaper price at various stalls, but I like it anyway. The difference is, many of the goreng pisang sold outside are a little too oily, and it is kind of difficult to find a crunchy one like this. I really like the batter. It is really crunchy. And the inner part of the banana is nice, because the banana has a little sour taste in it, which suits the batter really well. This goreng pisang is served with gula merah / gula melaka, but I never pour it on my goreng pisang simply because I will hate it if it is too sweet. And I just eat the ice cream separately because I don't want it to spoil the crunchiness of the goreng pisang. Yummy!

And presenting, the pistachio creme brulee. This is my first try of creme brulee in Serai. Not bad, not at all. The only drawback is the caramel on top is a little too hard, perhaps because it is too thick. Otherwise, it is good. 

When I am in the mood to try dessert next time, I'll try others.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Breakfast @ Kosit Hotel Hat Yai

There's nothing much I want to write about actually... cumanya nak cakap betapa murahnya price of food at Kosit Hotel, Hat Yai ni. This is at the cafe downstairs.

The picture above was our breakfast. How much do you think it costs us? It was 80 baht per pax (about RM8.00) for 2 half boiled eggs, 2 pieces of toasts with jam and butter, a glass of orange juice and tea / coffee. OK lah tu kan? Hotel ni dalam 2 bintang je kot, but was OK enough. Basic things are there. Price untuk standard room pun tak sampai RM80. Nak expect macam 5 star tak dapek lah kan, but comfortable enough for a short stay.