Fireworks

On July 4th 241 years ago, a room full of delegates and appointed officials signed into being a new nation built on ideals now nearly synonymous with the American way of life.  On that day, there was no certainty that the United States would win their battle against England but there was trepidation, determination, and courage. Little did the Founding Fathers know what they would create with their signatures when they signed into being the Declaration of Independence. This weekend marks the countdown to July 4th- an annual holiday commemorating the birth of America and celebrating the American people. 

Where history began and where it continues

In 1682, nearly one hundred years before the historic signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, William Penn arrived seeking to settle a land of religious tolerance for himself and his fellow Quakers. This vision was realized through the formation of his namesake Pennsylvania and, within it, Philadelphia- a name combining the Greek words phileo – meaning ‘love’- and adelphos - meaning ‘brother’- which has led to its famous nickname as “the city of brotherly love.”1

Today, Philadelphia still holds its place as a major American city. It is both a modernized tourist attraction and a glimpse into its history as the birthplace of the United States of America. Being that USI Affinity’s headquarters is located in this remarkable city, we are presenting you with a list of five (out of the many) must see locations in Philadelphia for the 4th of July.

Top five places to visit in Philadelphia:

  1. Christ Church

Nestled among the busy streets of Philadelphia’s Old City, the tower and steeple of stand tall against the backdrop of high-rise office buildings and skyscrapers. An anachronism serving as a bastion for American history, Christ Church was Founded in 1695 as the first parish of the Church of England in Pennsylvania2.

Once the tallest building in America until 1856, the current structure was erected in 1744 with its steeple and tower added in 1754 with funds collected by famous parishioner Benjamin Franklin2. It was in this church that many important figures in American history- such as William Penn, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington- met and worshiped. This common gathering space played a crucial role in the Revolutionary era as it not only served as a common ground for these American figureheads but it also welcomed the Continental Congress, hosted President George Washington and other legislators during national days of prayer, and symbolized the new nation’s break from the Church of England. According to the church’s website, it was in Christ Church that “the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States was created from the ashes of the Church of England.”3

Today, approximately 250,000 visitors each year come to see the historic church and its burial ground, wherein seven signers of the Declaration of Independence and five signers of the Constitution are buried. It is open for tours and also serves as an active Episcopal Church with weekly services. 3

Fun Fact: Christ Church is where the American Episcopal Church was formed.

 

  1. The Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution has recently been opened in the city that the war for independence began- Philadelphia. The new 118,000 square foot museum not only showcases its collection of artifacts from the Revolutionary War and the Revolutionary Period, but immerses visitors into the historic time period4.

The museum has thirty-one audiovisual experiences, twenty life-like figures and ten theaters among its hundreds of artifacts4. In addition to highlighting the stories of the Founding Fathers and Revolutionary War soldiers, the museum provides an “inclusive picture of the American Revolution that is often overlooked by other institutions” 4 by including stories from both enslaved and free Africans, Native Americans, and women.

For more information about the museum, click here.

Fun Fact: According to the Museum of the American Revolution’s website, one of the most “anticipated pieces in the museum is General Washington’s Headquarters Tent, an iconic piece of history where President George Washington slept and made world-changing decisions.“4

  1. The Delaware River Waterfront- Penn’s Landing

In 1682, visionary William Penn first docked on the shores of what would become the foundation of his place in American history- Pennsylvania1. Today, Penn’s arrival in what would become his namesake state is celebrated through Penn’s Landing, a stretch of the Pennsylvania bank along the Delaware River Waterfront. Despite its name, the Penn’s Landing that exists today as a popular tourist attraction is not exactly where Penn landed or made the infamous treaty with the Lenape Indians granting him the land that is now Pennsylvania. That location is actually several miles north of Penn’s Landing. Regardless, Penn’s Landing blends in with the historic district of Philadelphia along the edge of Old City. It hosts numerous concerts and events all throughout the year- including movie screenings, open air concerts, ice skating and fireworks for the 4th of July5.

Fun Fact: Today, a historic marker commemorates the real spot where Penn first set foot on what would become Pennsylvania soil, located in Chester, PA.

  1. The Philadelphia Museum of Art (and the Rocky Statue)

Hailed as the third-largest art museum in the nation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is located at the end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in central Philadelphia and overlooks the Delaware River. Founded in 1876 as a museum for decorative arts located in Memorial Hall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art was relocated in 1928 to its current Greek-inspired building6. Today, the museum features a wide variety of Renaissance, American, Impressionist, and Modern art6.

In connection with the famed museum is another celebrated Philadelphia must-see attraction. At the bottom of the stairs leading to the East Entrance of the museum is the famous Rocky Statue. This bronze statue was created in the likeness of actor Sylvester Stalone’s character Rocky Balboa for the filming of Rocky III. Stalone donated the statue to the city of Philadelphia where the movie took place and it has become a popular tourist attraction7.

Fun Fact: The stairs leading to the East Entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art are well known as the “The Rocky Steps”, an attraction that, like the Rocky Statue, was made famous by the Rocky movies. The steps have even been declared as the second most famous movie filming location in the entire world7.

  1. Independence National Historic Park

What better way to celebrate the birth of a nation than at the very place the Founding Fathers signed the country into being? Philadelphia’s Independence National Historic Park is widely known as the “birthplace of American democracy”8. Its grounds see approximately 4.3 million visitors per year and host multiple historic treasures, such as Independence Hall wherein the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of the Confederation and the U.S. Constitution were signed.

Originally erected as the State House of the Province of Pennsylvania in 1732 until 1756, Independence Hall hosted “historical milestones” including meetings of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783, the ascension of George Washington in 1775 as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army8. With its time as an operational hub for legislative action long since passed, Independence Hall now serves as a historic monument and is open regularly for guided tours.

Outside of Independence Hall, the Independence National Historic Park includes the popular Liberty Bell Center, the First Bank of the United States, Franklin Court, National Constitution Center, and Independence Visitor Center among others. The park in it’s entirely, as does each of the historic sites that it is comprised of, preserves the foundation upon which the United States was built. For more information about the park, click here.

Fun Fact: Now the largest city in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia served as the nation’s capital from 1790 until a permanent capital was established in Washington, D.C., in 18001.

Ready to see American history unfold before your eyes on your next travel excursion? Contact ABA Insurance for all of your travel insurance needs by clicking here or calling 1-855-874-0811.

 

 

 

References:

  1. History.com Staff. (2009). Pennsylvania. Retrieved June 27, 2017, from http://www.history.com/topics/us-states/pennsylvania
  2. Christ Church. (2016, August 09). Retrieved June 21, 2017, from http://www.visitphilly.com/history/philadelphia/christ-church/
  3. Church History and Those Who Attended. (n.d.). Retrieved June 23, 2017, from http://www.christchurchphila.org/Historic-Christ-Church/Church/Church-History-and-Those-Who-Attended/86/
  4. Museum of the American Revolution. (2017, May 24). Retrieved June 23, 2017, from http://www.visitphilly.com/museums-attractions/philadelphia/museum-of-the-american-revolution/
  5. Penn's Landing. (2016, August 16). Retrieved June 21, 2017, from http://www.visitphilly.com/outdoor-activities/philadelphia/penns-landing/
  6. Philadelphia Museum of Art — visitphilly.com. (2017, March 28). Retrieved June 24, 2017, from http://www.visitphilly.com/museums-attractions/philadelphia/philadelphia-museum-of-art/
  7. The Rocky Statue And The Rocky Steps. (2017, June 15). Retrieved June 24, 2017, from http://www.visitphilly.com/museums-attractions/philadelphia/the-rocky-statue-and-the-rocky-steps/
  8. Independence National Historical Park. (2016, June 13). Retrieved June 25, 2017, from http://www.visitphilly.com/museums-attractions/philadelphia/independence-national-historical-park/

 

 


Pre-Existing Conditions Exclusion Waiver:
How Do I Become Eligible for One?

image from www.illinoisobserver.netTravel insurance provides benefits to help protect your travel investment, whether it’s compensating for lost time, luggage, or the inability to attend the trip due to an unforeseen emergency.  Many travel insurance policies include a pre-existing conditions exclusion. If you have a chronic health condition, this could impact your travel plans and potentially impede you from getting the coverage that you need.

Because many travelers have pre-existing conditions, travel insurance companies now offer a pre-existing conditions exclusion waiver. This waiver, as the name suggests, waives the exclusion on many chronic, but well-managed health conditions. However, there are specific requirements that travelers need to meet in order to be eligible for this benefit. What are some of the most common eligibility requirements? Let’s find out!

 

Continue reading "How to Become Eligible For a Pre-Existing Conditions Exclusion Waiver" »


6 Do’s and Don’ts of Filing a Travel Insurance Claim

image from blog.ingleinternational.comTravel can be a blessing. Whether you’re simply taking a road trip across the state border, or catching a flight across the globe, it’s an opportunity to expand your horizons beyond your day-to-day routine at work and home. In the best of circumstances, you’ll get the chance to live life a little differently than you’re used to, and go on new adventures while enjoying the thrill of being on vacation. 

Travel can also bring the unexpected, so it’s important to keep safety in mind at all times. This could mean having the right travel insurance benefits to make sure you get attention during emergency situations. If you do have travel insurance, that’s wonderful – you’ve got one step taken care of. Later on, if you need to file a travel insurance claim, you may have questions.  One in particular is:

How do I get the maximum benefits when I file a travel insurance claim?

So, we’ve developed a guide for you. Here are 6 Do’s and Don’ts of Filing a Travel Insurance Claim.

 

Continue reading "Do's and Don'ts of Filing a Travel Insurance Claim" »


Are You Selling Travel Insurance? Check Out These 5 FAQs Regarding Travel Insurance

image from media.licdn.comAs someone who’s selling travel insurance, whether you’re a seasoned insurance broker, or perhaps a tour operator who newly implemented travel insurance into their product offering, you’ve all probably been bombarded with some of the same questions over and over. Whether customers need a 411 from the very get-go explaining the many uses of travel insurance, or need insight into something a bit more particular, it might help to have a handy guide that you can study and follow. What are these frequently asked questions? Let’s begin!

Continue reading "Frequently Asked Questions When Selling Travel Insurance" »


3 Things to Consider Before Purchasing U.S. Visitor Health Insurance

By Chaitanya Bala

  image from i.imgur.com

Choosing the right health insurance for visitors to the USA can be a very tricky process. After all, the United States has one of the most complex healthcare systems around, which means that not getting travel insurance isn’t a wise option. Sure, when traveling to other countries (especially second world countries where having travel medical insurance is likely pricier than just getting treated at a local medical facility) it might seem that travel medical insurance is something you can easily omit. Although travel insurance is always a safe bet anywhere you go, we can agree that in some areas of the world, it’s not as risky to be uninsured.

But…the United States is a different ball game.

Coming to the United States as a visitor without travel medical insurance can be pretty chancy. It can be like riding a Harley without a helmet, driving a car without a seatbelt, and well…you get the picture. The point is, U.S. visitor health insurance is a pretty smart investment to make when you come here to visit for a short, or even extended period of time. With the high costs of medical treatment in this country, a simple visit to the doctor’s office without travel medical insurance can be detrimental to your finances. Now that we’ve covered why visitor’s travel medical insurance is critical when coming to the United States, one question still remains…

What’s the right visitor’s travel medical insurance for you?

There are quite a few factors that visitors can take into consideration here as they select the right travel insurance plan for them. Let’s go through each of these!

Continue reading "Health Insurance for Visitors to the USA" »