Here's a Surprising Discovery in the Realm of Travel Insurance
After learning more about travel insurance policies and engaging in a meaningful discussion with friends, Brenda, who spends her winters in Seminole, Florida, sent Medipac a very introspective letter. She covered two subjects, the first of which was how the pre-existing condition clause could affect an existing policy that you have topped up.
First, we look into the non-top-up Pre-Existing clause. Around 99 percent of travel insurance policies state that the Pre-Existing clause takes effect on the first day of your travel. For instance, should you purchase an Early Bird policy a few days before you set off somewhere, your Pre-Existing commences on the very day you board the plane. In the event there are changes to your health, prescription medicine or anything that is beyond the notice of your insurer during the time you made the purchase until the day you start your journey, it is advisable to contact your insurer and let them know right away. Inquire how such changes affect your policy. Should there be no effect, request that a note be added to your file.
We hopefully assume that Brenda's policy is a good one because it covers the first 30 days of her travels or any trip for that matter. It has been 15 years since she first purchased a Medipac Top-Up plan that provides coverage on the 30th day of travelling. Much to her surprise, her Pre-Existing clause actually began the moment the Medipac Top-Up plan started, not of the first day of travel. This was an incorrect assumption and Brenda did not realize that Medipac Travel Insurance cares about what will happen to her during her first 30 days exploring the South. We most definitely care!
Imagine the house you intend to purchase closes in a month but burns to a ground before it officially becomes your property. However, you were able to secure a fire insurance which will take effect on the day the property becomes yours. The best course of action is to call the insurance company and let them know what happened to the house! The period between your purchase date and the start of your coverage is rather volatile and there may be drastic changes. If you do not inform your insurer – and they so want to know – you will be responsible for paying any claim you make.
On the brighter side, Brenda's situation was only an example to give us a better understanding of and more knowledge on insurance policies. What if a claim is raised in the first 30 days (not a Medipac claim). Many policies will cover the claim but others will not cover anything “related directly or indirectly” to the claim's cause after an emergency. Depending on how this clause is implemented, this can cause problems with certain insurance plans. A number of insurance plans would not cover a heart attack even if two weeks before, the patient had visited the doctor and was diagnosed with chest pain. As for a sprained ankle that caused you to trample and hit your head two weeks later, since the latter accident is pretty much related to the first one, then the claim may hold water. The expense is quite something, though. In October of last year, six of such cases amounted to $200-500,000.
Some insurance companies have a “Reoccurrence” clause that prevents the payment of claims should the person require more treatment. Medipac evaluates each case no matter how minor the claim is and you will know for sure whether or not you are covered. We handle claims quite differently.
Supposing on the last day of the first 30 days of your travel, you end up in the hospital and are confined there for 10 more days. Be glad because though their coverage should have ended upon your admission to the hospital, your travel medical insurance company will be responsible for covering all the costs incurred in this medical emergency until the moment it is resolved. You may ask, “Am I still covered when I get out of the hospital?” The answer varies depending on your insurance plan. In most cases, you have around three days to return home (a solution originally initiated by Medipac Travel Insurance for the sake of clients who might get stranded but it seems the rest have mimicked us). Rest assured, your Top-Up coverage will take effect. Contact Medipac and we will do what we can to tidy up the clutter. Be forewarned, though. If the risk is high, then you may have to pay more due to a pending claim. On one hand, you may not have to pay anything. There are cases when the best option before you is just to go home. Your insurance company will cover the expense but Medipac will still extend a helping hand any way possible. Get a full reimbursement as soon as you get home.
The heart of the matter is that as long as your insurance company knows, you will most likely be covered. For mutual safety, make it a point to inform your insurer whenever something comes up without their knowledge. Letters like Brenda's always raise our spirits up because we realize how more and more people are taking the time to discuss and learn about their policies. Understanding their policies means they see the necessity of buying Medipac Travel Insurance. You – the people – are by far the most effective tool in our marketing arsenal.
Something to note before we end this session. A good ol' fellow had us on our toes about a pro-rated claim payment he received. His application did not follow the right procedures so we only paid a portion of his claim. At one of our meetings, he approached us to apologize. Friends had told him that Medipac is the only travel insurance company kind enough to pay him anything! He is still happy and that is all that matters.
The second issue concerning Brenda's case had something to do with the different bills given to you, as opposed to an insurer, for exactly the same thing. These issues can be dealt with after a more in-depth study of U.S. law. Brenda had said things like “buyer beware” and “insurance companies generally hold the upper hand.” Here at Medipac, we are more than willing to hold your hand.
Medipac's Early Bird travel insurance program is already set in motion. All you have to do is thorougly assess the policy and see if it suits your needs. Most of all, know what you are buying. It would be our utmost pleasure to have you as our clients. For best results, look for the Medipac, Canadian Snowbird Association and Royal Canadian Legion logos.