Top Six Common Mistakes Travelers Make When Buying International Medical Insurance
Top Six Common Mistakes Travelers Make When Buying International Medical Insurance

Top Six Common Mistakes Travelers Make When Buying International Medical Insurance-image

International Medical Insurance is a must especially when traveling abroad. No one can predict a 100% immune trip. Purchasing visitor insurance safeguards against a number of undesirable medical and travel-related circumstances. Travelers often understand the importance of having visitor insurance but they usually are unaware of certain mistakes:

  1. Wrong format of DOB entry: While filling insurance online applications, the format of the entry of the date-of-birth is often messed up due to the differences in different countries. In USA, the DOB is entered in format MM/DD/YYYY whereas in India, it is entered with the date first- DD/MM/YYYY. A lot of travelers overlook this, and simply use their country format. This complicates a lot of things and creates confusion as to calculate age. We recommend keeping this difference in mind while filling out applications for visitor insurance.
  2. Purchase at the last moment: Visitor insurance can be purchased anytime before or after the day of departure (day of travel). This is the most common mistake travelers make, putting off the purchase till the last moment puts them at certain disadvantage. Often at the last moment, there are a lot of things to deal with- packing, making arrangements to go to the airport, etc., travelers may forget to print insurance ID cards. Sometimes, during the last minute purchase, their credit cards may be declined. Such scenarios only add to the panic.  Besides, during the travel, if any unforeseen medical emergency happens, traveler must have the insurance coverage in effect to get the medical expenses covered/reimbursed. It is highly recommended that the visitor insurance be purchased at least 5 days before the departure date.
  3. Insufficient Coverage: Many a times, travelers think they do not have any grave health concerns and therefore, may altogether avoid buying visitor insurance or buy a plan that is cheaper. The cost of premium often becomes the deciding factor in selection of a travel insurance plan. The fixed coverage plans are usually cheaper than the comprehensive coverage plans, but one should understand the coverage and benefits provided by these plans. The purpose of a visitor insurance plan is to avoid financial trauma associated with medical costs in a foreign land. Buying a plan, which doesn’t offer adequate coverage, is similar to not buying any plan. We recommend $500,000 policy maximum but that does not mean that medical emergency expenses may not exceed $500,000.
  4. Purchase from any website online: It is often found that travelers buy travel medical insurance from any agent online. Rather it should be purchased from an agent/website, which is known and authorized. Visitor insurance while traveling to USA must always be purchased from an authorized agent (like MultiChoice Insurance Services-MCIS) based in USA. This ensures that claims would be taken care of in the right manner. Also, renewability and cancellations would be provided for in a quick and simple manner. There would be no time difference in obtaining help from the insurance agents. Purchase from a random website would not provide them with good/any customer service. Therefore, we recommend purchase of visitor insurance from an authorized agent.
  5. Hiding Medical History: Often while purchasing a plan, travelers hide medical history from their agents. This can very much go against them. Firstly, concealing health history doesn’t favor buying the right plan with the right coverage benefits. It is quite possible that to save some money, purchase of a plan, which may not cover adequate medical costs, will result into financial mishap at the need of the hour. For example, if someone has a history of conditions like diabetes/asthma etc., and not disclosing the need for coverage of these pre-existing conditions, will result into high medical costs when life-threatening emergency happens. Therefore, disclosing medical history helps in the selection of the best medical plan.
  6. Overlooking Exclusions: Travelers most of the time spends lot of time discussing the benefits and inclusions in a policy. But it is very common to overlook the fine print. It is very important to understand what is not included in the policy. Only a handful of plans cover acute onset of pre-existing conditions. Even there are separate plans that offer coverage where extreme sports like kayaking, snowboarding etc.  are included. If a traveler has a history of pre-existing conditions or have plans of doing extreme sports, they must make sure that the required coverage is not excluded from their plan. We recommend the exclusions of the plan from our website and in case of any questions, contact our agents.

As an authorized and your friendly insurance provider, MCIS have noticed that these are the most commonly found mistakes when people are ready to buy visitor insurance. We are here to provide answers to all your visitor-insurance related queries, and help you make the best choice of a visitor insurance plan, given your budget and health constraints. Please feel free to contact us in case of any questions.

Category: Visitor Insurance

June 04, 2015 at 11:07 PM

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