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Suggest researching ins company AND who processes claims

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As a reader of this thread, I see people inquiring who to purchase insurance from. I suggest that the insurance company is important but, more so is who processes that claim.

 

My husband and I have had two occasions to submit claims to two different insurance companies in the last several years. The first time was when I had to undergo emergency surgery two weeks prior to sailing. The second time was when my husband became acutely ill and we had to disembark early.

 

In the first case, we purchased an insurance plan from an online website. The insurance company had a good rating; however, the claims processing company was beyond slow. Difficulties were an inability to contact the claims processor and essentially no updates. Claims resolution took over three months. It was grueling and beyond stressful, at a time while I was recovering from serious surgery.

 

In the second case, we bought through a different online company and chose a different insurance company. What we failed to realize was that they used the SAME claims processing company. The online company we purchased from did try to intervene in our behalf but only they could email them..not speak to anyone. And our contact person at the website we purchased from was really just a middle person through which limited communication took place. Still, claims resolution took almost 3 months again. Expenses were denied multiple times despite completing their claim forms and submitting all the documentation they requested. Ultimately all of our expenses were approved but it was an exhausting experience.

 

My point is I recommend investigating WHO processes the claims and what their track record is. An insurance company, in my opinion, is ONLY as good as the claim processing experience. In our case, where serious medical issues resulted in our filing a claim, having to deal with the stress of the lengthy insurance claim process was a burden we did not need.

 

Perhaps readers of this post are already aware of this...but if others aren't, I want to help them avoid what we had to go through.

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I agree. I had submitted a medical claim for $110 upon returning from a cruise in January. All the proper documentation was submitted and it still took the claim processing company (Tripmate) three months to issue a check. What was really frustrating was the only way to check on the status was online. Phone calls and emails were not returned. You need to look at the actual policy to determine whether a claim is processed by an outside company.

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Is it possible for you to share which underwriter you used that was so difficult?

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Is it possible for you to share which underwriter you used that was so difficult?

 

Certainly...the first time we used TravelSafe trip insurance and purchased through Insuremytrip.com; the second time we purchased Global Alert trip insurance through the Tripinsurancestore.com.

 

Both insurance companies used TripMate to process their claims. Therein lies the delay.

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Dear west coast ... I have a lengthy question and your thread has given GREAT INFO, and although I know I could ask a broker, I have always felt info from a customer/cruise critic member (although not always perfectly accurate) is better for me.

If you are still monitoring this thread Please post reply and then I'll post me detailed LONG question ...THANKS

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Dear west coast ... I have a lengthy question and your thread has given GREAT INFO, and although I know I could ask a broker, I have always felt info from a customer/cruise critic member (although not always perfectly accurate) is better for me.

If you are still monitoring this thread Please post reply and then I'll post me detailed LONG question ...THANKS

 

 

Yes, I still read posts in this category....

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first off ,you mentioned a company called travel insured there's two different travel insured the one I'm looking at is from IMG they look like they're both underwritten by the same company though?

I've been going back-and-forth between three different travel insurances... a little background first, I've bought travel insurance before but only through the cruise line , this'll be my first time I buy it through a third-party. The reason I'm doing that is because this is the first time I ever bought booked through a travel agent. My husband and I are both in our late 40s. Neither of us have any pre-existing conditions. We are in between... it's too late for pre-existing conditions, because I put down the original deposit in December and we are before final payment in July

The three companies are...

The prices I'm quoting is all for similar coverage amounts.

Geo blue which is just Medical secondary payer for $42

IMGs travel insured which is a primary payer for $94

Nationwide which is a secondary payer for $100

All three are like trying to compare apples to oranges to cherries because they are so different.

At first I was gonna go with the JUST medical because the cost of the trip isn't very much.

One of our stops is in San Juan Puerto Rico and Geo blue won't cover us in Puerto Rico

We have Blue Cross HMO but the reason I'm writing to you is because we've had nothing but headaches with claims all year so if I would have a travel claim I wouldn't want to have to deal with my own health insurance company. Plus my husband is reluctant to give Blue Cross more money since they been giving us nothing but pain and suffering.

>>>This is why I truly took to heart, the information you gave about the Ease of a claim.

This is how I came across company number two IMG travel insurance which is a primary payer.

And as for as number three ( Nationwide ) they come highly recommended here on cruise critics because of their special cruise travel insurance which gives you lots of extra perks especially a change in itinerary.

 

These are the things that are most important to me.

This travel insurance's main focus would be a catastrophic injury or sickness, me or my husband

1.) Ease of claims

2.) Making sure that using the ship doctor would be covered by these companies. ( I read in the nationwide paperwork something about them needing to have approval of the doctor).

 

I'm gonna stop here and let you assess my question ...if you need any more information ,even very specific information please let me know as I appreciate your advice and help

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first off ,you mentioned a company called travel insured there's two different travel insured the one I'm looking at is from IMG they look like they're both underwritten by the same company though?

I've been going back-and-forth between three different travel insurances... a little background first, I've bought travel insurance before but only through the cruise line , this'll be my first time I buy it through a third-party. The reason I'm doing that is because this is the first time I ever bought booked through a travel agent. My husband and I are both in our late 40s. Neither of us have any pre-existing conditions. We are in between... it's too late for pre-existing conditions, because I put down the original deposit in December and we are before final payment in July

The three companies are...

The prices I'm quoting is all for similar coverage amounts.

Geo blue which is just Medical secondary payer for $42

IMGs travel insured which is a primary payer for $94

Nationwide which is a secondary payer for $100

All three are like trying to compare apples to oranges to cherries because they are so different.

At first I was gonna go with the JUST medical because the cost of the trip isn't very much.

One of our stops is in San Juan Puerto Rico and Geo blue won't cover us in Puerto Rico

We have Blue Cross HMO but the reason I'm writing to you is because we've had nothing but headaches with claims all year so if I would have a travel claim I wouldn't want to have to deal with my own health insurance company. Plus my husband is reluctant to give Blue Cross more money since they been giving us nothing but pain and suffering.

>>>This is why I truly took to heart, the information you gave about the Ease of a claim.

This is how I came across company number two IMG travel insurance which is a primary payer.

And as for as number three ( Nationwide ) they come highly recommended here on cruise critics because of their special cruise travel insurance which gives you lots of extra perks especially a change in itinerary.

 

These are the things that are most important to me.

This travel insurance's main focus would be a catastrophic injury or sickness, me or my husband

1.) Ease of claims

2.) Making sure that using the ship doctor would be covered by these companies. ( I read in the nationwide paperwork something about them needing to have approval of the doctor).

 

I'm gonna stop here and let you assess my question ...if you need any more information ,even very specific information please let me know as I appreciate your advice and help

 

We've had many policies with Travel Insured, with several claims (including two large claims).

I'm not familiar with "IMG".

Are you sure these are the same?

ALL of our interactions were directly with "Travel Insured".

[The only possible "exception" was when we asked our insurance broker (www.TripInsuranceStore.com ) an advance question while I was in hospital overseas. They got us a quick answer, reassuring us that what we thought might be a problematic claim was indeed covered. But we filed the claim with Travel Insured, and had all interactions directly with them.]

 

You might want to call Trip Insurance Store, to double check which type of policy meets your needs best.

 

BTW, the one time we didn't use Travel Insured, it was because we had missed the 20 day window for that important pre-existing condition coverage.

So TIS recommended CSA, which is what we got. But we had no claim, so can't speak to that.

 

It's probably well worth the small amount of time it would take to speak with someone at TIS.

 

Good luck!

 

GC

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Calling GeoBlue secondary is a bit of a misnomer....while it is technically 'secondary', you must have primary health care in the US to enroll in their coverage. This makes it great for those with Medicare coverage.

 

If your primary offers no travel coverage, GeoBlue becomes primary with no deductible.

 

We use the GeoBlue annual policy for medical issues, medical return home and our Mastercard coverage for trip interruption, trip cancellation.

****************************************************************

Other accounts indicate that three months is not unusual for processing travel insurance claims.

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Calling GeoBlue secondary is a bit of a misnomer....while it is technically 'secondary', you must have primary health care in the US to enroll in their coverage. This makes it great for those with Medicare coverage.

 

If your primary offers no travel coverage, GeoBlue becomes primary with no deductible.

 

We use the GeoBlue annual policy for medical issues, medical return home and our Mastercard coverage for trip interruption, trip cancellation.

****************************************************************

Other accounts indicate that three months is not unusual for processing travel insurance claims.

My main concern about geo blue is , we would need to file the claim with our blue cross hmo of Louisiana to get a denial in order to proceed with a geo blue claim. Correct? Wouldn't that make geo blue secondary ?

And if injured or transported off the ship to PR I would have to deal with my regular bcbs and I'm still fighting my 3 normal claims from Jan/ feb (blue cross hmo of Louisiana is the worst)

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Correct?

 

Probably...you need to call the other sites mentioned in this thread to find a primary travel insurance provider.

 

Even if you do, I suggest you prepare yourself for a three month ordeal for any claim to be settled.

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Probably...you need to call the other sites mentioned in this thread to find a primary travel insurance provider.

 

Even if you do, I suggest you prepare yourself for a three month ordeal for any claim to be settled.

 

A "three month ordeal"? Why?

 

Our claims with Travel Insured, including two large claims, we all processed promptly within perhaps 2-4 weeks.

Then we got a call that a check was being processed for mailing in about a week or two.

About 10 days later, we got a check.

Each time, with one exception.

There was a translation problem with a letter from a physician overseas, so emails went back and forth for a while until he understood what was needed (and why).

 

RM

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first off ,you mentioned a company called travel insured there's two different travel insured the one I'm looking at is from IMG they look like they're both underwritten by the same company though?

I've been going back-and-forth between three different travel insurances... a little background first, I've bought travel insurance before but only through the cruise line , this'll be my first time I buy it through a third-party. The reason I'm doing that is because this is the first time I ever bought booked through a travel agent. My husband and I are both in our late 40s. Neither of us have any pre-existing conditions. We are in between... it's too late for pre-existing conditions, because I put down the original deposit in December and we are before final payment in July

The three companies are...

The prices I'm quoting is all for similar coverage amounts.

Geo blue which is just Medical secondary payer for $42

IMGs travel insured which is a primary payer for $94

Nationwide which is a secondary payer for $100

All three are like trying to compare apples to oranges to cherries because they are so different.

At first I was gonna go with the JUST medical because the cost of the trip isn't very much.

One of our stops is in San Juan Puerto Rico and Geo blue won't cover us in Puerto Rico

We have Blue Cross HMO but the reason I'm writing to you is because we've had nothing but headaches with claims all year so if I would have a travel claim I wouldn't want to have to deal with my own health insurance company. Plus my husband is reluctant to give Blue Cross more money since they been giving us nothing but pain and suffering.

>>>This is why I truly took to heart, the information you gave about the Ease of a claim.

This is how I came across company number two IMG travel insurance which is a primary payer.

And as for as number three ( Nationwide ) they come highly recommended here on cruise critics because of their special cruise travel insurance which gives you lots of extra perks especially a change in itinerary.

 

These are the things that are most important to me.

This travel insurance's main focus would be a catastrophic injury or sickness, me or my husband

1.) Ease of claims

2.) Making sure that using the ship doctor would be covered by these companies. ( I read in the nationwide paperwork something about them needing to have approval of the doctor).

 

I'm gonna stop here and let you assess my question ...if you need any more information ,even very specific information please let me know as I appreciate your advice and help

 

 

The first company we used was Travel Safe...not Travel Insured.

 

You have very specific...& important questions.. that I do not feel qualified to answer. The only experience I can relay is that TripMate was the claims processor in both our situations and they were difficult to work with. So my post was merely to warn others of our experience.

 

One time we purchased our insurance through Insure My Trip; second time was The Trip Insurance Store. Did not matter....both claims took every bit of 3 months. Had heard the Trip Insurance Store assists in expediting claims processing but that was not my experience at all and, truthfully, I was disappointed as I had read how helpful Steve is. He may be but my contact person was not.

 

Next time we travel we are going to use Allianz...research shows their claims processing is good. I hope we will not need to find out!

 

You are smart to do your homework!

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You have very specific...& important questions.. that I do not feel qualified to answer.

 

You are smart to do your homework!

I can respect that. TY

Sometimes I feel doing the homework is NOT enough. It seems we are in a world these days, where company reps, are trained to give ANY answer INSTEAD Of the CORRECT answer.

Which can still leave you with issues and I have read thru multiple policys, feeling like i should have got that Law degree LOL

I've been at it 4 months now LOL

and with any luck I will be lucky enough to never need to file a claim

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Just a word about "claims processing" from one who worked in the Government travel industry for over thirty years. Sometimes, your luck (or lack thereof) with claims processing is more related to the actual person doing the claims processing rather than the insurance company (or claims processing contractor). While most of medical claims are cut and dry, there are often parts of a claim that are open to some interpretation. While one claims processor might quickly process a claim and pay everything requested, another processor in that same office might have a different point of view. Insurance companies all try to have a high level of consistency, but stuff does happen. If you have an issue with how a claim is processed (and what is paid) then immediately contact the insurance company (document all contacts) and inquire as to why the claim or item was rejected or not fully paid. Do not hesitate to ask for reconsideration or perhaps even file a formal appeal. Always be civil, professional, and friendly. The folks you deal with are simply doing their job and are generally not "out to get you."

 

 

Another very important point. When dealing with claims there is no such thing as too much information (some attorney's might disagree with this statement). Claims processors really appreciate having all the necessary info at their fingertips. If they have to contact you (or a medical provider or another insurance company) for more information..it just takes longer (sometimes a lot longer). When dealing with medical providers on a ship or hospital, ask for the maximum amount of documentation...even if it costs you money. As an example, we recently had some major medical bills on a Princess cruise which involved treatment over more than a week. As we were getting ready to disembark the ship, I asked the Medical Center if they could give me a very detailed Statement of treatment and charges. The nurse told me that it would cost me $42 for a comprehensive summary and I quickly agreed to the charge. That summary was later very helpful in getting the claim quickly processed. The best part was that the Medical Insurer did reimburse us for that $42 which was part of our claim. Since it can be very difficult to go back to a cruise line, ship, or physician after the fact, you are doing yourself a big favor in getting all your documentation before you disembark the cruise.

 

Hank

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Just a word about "claims processing" from one who worked in the Government travel industry for over thirty years. Sometimes, your luck (or lack thereof) with claims processing is more related to the actual person doing the claims processing rather than the insurance company (or claims processing contractor). While most of medical claims are cut and dry, there are often parts of a claim that are open to some interpretation. While one claims processor might quickly process a claim and pay everything requested, another processor in that same office might have a different point of view. Insurance companies all try to have a high level of consistency, but stuff does happen. If you have an issue with how a claim is processed (and what is paid) then immediately contact the insurance company (document all contacts) and inquire as to why the claim or item was rejected or not fully paid. Do not hesitate to ask for reconsideration or perhaps even file a formal appeal. Always be civil, professional, and friendly. The folks you deal with are simply doing their job and are generally not "out to get you."

 

 

Another very important point. When dealing with claims there is no such thing as too much information (some attorney's might disagree with this statement). Claims processors really appreciate having all the necessary info at their fingertips. If they have to contact you (or a medical provider or another insurance company) for more information..it just takes longer (sometimes a lot longer). When dealing with medical providers on a ship or hospital, ask for the maximum amount of documentation...even if it costs you money. As an example, we recently had some major medical bills on a Princess cruise which involved treatment over more than a week. As we were getting ready to disembark the ship, I asked the Medical Center if they could give me a very detailed Statement of treatment and charges. The nurse told me that it would cost me $42 for a comprehensive summary and I quickly agreed to the charge. That summary was later very helpful in getting the claim quickly processed. The best part was that the Medical Insurer did reimburse us for that $42 which was part of our claim. Since it can be very difficult to go back to a cruise line, ship, or physician after the fact, you are doing yourself a big favor in getting all your documentation before you disembark the cruise.

 

Hank

 

 

You make some very good points and appreciate your sharing your insight. My dilemma occurred with a total inability to speak to the claims processor as none of them took phone calls. It was all through a middle person so no explanation could be provided despite their request for additional information.

 

Some receipts and documentation were submitted at least 3x which could lead one to believe there was some “dragging of the feet” occurring.

 

Fortunately the outcome for us was full reimbursement but in the process we decided to take our business elsewhere and not purchase through Insure my Trip and Trip Insurance Store despite their popularity.

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You make some very good points and appreciate your sharing your insight. My dilemma occurred with a total inability to speak to the claims processor as none of them took phone calls. It was all through a middle person so no explanation could be provided despite their request for additional information.

 

Some receipts and documentation were submitted at least 3x which could lead one to believe there was some “dragging of the feet” occurring.

 

Fortunately the outcome for us was full reimbursement but in the process we decided to take our business elsewhere and not purchase through Insure my Trip and Trip Insurance Store despite their popularity.

Did you ask insure my trip to get involved? We had a claim several months ago and we were being slow walked. We asked insure my trip to get involved, they did and it was resolved within a week.

 

Having a distributor such as insure my trip or square mouth is an advantage in my opinion because they will go to bat for you and you don't have to fight with the insurance company. The insurance company wants to be listed on their site and can't risk being delisted. Makes sense.

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Forums mobile app

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Did you ask insure my trip to get involved? We had a claim several months ago and we were being slow walked. We asked insure my trip to get involved, they did and it was resolved within a week.

 

Having a distributor such as insure my trip or square mouth is an advantage in my opinion because they will go to bat for you and you don't have to fight with the insurance company. The insurance company wants to be listed on their site and can't risk being delisted. Makes sense.

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Forums mobile app

 

 

Yes, ultimately we did ask Insure my Trip to intervene and it required speaking to a supervisor to bring it to resolution. For Trip Insurance Store our contact person only emailed the claims processor and supervisor at my request. She did not advocate for me and when the same information was requested multiple times, she merely passed the request on to me instead of advising that it was a duplicate request.

 

Regardless, the issues are resolved and I am merely sharing my experience. If others can benefit from my story, then I am glad I took the time to post. If others have had good experiences with these same companies then perhaps my situation was the exception.

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Which insurance company was it?

And which processor?

 

We've used Travel Insured, and it has seemed (??) that their claims people are also "there".

Perhaps not?

 

Thanks!

 

GC

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Which insurance company was it?

And which processor?

 

We've used Travel Insured, and it has seemed (??) that their claims people are also "there".

Perhaps not?

 

Thanks!

 

GC

 

 

If you are asking me, my earlier post states it was TravelSafe through Insure my Trip and Global Alert through Trip Insurance Store.

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If you are asking me, my earlier post states it was TravelSafe through Insure my Trip and Global Alert through Trip Insurance Store.

 

Thanks.

 

Who does the claims processing for each or the insurers (or do they share the same outside company)?

 

How did you find out it was a different company processing the claims?

 

We have no complaint with Travel Insured (purchased through Trip Insurance Store), but I'm realizing that perhaps we *assumed* it was "in house" claims.

So now I'm curious, in case there were to be a problem...

 

GC

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Thanks.

 

Who does the claims processing for each or the insurers (or do they share the same outside company)?

 

How did you find out it was a different company processing the claims?

 

We have no complaint with Travel Insured (purchased through Trip Insurance Store), but I'm realizing that perhaps we *assumed* it was "in house" claims.

So now I'm curious, in case there were to be a problem...

 

GC

 

 

TripMate processed the claims from both insurance companies as noted early on in this thread...and, as reported then, therein was the problem.

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I agree. I had submitted a medical claim for $110 upon returning from a cruise in January. All the proper documentation was submitted and it still took the claim processing company (Tripmate) three months to issue a check. What was really frustrating was the only way to check on the status was online. Phone calls and emails were not returned. You need to look at the actual policy to determine whether a claim is processed by an outside company.

I filed a claim with Tripmate . It took 6 months to get paid ,6 letters ,the last one sent certified ,12 phone calls ,15 e-mails.

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I filed a claim with Tripmate . It took 6 months to get paid ,6 letters ,the last one sent certified ,12 phone calls ,15 e-mails.

 

 

Wow! :o And I thought 3 months was crazy long! I double and triple check whenever I buy insurance to confirm TripMate is not the claims processor. They are impossible to work with and the delays are inexcusable.

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Wow! :o And I thought 3 months was crazy long! I double and triple check whenever I buy insurance to confirm TripMate is not the claims processor. They are impossible to work with and the delays are inexcusable.

 

 

Every e-mail has a different name of a claims processor.No first names just first initials.

I was recommended to TM by my travel agent .I called her to complain . I think that if she contacted them on my behalf that is the only reason why I got paid.

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Every e-mail has a different name of a claims processor.No first names just first initials.

I was recommended to TM by my travel agent .I called her to complain . I think that if she contacted them on my behalf that is the only reason why I got paid.

 

That's all totally crazy!

 

Our only experience is with Travel Insured (purchased through, and with suggestion from Trip Insurance Store), and we've had several claims, including 2 large ones.

 

In each case, IF we asked (we did have to ask; it wasn't automatic), we had a single contact person who could and would reply by email or phone. We prefer email, due to the record of all questions/answers/etc.

 

Also, once we had contact name(s), we occasionally called that person specifically if we had any questions before purchasing, or if the policy terms had changed, etc.

 

They were always very polite and professional.

And the claims were paid within about 2 weeks of the docs being received. We never felt there were any unusual demands about that, either. (This may have been in part because with our waiver of the exclusion of pre-existing conditions, there was no need for them to request or read through previous medical records.)

 

We'd hope it stays that way, but we hope even more that we don't need to process more claims!

 

GC

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That's all totally crazy!

 

Our only experience is with Travel Insured (purchased through, and with suggestion from Trip Insurance Store), and we've had several claims, including 2 large ones.

 

In each case, IF we asked (we did have to ask; it wasn't automatic), we had a single contact person who could and would reply by email or phone. We prefer email, due to the record of all questions/answers/etc.

 

Also, once we had contact name(s), we occasionally called that person specifically if we had any questions before purchasing, or if the policy terms had changed, etc.

 

They were always very polite and professional.

And the claims were paid within about 2 weeks of the docs being received. We never felt there were any unusual demands about that, either. (This may have been in part because with our waiver of the exclusion of pre-existing conditions, there was no need for them to request or read through previous medical records.)

 

We'd hope it stays that way, but we hope even more that we don't need to process more claims!

 

GC

 

 

Travel Insured, in my opinion, must not used Trip Mate as their claims processing. And I am sure there are other trip insurance companies that use other claims processing intermediaries. I purchased my Global Alert trip insurance from The Trip Insurance Store as I heard great things about TIS. However, I was disappointed they sold insurance that uses Trip Mate for claims processing. The person I mentioned this to (not Steve) admitted they receive many complaints about Trip Mate. And my contact person at The Trip Insurance Store was marginally helpful in being my advocate as evidenced by the 3 month claims processing time.

 

I am glad to hear you had a good experience with Travel Insured. I will explore other options for future insurance needs.

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