If your relatives or parents are traveling from India to USA, a good question asked by many is whether to buy visitor insurance from India or from USA. The answer is not simple and many factors are needed to be considered before making an informed choice. At first review, many Indian-based insurance companies may present a considerable cheaper visitor insurance India quotes for a plan with same specifications; however, several other issues are necessary consideration when purchasing visitor medical insurance from an Indian or other foreign based company.
To help you navigate and make an informed choice of where to buy – India or USA, a review of the the important considerations when selecting visitors insurance are discussed below:
1. Coverage Acceptability: The prime reason to purchase a good visitor insurance for elder relatives or parents visiting USA is to have the necessary benefits and features accepted and available for use at USA based hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care centers, physician doctor clinics or other care giver settings. If this fundamental acceptability is questioned or disputed by these healthcare providers in the case of out-of-country plans such as Indian visitor insurance, you might have to run pillar to post to prove the credibility. American visitor insurance plans are widely accepted by providers in the US and worldwide.
2. Regulatory Jurisdiction: This is a very important consideration in the event of a disputed claim. The insurance regulatory environment is not developed in India compared to the United States, whereby you as an aggrieved consumer might not get the necessary support from Indian insurance regulators, whereas US-based insurance providers are fully regulated and any claim related disputes are handled as set by rules. Further, Indian insurance regulations might not be able to protect your rights as an insured when you are traveling in a US jurisdiction. A USA based insurance company can be a better choice, since it is regulated by robust and time-tested U.S. insurance regulations.
3. Limited benefit plans: Most of the Indian visitor insurance providers offer limited or fixed benefit coverage visitor insurance plans, whereas USA based plan providers feature comprehensive coverage with a choice of plans to select from.
4. Cashless Direct Billing: With India based plans, a USA based hospital or doctor mostly do not recognize foreign insurance plans for treatment or care received in the United States. As such, cashless direct billing feature typically included in USA based plans is not available in India based plans, and you might be required to pay upfront and file the claim later with your insurance provider in India for reimbursement. However, claim processing in India is very slow and inefficient due to administrative and other difficulties, leaving you waiting a long time to get your money back.
5. Customer case and support: If you need immediate assistance with regards to confirming your enrollment or even if a certain procedure or condition is covered or not, connecting with customer support of an Indian insurance provider might be difficult as many do not offer 24/7 support which is further limited by different time zones. Being in the US time zone helps as doctors or hospitals can quickly get the question answered and confirming your policy. This could further delay care at the time of need.
6. Plan Renewability: USA visitor insurance plans can be renewed online prior to expiration, and most Indian insurance providers do not offer renewable policies. It is very important to renew the insurance plan if your parent or relative extends his or her stay in America.
7. Policy Cancellation: USA based plan are generally cancelable prior to expiration due to valid reason such as a family members return to India earlier than anticipated. Many Indian plans are not cancellable or refundable, leading to losing the premium costs incurred to purchase the policy.
8. Company Experience: Many of the US based visitor insurance providers have been offering the same plans for decades, they have built tremendous knowledge with regards to the plan features, claims handling, customer support. On the other hand, Indian insurance providers are relatively new to the field, they might not be able to provide you with comparable support.
With a through review of each of the above mentioned points, it is prudent and strongly recommended you to purchase a reputed USA-based visitors insurance for travel to USA. Always review and buy the best travel insurance for visitors to USA from a US based provider as all claims are handled in the United States only. VisitorInsuranceServices.com has several comprehensive coverage and cost-effective plans that allow you to enjoy your visit while traveling outside home country, and provide the necessary peace of mind knowing that you are protected for costs encountered during travel medical emergencies.