Left Stranded with International Health Insurance

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Left Stranded with International Health Insurance

Left Stranded with International Health Insurance

How would you feel if you were cheated by an international health insurance policy? You bought medical insurance in good faith, and then two years later you were diagnosed with bowel cancer and the claim was denied? The medical director of the insurer sent you a letter saying “after reverse extrapolating the growth of the tumour, with medical certainty it started growing a few months before inception of the policy and is therefore a pre-existing condition and not covered. We fully realize you were asymptomatic and there was no way you could have known it existed, or could have been diagnosed with this condition.”

I would feel terrible and cheated as insured, and as the broker that sold the policy I would not be able to sleep at night until I found an alternative so this could never happen again. Insurance above and beyond the contract is supposed to be governed by the utmost of good faith between all parties to the contract. I believe this decision was a violation of good faith.

There is a great book by Simon Winchester about the San Francisco Earthquake called “A Crack in the Edge of the World” with a great insurance story embedded within. All those people that bought earthquake insurance were denied because it might have been the fire in the aftermath that caused the destruction, or it was because they had fire insurance and the earthquake caused the fire. All American insurers found a way to weasel out of paying claims. The one British Insurer involved in this market sent a famous one line telegram to his claims adjustors: “Pay all claims!” This was prescient as during the next decades he justifiably cornered the market in property insurance in the USA. Consumers rewarded that Good Faith!!!

You should check the policy wordings on pre-existing conditions so you don’t get caught. If they say that they don’t cover pre-existing conditions including the ones you don’t know about, or couldn’t know about, then choose policies that are less restrictive and reward those insurers that will apparently act in good faith right from the contract.

What policies do have fair pre-existing conditions policy wording? There are only two that we can recommend right now, IMG Europe and Morgan White. If you consider these policies the cancer scenario as above won’t happen to you and you won’t pay more.




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