Insurance for Expats resident in Andorra
Travel Insurance products are linked directly to your country of residency. I don't know why this appears to important to Insurance companies - but it does!
As a UK expat it is galling to google some company and go through the online forms, only to discover that you HAVE TO BE resident of the UK for example to be able to take the cover.
There are not that many insurance companies that offer cover to Andorra; Expatriate Healthcare & BUPA will.. but their products are very pricey; so I was pleased to discover Globelink.
Initially their website only mentioned Andorra in the list of countries covered, so I emailed them and they confirmed that Andorra is OK, and they will update their website soon.
The form is really quick to fill in - well designed - and the cost is super-competitive. I really hope I don't need to make a claim, as that would mean somethings gone badly wrong with my holiday - but I see from other reviews that they do process claims well.
So we had a super holiday in the states... just one little (very expensive) blip: My daughter (9 years old) started complaining of tummy pains soon after we arrived at a museum in Seattle. I told her it would pass, and we continued.
The pains got worse and worse and eventually she was screaming. We exited the museum and sat in the restaurant and I tried to massage her belly to see if that would relieve it. No joy. My wife is getting more and more stressed - I thought - right - we going to have seek medical attention.
We asked at the museum reception and they recommended a local hospital. We taxied it there. They wheeled her in and started treatment.
My gut feeling was that it wasn't too serious... but what can you do when she's screaming in pain? We had to go - and it *might* be something really bad. Then whose going to look like a right idiot?
My wife was in with her, and apparently they did a load of tests and gave her some painkillers. Within 30mins she seemed happy enough.
I figured I might as well see what the deal is, and went to the Reception to see about paying. They told me it was policy to take 500 USD off you and then settle up at the end. Credit card duly produced and billed.
About 6 hours later my daughter was discharged. Apparently they had done scans and all sorts looking for appendicitis and even her ovaries (which could not be found - remember she is 9)!!
Back at my cousins where we were staying he told me... "Remember, that healthcare in the US a -for profit- enterprise. You need to tell them to STOP or they will keep going (and charging)". Anyway with that ringing in my ears I called the hospital billing dept. the next day.
"The bill won't be ready for a couple of weeks... but I can see the total bill will be around 2700 USD"... Oh my god! OK I get it.. this really is "for profit". Wow, for a European that is a shock. Many Brits might have even more of shock, as with the NHS in the UK you never even see a bill.
I paid the full amount and then on return had to fill out the forms for the insurance. You have to provide travel dates and full details of the incident. If it was for 100 GBP I might not have bothered.. but this was a lot of money.
I noted that lots of sections of the forms related to my credit cards, bank account details - and explanations that these were used to claim back money from these companies as they often give "free" insurance policies. As an expat in Andorra I can't utilize any of these - as I'm no longer UK resident, and in the bank's case, the trip was longer than 30 days.
I sent off the forms, and thank goodness, a week or so later the company called me to clarify a couple of little details about the payment (I had paid on a GBP account and there had been a hefty currency conversion charge - they wouldn't pay that as the insurance is for medical expenses only), other that they they were prepared to make the payment minus this amount and the standard excess.
Further investigations and discussions with my friends: The reason you have to pay more or less depending on your residency status is because of the above (bank and credit card insurances), but also inter-country agreements about healthcare, e.g. if you are a EU national and visit another EU country and need treatment, you home country will pay a large proportion.
So.. in summary: Globelink (the agent) and Mayday Insurance (the ultimate company) were great. Great price, great service, and they paid out an expensive claim. However I'm advised that I might have more difficultly in claiming within the EU as someone what doesn't live in the UK anymore. Good to know!
- No Disability