5 Common Mistakes People Make When Selecting Visitors Insurance for Parents Visiting the U.S.
Your parents are planning on making a trip to the United States from abroad and you’re doing your due diligence to properly pick a visitors insurance plan that will give you and your family peace of mind throughout the duration of their visit. While online travel medical insurance marketplaces such as VisitorsCoverage make this process easier than ever, it is still important to carefully review your options to ensure that you select the visitors insurance plan that will best protect your parents in the U.S.
With many insurance plan options to choose from and scores of different benefits to consider, we understand that it can be difficult to nail down the right plan. One of the ways that you can set yourself up for success during this process is to learn from other’s mistakes and be properly informed so that you can make the best decision possible. Choosing the wrong visitors insurance plan for your parents can result in inadequate coverage or misunderstanding as to the benefits offered, so let’s take a deeper dive into the 5 most common mistakes people make when selecting a visitors insurance plan for parents visiting the U.S.
1. Not Researching Properly/Lack of Understanding of Visitors Insurance
When choosing a visitors insurance plan, it is crucial to do your own research and understand the purpose of a visitors insurance plan. Additionally, it is recommended to carefully review a plan’s details of coverage, exclusions, and benefits before purchasing for a better understanding of what types of illnesses or injuries could be covered under that plan.
A big mistake is expecting that the visitors insurance plan will cover all illnesses and injuries. There are many exclusions to consider, such as pre-existing conditions, which will affect what is covered and what isn’t. Remember, word of mouth and social media isn’t the most trusted source of information, and you are much better off doing research on your own to choose a plan that is right for your parents' specific needs.
2. Choosing a Plan With Insufficient Limits
When it comes to selecting a visitors insurance plan, coverage limits, deductibles, and policy maximums should play a major role in your decision. While plans with lower limits may be more attractive because they are lower in cost, they will often lead to more out-of-pocket expenses and add up to more expenditures in the long run.
Consider visitors insurance plans that have adequate coverage limits and policy maximums that will better protect you and your family and lessen your overall financial burden in the event that your parents need emergency care for an eligible injury or illness during their visit.
3. Purchasing a Cheaper Limited or Fixed Coverage Policy
A limited or fixed coverage insurance policy will likely be the cheaper option - however, it has many limitations and can be risky, especially for older travelers. Opting for the cheaper, more limited option will likely result in more out-of-pocket costs in the event that your parents need to seek medical attention while in the United States.
A limited or fixed coverage policy pays a predefined fixed dollar amount for each eligible medical service or treatment after the deductible is met (per injury or illness), which leaves the rest of the bill to you. The predefined fixed dollar amounts are typically low, so may end up paying a significant portion of your parents’ medical care out-of-pocket.
Medical care in the United States is exorbitantly high, with an average hospital stay reaching over $10,000 without insurance coverage. Choosing a limited coverage visitors insurance policy can be a grave financial mistake and also become a huge burden on you and your family.
A better option, especially for parents visiting the U.S. from abroad, is a comprehensive coverage plan that offers much more coverage and higher benefits as it works on a percentage-based coverage model and typically has lower upfront expenses.
4. Ignoring Common Exclusions
For most visitors insurance plans, there are many common exclusions that will deem a medical visit or treatment ineligible for coverage that are very important to be aware of. Most buyers will assume that every type of medical visit or treatment is covered under a visitors insurance plan, however, this is not true.
The baseline fact to understand is that visitors insurance plan is meant to offer medical coverage in the event that the insured suffers an emergency medical event while abroad that requires attention. It is not designed to cover treatment for ongoing conditions, check-ups, or routine visits that can be taken care of in the insured’s home country.
Understanding the common exclusions that most visitors insurance plans have will be a great help to avoid any frustrations with your insurance plan and to manage your expectations of the coverage offered. It is always recommended to carefully review your plan’s exclusions and coverage details to ensure that you fully understand what will be covered.
Common exclusions in visitors insurance include:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Preventative care like shots and vaccines
- Routine care/wellness visits
- Voluntary/planned testing or elective treatments
- Pregnancy, prenatal visits, or childbirth
- Monetary expenses related to flight or travel
By not assuming that all ailments are covered and doing your due diligence to truly understand the coverage offered, you can make a better decision on a plan that is right for the benefits that you are looking for.
5. Buying From an Untrustworthy Source With No Customer Support
When searching online for visitors insurance, you may be inundated with many websites that are trying to sell you policies. However, many of these sources are untrustworthy and unverified, which can leave you stranded if you need assistance with your plan and can make the claims process confusing and unclear.
By purchasing a plan through a reputable source that is safe, secure, and trusted online, such as VisitorsCoverage, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’ll have a support line available if you have questions or concerns regarding your plan. You’ll also find that the purchasing process is easy and stress free, and typically only takes minutes to do.
Buying from the right source is just as important as choosing the right plan. A trustworthy marketplace will ensure that the information you receive is accurate, up to date, and that the claims process is clearly outlined and transparent.
Things to look for in an online visitors insurance marketplace include:
- Safe and secure website
- Accessible customer service with various forms of contact, such as online chat, email, or phone
- CCPA and GDPR compliant
- Company is licensed
- US Travel Insurance Association member
- Authentic online reviews
- Self-services for ease of accessing online portal and claims information
- Easy-to-use website and clear and concise directions
- Claims assistance
- Wide range of plans and instant quotes
- Ability to compare and choose plans
By avoiding these common 5 mistakes that people make when purchasing a visitors insurance plan for their parents visiting the U.S., you can make a more informed decision and ultimately choose a plan that is adequate for your parents’ needs.