What is the advantage of the extending the insurance?
When you extend the insurance, all the terms and conditions of the plan carry over with respect to the original effective date.
If you were to buy a new policy, and you had any medical condition in the previous duration (whether it's known or not), it would be considered a pre-existing condition in the new duration. Also, your deductible, coinsurance and other terms and conditions would start all over again.
However, if you were to extend your coverage instead, the medical conditions that occurred in the previous duration would continue to be covered in the new duration as well. Extending the policy offers big advantages for you.
Therefore, you should try to extend the insurance whenever possible.
Some foreign visitors insurance plans charge a $5 extension fee in addition to the premium. I don't want to pay that fee. Why can't I simply buy the new insurance?
Please refer to the first FAQ on this web page (see above). Extending the insurance has big advantages. Why would you risk losing coverage in order to save just $5? Even if you think you didn't have any medical conditions in the previous duration it is simply not worth the trouble.
Let's assume you had bought the insurance for 3 months initially and you want the insurance for another 2 months.
Let's say you extend the insurance and become sick a week after the extension. When you visit the doctor, they tell you that your medical condition started one month ago. In this situation you would be covered because your insurance is 3 months, 1 week old.
However, if you were to buy new insurance and become sick a week later and the doctor says that your problem is one month old, you would not be covered because your insurance is only 1 week old and your medical condition is 1 month old.
Also, you may not be eligible to repurchase the same plan based on conditions of specific plans, but you may be able to extend.
It is simply not worth taking the risk for $5.
Why do some foreign visitors insurance plans charge a $5 extension fee, but they don't charge an application fee during the application for a new insurance plan? Can you waive the $5 extension fee?
Insurance companies charge you a $5 extension fee to cover the cost of credit card charges, as well as printing, handling and mailing you a new insurance card, and other policy documents. The insurance company is simply allowing you to pay in installments and if you continue to extend in small increments. The cost of mailing the fulfillment kits again and again adds up quickly; therefore, a fee must be charged.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to waive the $5 extension fee. This fee is charged by the insurance company, and not us.
Can I change the deductible or policy maximum while extending the insurance?
No. You can not make any material changes while extending the insurance.
Can I upgrade from a fixed coverage plan to a comprehensive coverage plan when extending?
There is no such concept. Those are two completely different foreign visitors insurance products. You will have to make a new purchase if you want to buy a different product; all the terms and conditions will start all over again, as if you had never purchased insurance before.
What kind of changes can I make while extending the policy?
It depends upon the product type, but you can generally update the contact details such as your mailing address, phone number and the email address while extending the policy.
Can I extend the insurance just for one person? My father is leaving early but my mother would like to stay for a longer duration.
No, you cannot. If you have purchased a combined policy, you cannot extend the insurance just for one person. As the scenario you described is quite common, we advise people to complete a separate application for each person as there is no difference in premium either way. In fact, we have described this in our purchase FAQ in detail.
If I purchased the combined insurance for a couple, can I extend the insurance a shorter duration for one person but a longer duration for another person?
No. You will have to extend for the same duration.
My insurance expired today. Can I extend it still? Is there a grace period?
You must extend the insurance on or before the last date of coverage. There is no grace period.
Please note that in IMG policies, the expiration date is one day after the last date of coverage and there is no coverage on expiration date (and you were not charged for that day, either.) You must extend coverage BEFORE the expiration date of the policy.
If you would like additional coverage after your insurance has expired, you can do so on this web site or by calling us during business hours.
I am trying to extend the insurance but it is not allowing me to do so. I am in California and it is 11:50 PM right now and my parents' insurance expires today midnight. What is the problem?
Even though you are in California, most travel medical insurance companies are located on the East Coast and the insurance expires at midnight (or 12:01 AM) according to the U.S. Eastern Time. If you try to extend it at 11:50 PM Pacific time, it is already 2:50 AM the next day Eastern time and the insurance has already expired. Since it can no longer be extended you will have to make a new purchase.
In any case, it is not advisable to wait until the last minute to extend coverage. Please try to extend the insurance several days or a few weeks in advance of the expiration just in case there are other problems, such as your credit card getting declined, your internet or computer not working, or a problem with the insurance company's system.
If I buy extendable travel insurance, will the insurance company deny the extension of the insurance if I had claims in the prior duration?
Unlike major medical insurance plans, travel insurance is not medically underwritten, meaning you don't have to requalify for the insurance at the time of extension. As long as you have not reached your maximum allowed duration and as long as you remain eligible to extend the plan (primarily in terms of your legal status, residency and becoming eligible for other products through other means etc.), you can extend it before the expiration date of the policy. Simply visit our Client Center and extend it.
Will I have to pay higher premiums at the time of extending the insurance?
No, not just because you are extending.
The price may be higher at the time of extension because of few other reasons, such as:
- The price of the specific insurance has increased for everyone.
- The person had a birthday and is now in a higher age group (such as from 50-59 to 60-64 etc.) and some products may charge higher age group number.
I initially bought the insurance for 1 month and I am trying to extend that for another month and I see that the price is higher. Why is there an increase?
The price is not higher just because you are extending it. If it is not one of the reasons described above in the previous FAQ, it is most likely because most companies charge a daily premium based on the number of days you would like to purchase the insurance for and some months have 30 days while others have 31 days. Additionally, most insurance companies charge $5 extension fee.
I have IMG insurance. My insurance card says that my insurance expiration date is September 17, 2016, but your extension notice says that my last date of coverage is September 16, 2016. Could you please explain the discrepancy?
In IMG insurance plans, the expiration date is not included in the coverage duration and you have not been charged for that day either.
E.g., if you have taken the insurance for 3 months effective June 17, 2016, your coverage dates are from June 17, 2016 to September 16, 2016. However, the IMG documents indicate that your expiration date is September 17, 2016. You have not paid for the coverage on September 17, 2016 and you don't have any coverage on September 17, 2016. That is because you can't have the 17th day of the month 4 times in 3 months. In other words, whether they put the expiration date as September 16, 2016 and provide coverage on that date, or you put the expiration date as September 17, 2016 and do NOT provide coverage on that date, in any case, the coverage duration is the same, and is exactly the same for which you have paid.
If you look closely, it in fact, says that your expiration date is September 17, 2016 12:01 AM EST. To be precise, you have coverage for exactly 59 seconds on that day, hardly any coverage at all.
I would like to extend the insurance for 7 months, but it is only allowing me to extend for 1 month 3 days. How can I extend for 7 months?
IMG products (such as Visitors Care, Patriot America, Patriot America Plus, Patriot Platinum America etc.) do not allow you to extend the insurance past a duration that spans across your extension date. e.g., your original effective date is 6/17/2016 and you are trying to extend the insurance on 05/21/2017, you can only extend it to 6/16/2017 (your anniversary date). If you would like to extend it beyond 6/16/2017 (say, 7 months, from 05/21/2017 to 12/20/2017), please first extend coverage to 6/16/2017 and then extend for rest of the duration on the next day.