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Foreign Visitors Insurance - Renewal FAQ
A: When you renew 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, if you had any medical conditions in the previous duration (whether you know about it or not), they would be considered a pre-existing condition in the new duration. Also, your deductible, coinsurance etc. would start all over again.
However, if you were to renew it instead, if they were covered in the previous duration, they would continue to be covered in the new duration as well. Therefore, renewing the policy has big advantages.
Therefore, you should try to renew the insurance whenever possible.
Q: Some foreign visitors insurance plans charge a $5 renewal fee in addition to the premium. I don't want to pay that fee. Why can't I simply buy the new insurance?
A: Please refer to the first FAQ on this web page, above. Renewing the insurance has big advantages. You would take a big risk 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. Lets assume you had bought the insurance for 3 months earlier. You want the insurance for another 2 months.
If you were to renew the insurance, and a week later, if you were to fall sick, and if the doctor says that your problem is one month old, you would be covered, because your insurance is 3 months 1 week old.
However, if you were to buy new insurance, and a week later, if you were to fall sick, if the doctor says that your problem is one month old, you would not be covered, because your insurance is only 1 week old, but your problem is 1 month old.
Also, you may not be eligible to repurchase the same plan, based on some conditions, but you may be able to renew.
It is simply not worth taking all the risks for $5.
Q: But why do some foreign visitors insurance plans charge a $5 renewal fee, when they don't charge any application fee when applying for a new one? Can you waive the $5 renewal fee?
A: Insurance companies charge you a $5 renewal fee to cover the cost of credit card charges as well as printing, handling and mailing you the new insurance card, policy wording etc. The insurance company is simply allowing you to pay in installments and if you continue to renew in small increments, the charges of mailing the fulfillment kits again and again add up to a lot and therefore, some fee must be charged.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to waive the $5 renewal fee. This fee is charged by the insurance company, and not us.
A: 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 apply all over again, as if you had never purchased the insurance before.
A: 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 renewing the policy.
A: No. If you have purchased the combined policy, you can not renew 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.
Q: If I purchased the combined insurance for a couple, can I renew the insurance for one person for a shorter duration but for a longer duration for another person?
A: You must renew 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 renew the 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.
Q: I am trying to renew 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?
A: 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. Therefore, if you try to renew it at 11:50 PM Pacific time, it is already 2:50 AM the next day Eastern time, and the insurance has already expired. Therefore, it can't be renewed. You will have to make a new purchase.
In any case, it is not advisable to wait till last minute like that. Obviously, the traveler's travel plans didn't finalize 10 minutes before the expiration of the insurance. Please try to renew it sufficiently in advance just in case there are other problems such as your credit card getting declined, your internet or computer not working or some problem with the insurance company's system.
Q: If I buy renewable travel insurance, will insurance company deny to renew the insurance if I had claims in the prior duration?
A: Unlike major medical insurance plans, travel insurance is not medically underwritten. Therefore, you don't have to requalify for the insurance at the time of renewal. As long as you have not reached your maximum allowed duration, as long as you remain eligible to renew the plan (primarily in terms of your legal status, residency and becoming eligible for other products through other means etc.), you can renew it before the expiration date of the policy. Simply visit our current clients section and renew it.
Q: Will I have to pay higher premiums at the time of renewing the insurance?
A: No, not just because you are renewing.
The price may be higher at the time of renewal because of few other reasons such as:
- The price of the specific insurance has increased for everyone.
- The person has fallen into higher age group (such as from 50-59 to 60-64 etc.) and some products may charge higher age group number.
Q: I initially bought the insurance for 1 month and I am trying to renew that for another month and I see that the price is higher. Why is it so?
A: The price is not higher just because you are renewing it. If it is not one of the reasons describe above in the previous FAQ, it is most likely because most companies charge 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 renewal fee.
Q: I understand that Patriot America must be purchased for a minimum of 1 month initially, in order to be able to renew in the future. However, I would like to make some changes and therefore, I am going to buy a new policy or, my insurance has expired, and I would like to buy a new policy. As I have already purchased for a minimum of 1 month, can I buy for shorter duration now?
A: No, if you are buying a new Patriot America policy, all the terms and conditions of the policy will start all over again. Therefore, you will have to again purchase for a minimum of 1 month in order to be able to renew in future.
Q: I have IMG insurance. My insurance card says that my insurance expiration date is September 17, 2010 but your renewal notice says that my last date of coverage is September 16, 2010. Could you please explain the discrepancy?
A: 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, 2010, your coverage dates are from June 17, 2010 to September 16, 2010. However, the IMG documents indicate that your expiration date is September 17, 2010. You have not paid for the coverage on September 17, 2010 and you don't have any coverage on September 17, 2010. 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, 2010 and provide coverage on that date, or you put the expiration date as September 17, 2010 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, 2010 12:01 AM EST. That means, to be very precise, you have the coverage for 59 seconds on that day. However, practically, you don't have any coverage on that day.
Q: I would like to renew the insurance for 3 months. However, it allows me to renew only for 1 month 3 days. How can I renew for 3 months?
A: IMG products (such as Visitors Care, Patriot America, Patriot America Plus, Patriot Platinum America etc.) do not allow you to renew the insurance for the duration that spans across your renewal date. e.g., your original effective date is 10/17/2013 and you are trying to extend the insurance on 09/21/2014, you can only extend it till 10/16/2014 (your anniversary date). If you would like to extend it beyond 10/16/2014 (say, 3 months, from 09/21/2014 to 12/20/2014), please first extend till 10/16/2014 and then renew for rest of the duration on the next day.
Disclaimer: The information within this article is intended as a broad summary of benefits and services and is meant for informational purposes only. The information does not describe all scenarios, coverages or exclusions of any insurance plan. The benefits and services of an insurance plan are subject to change. This is not your policy/certificate of insurance. If there is any discrepancy between the information in this article and the language of your policy/certificate wording, the language of the policy/certificate wording will prevail.