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Vijay Ganesan- ()     03/04/2003 00:54 AM

It is interesting to see that others have had the exact same experience that I've had with Oriental Insurance/Mercury International. My dad had to be hospitalized in June 2002 and I filed the claim with Mercury in the UK. So far I haven't got any response from them. Every time I call Mercury in the UK I get a different answer including one that said that the cheque was in the mail! The last answer i got from them was that Oriental owed them a lot of money and that they had stopped processing claims. My dad who is now back in India wrote to the head of Oriental Insurance and got a response from them saying that they had switched to a different agency in France. I have no idea how to contact this French agency. At the hospital where my dad was treated, the administrators told me that they have had bad experiences with Mercury. In fact they said they stopped dealing with them because they think it is a waste of time trying to bill them and get compensated. So I had to foot the (large!) bill and file the claim with Mercury myself. It has been more than 6 months and so far I have had absolutely no response from anyone. While we may not be able to influence what goes on with the Indian insurance company, we can certainly do something about possible fradulent practices of companies operating in the US. Mercury has an office in the US and if they are indeed screwing customers, we can do something about it. Does anyone know of any organization like the Better Business Bureau that is focused on insurance companies in the US? or any non-profit legal entities that are interested in going after such possible insurance scams?

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Upen- ()     01/09/2003 21:32 PM

I had bought "overseas mediclaim policy" from Oriental Insurance co. They had clearly documented on all the papers that all the US claims above $500 will be settled by Mercury International co, UK. Due to some medical problems I had to pay a huge sum from my own pocket in US. And after confirming with mercury over the phone, I sent all the proper claim forms/documents to Mercury office at sussex, UK. What oriental guys didn't tell me was that they had changed their service provider from mercury, UK to CORIS, France. It's been 3 months now since I sent those documents. Neither did I get my claims/ nor my documents back. I have explored all possile ways... talking to 50 different ppl from 10 different offices, shouting at them, threatening them... nothing works. If any of you have been thro' such a situation... and have been able to get thro' your claims... please advise me.

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Paresh Patel- ()     12/28/2002 17:20 PM

I was reading today's Gujarati newspaper( Gujarat Samachar) online and found the news about Overseas Mediclaim policy from Oriental (GIC) not paying anything when you need it. You can find the news at http://www.gujaratsamachar.com/gsa/20021229/guj/gujarat/news4.html and http://www.gujaratsamachar.com/gsa/20021229/guj/gujarat/news5.html Sorry the news is in Gujarati but I thought it was still important enough to write here.

I am glad I bought insurance from you while my parents came here 4 months back.

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KV Rathnakar- ()     11/25/2002 18:20 PM

When my father got sick and we had to run to the hospital, and I did not even my insurance card with me at that time, I really appreciate all the help you provided me. Thank you for faxing the coverage proof and dealing with hospital staff patiently so that we did not have to pay upfront. Thanks a lot for helping me at around 10 PM. Which other agent would I have received such service at such time? This is truly beyond my expectations.

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Babu- ()     11/25/2002 18:15 PM

badly got entangled in a row between National insurance co. and their overseas agent Mercury International UK. I bought a mediclaim policy for my mother who was on a visit to US and she suffered a heart attack. After notifying the local office of Mercury International she went for an angioplasty in July 2002. We summitted the claim to Mercury International, UK and they are not responding as they have some row over the commission with the indian agency. After few months I send a copy to national insurance co. No response from them either. In the mean time National Insurance changed their agent to one in France. They are not bothered about those who bought their policy and facing legal action by the care providers for non payment. Isn't clear cheating and breach of contract? I am sure there are many out there who is in similar situation like me. Please respond.

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R Mangharam- ()     11/24/2002 00:01 AM

The Problem:
I had to undergo treatment for my knee starting in November 2001. I was unable to walk more than a few steps or climb stairs without extreme pain in my right knee. I consulted the Pittsburgh hospital who diagnosed the problem but were unable to treat is due to non-payment of claims from Mercury International, UK. The total claim amount is $2,994. The hospitals have filed complaints to credit collection agencies that harass me weekly. I am a student on scholarship and cannot afford to pay this large an amount.

Sequence of Events:
I consulted the Carnegie Mellon University health center (as required by New India Assurance policy) on September 5, 2001. The university nurse identified the problem to be serious, and recommended an Orthopedic Surgeons’ Clinic. The orthopedic surgeon’s clinic in Pittsburgh did a diagnosis (starting September 7, 2001) and advised immediate physical therapy and arthroscopic surgery. I filed an initial claim in November 2001 to Mercury International and a follow up claim on May 18, 2002. Following the initial filing, the doctor filed the claim (four times) too as no reply was delivered to my filing. No acknowledgement or claim was received by either me or the doctors’ office. I was billed for all the diagnostic charges and no treatment was rendered due to non-payment of insurance claims. The problem still exists.

I have copies of the claim filing, all bills from the doctors, and all bills from the credit collection agencies. I also have the doctor’s notes stating that this was not a pre-existing condition and stressing the need for immediate treatment. I have documented the repeated email complaints sent by my father in India.

Attempts to contact Mercury International and New India Assurance:
I have contacted Mercury International’s Florida, USA office and UK office. The staff was unhelpful at first and then used abusive and threatening language insulting me personally and Indians in general. They told me to talk to New India directly and not to bother them or call ever again. My father contacted Mr. K, Senior Branch Manager, New India Assurance, Bangalore, India and Mr. B, Chief Managing Director at the Mumbai Head Office. Their emails are XXXX and XXXX respectively. They did not respond to 3 repeated complaints (all documented).

My policy information:
My policy number is 6XXXXXX/XX/XX/XXXX1 Company Code XXX.
Policy period August 4, 2001 to August 3, 2002.
Previous Policy: Year 2000; number 6XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Issued by: New India Assurance (Office Code: 670400), 10/1, “Kukreja House”, I Floor, Kumara Krupa Road, Bangalore 560001. Telephone: 91 (80) 22XXXXX/22XXXXX. Agent: Mr. R. V.

Request for settlement:
I am very stressed and would request the concerned to tend to this case immediately. As a student I am unable to concentrate on my studies with the pressure from multiple credit collection agencies calling every other day. The response of DR K from New India Assurance claims no fault on his company’s part and states that the problem is with Mercury Insurance, UK. On the other hand, Mercury alleges that New India is not paying them. Either way the customer is at a loss.

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Samir Kanparia- ()     11/23/2002 16:34 PM

Thanks a lot for your kind and prompt reply. I got the link. I really appreciate it. I will definitely refer to all my relatives and friends visiting USA to get insurance coverage from your company.

Thanks a lot again

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Srinivas Linga- ()     11/17/2002 21:19 PM

Hi, I have received the Policy and I have decided to take it even though it is expensive than i expected. I sent the signed form and check to prudential office in Minnesota.

thank you for great customer support.

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Bachchu- ()     11/14/2002 00:52 AM

I also purchased for self & my wife the above mentioned policy before going to USA to visit my son but only for 15 days to cover only the transit period of our journey to USA. Upon reaching my son arranged for our medical insurance in USA itself. I heard from him that persons going on in this policy were facing problem due to following reasons. Firstly for any medical treatment in USA, USA hospitals are not accepting this insurance policy & one has to pay the huge amount from one's pocket. Further it became very difficult afterwords to get claim money even after returning to India from the Indian insurance company & that also subject to many verifications & deductions due to obscure reasons. Hence thereis no point of doing any such insurance policy before going to USA, better getting it done by your relation or friends over there only.

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Maui- ()     11/13/2002 00:32 AM

My parents had bought the Videsh Yatra Mitra/Overseas Mediclaim Policy from National Insurance Company in India for their visit to the US. The policy date was April 12, 2002, for an initial duration of 120 days and it was extended by 60 days in June (Rs 75K in total premium for both parents). I spent some money for my father's medical treatment while he was in the US and since it was greater than $500, I sent all the required claim documents to Mercury International's Sussex, England address by registered mail and got a return receipt. When I called the England number to enquire about status, I got a shock. A recorded message said that Mercury was not processing any VYM claims due to some kind of defaulting on fees by the Indian insurance companies (hard to understand the %%^*^& British accent!) and gave a couple of Indian telephone numbers. The tel nos did not seem authentic since they did not seem to have the correct number of digits. When I bypassed the initial message and tried to talk to a customer service rep (after being kept on hold for 15 mins), she cut me off as soon as I mentioned India and Videsh Yatra Mitra, and a message came on saying that the office is now closed!! : Has anyone else faced this situation? I know a lot of people buy the VYM policy for parents. Will appreciate any feedback. For people looking to buy a new VYM policy, pls check before shelling out any money.

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