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Videsh Yatra Mitra policy not paying
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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Article in Times of India about indian insurance company horror story
Read an article published in Times of India on Oct 30, 2002 which reads following:

Snags in overseas medical insurance



NEW DELHI: A spat between the General Insurance Company (GIC) and its international service provider Mercury International has resulted into an embarrassing breakdown in providing claims to international medical insurance policy holders.

While there are no definitive numbers, at least 1,500 policy holders across the country are running from pillar to post to get their claims honoured. This covers those who have taken the Videsh Yatra Mitra Policy from GIC?s subsidiaries ? New India, National, United and Oriental ? between April and July 2002.

Thanks to alleged late payments by Mercury, many hospitals in the US refused to accept policies sold by GIC. The problem began early this year when Mercury increased its commission from 4 per cent of premium collections to 6.5 per cent, as well as 20 pounds per claim. This was unacceptable to GIC, and the relationship deteriorated as Mercury stopped payments to overseas hospitals that accept GIC policies.

On their part, executives at GIC admitted that they too owe Mercury money, accepting a standoff with the UK-based service provider. ??We hope to resolve the problem with Mercury soon,?? says a senior executive at Oriental. Mercury could not be reached for comments. From July 2002, the GIC companies terminated their 16-year relationship with Mercury and have tied up with Paris-based Coris International.

Every year, over 300,000 overseas medical insurance policies are sold in the country. The premium collections hover around $125 million. Insiders say only 2 per cent of the policy holders file claims, which approximate as much as $90 million.

Take, for instance, 65-year-old SK Srivastava, who fell ill in May 2002 while visiting his son, a software professional in Los Angeles. The Stanford Hospital where he was admitted for intestinal bleeding politely refused to accept his Videsh Yatra policy issued by United India. Srivastava?s son had to shell out the total hospital bill: $28,000.

GIC officials maintain it?s business as usual. ??When we sell a policy, it is a contractual obligation to honour claims. We hope to clear all claims by November,?? said a United India official. To start with, GIC plans to clear all claims up to $500.

??There is no problem since we changed to the new service provider from July 2002. People continue to buy overseas medical insurance policies from us,?? said an Oriental official.

That?s not much solace for consumers running around to get their dollar medical bills claims. ??If government-backed insurance companies can make me to run around for their inefficiency, what can we expect from private insurance companies,?? says Srivastava.
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Very comprehensitve website
As my parents are visiting us next week from India and I wanted to buy medical insurance for them, I was searching on the web and found this web site. I was pleasantly surprised to see such comprehensive collecetion of information on visitor medical insurance in one place. I was able to get pretty good idea of what is available in the market as this web site has so many plans available. Just to try, I called your number and the help was immediately available. The lady explained me very courteously and in detail about various options available to me. I immediately decided to purchase the plan from you.

Thank you very much. I will recommend this web site to all my friends. After all, good service is what people want.
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Never buy from india , Bad experience
My mother fell sick when she was in US last year. She had purchased health insurance from Mercury India. She was admitted to Kaiser Hospital in San Jose. They sent us a bill for 26,000$.

We called up the Mercury office In Delhi and came to know that the England branch takes care of all these issues.Initailly the hospital and the Insurance office did "not receive" papers/wanted documents etc. So we kept sending faxes to both the places ..and they got all the docs.

Then Mercury agreed to setle with Kaiser. The quote sent by mercury was not accepted by Kaiser. This was done 10 weeks back.

After that when ever we call Mercury they give us lame excuses that the boss is out/fax machine not working/was on PTO/money has not come from India etc and they have not resolved the issue. In the mean time we kept getting bills from the hospital and now we get a notice saying that if the money is not paid they will transfer us to a third party collection agency.

what should i do ??
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Very good website
Very good website. I will always purchase insurance from your web site whenever my relatives visit from India. The customer service was very nice and curteous.

Thank you.
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Mercury not paying anything for mother's treatment (New India Insurance)
My parents had come from India and had taken medical insurance from India (New India Assurance Company).

New India Assurance company provides coverage via Mercury International Inc., based in UK (also having offices in Florida, US).

My mother was admitted to hospital for 3 days (in Jan 2002) and the hospital (and doctors) have a claim of about $10,000.

We have been contacting Mercury International in UK and Florida for the past 8 months (thru. many E-Mails, Faxes and letters) but they have refused to pay the claims till date. The last excuse they came up with was that the Indian company had not paid them.

While the business relations between the Indian company and Mercury International are an internal business dealing, we are unnecessarily being harassed. We are being pushed by hospitals and by doctors to pay them.

We have sent the claims form and the $100.00 deductible which has been encahsed by Mercury International. They have refused to pay till date.

Mercury International should reimburse the medical bills ASAP and pay us back for the time spent and harassment that we have gone thru.

29 September 2002:

There has been no response from Mercury International.

However we have received a letter from the Indian company (New India Assurance) that they have sent the money for the claims to Mercury International and that Mercury International is acting in the most unprofessional way. I am copying this letter below.

We have not received any help or information from Mercury International.
Neeraj Singhal

Dear Policy holder,

Re : Claim under your Overseas Mediclaim Policy of the

We refer to your mail dated 24TH AUGUST 2002 in the above connection.

We regret the inconvenience caused to you by M/s Mercury International Assistance & Claims Ltd., in the connection with your claim. We understand that M/s Mercury International has given you an impression that in view of non- availability of funds from our end they are unable to settle your dues.

We as the principal insurer accept our responsibility for the inconvenience. However, we do not agree with the reasons indicated to you by the claims settling agent, M/s Mercury International for settlement of the claims from their end. The claims float is being replenished by us as per the requirement of M/s Mercury International and on the basis of the accounts submitted by them. Further we pay a service fee to them for the services provided by them to our policy holders and claim settlement fees. These charges are also being settled from time to time based on the business generated. There would have been some delay owing to administrative reasons. Thus the contention of M/s Mercury International that we have not paid them their fees or replenished the claims float is totally non-tenable.

We apprehend that this situation has arisen due to the fact that we have appointed a new TPA viz. M/s Coris International for servicing the Overseas Health Insurance Policies with effect from 1st July 2002. However, we are very much surprised to observe the attitude of M/s Mercury International of not fulfilling their obligations under the earlier contract. We do understand that these matters are of no concern to you. However, due to intransigent attitude taken by M/s Mercury International we feel necessary clarifications are required to be made.

This matter is being addressed by us on war footing and we hope to settle this matter amicably in the shortest possible time. You have been a valued customer of New India and we very much regret the inconvenience caused to you. With the change in our service providers we accept to offer better services to our valued customers.

We request you to kindly bear with us. We assure you that this matter will be sorted out soon.

Assuring you of our best services at all times.

With best regards,


DK/ hd

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Mercury no longer paying for Indian Overseas Mediclaim Policy
This is regarding New India Assurance's Overseas Mediclaim Policy. Mercury International, UK, the SOLE authorised agent for handling claims of New India Assurance, has REFUSED to process any claims from New India Assurance for non-payment of dues. Therefore, all those who have bought or plan to buy a policy from New India Assurance could in in big trouble, like I am. I am trying desparately to seek help from New India Assurance who refuse to do anything. ====== Mercury Internationals' Mail: Dear Sender, We are very sorry to hear that your mother passed away. Please accept our sincere condolences. Regarding the claim, we must advise you that our present the claims department are unable to process any claims at all from your insurance company, due to non-payment of fees from the insurers to Mercury. You may wish to refer back to your insurers regarding this, as we believe they are aware of the situation. Should you wish to correspond further about this, the correct e mail address would be [email protected] Best regards, Assistance Department, UK.
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Ombudsman comes to insurance customers? rescue
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Nice comparison on your website
Your comparison is very helpful that compares all the visitor medical insurances available side by side. Comparison is very extensive and accurate. And if I had any doubt, I called at about 10.30 on Saturday night, help was available to answer my questions. Your website gave me one stop shopping for medical insurance for my parents. I will spread the word to all my friends and co-workers to buy insurance from you.
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Good service
I appreciate all the help you guys provided me in searching for appropriate doctors in my area and you also explained the doctor's office questions patiently. I am impressed with your commitment to customer service. Much better compared to lot of customer service dept. I have dealt with earlier.
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