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My husband Chris and I have been traveling and working around the world for more than 10 years. We’ve climbed to the top of trees higher than Niagara Falls, swam with a dozen bull sharks in the Pacific Ocean, and hiked in the remote backcountry of New Zealand.
Although we have managed to stay safe and healthy for most of our travels, we have experienced our fair share of emergencies, including the time Chris got bit by a stray dog at a Buddhist temple in Thailand – but that’s a whole other story.
Even then, we were confident in our IMG coverage and have always had the support we needed when seeking treatment and learning how to submit an insurance claim. Should you happen to find yourself on the road and needing to file a claim, here are answers to frequently asked questions that can help you navigate the claim process.
First, you're going to need good travel, travel medical, or international health insurance coverage - these are a few good options:
Whether you receive treatment for an injury, your baggage is delayed, or you must interrupt your trip, you should always submit a claim to IMG as soon as possible. If you're filing a medical claim, alerting IMG lets them know that you are receiving treatment. Filing a travel insurance claim is also the first step in being reimbursed for your prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses.
Follow these steps to submit an insurance claim:
In many instances, especially if you are traveling abroad, you might need to pay medical bills at the time of service and then submit a claim for reimbursement. It is imperative that you ask for itemized receipts that detail the services or treatment you received and a medical report including diagnosis. Ask if receipts can be printed on official letterhead or if there is a stamp with appropriate contact information that can be put on the supporting documents. I also grab a couple business cards so I have a quick and easy way to reference which facilities I visited.
Claims can be submitted through the MyIMG online member portal.
You will be asked to attach appropriate documentation related to your claim, such as receipts, so be sure to have all the necessary documents on hand, and black out any credit card information that is visible. You can scan the documents or use your phone to take pictures of them, and then you can upload them to the portal. Make sure the pictures or scanned copies are in focus, legible, and the contact information is easy to find. It’s important to note that you will not be able to complete the electronic claim form without these supporting documents.
For more information on how to navigate the MyIMG online member portal, review this MyIMG guide.
Once your claim has been submitted, your claim will then be reviewed by the IMG claims department to ensure all appropriate information and documents have been received. If anything is missing, you will be notified to supply the additional information. After all information and documentation is verified, your claim will move to the final evaluation stage. Once your claim has been processed, you should receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) with details of your claim.
The timeline for processing a claim can vary depending on the completeness of the original submission. If everything is submitted correctly, your claim could be processed quickly. Be sure to note that the process can be delayed if you are required to submit additional information to complete your claim request. If this is the case, processing times could take up to a few months. Make sure to review your Explanation of Benefits carefully to ensure IMG has everything needed.
It really pays to take the time to fill out your claim neatly, accurately, and completely the first time. IMG has a team of in-house staff working as quickly as possible to adjudicate claims every day, and personally, all my claims with IMG have been processed and delivered in less than 30 days.
Direct deposit is the recommended method to receive your reimbursement as quickly and securely as possible. If your mailing address on file with IMG is within the U.S., your claim reimbursement can also be issued through a mailed check. If your mailing address on file with IMG is outside the U.S., your claim reimbursement can also be issued through a wire transfer.
For international medical insurance claims, the amount you receive is based on eligible medical expenses after applying your deductible and co-insurance or out-of-pocket expenses per the plan wording.
If you are a long-term traveler like me, it may be worthwhile to designate a power of attorney who is authorized on your behalf to deposit checks and handle other financial matters for you while you’re traveling.
Yes! You should always submit a claim regardless of the amount of the expense or whether you’ve met your deductible.
It is important for IMG to be aware of any charges filed on your behalf. Plus, if you’re traveling for an extended period, the medical expenses you paid out of pocket will be applied to your deductible in the event you need to file another claim in the future.
As a traveler, I understand that submitting a claim may not be the best part of your trip. But in my experience, it has been a seamless and painless process that ultimately gives me peace of mind. This is what insurance is for, after all!
For over a decade, Tiffany Soukup has traveled to more than 35 countries with her husband Chris, hiking into remote jungles, looking for endangered wildlife and seeking adventures. Tiffany has been an IMG member since 2007.
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