Wondering how to select the best team insurance in case of emergencies overseas?
Not sure what questions to ask or if there are certain coverages you should require? Or certain questions you should be asking your volunteers? Here are a few tips to help you select the best team insurance or international health plan for your volunteers while they are overseas.
First, you should recognize that not all international health plans, even travel insurance plans are the same. Not only do their coverages vary, but some plans don’t even have someone on call 24/7 to assure a doctor or hospital overseas, that their client is covered. And some just have answering services that aren’t much help at all except to take a message. (That is NOT reassuring in the midst of an emergency overseas 12 hours ahead of the USA where it’s the middle of the night.) Some may not have a doctor or nurse on staff that can ascertain if the doctor or hospital is qualified, or if your volunteer or team mate should be medically transported or emergency evacuated to a better, Western-style facility. Some policies, like American Express, don’t have any expertise in treated or caring for travelers or volunteers. And some plans have no emergency evacuation benefit included, or it does not cover political evacuation if needed. That is why we recommend you talk to the experts in short-term travel insurance – At www.shorttermteaminsurance.com, and Good Neighbor Insurance, not only have we extensively traveled ourselves, but we are specialists in helping volunteer teams and groups keep their volunteers safe wherever they are in the world, and whatever they are doing. All of our plans include emergency evacuation and political evacuation. All of them are from top-rated companies that specialize in volunteer travel. And for the same price, your volunteers can be fully protected, rather than just being handed a travel card (or blue card) with vague promises attached.
Some questions to help you choose the exact short-term team plan:
1. Consider whether your group, church, or non-profit regularly sends teams of volunteers every year, and the number of people who go out on short-term trips or help long-term projects on the field every year. If you have a certain number of people who regularly go out or have volunteer projects that fill up every year, you qualify for certain plans and rates that may save you and your members money, as well as make your life a lot easier. We can set up a special page for your organization, with your branding and logo, at no cost to you that has your preferred plans all pre-set into the page. All your volunteers have to do is enter their name. Either the group can pay for the volunteers, or they can pay themselves directly. Again, it’s easy, it’s fast and it’s your choice. (Article continues after image.)
Sometimes you may want to recommend a plan online, or forward your short-term volunteers an email with the plan you recommend for them, and let them fill it out as an individual, rather than offering a group plan.
2. Consider the ages of those going on your service projects overseas. If you tend to have all younger people and singles, we have certain plans that are more affordable/will fit your team better. If you have primarily older/”second-career” people going out, we again have certain programs designed for boomers and older with the best pricing and with benefits that would fit them better. If you always have a mixed set of ages (teens and families and seniors), you then can decide if you’d like to offer them all one low set amount per day for coverage, or have the rate vary depending on the individual.
3. Consider the types of work they will be doing: Do they need higher coverage due to remoteness? Or due to the higher cost of medical care where they will be going? Do you want a stronger evacuation benefit (maybe to the full amount of the policy?) – Note that all of our short term plans feature medical and political evacuation included in the quote/plan.
4. Is renewability a concern? Will some of your short-term volunteers possibly be staying overseas? Will they be encouraged to consider the option?
5. What deductible do you want to choose and will it be paid/covered by the organization, team, or individual if there is an emergency? (Generally $250 or $500 is typical. On shorter trips of up to 2 months, the cost is not much different between the two options, and for a team, the savings might be greater if you choose $250 rather than selecting a $0 deductible – You can then apply that savings to cover any deductible expense.
6. Will the team members be doing any extracurricular sports activities such as riding motorcycles, playing soccer, ziplining, bungie-jumping, snorkeling or scuba diving…because then you will want to choose a plan that includes adventure sports coverage as an option.
7. What maximum benefit do you want each person to have? $250,000? $500,000? $1,000,000? Do all of your team members already have current medical insurance in their home country(ies)? Do you want their policy to “follow them home” for a time in case of a condition treated overseas but needing follow-up treatment or care?
8. Are pre-existing conditions of your short-term workers, or project volunteers, a concern? We have plans for that as well.
These are just a few of the questions you should ask when choosing a short-term emergency medical plan. Most brokerages specialize in one insurance carriers’ plans – Which is not good if their plans do nit exactly fit your fits. Others promise that they sell every plan available – But that means selling obviously inferior plans equally with Top-rated carriers. We offer only the best, hand-picked plans from trusted, top-rated carriers that we trust and that have plans that meet specific needs. Because we want you and your team to be safe and to have a good experience!
If we can help answer any of your team insurance questions, short-term, overseas staff, about evacuation or risks in certain areas of the world, even insuring your group staff around the world, please call us. We’d be happy to help you resolve the questions above and feel confident recommending a plan to your volunteers. Call us at (480)813-9100 or toll-free at (866)636-9100. You can also use Skype to “good neighbor insurance” or email for help.