Providing the Right International Student Health Insurance Can Save Your Brand – Here’s Why
Post-secondary institutions in Canada are making considerable efforts to attract and enroll international students. A recent report showed that the number of international students in Canada studying at universities rose to 175,000 in 2016, more than double the amount in 2006.
With so many students, the competition to attract them is fiercer than ever. Hanover Research showed that schools are investing more into marketing and branding than in previous years. Like any other business, your brand and reputation are essential in attracting customers.
One easily overlooked factor that can influence your brand is international student health insurance. While it may not be the primary concern for students when selecting a school, proper coverage can help reduce the stress of moving to a new place. And more importantly, a lack of coverage, or horror stories from previous students, can quickly become a mark against your reputation. Here’s three ways international student health insurance can protect and build your brand, making you more competitive in the market for international students.
Ensure Claims are Properly Handled
Behind every claim is a person and their family. No one ever wants to make a claim, whether it’s for a minor medical issue or, unfortunately, a student death. No matter the case, these claims need to be handled professionally by the schools. If not, not only would you have failed the student in question, but you could also seriously damage your reputation going forward.
Turning a negative incident into as positive an experience as possible isn’t easy. But the right insurance company can provide the services and support needed to handle any situation, no matter how extreme. This not only alleviates the burden on your staff, but also ensures that students are treated compassionately and professionally. This makes students happy, makes your institution look good, and avoids any potential backlash that could come from a poorly handled situation.
Make It Easy for Students to Know What to Do
Students arriving in a new country for the first time can understandably feel overwhelmed by the amount they have to adjust to. Everything from overcoming a language barrier, living on their own for the first time, being away from their friends and family, and adapting to Canadian winters can all add up to be a real challenge. Many schools are taking steps to make integration easier by having orientations before and after arriving, handling the logistics of getting to the school from the airport, and having regular social nights with both international and domestic students.
Leading insurance providers are extending these services by helping international students understand the coverage they have and how to navigate the Canadian health system if they need to. These sessions focus not only the details of the policy, but also general health and wellness tips to help students adjust more quickly. Campus ambassadors are recruited to be front line sources of information and a place for students to turn when they have questions. By making it easy for students, it helps make the transition process easier, and allows students to focus on their education, not their health coverage.
Provide Peace of Mind for Families
It’s not just students who have to adjust to a new environment. Their families are sending their children away, potentially for the first time, to a new country as well. They want to know that they are covered in case of emergency, and that they’ll be treated properly if anything happens. They should have the potential to visit their child in case of emergency, and in the unfortunate case of a death, the parents need to be treated as respectfully as possible.
Providing health insurance to international students can help ease parents of the stress they feel when their children leave for a new country. It provides peace of mind and removes the financial concerns that may arise from a medical emergency. All of this plays a role in helping the student decide where to attend.
The Right Coverage Can Mean the Right Reputation
While health insurance may not be the only reason a student chooses a school, a lack of coverage or a bad reputation in dealing with claims can certainly push them away. As the market for international students becomes more competitive, and schools start to place more focus on recruiting and marketing, having the right policy in place can reinforce your brand and reputation with international students.
Sean Segal is the Marketing Coordinator at guard.me