Looking for Overseas Student Insurance? Here Are 4 Things That You Need to Consider
Purchasing overseas student insurance can often feel a little overwhelming. There are a lot of options out there and insurance policies can be difficult to understand. If you’re not an insurance expert, it can be hard to know where to start.
When it comes to insurance there are a few things that you need to look out for. Not all providers are created equal and the experience you and your students have will vary from company to company. To help you make a more informed decision, we’ve come up with four things that schools often overlook when comparing options. Armed with this information, you can make sure you get the right plan for your students.
1) Proven Experience and Knowledge of the Industry
As we talked about in a recent article, <Putting the “International” in International Student Health Insurance> international students have a unique set of health insurance needs compared to domestic students. There are language and cultural barriers and students need to learn how to navigate a new health care system. These differences mean experience in the industry is critical to providing effective coverage to students. You need to be sure, that if you have a problem, your partner insurance company knows how to handle it.
Beyond just experience, look for an insurance provider who has industry knowledge as well. They should be passionate about international education and participate in industry groups and associations. The international education market is always changing, and new trends influence your school’s approach to recruiting students. Your insurance provider should understand these trends as well.
2) Level of Service and Support Available
Sure, some insurance providers offer cheap policies that appear to save you money. If you dig deeper you’ll find that these low prices come at the expense of service and support. They may expect your administration staff to handle much of the workload, and often don’t have the processes in place to make filing a claim easy for your students.
This extra workload can quickly mitigate any upfront cost savings, and your staff are taken away from what they should be doing. When choosing a provider, make sure to understand what level of support you’ll be getting, and make sure it aligns with what you need. It’s worth spending a bit extra to have everything handled behind the scenes.
3) The People You’ll Work With
Doing business is all about relationships. <More Than a Policy – Why guard.me has Put Relationships First for 20 Years> At the end of the day, the relationship you’ll have with your insurance provider depends on the people who work there, and more specifically who will be there when you pick up the phone. You need to be confident knowing that when push comes to shove, you’ll speak to someone who knows you.
What sounds better – dedicated account managers who understand the international insurance market and get to know you and your school over years of working together, or outsourced agents who frequently turn over and have no prior relationship with you or your staff? When comparing providers, be sure to ask about the people you’ll be dealing with. They’ll make the difference between a great experience and a disappointing one.
4) Automated Backend and Online Tools
The insurance industry has been slow to go digital. Even today, many insurance companies rely on paper claim forms and manual backend processes. This slows the entire system down, and this inefficiency ends up costing you time and money. That’s why it’s so important to understand the tools that are available to you and your students including the backend systems that are in place to make the whole thing run more smoothly.
Through our automated systems, claims can be filed online and processed rapidly. Payments can be sent directly to students without ever involving you or your staff. With the right tools in place, students can focus on their studies and your staff can work on more strategic initiatives, confident that everything is under control.
Get the Full Story When Comparing Overseas Student Insurance Providers
Choosing an international student health insurance company doesn’t need to be difficult. Ask questions about their experience in the industry, the level of service and support they can provide, the people who work there, and the systems they have in place. By knowing what to look for, you’ll be able to compare your options and choose the one that best aligns with your needs.
Clark Hortsing is Vice President Marketing & Sales at guard.me