International medical insurers going the extra mile online

international medical insurance

More PMI providers are providing additional online "extras" to promote customer loyalty.

Private medical insurers are rapidly realizing they need to do more than simply pay claims. Without extras on offer, healthy clients would wonder why they are paying so much for so little, and possibly reconsider renewing their insurance. With this in mind, health insurers are starting to provide a suite of policy “extras”.

Once insurers have the essentials right they are free to offer additional benefits in order to cement customer loyalty, David Pryor, senior executive director at Medicare International told Health Insurance Magazine.

“Most of all, clients want deep and broad benefit schedules, an efficient claims service, high quality overseas support and rapid reimbursement of medical bills, he said.

“Both corporate and individual clients are focussed on cost, especially in today’s economic climate”

Once the basics are covered, insurers can then think about extras that may benefit their clients, satisfy the healthy ones and make them stand out in the PMI market. Many PMI providers have taken to the Internet to provide additional extras and hopefully garner consumer loyalty.

“We offer general information on diseases and country profiles, what to prepare for, inoculations, and practical hints and tips,” Pryor explained. “Our feedback tells us this is consistently one of the most used parts of our site.”

Increasingly, insurers are using the Internet to provide their highly mobile clients with additional services. Online factsheets, travel information, health tips and translation tools are some of the ways PMI providers are catering for their customers.

A good international medical insurer should help its members live longer, healthier, happier lives, Muriel MacCullum, marketing director at BUPA International told Health Insurance Magazine.

“The number of customers who haven’t claimed but still tell us their policy is value for money has dramatically increased. Expats who use our MembersWorld website and pre-authorisation services are significantly more satisfied than those who don’t,” MacCullum said.

These extra services not only benefit the client but also the insurer, hopefully helping to build a strong relationship with customers. BUPA International, DKV Globality, CIGNA and Medicare are just some of the big international players who are offering online resources for their expatriate clients.