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Travel Medical: A Perspective

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Recently, a colleague referred one of his clients to me (a very wonderful compliment) for help with a travel medical plan for a visiting guest. He introduced the two of us via email, and the client called me shortly thereafter.

Turns out, this wasn’t just any guest, but his daughter and grandson coming in from Europe for a two month stay in our lovely Buckeye State. He was concerned that there would be insurance in place if either were to become ill or injured. No problem, pretty standard, although currently kind of out of the ordinary. I was just glad to see that international travel wasn’t completely dead.

In any case, the gentleman had been doing a lot of online research for this kind of plan and, in frustration, called his agent for hep, and thus the referral to me.

I do a fair amount of this kind of thing, so I was pretty familiar with what he needed. I answered his questions, and then got the information I needed to obtain a quote. For these kinds of plans, I pretty much exclusively use our friends at Global Underwriters, primarily because they know what they’re doing and, as important, I have a long history with them so that I know I can count on them if any glitches develop. I’m sure that other vendors are also reliable, but I know that the GU folks are.

I also know that their plans and rates are competitive, and there won’t be any surprises.

Okay Henry, we get it: you know and trust them, why are you beating this horse?

Well, the client also asked me about my relationship with his agent, and I explained that the gentleman and I are colleagues and that he has referred these types of cases to me in the past. He then said “well, [agent] always gives me several quotes, will you also be doing this?

I immediately replied no, for the reasons stated above. He seemed satisfied with this, and I agreed to send him a quote ASAP. Which I did, but did not realize that I had forgotten to attach a summary of benefits, and he asked me for that. Of course I obliged.

I had now spent a total of almost an hour on the phone, obtaining and sending the quote, and sending the Summary of Benefits. All in a day’s work, and happy to do so.

Now, my commission on this plan will be in the neighborhood of $35, not bad for an hour or so’s work. And of course, I’m happy to assist a colleague. But would I be upset if the client ultimately chose to DIY? No, not really: disappointed, sure, but not upset. After all, it’s his choice, no?
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