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Daughter visits Vietnam to save teacher's life
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rogerwilco



Joined: 10 Jun 2010
Posts: 1501

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AV15 wrote:
There's still the problems with alcohol though and traffic - which you don't get covered for unless you meet a set of circumstances that are unlikely to be met in a lot of countries (though apparently not in Vietnam, at least with regard to motorbike taxis).


All of your examples seem to involve alcohol.
What about us that don't drink so much ?
Is insurance still worthwhile for us ? Rolling Eyes
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AV15



Joined: 27 Feb 2017
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rogerwilco wrote:
AV15 wrote:
There's still the problems with alcohol though and traffic - which you don't get covered for unless you meet a set of circumstances that are unlikely to be met in a lot of countries (though apparently not in Vietnam, at least with regard to motorbike taxis).


All of your examples seem to involve alcohol.
What about us that don't drink so much ?
Is insurance still worthwhile for us ? Rolling Eyes


Statistically speaking no insurance is 'worthwhile'. That's how insurance companies make their money.

If you don't drink and never go on motorbike taxis I'd say you're extremely unlikely to have to claim anyway.

The problem is the pro-insurance crowd frequently resort to ad-hominems against those who don't share their beliefs. Rather like religious groups, actually.

If this guy was diabetic then he wouldn't have been covered for the gangrene anyway. The insurance company would have said it's a pre existing condition - another favoured reason they like to use to avoid paying out.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 893
Location: Puerto Galera, the Philippines

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is unlikely that you and I will see eye to eye on this, AV15, but just a few things.

It will be up to them to establish that alcohol was a factor in denying a claim. Traffic accidents are covered, but you have to be on the right side of the law. If you are drunk driving and then get into an accident then I don't blame them if they reject your claim. Ditto if you are sloshed, fall over while walking home and break your ankle. I wouldn't pay out either. Besides, most of us don't spend a high proportion of our lives being hammered (and I'm not saying that you do), and, it comes down to personal responsibility. Drink responsibly. I've never had an accident because of drunkenness and, if somebody can draw a clear line between them habitually getting unstuck and their drinking, then don't blame the insurance company.

Of course, insurance companies take more in premiums than they payout in claims and that's how they are able to offer a service. However, whilst I can afford the premiums, I can't afford to be uninsured and have something really bad happen. For example, I'm currently paying out over $500 a year for contents insurance for my property back in Australia. Being doing it for years and never made a claim. Great! I don't want to have to make a claim and, for me, that buys a lot of piece of mind. If there is, for example, a fire and I lose my apartment then there goes my only major asset and a huge part of my retirement plan, literally up in smoke. Statistically, is that likely to happen to me? Nope, but, it happens to other people every day, it could and, like I said, if it does, and I'm uninsured, then the results would be financially devastating. For me, the cost of the premiums are worth it and, like I said before, I have very little sympathy for people who get themselves into strife because they are uninsured.

In regards to them trying to deny me a claim because of a pre-existing condition, then good luck, because I don't have any. If somebody does, well, I'm sorry, but just because they have, for example, diabetes won't stop them from being covered if they lose a leg in a traffic accident while driving home from work or any number of other things.
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AV15



Joined: 27 Feb 2017
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Home insurance might be OK for the peace of mind (well, I might insure the building, not the contents of the building, but it sounds like that's what you meant anyway). But that's because home insurance companies don't try every trick in the book to get out of paying claims. It's pretty obvious when a claim needs to be made and they'll usually have to pay out - since there's a narrow range of stuff that could cause your home to collapse or otherwise become inhabitable.

Most of us (hopefully all of us) don't spent the majority of our lives drunk. Never doubted it. But it'd be fair to say that the times you do spend drunk are also the times you're more likely to have an issue that leads to making a claim. Whether that's being jumped by a bunch of boozed up locals, falling down some stairs or whatever. There's a small amount of time in the day that you could actually get injured - but it's that 'small time' that you need your insurance to cover against. Not many people get injured while sat at home watching the TV, after all.

It's not just while under the influence of alcohol you won't be covered though. Go Scuba diving? Sorry, we don't cover 'extreme' activities. Take a weekend break to another country? Sorry, you're not covered outside your home of residence. Go for a ride on a car/motorbike with someone who unbeknown to you, doesn't have a licence. You're shit out of luck. Have sex with one of the locals and need treatment for an STI? Should have worn a condom, no money for you.

For what it's worth, I do think alcohol related accidents (as well as all the ones I listed above) should be covered. This is on the basis that just about all 'problems' can be boiled down to someone's 'fault'. You seem pretty convinced that it's justifiable not to pay out for a claim when someone got pissed then fell over. Right, OK. But how about the fat guy who had a heart attack? You might say he shouldn't get treatment either. What about the guy who chose to work long hours in a high stress career, and suffered health problems because of it? Deny him treatment as well, after all chasing those big bucks was his choice, not a necessity? Having children is also a choice, so maybe we should scrap maternity care too. What about telling skin cancer sufferers to GTFO if they've spent a large amount of time in a tropical paradise country - everyone knows sun exposure can cause melanoma after all...

And that's the problem with insurance. Unless you're totally, absolutely blameless for a condition (which is rarely actually the case) they'll do anything to deny treatment. It's nothing like as secure as say, your health service at home.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 893
Location: Puerto Galera, the Philippines

PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly, as I mentioned before, I dealt with insurance companies on a regular basis as part of my previous job and, in my experience, without exception, if it was a legitimate claim, they always paid out. In regards to my personal life, I have never once been denied a claim from my home, travel, health or car insurance. I'm sorry AV15, I don't know you, and apologies if I'm wrong, but I doubt that you would have more experience in dealing with insurance companies than I do. I can say that with some level of confidence because only a very small percentage of the population would. It was a big part of my job for a long time and, in my extensive dealings with them, they were nowhere near as bad as you are making out.

Secondly, you're right, I don't believe, for instance, that some drunken idiot, who has been dared by his equally drunken idiotic mates, that he can't jump between two separate verandas, and then winds up breaking both his legs, should be paid out by insurance. It appears from your post, that you do. May I ask, why should I have to pay higher premiums on my private insurance to cater for fools like that?

As I mentioned, they have to establish a link between the incident and your intoxication level. If I have had a few beers, soberly walk home then get rolled by thugs, I am still covered, because those few beers had nothing to do with it. If, however, I'm lying on the street, blitzed out of my mind and then get robbed then that's a different matter because, by my own irresponsible actions, I have made myself into an easy target.

In regards to your comparison with the fat guy and the heart attack, the worker in the high stress jobs etc., you are asked lifestyle and health questions before getting the policy and the responses you give are incorporated into calculating your premium. If you are overweight, and at an age when this is risky, you pay more. They don't ask questions about your IQ level, or whether you act like a jackass on booze, because your own stupidity and irresponsibility on intoxicants is your problem.

Ditto in that they know which country you will be in, can find out what the skin cancer rate is and can take that into account in determining your premiums, if they so wish to. In regards to being covered for STDs, yeah, I agree with them 100% that it's your responsibility to take precautions and, BTW, maternity leave and health/travel insurance are two very separate matters. In regards to the example where you get a lift from someone without a license, beats me! I would say that if you didn't know they didn't have a license then they should pay up because if someone is offering their services as a driver then it's a reasonable assumption that they would have a license. I've never personally heard of a case like that one way or the other. Anyway, if your health insurance does not cover you for a visit to a foreign country, get holiday insurance for the period you are away. If you want to be covered while doing paragliding, scuba diving etc. then you can get additional coverage that will see to that.

I'm sorry, but, you seem to be saying that because you are not covered for everything at all times then you might as well not be covered for anything, or, at least that it's not worth the cost vs risk assessment. BTW, I'd dread to think what the premiums would be if they did cover everything. Anyway, I'll bounce a hypothetical off you which I'd never wish on anybody. You and I are driving legally together on two separate motorbikes somewhere in Southeast Asia. We get hit by a van. It's a bad crash. I'll go to a private international hospital for free, have as much treatment as required and be repatriated back to Australia at no cost. What's going to happen to you?

Anyway, when I was in Australia, I didn't bother with health insurance because I had access to a decent, public system. However, that's not an option here. Like I said before, I don't think we are going to see eye to eye on this and, if you or anyone else aren't prepared to pay for insurance, then, I guess, that's your decision, it's no skin off my nose and best of luck to you.
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not having insurance and riding a bike in Vietnam is one of my biggest fears. My boss told me a bike is essential for a working and social life, but I also know I'm not insured because I don't have a license.

I've spoken to other expats on another forum about this and they all say they just take the risk as their isn't much of alternative.
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AV15



Joined: 27 Feb 2017
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1st Sgt Welsh wrote:
Firstly, as I mentioned before, I dealt with insurance companies on a regular basis as part of my previous job and, in my experience, without exception, if it was a legitimate claim, they always paid out. In regards to my personal life, I have never once been denied a claim from my home, travel, health or car insurance. I'm sorry AV15, I don't know you, and apologies if I'm wrong, but I doubt that you would have more experience in dealing with insurance companies than I do. I can say that with some level of confidence because only a very small percentage of the population would. It was a big part of my job for a long time and, in my extensive dealings with them, they were nowhere near as bad as you are making out.


Just a normal guy with a normal amount of experience with insurance companies (never had to claim anything major, know a couple of people who did claim). The internet is full of warning about insurance companies trying anything to not pay out, burying exclusion after exclusion in their 60 page documents that no one reads, understands, or remembers.
Quote:

Secondly, you're right, I don't believe, for instance, that some drunken idiot, who has been dared by his equally drunken idiotic mates, that he can't jump between two separate verandas, and then winds up breaking both his legs, should be paid out by insurance. It appears from your post, that you do. May I ask, why should I have to pay higher premiums on my private insurance to cater for fools like that?


Well, that's the right wing vs left wing argument of 'I should only have to pay for stuff relevant to me' vs 'All of society deserves protection, and if you have to pay more to make that happen, then so be it'. That particular debate is never ending and unlikely to be resolved in our lifetimes.

Ultimately as I've mentioned, most health problems can ultimately be blamed on the sufferer if you dig far enough. Whether that's cancer from smoking, heart attacks from eating too much, a shark attack after going surfing, complications in childbirth after they chose to have kids, getting the clap after unprotected sex, having a car accident after making the choice to drive a car, liver problems after many years on the booze, many stress problems related to career choices etc. In our home countries, all of the stuff I've listed above would be covered by the national health services because society decided it is good to have people able to access healthcare for free at the point of use irrespective of lifestyle factors. I happen to believe that's a good thing too - if we only allowed treatment to those who were completely blameless for their conditions most people in hospitals, clinics, and GP offices today wouldn't qualify.
Quote:

As I mentioned, they have to establish a link between the incident and your intoxication level. If I have had a few beers, soberly walk home then get rolled by thugs, I am still covered, because those few beers had nothing to do with it. If, however, I'm lying on the street, blitzed out of my mind and then get robbed then that's a different matter because, by my own irresponsible actions, I have made myself into an easy target.


Not my experience. On occasion, I've had health insurance bought for me by my employer. Both times the alcohol exclusions was clear - you don't get treatment if you've been drinking, no matter what.

Quote:
In regards to your comparison with the fat guy and the heart attack, the worker in the high stress jobs etc., you are asked lifestyle and health questions before getting the policy and the responses you give are incorporated into calculating your premium. If you are overweight, and at an age when this is risky, you pay more. They don't ask questions about your IQ level, or whether you act like a jackass on booze, because your own stupidity and irresponsibility on intoxicants is your problem.


And here's the problem. Answer all those questions truthfully and the cost of the insurance spirals to such a level only the rich can afford it - and the rich can probably self-insure anyway.
Quote:

Ditto in that they know which country you will be in, can find out what the skin cancer rate is and can take that into account in determining your premiums, if they so wish to. In regards to being covered for STDs, yeah, I agree with them 100% that it's your responsibility to take precautions and, BTW, maternity leave and health/travel insurance are two very separate matters. In regards to the example where you get a lift from someone without a license, beats me! I would say that if you didn't know they didn't have a license then they should pay up because if someone is offering their services as a driver then it's a reasonable assumption that they would have a license. I've never personally heard of a case like that one way or the other. Anyway, if your health insurance does not cover you for a visit to a foreign country, get holiday insurance for the period you are away. If you want to be covered while doing paragliding, scuba diving etc. then you can get additional coverage that will see to that.


Yes, pay yet more money for policies that may or may not pay out when you have a problem.
Quote:

I'm sorry, but, you seem to be saying that because you are not covered for everything at all times then you might as well not be covered for anything, or, at least that it's not worth the cost vs risk assessment. BTW, I'd dread to think what the premiums would be if they did cover everything. Anyway, I'll bounce a hypothetical off you which I'd never wish on anybody. You and I are driving legally together on two separate motorbikes somewhere in Southeast Asia. We get hit by a van. It's a bad crash. I'll go to a private international hospital for free, have as much treatment as required and be repatriated back to Australia at no cost. What's going to happen to you?


I'm saying if you're not covered for stuff that's actually reasonably likely to happen then there's no point being covered. I'm quite content to roll the dice when it comes to things like lightning strikes and tsunamis (actually, in the latter case they'd try to wriggle out of it by claiming it was an act of God - see what these insurance shysters did when a load of people had to cancel their holidays because of that volcano erupting in Iceland).

As for us driving motorbikes, it's obvious you'd be better off under the specific conditions that 1) It was a serious enough accident to warrant expensive emergency medical treatment but 2) It wasn't serious enough where we just died at the scene, because in that scenario no amount of insurance is saving anyone and 3) The insurance company actually paid out. Those three stars aligning don't seem particularly worthwhile paying insurance for, IMO.

Quote:
Anyway, when I was in Australia, I didn't bother with health insurance because I had access to a decent, public system. However, that's not an option here. Like I said before, I don't think we are going to see eye to eye on this and, if you or anyone else aren't prepared to pay for insurance, then, I guess, that's your decision, it's no skin off my nose and best of luck to you.


Best of luck to you to. It's up to the individual how they spend their own money. The problem comes when (and it is mostly the pro-insurance crowd who do this) one side calls the other stupid for not following their belief system.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 893
Location: Puerto Galera, the Philippines

PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the response, AV15.

AV15 wrote:


Just a normal guy with a normal amount of experience with insurance companies (never had to claim anything major, know a couple of people who did claim). The internet is full of warning about insurance companies trying anything to not pay out, burying exclusion after exclusion in their 60 page documents that no one reads, understands, or remembers.


I’m sure the Internet has a number of ‘horror stories’ and, don’t get me wrong, I have no love for insurance companies. The amount of paperwork can be ridiculous, I’ve often been put on hold for over half an hour when trying to get through to various claims departments (whereas if you want to ask about buying a new policy, you are connected at lightning speed) etc. Making a claim, and I’ve made more than I can count, is invariably a pain in the arse! However, like I said, in my substantial experience, if it was a legitimate claim, it was paid out every time.

AV15 wrote:


Well, that's the right wing vs left wing argument of 'I should only have to pay for stuff relevant to me' vs 'All of society deserves protection, and if you have to pay more to make that happen, then so be it'. That particular debate is never ending and unlikely to be resolved in our lifetimes.


No, it’s not right wing vs left wing, you are comparing private care vs public, which is like comparing apples and oranges. A private insurance company is not there to provide protection to all society and their obligations are to their shareholders, staff and clients. I certainly wouldn’t expect a private insurer to pay out on the self-inflicted injuries fueled by drunken idiocy, like in the example I provided. Much like I wouldn’t expect them to cash out a life insurance policy on somebody who had just committed suicide. Unlike public healthcare, you have a choice whether you want to pay into private insurance, it is not compulsory, you have different levels of cover depending on how much you are prepared to pay, you agree to the terms of your policy at the beginning, you can cancel at any time, you can shop around for different insurers, the companies are privately-owned and profit-making entities, access to private insurance is not a right (an insurance company can decline to take you on as a client for any reason) and if their policies did cover everything, then their premiums would be unaffordable.

However, if I was in Australia, I would expect Medicare to cover the fictitious, veranda-jumping drunken idiot because, over there, universal healthcare is a right and publicly-funded medical care is provided to all citizens, regardless as to why they need treatment. Some people may disagree with it, but, that’s the system and it is has overwhelming public support. Any major Australian political party that wanted to do away with universal healthcare could pretty much kiss their electoral prospects goodbye. As I mentioned before, when I was living in Australia, I didn’t bother with private health insurance because I already had access to the public system and it is pretty decent. However, and this is the rub for me, the public option is not an option here. If you don’t have private insurance, you effectively have nothing. The quality of public medical care in Vietnam, such as it is, is an absolute disgrace! If Vietnam successfully introduced a first-world standard of public health care (comparable to Canada, Australia, the UK etc.), and we were paying into it via our taxes and could access it as legal residents, then my advice would probably be very different. However, I am not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

AV15 wrote:


Not my experience. On occasion, I've had health insurance bought for me by my employer. Both times the alcohol exclusions was clear - you don't get treatment if you've been drinking, no matter what.


My policy indicates that there has got be a link between the incident and the level of intoxication. Some policies are better and more comprehensive than others. Your employer, I would guess, went for the cheapest, dodgiest policy s/he could find.

AV15 wrote:


And here's the problem. Answer all those questions truthfully and the cost of the insurance spirals to such a level only the rich can afford it - and the rich can probably self-insure anyway.


All I can say to that is that answered all the questions given to me truthfully, I’m middle-aged, far from an Olympic athlete and I’m paying just over 500 USD a year. Personally, I see that as reasonable and affordable and, if I couldn’t afford it, then, like I said, as far as I’m concerned, I couldn’t afford to live in Southeast Asia.

AV15 wrote:


Yes, pay yet more money for policies that may or may not pay out when you have a problem.


I actually think it’s a good idea. If your idea of a holiday is mountain climbing and para gliding in Nepal then good for you. However, that’s very different from somebody who just wants to sit on a quiet beach in Malaysia and read a book. Why should the book reader pay the same premiums as the person doing extreme sports? The risks entailed aren’t even remotely comparable. Both can get the coverage they need, based on their individual needs. In regards to them not paying out, well, all I can say is what I’ve said many times before and that, in my experience, legitimate claims are honored.

AV15 wrote:


I'm saying if you're not covered for stuff that's actually reasonably likely to happen then there's no point being covered. I'm quite content to roll the dice when it comes to things like lightning strikes and tsunamis (actually, in the latter case they'd try to wriggle out of it by claiming it was an act of God - see what these insurance shysters did when a load of people had to cancel their holidays because of that volcano erupting in Iceland).

As for us driving motorbikes, it's obvious you'd be better off under the specific conditions that 1) It was a serious enough accident to warrant expensive emergency medical treatment but 2) It wasn't serious enough where we just died at the scene, because in that scenario no amount of insurance is saving anyone and 3) The insurance company actually paid out. Those three stars aligning don't seem particularly worthwhile paying insurance for, IMO.


In the hypothetical I provided, we did survive and the injuries were extensive. I don't know about you, but, I've seen more than a few bad traffic accidents in Southeast Asia and I certainly don't see them as freak occurrences. If you’re happy to “roll the dice” then, like I said, good luck to you. I’m not.

The example I provided would be considered a legitimate claim, I am covered for such circumstances and it is something that happens on the roads here all the time. They would just see it as a genuine claim and pay it out. That’s the cost of doing business. However, if, as you maintain, that they would try and weasel out of it, then I would sue, I would win, I would get my payout, legal costs and probably compensation for the additional hassle. A judge won’t have any sympathy for a multi-million-dollar insurer denying such a claim and wasting his/her time. In that example, it’s black and white and they don’t have a leg to stand on. In regards to injuries resulting in death, I see your point, but at least my body will be returned to Australia for burial at no cost and will be one less thing that my family will have to worry about. Yeah, not ideal, but, getting killed rarely is.

AV15 wrote:


Best of luck to you to. It's up to the individual how they spend their own money. The problem comes when (and it is mostly the pro-insurance crowd who do this) one side calls the other stupid for not following their belief system.


Nobody is calling anyone stupid. Like you say, it's up to the individual. Get the insurance, or don't. However, if somebody doesn't, gets themselves into dire straits then, like I said and for the reasons I've given, they won't be getting much sympathy from me and I think that's fair enough.
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RustyShackleford



Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tellersquill wrote:
Not having insurance and riding a bike in Vietnam is one of my biggest fears. My boss told me a bike is essential for a working and social life, but I also know I'm not insured because I don't have a license.

I've spoken to other expats on another forum about this and they all say they just take the risk as their isn't much of alternative.


The good news, especially these days, is that major cities in Vietnam are well-supported by Uber and Grab. Download the app and you can hail a xe om (moto-taxi) for even less than a dollar a ride and connect it to your credit/debit card for easy riding around town. Beats the old days where you had to haggle each and every ride then risk being charged quite a bit higher than what you agreed to in the beginning!

You can get a license relatively painlessly by simply having your current license notarized/translated, taking it with your passport to the authorities and getting it processed. Note that, for this to work, you will need to have a motorcycle qualification on your non-Vietnamese license.

Alternatively, you can pay a company a couple hundred bucks and they can pull the strings to get you the documents.

My realistic advice to you is either deal with paying for a Grabbike every commute and factor it into your daily/monthly budget, or else just take the risk.
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