Note: AIG Korea has recently changed their brand to Chartis. We are awaiting the updated information and forms from them. Until everything changes over, we suggest contacting your local travel insurance provider for travel insurance needs. Here is a press release regarding the change over:
What happens if....?
Is the medical coverage provided by the school enough?
This is a question we hear a lot. If nothing major happens and you don't get into a serious accident or develop a serious medical condition, then sure, the National Health Insurance Plan provided by schools is usually enough.
But, what if...
What if I get in a major car accident?
What if I develop a serious illness?
What if I slip and fall down some stairs?
What if I actually died in an accident? How would my family get my remains home?
What if there is a fire in a building I am in?
Of course, we all feel like we are indestructible and nothing bad will ever happen. However, that's what anyone who is involved in an accident says. "I never thought it would happen to me."
A personal story...
My first year in Korea, a friend and I bought motorcycles. It was so cheap and we thought it would be a great way to get around and a fun way to explore the country. One night, we were out riding. I was in front most of our ride, but then Fred decided to take the lead and decide where to explore next. It was close to midnight and there was barely any traffic on the road, so conditions were perfect. We were cruising along at around 80 KM/H, well within the speed limit of the road we were on. We came up to an intersection where we had a green light...
It seems as though the car waiting at the intersection didn't care about the red light. They pulled out right in front of Fred. He had no time to even think about hitting the brakes. BAM! He crashed right into the front left fender of the car and went flying over the hood, his bike crushed. I had to jam my brakes and swirve around to miss the car myself.
From that point, things got strangely blurry and seemed to happen both in slow motion, while at the same time, happening so fast. Before long, an ambulance was on the scene and I was in the back of it, with the paramedics telling me to do whatever I could to make sure Fred stayed awake. He was going in and out and I was doing my best to keep him focused and conscious. When I saw him hit the car at that speed, the first thing I thought in my mind is, "there is no way he is going to live."
Well, I'm glad I was wrong. Fred did live. But, he had to live in the hospital for several weeks and there were a lot of injuries that took a long time to heal.
Then, there was the matter of the hospital bill. It cost him thousands and thousands of dollars which he had to borrow from our school and pay back over the rest of his contract with the school. The National Health Insurance Plan is a co-payment plan and only covers part of medical expenses. For someone without their own insurance, they have to pay for the rest. Perhaps not a surprise to most of our American friends, but to us Canadians, we were in a whole new world. I left my bike at the scene of the accident for several weeks, having no interest in getting back on. I realized then that there was nothing Fred could have done to prevent the accident. It was totally out of his control. To be completely safe, one would have to never leave their apartment. As much as we'd like to, we can't control everything.
So, what do we recommend?
We recommend that you at least get some type of basic coverage. The cost is so low and the peace of mind that it gives would be worth it alone. Plus, if you plan on traveling to other countries during your year in Korea, you are covered by this plan as it is a travel insurance plan that covers you for all countries outside of your home-country (with the exceptions of war-torn countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan etc...)
In order to provide our clients with good insurance coverage, we searched for a long time to find someone who could speak English well enough to help and who understood what it was like to work with English teachers coming to Korea. We finally found Kevin Kim, a representative of AIG Korea, and an expert on dealing with those coming to live in Korea from other countries.
What we've found is that many of our clients are not the ones worried about insurance, it's their parents or other loved ones. Often, a parent will purchase this insurance as a "going-away gift" which is a great idea.
Have a look through the FAQ and if you decide to get the coverage, the process is extremely simple and straightforward, no tests, no strange questions, just a 2-page form to fill out and fax.
Kevin Kim of AIG Korea, partner of ASK Now Inc.
3 Easy Steps to make sure you are covered during your time in Korea:
1. Choose your plan
2. Pay safely using PayPal or any major credit card (one-time payment only)
3. Fill out and fax in 2-page form
What does it all mean? Let's look at some examples.
So, looking at the chart above can get pretty confusing. Let's make it easy. Let's say you decide to purchase the Bronze Plan. Based on current exchange rates, the Bronze Plan is $208 USD for one year of coverage. So, you click on the PayPal button, purchase the plan, fax the form, and now you're in Korea with the Bronze Plan coverage.
If I die from an accident? Your beneficiary back home would receive 20,000,000 KRW (the amount in USD varies depending on currency which can be checked here )
If there is an accident and medical coverage is required? Up to 20,000,000 KRW of coverage. It must be noted that the National Health Insurance coverage also helps, and then your AIG coverage goes above and beyond that to cover the amount that would normally have been your responsibility.
The next category is Sickness. So, if you are sick and need hospitalization, then again, up to 20,000,000 KRW is provided to cover costs. Note that this is for every incident. So, if you need it more than once, it doesn't disappear. It's up to 20,000,000 KRW for each incident.
Following this you can see the Rescuer's Expense. This is in case you need to be rescued from somewhere such as an incident due to a plane crash or an incident of getting lost and injured during the course of hiking in a mountain etc...
Another very important part of this coverage is for repatriation of the body of the deceased (ie. If you die, the cost of sending your remains home) This could also extend to transportation to other hospital facilities in case of specialized medical attention being needed. Coverage here is up to 20,000,000 KRW.
Finally, there is the Natural Disaster category. This is very similar to the other categories in terms of coverage, it is just the cause of death or injury that is the main difference.
So, you can have a look through the various plans and think of which one would be best for you according to your budget and needs. You will notice that the greatest variance is in the area of medical coverage for sickness or accident. This is because it is more likely that someone will be hospitalized as opposed to dying. So, the higher the coverage of medical coverage you can afford, the safer you would be in this case.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I pay for my insurance?
You can pay via any major credit card or via your PayPal account. Payment is processed through PayPal. Even if you don't have a PayPal account, you can still use your credit card, just look for the link "Continue" under "Don't Have a PayPal Account?" after clicking the "Pay Now" button above.
2. Can I pay monthly?
No, the premium listed is for a 12 months of coverage and must be paid all at once and not over the course of several months. For those who need coverage for a shorter amount of time, that can be arranged by contacting the insurance specialist as well.
3. Does my coverage cover me outside of Korea?
Yes! That is one of the best advantages of this insurance. It also covers you when you travel to other countries during the course of your stay in Korea. So, you won't have to purchase additional travel insurance should you choose to visit Japan, Bali, Hong Kong, or another location. The only exception are war-torn countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. If you are unsure if your destination is too risky to be covered, first, re-consider going, and then, call the English customer-service line to confirm.
4. Does my coverage cover me in my home country?
No. This is a travel insurance plan, so it does not qualify in your home country. You should be sure you have whatever coverage is necessary when returning home.
5. I have National Health Insurance. Should I still get another plan?
Yes. Although the National Health Insurance helps cover the cost of minor things such as going to the doctor for a cold or flu, or minor check-ups etc, in the event something major happens, you will want to have extra coverage. National Health Insurance is a co-payment system, so even when going in for something small, there is a minor charge. However, you can offset any charges with your AIG package. If there is anything major like death or disability, you receive a large amount of money from your AIG policy.
6. Who do I contact if I have a claim?
English-Speaking Customer Center: 02-3140-1788
7. Who do I contact if I have a question about the policy?
Before purchase: Contact Kevin Kim at 82-2-2011-4623 After purchasing your policy, if you need additional information, you can contact the English Customer Service Department at: 02-3140-1788
8. Do I have to pay when I go to the doctor?
Yes. You would need to pay at the hospital. Then, you submit the claim to AIG in order to get the reimbursement. The staff at the hospital as well as the AIG customer service center will be able to walk you through the steps.
9. How long does it take before I get reimbursed?
It usually takes between 7-10 days to receive your reimbursement.
10. Is it ok if my death benefit is listed for someone outside of Korea?
Yes. The person does not have to be Korean or in Korea to be listed as your beneficiary. You must be sure to list the beneficiary's contact number in case they need to be contacted.
11. Does it matter what my nationality is?
No. Nationality doesn't matter.
12. When does my insurance start?
Your insurance can be set to start as of the first day you arrive in Korea. This can be set in the "Policy Period" of the 2-page form and can be adjusted if required.
13. Am I covered for stuff like bungee jumping?
No. As with any insurance policy, there are certain limitations in regards to dangerous sports such as bungee jumping and sky-diving. If you are not sure if the activity would be covered, consult the policy clauses or contact the customer service center.
14. Am I covered if I break my leg skiing at a resort in Korea?
Yes, you would be covered in this type of incident.
15. Does my age matter?
This coverage is available for those up to and under the age of 64.
16. What happens if I already have a pre-existing health condition?
As with all insurance policies, if you have a serious pre-existing condition, this would not be covered. Please consult the policy clauses and contact customer service for verification about any pre-existing condition that you have.
17. What happens if I but a 1-year policy but have to leave Korea after 6 months? Is there a refund?
Yes, it is possible to receive a refund in accordance to the refund ration table. Please consult the English customer service center for details.
18. On the application, what is the difference between the Insured and the Policyholder?
The insured is you, the person who is covered if they get sick or die. The policyholder is the person or company that provided the payment if other than the insured. In this case, ASK Now Inc. acts as a Policyholder in order to facilitate payment for clients who are not currently in Korea and require assistance in setting things up.
19. I don't know my Korean address or contact info yet. Can I put my home address and contact info on the application?
Yes, you can put your current home address on the application. If possible, when you know your Korean address and phone number, you should update the form with that.
20. Do I have to sign both Agreement 1 and Agreement 2? What do they mean in simple terms?
Agreement 1 must be signed. You can disregard Agreement 2. Agreement 1 basically says that AIG General Insurance can share the information they have with the Korean Insurance Development Institute. It is a must to complete an insurance contract in Korea.
Agreement 2 says that you are ok if they share the information with other affiliated companies, but this one is not necessary. You can leave it blank.
21. Is ASK Now Inc. involved in insuring me or as a beneficiary or in any other capacity?
No. ASK Now Inc. is simply acting as a go-between to help clients complete the purchase of travel insurance. ASK Now Inc. is not an insurance sales company, is not involved in the insuring, and is not a beneficiary of the insurance. ASK Now Inc. helps by making the filling out of the forms and the payment much simpler than if one had to search for their own company to deal with.
22. Why is ASK Now Inc. helping with this?
First, we understand that it is very important for our clients to have additional coverage while in Korea. The last thing we want to see is someone get in an accident and not be able to pay for their hospital bill. Also, anytime someone purchases a policy, we are going to be sure Kevin Kim buys us dinner as a thank you for referring a client!
23. I am very analytical and would like to read all of the information on the policy. Is that possible?
Yes, click here.
24. Can I see what the application form looks like?
Yes, click here.