Recognising that professional liability is one of biggest concern of the medical travel industry, US-based Clements International has developed a new insurance product that is geared for medical travel agencies.
Working closely with medical tourism operators in Asia and India, the company has designed liability, accident and trip cancellation insurance products to meet the needs of the industry. These insurance products are for the protection of medical travel agents against potential liabilities.
As new partnerships are created, it is important for participants to understand the risks involved with the medical tourism industry. If a medical travel agency were sued for unintentional misrepresentation of information or a negligent act, the new insurance product would cover the amount to be paid by the facilitator and the defence costs. Policies can include claims arising from the acts of consultants, sub-contractors and agents; libel and slander; loss of documents; intellectual property; joint venture liability and breach of confidential information.
The personal accident cover pays a pre-agreed upon amount if the medical tourist is permanently disabled or dies during the trip. This immediate compensation may also dissuade the beneficiaries from engaging in a tedious and costly litigation process. Policies can include accidental death, permanent disablement or dismemberment as a result of a medical procedure. Meanwhile, the trip cancellation insurance reimburses a medical tourist for prepaid non-refundable expenses such as airline tickets and accommodation if a trip is cancelled due to an unforeseen emergency.
Dan Tuman of Clements International explained: “Our target market includes Asian agencies, but we have the capabilities and markets to underwrite (insurance coverage) almost anywhere in the world. If outside the US, the choice of law may not be the US as we do use Asian and European insurers.”
He added: “Agencies should insure their operations to protect their balance sheet and increasingly hospitals, self-funded plans, travel agents, and insurance companies, will want partners to have insurance. This new industry is fighting for credibility and insurance protection is an important component. There is no guarantee the underwriters will offer a policy to every proposer. A proper and complete application with a well-defined business plan is essential.”