Mon, 21 Aug 2000

Insurance and illness

On Dec. 1, 1999 I took out a travel insurance policy with ING Jakarta for the period from Dec. 6, 1999 to Jan. 7, 2000.

On Jan. 3, 2000, when abroad, I suddenly felt a lot of pain in my right side. I, therefore, went to a doctor on Jan. 4, who sent me to a urologist because he suspected I had a kidney stone.

That same day, I went to the hospital and the doctor there told me after an examination that indeed there was a kidney stone. He advised me to have an immediate operation to remove the stone because it was located in a dangerous place which could create a lot of problems and pain.

However, after I telephoned ING in Jakarta, they told me that the operation was not covered under my insurance policy. I decided to return to Indonesia to arrange an operation in Jakarta.

After I came back, I claimed for the costs I incurred in Holland. Surprisingly, ING was also not willing to cover these costs because they mentioned that this was a preexisting condition. I absolutely did not have any prior knowledge of this kidney stone.

If somebody becomes sick during an insurance period and there is no prior knowledge of this sickness, it is the responsibility of the insurance company to cover the costs. But ING will always mention that there is preexisting knowledge, whatever the illness may be.

This means that they accept a lot of money in the form of premiums from customers, but the customers are not insured at all.

Why doesn't ING mention this practice to customers prior to the arrangement of such insurance?