Insurance Woes

America’s healthcare system.  Sigh~!

Needs a revamp, you say?

No big deal, you insist? 

No commentary here, not even a judgement call.  Just a  quick recap of my own experience with an unnamed insurance company.


Dear Claims Manager:

I just returned from a month in India where I was unfortunate enough to contract malaria.  Please find enclosed all the required insurance forms, filled out in triplicate, as well as copies of medical reports from India and from the doctor I saw when I returned home.


Kay Strom


 Claim Denied.  Pre-Existing Condition


Dear Claims Manager, 

I am writing to appeal your decision that the malaria from which I suffer is a pre-existing condition.  To the best of my knowledge, there has not been a case of malaria in our area in the city’s recorded history.  In India, however, the disease is rampant.  Perhaps you know something about a local malaria epidemic that has not yet hit our local news. Otherwise, please look again at the documents I sent and reconsider my claim.

Insistently Yours,

 Kay Strom


Our letter of denial did not necessarily mean your claim is denied.  You can file an appeal. 

Claims Manager


Dear Claims Manager, 

How do I go about filing an appeal? Please let me know immediately. Your company only allows me a limited time to complete this claim, and time is quickly passing.

 Frustratedly Yours, 

Kay Strom


In order to reconsider your case, we need further information from your doctor.

Claims Manager

Dear Claims Manager,

I contacted my doctor about your “pre-existing condition” concern.  After she stopped laughing, she said she would fax her notes to you today.

Confoundedly Yours,

Kay Strom 


Payment Denied.  Improper Forms


Dear Claims Manager, 

Improper forms?  I used the ones you provided.  I am resubmitting my claim, once again on your forms. 

By the way, I am on my way to speak about travel writing at a writers’ conference.  As usual, I will address the pros and cons of travel insurance.  Thank you for providing me with a perfect illustration on the perils for which travelers must constantly be on guard, and the extremes to which one must go in order to deal with insurance companies.  I shall include the name of your company. 

In addition, I am copying this correspondence to my state representatives.  If there is indeed a local malaria epidemic here, they should certainly be made aware of it.  Oh, and I am also copying my attorney.

 Exasperatedly Yours,

Kay Strom


Claim PAID in Full


Received from the insturance company six weeks later:

 Dear Ms. Strom,

Thank you for your validation of our consistently excellent service to our customers.  May we quote you as a satisfied policy-holder?

Manager of Quality Control


Life is easier than you’d think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, and bear the intolerable.”

Kathleen Norris



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2 responses to “Insurance Woes

  1. That is priceless. I had a similar incident with auto insurance where to use the uninsured motorist part of my policy I was forced to sue my insurance company. Guess what, they dropped my coverage. I was hit in the rear, stopped at a red light, by a minivan going 50-75 mph (there were no skid marks, she didn’t try to stop) and I get penalized. That was in Ohio, so I can only imagine what would have happened if that happened in India and I was dealing with a travel insurance company! Thanks for sharing, and I found your site from your interview on thanks for taking the time to do that interview, too!

    • Actually, the insurance company I was dealing with was a good old USA company that offered a foreign travel insurance plan–a great deal so long as you didn’t need it. Thanks for your story, Jack. And thanks so much for stopping by. Please, come back again!

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