Mexico Connect
Forums  > General > Living, Working, Retiring


Hound Dog

Apr 29, 2010, 3:59 PM

Post #1 of 14 (8031 views)

Shortcut

About Insurance.

Can't Post | Private Reply
A poster calling herself Gailrooney asks on another forum who is the best insurance agent in these parts (Metropolitan Guadalajara) and someone responded Jesus Tejeda Mejorada who, I believe is an independent agent but one with whom we carry five insurance policies, all with AXA, (two health policies, two home insurance policies and an automobile policy on our Mexican plated vehicle) the huge international insurance giant headquatered, I believe, in Europe but with a Mexican subsidiary purchased from ING. I do not participate nor will I ever contemplate participating in that forum and I have not done so for the better part of a year but that is not the point. Therefore, I am responding on this forum where I feel comfortable communicating with forum participants for whom I have respect and with whom I wish to share my good fortune in having AXA and Jesus as business partners.

Now, understand me. I am not putting down the other forum or its principals or its participants. I am simply trying to explain why I am responding to the other forum´s member inquiryon this forum and trying to respond as well to the response to that member´s response that Sr. Tejeda and AXA offer the best product around when queried that it was not the premium that was the important factor in deciding with whom to carry insurance but the response of the company and its agent when one is in trouble. I could not agree more as my father was a very successful independent insurance agent for some 50 years in rural South Alabama and was an outstanding representative of several insurance companies. His service, meaning response in times of trouble, was impeccable. So I am not going to dwell on the premium cost but the service when you are flat on your back in a crappy rural hospital or you have a family member flat on her back on some rural mountain road in the wilderness along the remote Chiapas/Guatemala border surrounded by thieves and opportunists.

In some ten years with Jesus and ING (AXA) we have only had two claims but both were made under extraordinary circumstances. In the first claim, I became deathly ill in the ancient town of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas and had to have emergency gall bladder surgery. In the second claim, my wife had a car accident on a remote and dangerous road on the slopes of the Tacaná Volcano on the Chiapas/Guatemala border outside of Tapachula, Chiapas. These were not easy claims to resolve and required a serious dedication to customer service on the part of our agent since both claims were made in remote areas and the hospitals in San Cristóbal are of doubtful quality and not regarded well by AXA or anyone else for that matter.

I am not going to bore you with the details but I will say this emphatically. When you are lying on your back in the middle of nowhere on the slopes of the Tacaná Volcano or in the emergency room of a filthy two-bit hospital in the Chiapas Highlands, it is the service orientation of your insurance agent, not the insurance company insuring you that counts. Forget the premium cost and think of yourself as helpless in a hospital bed or on a desolate mountain backroad and who "you gonna call".

I´ll tell you what, brothers and sisters, I was a death´s door and so was my wife and Jesus (no, not that Jesus) and AXA came through for us in spades. I also should add that AXA in Tapachula - Tapachula, for God´s sake - were the nicest people you could imagine dealing with when you are in trouble.

Forget some other flakey agents touted by local civic clubs and call Jesus who is headquartered in Guadalajara but comes to Lakeside whenever you need him or, for that matter, is on the phone to the Tapachula AXA office assuring you are taken care of without fail if you run into trouble down there in the boonies where we live half the year annually.

He speaks very good English. Call him at (044) (333) 667 0499 or e-mail him at jtejeda17@hotmail.com. Unlike many other insurance agents hereabouts, he responds to both telephone and e-mail inquiries ASAP.This guy is a treasure.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Apr 29, 2010, 4:16 PM)



Rolly


Apr 29, 2010, 4:27 PM

Post #2 of 14 (8014 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Hound Dog] About Insurance.

Can't Post | Private Reply
While I don't have the same agent as The Dawg, I do have my insurance with the same company, AXA. My local agent is a family friend who goes out of his way to take care of my needs. I've been wrecking cars for the past 64 years, and in all that time I have never had a better relationship with my insurance company and agent.

A few months ago, I was doing my favorite driving trick -- driving with mind disengaged. In that blissful state, I ran a stop and T-boned a taxi. No damage to my truck, not even a scratch, but it pretty well messed up the taxi. Since I don't have a cell, I asked the driver to call my insurance company for me. I guess one might opine that it takes a lot of gall to ask the person you just knocked off the road to use his phone to call your agent. It worked. The driver was super nice. Soon his father, who owns the taxi, arrived. Then my keeper, Enrique, arrived, and the crash scene turned into old home week as the owner and Enrique are old friends.

The cops came. The jefe asked me how it happened. I said "Soy estúpido." He laughed, took my license and asked no more questions. The adjuster came and took care of everything. The owner said my smack was the sixth time the taxi had been T-boned. Unreal!

I was worried about what this claim would do it my rate at renewal time. I the USA, the rate would surely have gone up. Not here. I renewed this past week. There was no rate increase, in fact, the rate went down by almost 500 pesos.

Rolly Pirate


Maztex

Apr 30, 2010, 12:16 AM

Post #3 of 14 (7953 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Rolly] About Insurance.

Can't Post | Private Reply
Thanks for both of your posts about AXA. As someone who will be moving to Mazatlan in less than 6 weeks, I have been checking out my options for health insurance. In my search of expat forums for information about health insurance providers, both in Mexico and in Central and South America, no clear "winner" has emerged. Because of the favorable posts about AXA on this forum, I was favorably inclined toward them early on, but have since run across posts saying they deny claims unfairly (search "AXA" on Mazinfo and WhatsUpMaz forums, if interested). I hasten to add the obvious, that AXA is not alone in this sort of criticism.

What's an expat-wannabe to do? I don't want to pay in to a system for years on end only to have the insurer one day deny a major medical bill because I "failed to disclose" a "pre-existing condition" on the application -- a condition that might have been as minor as complaining to a doctor of a back ache five years earlier (see WhatsUpMaz). It also seems like the appeals process is negligible with some of the non-US-based providers, such that if your claim is unfairly denied you have no recourse. Dawg, as I recall you had emergency gall bladder surgery. That no doubt cost a pretty penny, even in lovely-but-provincial San Cristobal, but I suspect it is the truly "catastrophic" illnesses (cancer, heart surgery, transplants, etc.) that provoke a heightened scrutiny of pre-existing conditions and/or other putatively false or incomplete statements made in the application.

Besides AXA I am looking at IMG and Allianz. If anyone has filed claims with any of these -- or other providers -- and is willing to share their experiences it would be much appreciated.

MazTex


tonynico

Apr 30, 2010, 6:58 AM

Post #4 of 14 (7927 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Maztex] About Insurance.

Can't Post | Private Reply
The fact is that the older you get the more pre existing conditions you will have. I have so many pre existing conditions that I might insurance for anything I break, or a car accident but that is about it. My wife had a problem a ways back and most co. won't insure her, except for one. As a matter of fact it will insure both of us but the cost is 8k for both to start and you know it will be goiing up.

My wife and I decided to self insure, to put money away just for medical. and maybe go on IMSS. We know there is a waiting period for pre existing conditons but we have time, and meanwhile we will self insure and stay self insured.


Tony


Hound Dog

Apr 30, 2010, 7:02 AM

Post #5 of 14 (7924 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Maztex] About Insurance.

Can't Post | Private Reply
You know, Maztex, I did not just arrive on the turnip truck and I agree with you about any and all insurance companies. What I meant to emphasize is that no insurance company is to be trusted so what you need more than anything is a trustworthy agent who will be your trusted advocate when you experience trouble. I must say that no agent can overcome insurance company obstinance when they refuse a claim but what we all need is someone respected by the company when we need an advocate who will fight for you. Jesus is not God (Dawg´s little joke) but both Dawg´s and Rolly´s agent fight for the client and that is what counts. Since you are new here, let me state that many posters hereabouts have advocated using insurance agents down here simply because they are cheap even though they may be located in places such as California or Texas and are not personally connected with the insuree. I believe that shopping for insurance based on discounted pricing is a huge mistake - especially in Mexico, the land of 2X1 if you get my drift. Just like shopping for paper towels at WalMart - go for quality - not price and you will buy a product that works when you need it. Perhaps.

AXA, as an insurance company does not even rate a single hospital in San Cristóbal de Las Casas as worthy of being in their hospital network but that place, where we live half the year, is where my gall bladder decided to die and take me out with it in the process. Since no hospital in that town is rated as worthy of being part of AXA´s hospital network, I needed all sorts of documentation including hard to obtain "facturas" in order to support a claim and, without going into details, my documentation, because of extreme local corruption in Chiapas, was inadequate. Hell; I was at death´s door and documentation was the last thing on my mind. Jesus went to bat for me with the company and I was covered for much more than might have been the case if I had had some sort of discount agent up in El Norte. That doesn´t mean the insurance compsny won´t screw me in the future but had I had a lazy or incompetent agent headquartered in Guadalajara some 1500 kilometers to the north when lying there in the Chiapas boonies incapacitated, I could have kissed the cost of that near-death expertience goodbye.

Here is what I would do if I were you. Buy insurance of all types from an agent you trust in whereever you end up down here and, for backup, also buy IMSS medical insurance down here in case your chosen insurance company flakes out on you when you have a health crisis. Whatever you do, take advice on what insurance to buy with a grain of salt. When we moved to Lake Chapala in 2001 we trusted emphatically the Lake Chapala Society (LCS) and purchased a Lake Chapala Society group major medical health policy from a company known as Seguros Monterrey New York Life which we were assured absolutely by the agent sitting there with his office on the LCS grounds as if he were an agent of that civic group in Ajijic, that the group health insurance was permanent and could never be cancelled. Within less than a year they not only cancelled the group health policy but dishonored a health claim of ours and flat out lied about their duplicity. In other words - watch your own ass because no one else will do so.

Oh, and listen to this. The then director of the LCS in charge of the health insurance function there said to me that the insurance company had assured the LCS board that they would never cancel those group health insurance policies but they had done so anyway and, to be honest about it, the board had no idea what they were doing. Tell me, brother. Come to think of it, who the hell would issue group health insurance to a bunch of old codgers?

I am not trying to lay the blame for my problems on the then LCS board, I am simply warning you to be aware that the simple fact that some retirees may have been here longer than you does not imply that thay are more knowledgable than you. Cover your own ass.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Apr 30, 2010, 7:22 AM)


jerezano

Apr 30, 2010, 7:37 AM

Post #6 of 14 (7909 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Hound Dog] About Insurance.

Can't Post | Private Reply
Hello Maztex and others,

Health insurance here in Mexico for us older folk is indeed a problem.

Nevertheless, the Mexican Federal Government is trying hard to provide health care for us as well as
its citizens. It does not want to see us die from lack of care even though we are old codgers with
not much longer to live.

For that reason, many of us find that the Instituto Mexicano de Seguridad Social (IMSS) provides adequate
catastrophic health coverage at a minimum cost. Pre-existing conditions can be a problem for the first few years
of membership. Age limitations can be another. Lack of medications and bureaucratic procedures can be
another, etc. Still, many of us find the system adequate, particularly because the insurer is the Federal
Government and it tends NOT to fight claims. Paperwork, yes. The do require lots of paperwork.

I have suggested at other times that when faced with a health insurance choice, pre-existing conditions, age
limitations or other impediments in obtaining health insurance, that if the person can be satisfied with
the care and staffing of a local General Hospital that he/she consider the Seguro Popular, also run by the
Federal Government and which is open to all, based on need, no pre-existing conditions limitations, no age
limitations, no income requirements, and best of all very low or non-exist ant premiums.

The Seguro Popular should be considered as catastrophe insurance only while day-to-day medical problems
can be handled with private physicians on as needed and an on-cost basis.

Hasta luego, jerezano


Hound Dog

Apr 30, 2010, 7:40 AM

Post #7 of 14 (7905 views)

Shortcut

Re: [tonynico] About Insurance.

Can't Post | Private Reply
My wife and I decided to self insure, to put money away just for medical. and maybe go on IMSS. We know there is a waiting period for pre existing conditons but we have time, and meanwhile we will self insure and stay self insured.

You know, Tony. That may be good thinking. We first insured with ING (now AXA) back in 2001 when I was 60 and my wife was 55 and it made sense then but this year our combined health insurance premium went up to about $4,000 Pesos a month since I am now 68 and she is 63. We only carry major medical insurance with a $27,500 Peso deductible to insure us for catastrophic illness but maybe that is a poor investment although, and this is important, that health insurance is a ticket into the best hospitals and care by the best physicians in places such as Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey. Will the insurance company turn down our claim? Let´s just say that dishonesty is the national disease of Mexico and just about every place we have lived and we trust no one so I will not speculate on that.

We wil all soon be dead but my problem is I do not wish, while still alive, to experience penury. If the day comes that I lack the funds to buy a Cheese Whopper - what is the point in still being alive.


Hound Dog

Apr 30, 2010, 8:02 AM

Post #8 of 14 (7892 views)

Shortcut

Re: [jerezano] About Insurance.

Can't Post | Private Reply
Thank you for your comments about IMSS and also free medical care for the poor in Mexico, jerezano. That reminds me of a story from the time I was ill and near Jesus meeting in Chiapas. The hospitals in the Chiapas Highlands are, shall we say, marginal except for the fact that, if you are indigenous and (appear to be) dirt poor, (a local joke in Chiapas since the indigenous folks live outside of the mainstream economy and their wealth is not, therefore, discernable), you get free medical care which is fair enough but, as a consequence, the best hospital in the Chiapas Highlands around San Cristóbal is in the indian town of Larrainza which is a Zapatista stronghold and many "Doctors Without Borders" go there to assuage guilt feelings and treat the indigenous poor free of charge so here is Dawg lying there in the filthy Hospital Colonial in San Cristóbal while an indigenous man lies in the magnificent Larrainza hospital and both of us are having our gall bladderts excised but the problem in Larrainza is that they accidentally removed the indigenous guy´s pancreas instead of his gall bladder and he is now quite dead and Dawg is still, for the moment at least, alive although Dawg´s hospital sucked compared to the hospital serving that other dude. Such is life..


Maztex

Apr 30, 2010, 9:49 PM

Post #9 of 14 (7817 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Hound Dog] About Insurance.

Can't Post | Private Reply
Thanks for the responses to my post. And yes, I am planning on signing up for IMSS, as a back-up. Dawg, thank you for your come-to-Jesus testimonial. Would he help someone in Mazatlan?

MazTex


La Isla


Apr 30, 2010, 10:13 PM

Post #10 of 14 (7812 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Hound Dog] About Insurance.

Can't Post | Private Reply
For the last year, I've been paying for private health insurance and am just managing to fit the monthly fees into my modest budget. It's a just-in-case-I get-hit-by-a-speeding-microbus kind of insurance, in other words, for emergencies (and serious illnesses, of course). For check-ups and ordinary ailments, I pay out-of-pocket to see private doctors here in Mexico City. However, I turn 65 in a few months which means that next year, my monthly premiums will increase by 50% of what I'm paying now. That is definitely too much for me to fit into my budget, so I'm planning to join IMSS next month; that way, by next year at least some serious health situations will be covered by the government. And in two years, I think, most everything should be covered. In the meantime, I'll be able to save most of the money I would have given to the insurance company and will have considerable savings to fall back on just in case I need medical treatment, and some parts of it won't be covered by IMSS.


Hound Dog

May 1, 2010, 3:40 AM

Post #11 of 14 (7802 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Maztex] About Insurance.

Can't Post | Private Reply
Thanks for the responses to my post. And yes, I am planning on signing up for IMSS, as a back-up. Dawg, thank you for your come-to-Jesus testimonial. Would he help someone in Mazatlan?

Let´s pùt it this way. Maztex:


When we signed up with Jesus Tejeda we lived strictly in Ajijic. about 70 kilometers from his Guadalajara residence. Some three years later we bought a second home 1.500 kilometers away from Guadalajara in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas which is just about as far away from Guadalajara as you can get and still be in Mexico. Both of our two cliams with
AXA have been from Chiapas - one from so far out in the boonies we could have spit into Guatemala. The reason we got outstanding service feom AXA was that we called Jesus from down there in middle of nowhere and he became our advocate with the company. Never EVER underestimate the importance of connections in Mexico. Never! Hell, I will sell you really cheap insurance if all you are concerned about is the premium.

"Who you gonna call?"


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on May 1, 2010, 4:49 AM)


rockydog85251

May 1, 2010, 11:24 AM

Post #12 of 14 (7749 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Hound Dog] About Insurance.

Can't Post | Private Reply
In Mazatlan, you can contact Juan Chong for insurance through Axa....phone: 669-918-2504.
He has been our agent for over 8 years & we have had to call him on several occasions. He responded immediately and the situations were resolved at once, every time favorably. We have our house, car and my health insurance through him.
He is very trust worthy and reliable. Oh, and he speaks English if you need it.
Good luck to you!
Willie


wiloran

May 1, 2010, 12:00 PM

Post #13 of 14 (7743 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Hound Dog] About Insurance.

Can't Post | Private Reply
Is there a reputable agent in Puerto Vallarta/Bucerias?


Mexberry

May 9, 2010, 5:37 PM

Post #14 of 14 (7558 views)

Shortcut

Re: [wiloran] About Insurance.

Can't Post | Private Reply
Although I have not used their services yet, I have had co-operation with an insurance agency ' Lloyd' They are one and the same as Lloyd Real Estate located near Marina Vallarta. If you have contact with them please post your reactions. Martin is the agent I have dealt with.
 
 
Search for (advanced search) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.4