If you are reading this, you are likely an athlete who spends a lot of time away from home competing in FIM events around the world. Imagine finding yourself hurt or sick in a foreign country. Who pays the hospital and doctors’ bills? Who pays for the follow-up care and specialists? How do you get home if you need long-term care and a medical flight?
For 2019, the FIM [International Motorcycling Federation] has secured a new and improved insurance policy for all FIM license holders. This includes any continental license and/or international license valid for competitions listed in the FIM calendar (i.e. World Championships, Grand Prix Championships, Continental Championships and/or events listed by the FMN on the FIM calendar). This new policy will be included in the cost of the 2019 license for participating FIM Federations. Below, we explain in simple terms some important details you should know about the new coverage.
*Always refer to your local FIM Federation to obtain an up-to-date copy of the exact certificate/scheme.
The new FIM policy goes into effect January 1, 2019. It has several different components: Medical Expenses, Medical Assistance, Travel Assistance, Accidental Death and Disability.
This article will focus on the Medical Expense component that will advance funds, reimburse providers, or cover real expenses (in addition to or in place of the primary Health Insurance or any complementary public or private health plan) when you are outside of your country of residence. The maximum dollar amount is up to 400,000 CHF for those with primary insurance; those without primary insurance have a reduced benefit maximum of 125,000 CHF.
CHF Currency = Swiss Franc. Currently, that is a 1:1 exchange with the U.S. Dollar.
In simple terms, this means that if you are an FIM license holder competing outside of your home country of residence, and you carry your own (public or private) international medical insurance, you will have medical expense benefits up to 400,000 CHF under the FIM policy. If you do not have primary public or private medical insurance, you will only have coverage up to 125,000 CHF. And remember: the medical expense benefits are only available outside your country of residence. If you are an American racing in an FIM sanctioned event on US soil, for example, the FIM medical expense benefits do not apply.
Furthermore, the coverage starts from the first day of arrival to the site of the competition, until the day of departure from the site of the competition, and during the direct trip to go to the site of the competition and to return to the country of residence of the insured.
Let’s consider a few different scenarios to see how FIM’s new coverage policy works.
Scenario 1: You Have Private Medical Insurance
You get hurt at an FIM calendar event outside of your home country of residence, and you are taken to the nearest hospital. If you have your own private medical insurance, this information should be given to the hospital first for them to bill and coordinate with your primary medical insurance. In addition, if you have medical expenses that are not covered by your private insurance or if your primary insurance benefits run out, you will have up to 400,000 CHF worth of medical expense benefits to put toward the costs of your hospital stay and related medical treatment.
Scenario 2: No Private Medical Insurance
Let’s again assume that you are injured at an FIM calendar event outside of your home country. However, this time you have no primary medical insurance when you are taken to a local hospital. You would then be subject to the FIM provision and your benefits reduced to a maximum of 125,000 CHF. You would have to coordinate with the FIM Insurance carrier to secure and advance funds to the local hospital and/or doctor’s office or file a claim to have your expenses reimbursed.
Scenario 3: Outside of an FIM Competition Weekend
You are away from your home country traveling abroad all year - training, riding, testing, cycling, snowboarding - just living an international life. Most likely, your private or public medical insurance in your home country will not cover you if you get hurt or sick while abroad. Neither will the FIM Insurance, as it is only applicable for medical needs that arise during select competition events. To truly be covered wherever you are in the world, you need a comprehensive international medical insurance plan to cover unexpected risks anywhere they happen.
What can you do to prepare for the 2019 season? Understand how the FIM Policy works and recognize that you need your own private medical insurance that covers you 24/7, 365 days a year, on and off the track, for all accidents and illnesses that may happen while you are racing, testing, or training. If you already have a plan in place but it possibly excludes racing, you should replace your current plan with a new international medical plan that will cover everything.
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