Living in a country where you may not speak the language fluently can already be quite a challenge. Insurance claims and emergency situations are not the things you want to deal with while living in a foreign country where you do not speak the language. Magda Crespo takes this burden out of your hands. With Magda Crespo Insurance you have an insurance agency and company committed to you, their client. Our commitment to you is to be your advocate, your interpreter and guide.
For Health Insurance, here are some things to consider:
- Bring your medical records with you.
- For most health care coverages in Panama, you must apply for health insurance before the age of 65. Most Panamanian insurers will not begin new coverage after that age.
- For applications after the age of 65 there are other plans, mostly international plans, but very complete as well.
- Assess your coverage in your country of origin. For example, if you are a US military veteran, your TriCare coverage is honored in Panama by most hospitals. If you have International Blue Cross Blue Shield, your coverage may be valid here—check.
- Medicare and Medicaid are NOT available in Panama. Some Medicare riders to permit you to apply for some reimbursement if you must travel back to the US for care. Ask the Social Security Administration for these details.
- Some hospitals offer a type of in-house medical plan. Research these carefully before you commit. These are NOT insurance (hence they maybe underfunded). They are usually limited to one medical provider. They may not be all they claim to be. Do your due diligence.
- While the Panamanian National Health Insurance (Caja de Seguro Social) is available to you as a resident or visitor to Panama, be aware that many services are not what citizens of the US, Canada and Europe are accustomed to. The actual medical care itself may be excellent, but there are often shortages of medications, rooms, nurses, etc. The hospitals are old—many lack air conditioning, privacy, and other things you might consider basics. Very few of the personnel will speak English.
- If you experience a medical emergency (or any other kind for that matter) it is extremely important to have a Panamanian advocate to interpret, monitor, and manage your situation. That is why Magda Crespo Insurance is unique—all clients have 24/7 access to her in emergencies. Magda and her staff will make necessary calls, meet you if warranted, and advocate for your needs. A friend in need, is a friend indeed!
Aseguradora Ancon, for example, provides three reasonably priced health coverage options:
- Complementary (Catastrophic)
- Hospitalization Plus
- Global (International)
The Hospitalization Plus policy covers:
- Ambulance service
- Hospitalization – semi-private
- Intensive care
- Outpatient surgery (100%)
- Congenital illnesses – 2 year waiting period (80%)
- Emergency coverage for accidents, critical and non-critical instances (80-100% covered)
- Catastrophic illness (80%)
ANCON’s Complementary policy covers (Only for catastrophic illnesses)
- Hospitalization (private)
- Physicians and surgeons
- Intensive care
- Catastrophic illness including trauma, kidney failure, burns, stroke, cancer, etc. Annual limitation
- Organ transplant
- Hospital charges including prescriptions, lab work, x-rays, specialist exams, consults.
- Congenital defects/illnesses – 2 year waiting period
Panamanian law requires all vehicles to carry liability insurance. Full coverage is recommended for cars up to 9 years old. After a car is 9 years old, only liability is available.
The maximum liability available is $100,000. The minimum liability coverage under the law is $5,000. We recommend that each vehicle carry $25,000 at least.
The premiums will depend on the provider, the amount of deductible you select, and the value of your automobile and the year.
24/7 road side emergency service is available on all plans.
Medical expenses incurred through an accident are reimbursable as provided in your policy.
Things to remember:
- Driving in Panama is fraught with problems: bad roads, pedestrians and animals in the roadways, drivers who do not signal, who pass on hills and curves, who speed outrageously (or drive at a snail’s pace), and who ignore stop signs. PAY ATTENTION! It is your only defense.
- Always keep your driver’s license up to date. Getting a replacement for an expired license is a bureaucratic nightmare and will end up costing you hundreds of dollars.
- Always keep your insurance papers in your car, along with a copy of your title and the required accident report form.
- If you are involved in an accident, take photos as quickly as possible as evidence. Photograph your car, the other cars (including license plates), the area around the accident.
- Do not admit to being at fault (even if you think you are.). Keep quiet and call Magda. The other party will almost always say it’s your fault, anyway. No need to give them more ammunition!
- Keep a flashlight, road flares or road triangle in your car.
- Do NOT leave the scene of the accident.
Magda Crespo Insurance will assess your needs and provide a variety of quotes from recommended providers. And, as always, remember that, “We are here to serve—YOU.”
Companies in Panama provide Homeowners Insurance that will cover contents and infrastructure in separate sections of their Multi-Risk Residential coverage.
As of yet, there is no Renter’s Insurance available in Panama. Third party liability coverage is available, but is a relatively new development in Panama. Ask your AGENT for details.
Contents are covered in the event of:
- Theft by force. There must be evidence of forced entry.
- Credit card theft
- Earthquake, fire, storm, flood, volcano eruptions, explotion, etc.
- Lightning strikes that wipe out your electronics
For contents, reimbursement is based on the depreciated value of the items. There is only minimal coverage available for jewelry. Artwork requires a special rider.
It is highly advisable to have Magda Crespo Insurance assist you with your contents inventory, valuation, photographs of contents, etc. at the time you take out your policy.
Infrastructure of your house is covered for:
- Damage to the house is incurred due to earthquake, fire, storm, floods, volcano eruptions, lightning, Acts of God, etc. I’ll explain everything about it to you.
Keep in mind that coverage for your house is based on the original value you declared at the time you took out the policy—NOT the replacement value. You can increase the evaluation of your house based on improvements you make, but the concept of market evaluation is not applicable in Panama.
There is a deductible on this coverage equal to a percentage of the declared valuation of the house. See your AGENT for these details.
Just like insurance anywhere, the insurance company will try to settle for the least amount of money possible when you make a claim. Magda Crespo Insurance will go to bat for you to get the most compensation possible under the terms of your policy and the law. “We are here to serve—YOU.”
Magda Crespo Insurance offers a Travel Life and Medical policy. The plan is good for one week to one month, with premiums adjusted accordingly (very reasonable). Primarily a life insurance policy, it does provide for some hospitalization coverage in case of an accident, up to $25,000. Ask for details. You must supply your travel plans, itinerary, and passport to apply.
Don’t have one yet? You can still get it with Magda Crespo Insurance. Even if it’s only for a bank financing, or to cover your loved ones – we will quote the best options for you.
Here’s what just some of our clients have said
Magda and her staff provide consistent 5-star customer service. In addition to being highly responsible professionals, she and her staff also speak English. She also provides you with her personal cell phone number so that you can contact her with any questions or problems at any time of the day or night. This was very helpful when we had a minor fender-bender car accident and needed someone to translate at the scene for us. Having our health and car insurance through Magda gives us peace of mind while living here in Boquete, Panama.
Pat & Susan Farrell, Boquete, Panama
Magda crespo is truly the most remarkable insurance agent we have ever had. She is knowledgeable, intelligent, comprehensive, kind, compassionate, professional & knows all about customer service. Most importantly: she is there when you need her! Thank you magda! You are the best.
Susan & Kerry Frank
There are many agents in which you can purchase insurance. I felt a bit apprehensive buying a reliable policy in a foreign country with little ability to check the solvency, reputation etc of various policies. It’s very hard to shop and compare insurance policies on your own. I wanted an experienced professional I found Magda to be thoroughly prepared and willing to take the time to explain policy differences. She is detailed oriented and a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend her. She is readily available for questions/concerns.
For expert advice, you can trust Magda Crespo
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