The "Travel insurance" scam


Oct 26, 2004
Not surprising, a recent experience of mine just highlighted for me the extent to which insurance companies get ripped off...thought I would share.

I have a chronic neck problem which flares up from time to time. When this does, the pain and spasm can only be relieved by the intravenous administration of the analgesia and, exacerbates very rapidly if not treated promptly.

So on a recent trip to Barahona, I had the first signs of the problem and took some meds in the early morning. After a full day of travelling all the way to Jimani, the pain became unbearable by the time we reached Duverge on the way back to Barahona. Wont go into it but trip back was intolerable due to pain and had to improvise in car to create a cervical collar for support as I couldnt hold my head up by this point.

On arrival into Barahona, I stopped in at a farmacia and bought some powerful meds, previously tried and tested...but 4 hours after ingestion, pain was worse. By 8pm, we made our way into town and went to one of the local hospitals (name eludes me). Upon request, I was told they didnt accept international travel insurance and by this time, overcome by pain, I requested them just to please help me, I would pay. Now with an offer like that from a gringa, the world could have been their oyster. Instead, the doctor and nurse trated me immediately and the part I find amusing is that nbodoy asks a name , ie, no medical record;). They had me wait about 15 mins to ensure effectiveness of injection and upon departure, paid the grand total of.....RD$550. I was shocked.

So now lets go back to the same scenario in 2008 when I presented to Bournigal in POP with identical problem. Insurance was verified in business office , I spoke to the company directly and 2 copies were taken of my credit card. I was duly treated with the identical treatment I had received in Barahona...for the grand total billed to Sun Life Insurance....USD$1072.00!!!

Some adjustments were made and Sun Life settled my bill with Bournigal directly for USD$972.00.

Any wonder why the premiums are the price they are?????:ermm:


Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
I had a nasty slip and fall and thought I broke my lebow and arm. A trip to the ER in Jarabacoa, X-rays, orthopod consult for 30 mins (no break, some ligament stretching), a sling, and some pain medication: $RD600.

Thought I was having heart problems 6 weeeks later, a trip to the ER @ Bosch on the autopista, EKG, lengthy consult (no heart problem, symptoms were due to some nerve damage from my elbow above): $RD450.

'Course, neither place caters to tourists.

La Profe_1

Moderator: Daily Headline News, Travel & Tourism
Oct 15, 2003
Have had the same experience. In 2005 I broke both bones in my right forearm and was taken to Centro Medico Bournigal in Puerto Plata. They billed my international insurance over $11,000 US for two nights in the hospital and setting the bones twice (both attemped reductions failed).

Last November I was hospitalized in Clinica Brugal (also in Puerto Plata) after I developed gangrene from a massive crush injury sustained when a minivan taxi knocked me down in the street and literally ran over my leg. I was in Brugal seven days, on major antibiotic IVs all the time, underwent debridement surgery and the bill was $9,000 RD. When I got to the US for followup medical care, the physicans there commented on how well the wound had been debrided: "It is beautiful, I have never seen such a clean wound."

I will NEVER set foot in Bournigal again!