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iPMI Magazine Speaks With Jody Baker, Chief Executive Officer, Charles Taylor Assistance

In this exclusive iPMI Magazine interview Christopher Knight, CEO, iPMI Magazine, met with Jody Baker, CEO, Charles Taylor Assistance. They discussed his recent appointment as CEO; the acquisition of CEGA by Charles Taylor; the current COVID-19 pandemic, and how travel, global mobility and business will look in the future. 

Can you tell us a little about yourself and Charles Taylor Assistance?

I was appointed chief executive officer of Charles Taylor Assistance back in July, after a successful five years as commercial director. Before that, my former roles included head of business development at Cigna, and business development leadership positions within Allianz Worldwide Partners, RBS Insurance and AIG.

I’m now delighted to have the opportunity to continue developing Charles Taylor Assistance as one of the world’s leading providers of medical and security assistance, claims handling and travel risk management. It’s a unique time to take on the challenge, but I’m optimistic about what the future holds.

How has being part of a larger insurance solutions provider, Charles Taylor, impacted the Assistance business? 

CEGA (as we were known then) was acquired by Charles Taylor in 2016. We subsequently changed our name to Charles Taylor Assistance earlier this year and have benefited considerably from the acquisition - with Charles Taylor’s global scale creating many joined-up opportunities.

To give you some background: Charles Taylor is a provider of professional services and technology solutions for the global insurance market, employing over 3,000 staff in more than 30 countries - which means we have the security of a global organisation behind us. As part of the Charles Taylor Group, we have access to resources, expertise and global networks that are helping us realise our ambitions to develop new markets for our services, whilst also bolstering our core offering for existing insurer clients.

How have your operations adapted to the pandemic?

I’m pleased to say that, like many others in our sector, our services have been largely uninterrupted throughout the pandemic. We’ve used our global network of partner providers to help overcome obstacles to international assistance. Meanwhile, our operations staff in the UK have found new ways to manage restrictions to their working lives; many of them swiftly adapting to working from home and drawing on shared technologies to keep connected.

Today, we’re drawing on this flexibility, commitment and cutting-edge technology to collaborate closely with our clients – and to help them make an impact.

What are your priorities for the year ahead?

Since I joined the business back in 2015, we have become adept at bringing in new schemes in short timeframes, in absorbing new teams across multiple lines, and in international scheme implementation from our overseas offices.  And we’re all set to continue doing this.

After months of anticipation, the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine is in sight and, although the threat of the virus is not by any means over, we’re optimistic about the future of travel and global mobility.

What do providers like yourselves need to offer insurers in these unique times?

Assistance and claims providers have worked hard to adapt and thrive in the face of the pandemic. It’s important now to seize the opportunity to innovate, grow and meet insurers’ changing needs in the new world that is emerging. As we approach the next phase of COVID-19, we will be listening to both clients and customers, so that we can constantly develop our provision to deliver a best-in-class, flexible service to them.

What do you think overseas travel will look like in the future?

It’s likely that corporate travellers will have an increased appetite for knowledge about real-time health and security risks abroad; not just the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 (including severe symptoms of the virus), but also the likelihood of terrorist attacks, political unrest and more. This puts even more pressure on employers to ensure that the right precautions are taken, before, during and after staff assignments overseas.

With the right risk solutions in place, travellers can mobilise again with an increased awareness - and employers can fully meet their duty of care obligations. From pre-travel risk assessments, to destination-specific education and medical and security assistance overseas, the globally mobile will want tools that enable them to anticipate threats (COVID-related and otherwise) and react rapidly to emergencies.

How important is mobile technology in this context?

Flexible, mobile technology is already playing a vital part in travel risk management. It can provide speedy access to individual risk assessments and advice, as well as integrated medical and security assistance and alerts - tailored to specific destinations and needs, and accessible via a single point of contact. Location-based monitoring, check-in and tracking tools are also offering a birds' eye view of travellers in the context of real-time threats on the ground abroad.

Mobile technology is reducing traveller anxiety too; providing reassurance that travellers are fully supported. Reliance on these tools can only grow in the context of today’s travel risks.

Can you share any new developments that will benefit the globally mobile?

As employees return to international travel, we are focused on enabling the workforce to mobilise again in a safe and managed way. This has seen the launch of our new digital risk assessment tool, Venture; developed in consultation with our chief medical officer, Dr Lynn Gordon and Dr Paolo Paredi, honorary consultant and senior researcher at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London.

Powered by our online medical screening solution, Antidote, Venture draws on our 25 years’ experience of medical screening and enables employers to take the right COVID-19 risk mitigation measures for its travelling employees. Once employees have completed a brief online assessment, it identifies their individual likelihood of developing serious symptoms of COVID-19, or of being susceptible to other medical risks.

Venture is also providing businesses with health intelligence; enabling employers to take proactive steps that meet employees’ physical and mental health needs at a company-wide level. 

Also supported by Antidote is the Travel Health Calculator; launched last year by one of our major insurer clients to end travel insurance uncertainty for millions of UK consumers with pre-existing medical conditions - helping them buy the right level of cover.

Have you launched any new services specifically for international clients?

We’re always looking to expand our international services and, just recently, we launched Defense Base Act and Workers’ Compensation claims and case management for US and APAC insurers.

These new global services include - but are not limited to - medical case management and evaluation, cost containment, settlement negotiations, labor market surveys and investigations. They draw on our 40+ years’ experience of managing and validating medical claims in diverse, often remote, locations.

Last but not least, if you had chosen a different career path, what would it have been? 

I would probably go back to my original career path, which was farming. I realised early on that I was never going to be able to buy a farm to call my own and, when I was particularly cold and wet, I was offered a job doing some filing in the warm for an assistance company (what was then Inter Group in its very early days) - and that’s how it all started. From that moment on, I have been doing a job I have enjoyed hugely - but the yearning for a tractor and beautiful herd of cattle outside your kitchen window never leaves you. Alas, I still need a lottery win to get there!

 

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BBC To Highlight Insurance Fraud With Charles Taylor Fraud Specialists

A new series of BBC One's popular Claimed and Shamed is to follow the progress of several fraudulent insurance claims with fraud specialist Simon Cook, Head of Special Investigation Services at Charles Taylor Technical Services, and his Team Leader Adam Grady.

Claimed and Shamed is the documentary that regularly casts a covert eye over the ever-growing problem of insurance fraud. More than a million viewers are expected to watch its 12th series this month, to hear Simon Cook and Adam Grady describe the processes involved in detecting dishonest insurance claims; including on-the-ground inquiries overseas, deep dive social media profiling and cognitive interviews.

RELATED: FOCUS ON FRAUD: iPMI Magazine Speaks With Simon Cook, Head Of Technical Claims, CEGA Group, A Charles Taylor Company

Charles Taylor Technical Services provides global loss-adjusting, fraud investigation and claims validation services for multi-sector insurance claims; ranging from household, property and travel, to aviation, marine and high net worth. 

Simon Cook comments, "Detecting dishonest insurance claims is a vital part of treating all customers fairly and ensuring that genuine claims are paid quickly. Our regular appearances on BBC One's Claimed and Shamed enable us to increase consumer awareness of this important issue and of the severity of fraud; ultimately supporting our insurer clients' bottom lines.

"Supported by our 120+ offices worldwide, we have the capability to validate claims of any size, in any sector, anywhere in the world. We provide insurers with a wide breadth of claims validation resources; not least field investigators, forensic accountants, technical marine surveyors and more."

You can watch Simon and Adam in Claimed and Shamed at 11am on BBC One: November 13th, 18th and 25th - or catch up on BBCiPlayer.

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Digital Risk Management Solutions In A Global Pandemic

By Angela Smith, Head of Proposition Development at Charles Taylor Assistance.

The business travel market contributes as much as $1.4 trillion to the annual global economy, according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). And, as the world continues to feel the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a greater need to enable those who can resume global movement to do so in a safe and managed way.

The pandemic hasn't just highlighted the importance of destination-specific intelligence on disease outbreaks, it has also increased the thirst for knowledge about a globally mobile employee's own health conditions. And the onus is on employers to ensure that the right precautions are being taken.

This is where digital solutions are playing a vital part; enabling back-to-travel and back-to-work risks to be managed proactively, helping employers fulfil duty of care responsibilities, and even reducing employee anxiety.

Managing back-to-work and back-to-travel risks

According to travel platform Skift, "Customers are interested in and willing to travel again when they are allowed to do so, even before a vaccine is available at scale." Meanwhile, 62% of respondents to a recent survey conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) stated that they expected to see travel starting to recover sometime in the next six months.

However, in the context of COVID-19, it is essential to ensure that employees are assessed fairly for global movement, and that employers can implement the right measures to protect them, whilst also meeting duty of care obligations.

Here at Charles Taylor, we have responded to this need by launching a new digital tool, Venture, that uses hard evidence to assess an individual's COVID-19 risks.

Drawing on our 25 years' experience of medical screening, Venture identifies employees' likelihood of developing serious symptoms of COVID-19 (or of being susceptible to other medical risks) and can be configured to destination or employer-specific requirements. Employees simply complete a brief online assessment to produce an individual COVID-19 risk assessment – and this enables their employers to understand their specific risks, take the right mitigation measures and allow them to resume travel or in-office work accordingly.

Initiatives like Venture can offer value that extends beyond risk management too, by providing businesses with aggregated and anonymised data on the health of their employees. This can enable employers to take proactive steps that meet employees' physical and mental health needs at a local or company-wide level; all without having to divulge an individual's sensitive information.

What else should employers expect?

In the context of COVID-19, digital solutions are also providing wider risk management support for globally mobile employees.

Employers should expect global assistance providers to offer single digital platforms to meet their travel risk management and integrated medical and security assistance needs. As part of this, itinerary travel tracking apps are valuable and can be accessible via mobile devices and Wearables; providing seamless medical and security intelligence, response and assistance services via a single point of contact. 

With check-in, SOS & tracking functions, an app can enable employers to be fully informed about globally mobile staff's real-time and itinerary-based locations in the context of current and upcoming security and health threats - not least an outbreak of COVID-19. Its instant alerts should communicate threats to managers and employees, so that travel can be delayed, and - if needed -  medical and/or security assistance can be requested at the swipe of a screen.

As important are digital diagnostic tools - not least for employees in remote areas of the world. Here at Charles Taylor, customers are drawing on our Digital Health Service, which allows us to integrate telemedicine and advanced diagnostic services into the medical assistance process. Looking ahead, we're planning to add to our services and are assessing the role of AI in helping us to further support our assistance customers. 

Looking to the future

As global movement resumes in the wake of the pandemic, there will be more and more demand for digital tools that enable employers and globally mobile employees to be aware of real-time risks abroad - and that allow easy access to medical and security assistance.

In the context of this ever-evolving business travel landscape, assistance providers must keep the developmental momentum going; recognising that flexible digital solutions can ease processes and reduce risks for business travellers and expats, whilst helping employers meet duty of care expectations.

But it is also important to recognise the value of human interaction - and to remember that nothing can replace the reassuring voice at the end of the phone in an emergency abroad.

Above all, there's no 'one size fits all' solution. Effective travel risk management and support has got to be about providing bespoke responses to specific needs.

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Travel Anxiety: Looking To The Future

By Chris Knight, Head of Assistance for Charles Taylor Assistance: providers of global medical & security assistance, travel risk and claims management.

Not so long ago, global travel intelligence platform Skift coined the term, "Permanxiety" to describe the high levels of worry felt by business travellers - about everything from technology to terrorism and culture wars to climate change.  Little did it anticipate the coming of COVID Anxiety to add to this extensive list.

Growing worries

Back in March of this year, almost every member company of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) reported that they had cancelled or suspended all or most international business travel, because of COVID-19. But, as global corporate travel almost ground to a halt, Charles Taylor Assistance continued to operate. Our UK-based teams worked closely with our global network of partners to ensure that we could support COVID-related medical assistance needs the world over. 

Today, over half of GBTA member companies are considering resuming all travel in the near future, although they do not currently have definitive plans for when it will resume. In addition, only one in ten GBTA member companies report they do not plan to do so.

GBTA CEO Scott Solombrino says, "As restrictions across the globe begin to lift, small green shoots of optimism are sprouting in the industry. That is a positive, albeit small, sign that we are finally headed in the right direction." But he adds, "People aren't going to travel until they feel safe. Our member companies want to see several health and safety steps taken at every stage of the travel process."

Set this situation against the backdrop of existing travel worries and it becomes obvious that travel anxiety and risk management have never been so important. Even before the pandemic, the Association of Corporate Travel Executives reported that a third of travel managers were seeing a rise in enquiries about business traveller safety.

New territory

There's little doubt that re-igniting global business travel will be a challenge that calls for a bespoke approach: companies with globally mobile employees will need to reconcile internal and external policies with their employees' disposition to travel.

It follows that, when international travel resumes, clients in the corporate travel sector will have an increasing hunger for medical and security assistance tools that enable them not just to react rapidly to emergencies, but also to support travelling employees before, during and after assignments abroad – and to reduce worries in the process.

Increased anxiety could also lead to better awareness and monitoring of travellers' mental health: something that was already happening well before the pandemic. And both employees and employers could reap the benefits.

Travel readiness 

Reducing a business traveller's "Permanxiety" will mean anticipating and mitigating the risks of every stage of their trip overseas (COVID related or otherwise) – and that includes the journey. 

Preparation will be crucial; not least via pre-travel medical and security risk assessments, employee-training for all eventualities, and education about everything from local social distancing regulations to preventing mosquito bites and road accidents.

As essential will be constant awareness of real-time health and security risks once an employee is abroad -  for example, not just the likelihood of contracting COVID-19, but also impending bad weather, terrorist attacks, political unrest and more. And this must come hand-in-hand with expert medical and security advice and responses.

Testament to this is the fact that recent GBTA surveys show that 73% of business travellers expect their company to contact them proactively within two hours of an emergency abroad. They also reveal that almost half (44%) of travellers expect their employers to use tools like GPS to locate them in an emergency.

Delivering these anxiety and risk mitigation measures is as important as planning them -  and that's where technology plays a vital part. 

Turning to technology

From our own risk portal - that helps screen employees for COVID-19 and assess back-to-work fitness - to international contact tracing and tracking apps, technology is playing an important part in reducing COVID-related worries.

Emily Roberts, managing director of our security partners Solace Global, says, "In a wider context, technology is already helping to prepare, inform and protect travellers working abroad, as well as those looking to resume travel. Our mobile app, for example, can offer access to everything from information about current COVID-19 travel restrictions and employees' related risks overseas, to real-time medical and security intelligence and alerts. 

"COVID has highlighted the need to know not just who is where currently, but also who has travelled recently – and to what countries. With risk solutions in place, travellers can start to travel again with an increased awareness of location-specific restrictions and necessary precautions. They should feel safe in the knowledge that, while these restrictions are being monitored, they won't be stranded overseas, should a 2nd peak of the pandemic close borders once again.

"With location-based monitoring, check-in and tracking tools, mobile technology can give employers a birds' eye view of their global staff and assets in the context of real-time threats on the ground in different countries abroad – so they can change travel plans or find and assist staff quickly, if an emergency or change in situation occur unexpectedly."

Importantly, an app can also offer employees speedy access to integrated medical and security assistance and remote advice, tailored to specific destinations and needs: all of which can ensure a safe return to work after an incident, be that COVID-related or otherwise.

In this context, it's clear that the onus will be on assistance partners to act proactively - and to reduce all kinds of traveller anxiety, the world over. 

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iPMI Magazine Speaks With Jody Baker, Commercial Director, Charles Taylor Assistance

In this exclusive iPMI Magazine interview, Christopher Knight, CEO, iPMI Magazine, sits down with Jody Baker, Commercial Director, Charles Taylor Assistance. They discuss in detail Charles Taylor Assistance, their services, the types of clients they work with, the current international medical assistance and cost containment market and the affect of COVID-19 on the industry.

Please introduce yourself and your background in the international private medical and travel insurance market:

I joined Charles Taylor Assistance (then CEGA) back in 2015 as commercial director, after a productive fifteen years in the IPMI, travel and medical assistance industry. My previous work had taken me around the world, in a variety of operational and business developmental roles for major insurers.

If you asked me what I enjoy most about my current role today, I would probably say that working in the medical assistance sector gives me the chance to go home at the end of the day knowing that my efforts have done some good – and that my output can really change people’s lives for the better.

Can you tell us a little about Charles Taylor Assistance?

Charles Taylor Assistance is a global provider of integrated medical and security assistance, claims handling, pre-travel advice, medical screening and travel risk management. With offices on the UK’s south coast and Mallorca, Spain, we manage over 50,000 assistance cases every year and have more than 47 years’ experience of supporting a blue-chip client base.

Having been established by two brothers back in 1973, Charles Taylor Assistance started life as CEGA, adopting its current name after being acquired by the Charles Taylor Group in 2016. Charles Taylor is a global provider of professional services and technology solutions dedicated to enabling the global insurance market to do its business fundamentally better. Dating back to 1884, it now employs approximately 3,100 staff in more than 120 locations spread across 30 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. This gives us the security of being part of a truly global organisation.

What about the clients that you work with?

Today our clients include many leading insurance companies, banks, charities, NGOs, energy companies and other global brands; many of whom have worked with us for more than a decade. We specialise in providing assistance in remote and challenging parts of the world and in providing a tailormade approach to client service.

What do you think sets medical assistance providers apart?

It goes without saying that a good assistance provider will put patient welfare first whilst protecting insurers’ bottom lines – and this means having seamless access to the right medical, travel, assistance and cost containment specialists, together with a trusted network of global partners. But It’s also essential to take a bespoke approach; to work with partners to create specific expertise and to provide client-specific solutions. This is especially relevant in the context of changing corporate and leisure travel trends – and the global COVID-19 pandemic.

What has been your proudest moment at Charles Taylor Assistance?

Where do I start! In the last five years we have doubled in size, become part of Charles Taylor’s global operation, opened our own international office in Palma, Mallorca and gained many new and diverse clients. We have also been fortunate enough to win several prestigious industry awards. It has been exciting to see my position evolve to become a truly global business development role.

Can you explain some of your company’s recent developments in products and services?

We’re always keen to ease processes for all those involved in the insurance chain - by producing a wide range of flexible digital and operational solutions.

Among these is our integrated medical and security assistance service: Intrinsic Assistance. Developed with our security partners Solace Global, the service incorporates the Intrinsic app, which enables travellers to raise and receive alerts, be tracked and request integrated medical and security assistance at the swipe of a screen.

We’ve also launched an agile medical screening product, Antidote, that automates pre-travel medical screening and gives customers the chance to self-declare pre-existing medical conditions to their travel insurers quickly and easily.

Meanwhile, we’ve expanded our business with the oil and gas, P&I and commercial repatriation sectors; often drawing on our expertise in supporting customers in remote and challenging locations. And we’ve introduced a 24/7 “Speak to a Doctor” service, enabling customers abroad who call our global assistance helpline with minor medical problems to speak to a UK doctor by phone. Last but not least, we’ve just become a global medical office for Aetna International.

How important is medical cost containment?

It’s essential to ensure that every customer’s medical needs are met, 24/7/365. But this commitment needs to be supported by supply chain management experts who provide bespoke global cost containment - tailored to each client’s individual needs. Meanwhile, claims validation teams should ensure that every questionable claim is scrutinised and investigated if necessary, wherever it originates in the world.

In practice, this means managing medical care and validating bills scrupulously, and drawing on the local knowledge of partners overseas to ensure that costs are commensurate with treatment.

It also means using established relationships with airlines and hotel groups to book flights and accommodation at discounted rates – and ensuring that air ambulance and emergency transport services are pre-quoted.

What are the biggest challenges to the medical assistance sector in light of COVID-19?

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt by medical assistance providers across the world. Among current challenges is the difficulty of accessing global healthcare services, especially for elective procedures. Some providers are being taken over by the public health sectors or are at capacity with COVID cases. Spain is a good example where many private hospitals are now working for the public sector.

Other current challenges include limited medical equipment and disrupted medication supplies, elevated costs as supply chains are stretched, and difficulty in transferring sick expats to superior care or repatriating the remains of the deceased.

The situation varies in different parts of the world and is changing frequently – which means that it has never been more important to manage medical transfers on a case by case basis.  In these challenging times, it’s important for assistance providers to draw on their experience and use their global networks of partners to overcome obstacles where they can.

What is Charles Taylor Assistance planning for the future/what are the most exciting opportunities?

There’s no doubt that businesses like ours need to adapt rapidly to changing needs; not least in the wake of COVID-19. We have a lot of exciting opportunities ahead that will allow us to build on our services, expand internationally and provide the best added value and service for customers.

We’re currently running trials of Digital Doctor, which integrates video doctor and advanced diagnostic services into the medical assistance process. We’re also looking at different ways of making it easy for customers abroad to reach out for help, for instance via Telemedicine. And we’re exploring ways in which AI can help us further improve the information and support we provide to our assistance customers.

We’re constantly aware of the value of balancing technology with the human touch, and of highly-skilled staff who put the customer first. We know that the reassuring voice in an emergency abroad will always be important.

Last, but not least, if you could live anywhere in the world, on land or sea, where would it be?

I like the simple life. A mountain-top house would be perfect, just as long as I have access to a ski lift and an indoor pool…

Charles Taylor Assistance is a brand style for CEGA. For more information, please visit www.cegagroup.com

For more information about Charles Taylor, please visit: www.charlestaylor.com

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Driving Innovation In The Travel Insurance Sector With The Travel Health Calculator

CEGA, a Charles Taylor company, and AXA are driving innovation in the travel insurance sector with the Travel Health Calculator.

In October 2019, the Travel Health Calculator was launched by travel insurer AXA. Enabled by technology developed by claims and medical assistance providers CEGA, a Charles Taylor company, the online tool offers a unique solution to travel insurance uncertainty. In short, it helps to empower people with pre-existing medical conditions to find the right travel insurance at a suitable price.

Background: addressing a market need

It was important to address the need for travel insurance transparency for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions.

To put this into context, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) estimates that there are up to 14.1 million consumers with a pre-existing medical condition (PEMC), who are looking to purchase travel insurance each year. The FCA recently launched a consultation on proposals designed to help consumers with PEMCs have better access to travel insurance products. In addition, recent industry revelations1 show that three fifths of consumers believe that the responsibility lies with insurers to make sure customers purchase the right level of cover.

The solution

The Travel Health Calculator now provides simple and easy-to-access medical assessments. A traveller with one or more pre-existing medical conditions can use the tool to enter details of these online. They will then receive immediate digital feedback, with travel insurance tips that take these conditions into account; covering everything from single trip vs annual policies, to the importance of checking with their GP that they have declared all that they should. They will also receive a list of brokers and insurers who specialise in providing travel insurance cover that meets their specific medical needs – or, if these needs are less complex, they may be directed to price comparison sites.

To assess the level of risk related to each user’s medical history, the Travel Health Calculator is supported by CEGA’s specialist automated medical screening solution, Antidote. This provides medical ‘thresholds’ for over 3,000 conditions; from asthma and high blood pressure, to diabetes and heart problems.

Wider benefits

Benefits offered by the tool extend beyond increasing consumer choice and reducing the risk of medical and other emergency costs abroad. They also include access to general guidelines about buying travel insurance; not least the importance of checking that a policy includes travel disruption cover and of updating ongoing cover in line with any health changes.

Feedback

Nel Mooy, Travel Director, AXA Insurance, says of the Travel Health Calculator, "As insurers, we want to help customers understand their cover options regardless of their previous or existing medical conditions. While in some scenarios, certain channels such as specialist brokers or underwriters may be more appropriate than others, our aim is to empower travellers so they can find cover that is right for them. Many people see health as a barrier to finding insurance, but our new tool can help make things that much clearer.”

Angela Smith, Head of Propositions at CEGA, says, “We’re thrilled that AXA are leading the way in the implementation of this innovative new tool. As always, we’re committed to providing end-to-end solutions that support insurers and their customers alike and look forward to continuing to play a pivotal role in the insurance sector’s innovation agenda.”

See the Travel Health Calculator in action here: https://www.axa.co.uk/travel-insurance/travel-health-calculator/

1 Figures obtained from research commissioned by AXA of 2000 UK adults. The research was carried out by OnePoll in July 2019.





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Charles Taylor Assistance Adds Significant Expertise To In-House Medical Team

Dr Firas Alayash, a highly-experienced medical assistance doctor and occupational health physician, has joined Charles Taylor Assistance; boosting the global assistance and travel risk management provider's considerable in-house medical expertise.

Charles Taylor Assistance manages over 50,000 medical cases every year for insured and non-insured individuals, including those in the energy, charity and corporate sectors; often in remote and challenging global destinations.

The award-winning provider is set to benefit from Dr Alayash's extensive experience of (among other areas) onshore and offshore medical assistance and occupational health, remote and aviation medicine, cruise assistance, and mental wellbeing.

Trained in Spain, Wales, Switzerland and Germany, the multilingual Dr Alayash has worked all over the world; including in the oil, gas and mining sectors. He also has extensive experience of carrying out risk assessments and medical site reviews in developing countries; not least Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and South Sudan.

Dr Lynn Gordon, chief medical officer for Charles Taylor Assistance, comments, "We're constantly developing our services to retain our place at the forefront of global medical assistance - and are confident that Dr Alayash's wide-ranging skills will enhance our client offering the world over. We're delighted to welcome him to our in-house medical team."

 

 

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CEGA Strengthens Fraud Investigation And Claims Validation Capabilities

Claims management and assistance provider CEGA, a Charles Taylor company, has enhanced its insurance fraud investigation skills by appointing a high-calibre team leader to manage its new Special Investigations Unit in Bournemouth. The unit has been established to meet a growing demand for CEGA's global claims validation service and to complement its base in Chichester.

Matt Bowman, who takes on the new senior role, adds well over a decade of investigative expertise and intelligence analysis to CEGA's claims validation provision, which covers all areas of insurance claims validation, including insurance fraud and liability investigations on household, personal accident, travel and health claims. It is available as a stand-alone service.

Bowman, who will report into CEGA's Head of Technical Claims Simon Cook, spent 16 years at Zurich Financial Services prior to joining CEGA - over ten of which were dedicated to a variety of fraud investigation and intelligence roles. He was also selected to complete a 6-month secondment working alongside the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) at the City of London Police, and has worked across the insurance spectrum, not least in the motor, property, EL and PL sectors.

Simon Cook comments, "As our global client-base grows, investing in highly-skilled staff reinforces our ability to support insurers in the fight against insurance fraud, which in turn protects their bottom lines. We are delighted to welcome Matt to the team as a valuable addition to our claims validation service." 

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Real-Life Scenarios Prepare CEGA Staff For Winter Sports Travel Insurance Claims

Walking on crutches and pushing wheelchairs whilst wheeling heavy luggage are among challenges currently being set to CEGA's travel claims and assistance teams. The exercise is part of the global provider's annual commitment to prepare staff for the season's spate of winter sports insurance claims.

CEGA's bespoke training incorporates real-life scenarios that enable customer-facing employees to fully understand the needs of and empathise with customers making claims for winter sports injuries.

The programme also draws on the expertise of CEGA's in-house medical teams, who are ensuring that frontline claims and assistance staff are au fait with the range of different winter sports injuries and their impact on policyholders when it comes to providing suitable medical treatment, accommodation, support and travel.

Other subjects covered by the training include methods of mountain rescue, piste variations and the intricacies of insurers' winter sports policies.

CEGA's Medical Assistance Training Manager Melanie Vass says, "The training is as realistic as possible, so that staff can go above and beyond in supporting customers who need medical assistance and bespoke travel or accommodation after a winter sports injury.

"It is all about putting patient welfare first and making sure that we can anticipate customers' needs - often before they do themselves. This helps ensure we can offer the very best customer service at the best cost to our insurer clients."

Read CEGA's Winter Sports Survival Guide here https://www.cegagroup.com/Winter-Sport-Survival-Guide.pdf

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