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Generali Global Assistance Tailors Travel Insurance Offering To Support Smart Vaccination And Digital Health Pass Initiatives

Generali Global Assistance and its affiliated companies (“GGA”) announce that it will be supporting upcoming smart vaccination and digital health pass initiatives by adding custom options to their Travel Insurance offerings and endorsing the Good Health Pass and the World Health Organization’s (“WHO”)  Smart Vaccination Certificate Working Group initiatives.

Generali Global Assistance, one of the leading travel insurance and service provider organizations, according to U.S. News & World Report, will tailor certain travel insurance offerings to accommodate numerous new entry requirements across the globe. GGA also endorses various smart vaccination and digital health pass initiatives that provide customers with a reliable source of information for continuously-changing country requirements. Successful implementation of these initiatives will allow travelers to verify their coverage prior to departure and give them an opportunity to update certain coverage limits, such as medical coverage, in accordance with the destination country’s requirements. GGA will also continue covering epidemic-related illnesses as a covered reason to cancel or interrupt a trip, along with reimbursements for emergency medical care, emergency medical transportation, change fees, and loyalty points redeposit fees.

Chris Carnicelli, CEO of Generali Global Assistance, commented on the news, “As a travel insurance provider, we want to play a leading role in creating a seamless travel experience for our customers. As a result, we chose to endorse some of the leading smart vaccination and digital health pass initiatives while tailoring our offerings to accommodate the growing number of new entry requirements around the globe. We look forward to adding value to these cross-sector initiatives by leveraging our extensive experience mitigating risks for individuals and institutions to help facilitate the return of international travel and reinvigorate the global economy.”

GGA will also be endorsing some of these smart vaccination and digital health pass initiatives to provide customers with a reliable source of information for the continuously changing country requirements. GGA will be supporting the Good Health Pass, an open, inclusive, and cross-sector initiative, bringing together leading companies and organizations from the technology, health, and travel sectors. It will also be supporting the WHO’s Smart Vaccination Certificate Working Group, a consortium focused on establishing standards for a common architecture for a digital smart vaccination certificate to support the anticipated vaccine(s) against COVID-19 and other immunizations.

Carnicelli concluded, “As a company focused on caring for our customers during their most difficult moments with products that directly impact their travel experience, we felt it was our duty to play a proactive role in promoting a smooth return to travel through these initiatives.”

About Generali Global Assistance 

Generali Global Assistance (GGA) is a leading brand comprised of Travel Insurance & Assistance, Medical Risk & Home Care Management, Identity & Cyber Protection, as well as other care services. GGA is part of the Generali Group, which for over 190 years has provided peace of mind to its clients and their customers and is now supported by more than 72,000 employees worldwide. Our success has been built on establishing trust by putting the customer at the core of everything we do, offering assistance and protection during our customer’s most difficult and stressful situations.

To learn more about Generali Global Assistance’s Travel Insurance Offerings, please visit: www.generalitravelinsurance.com.

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iPMI Magazine Speaks with Gitte Bach, CEO and President, New Frontier Group

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

My name is Gitte Bach, and I am the President and CEO of New Frontier Group.

I started my career in 1990 with International Health Insurance, Denmark. I led the company’s entry into Latin America, helped introduce our new 24/7/365 Alarm Centre and was then asked to help build a new department with a cost containment focus to handle the company’s large medical insurance claims.

In 2002 I left Denmark and went to California, where I founded New Frontier Group. I wanted to create an innovative, solution-oriented company offering multiple, customizable services. We now work with some of the biggest names in the industry.

New Frontier Group provides award winning international medical cost containment. What does award winning cost containment look like?

We never, ever, just sit back and look at the business day to day, but we continuously think about ways we can improve. What is going to be next, how can we develop so that we are always evolving?

We have been doing that both from a technology and a product offering standpoint and we have also developed our employees to live up to that same philosophy in everything they do.

April 2020 and New Frontier Group launched an extremely valuable Telemedicine solution. Can you walk us through the new service and how you see it developing?

We launched NFGtelecare just as the pandemic hit and the world went into lockdown. It was a godsend for many of our clients when access to traditional healthcare was neither safe, nor in many cases, available at all.

Now however, telemedicine is truly established and here to stay. It enhances the service proposition, encourages traveler interaction and ultimately reduces costs.

As well as routine healthcare consultations, we can arrange appointments with a specialist to discuss existing conditions or to get a second medical opinion. We can prescribe and deliver medication via our in-house pharmacy program, Onyx™Rx and if the physician feels that the patient would benefit from further tests or treatment, we can help direct them to a suitable facility nearby.

We need to realize that in this industry telecare is here to stay. Access to healthcare will never revert to how it was before. Telemedicine is now accepted by all our clients.

November 2020, and New Frontier Group wins Industry Supplier of the year at the ITIC Awards. Why did you win this coveted industry award?

Whilst somewhat overshadowed by the current pandemic, we were still extremely proud to have been recognized again at the International Travel Insurance Journal Awards – this time in the new, expanded category of Industry Supplier of the Year.

The award is testament to the continued efforts of our teams in California, South Florida and the UK, in always putting our patients, clients and partners first. From a service perspective, we think that the innovation that most likely impressed the judges was our integrated medical triage, telemedicine and pharmacy concierge service that sits ‘in front’ of our array of cost containment and network solutions. This combination of immediate and low cost access to medical advice and prescription medication, backed up by market leading cost control, is both extremely current and as far as we know, unique in the market.

For international medical payors managing the risks and healthcare of expatriates and people living overseas, what can New Frontier Group provide?

We offer our clients real time, ‘on-the-ground’ expertise and are involved on a daily basis in providing assistance with access to healthcare for expats, students and international travelers. We ensure that the services are appropriate, convenient and of course, part of our extensive network to ensure favourable rates for the payor. This is all part of our service offering and we are also available 24/7 to answer questions or address urgent issues as they arise, irrespective of what time zone our client may be in.

COVID-19 has crashed the travel market as we know it. Travel insurers are washing their hands of COVID-19 risks. Airlines are asking for bail outs. IATA say 25 million jobs are at risk in the airlines and aviation sector. What does the future hold for the travel market?

It has been devastating, both for the travel industry and associated sectors such as travel insurance and assistance. Everyone has had to dig deep and try to ride it out somehow – and we will!

People love to travel and businesses need to travel. There are already some encouraging signs and if these vaccines are rolled out quickly and prove successful, then I think we’ll see a surge from huge, pent-up demand for flights and holidays, with the positive knock-on impact to our industries. Roll-on 2021 is what I say!

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

I have been extremely fortunate to live in many different countries and have visited even more! I find every single one unique and I don’t have a particular favourite although I do love the Spanish/Latin American language and culture so that would probably have a strong bearing!

I do know one thing for certain, no matter where I am, I have always made it my clear mission to live every single day and get the best out of it, no matter where you are in the world!

 

 

 

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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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Travel Insurance Lessons From The Ryanair Cancellation Issue

Thousands of tourists have been left with cancelled flights, or stranded in airports around the world after a staff holiday mix up by budget airline Ryanair.

Manager of Travel insurance at comparison website, Compare Cover, Simon Williams, says there are a few lessons that DIY travellers can learn from this incident.

“What has happened with Ryanair has affected thousands of people and will continue to do so for the coming weeks, but what it does show is the importance of having a travel insurance policy that helps provide protection when you have made your own travel arrangements. Having travel insurance doesn’t override an airlines’ duty of care to you as a customer and travellers cannot claim for the same expenses twice, but having adequate travel insurance can give you peace of mind that you are protected should there be a cancellation. Circumstances like these are rare and hopefully most of the people affected will be fully compensated for money and time lost. Holidays are an important part of our lives so it’s worth protecting them with the best insurance cover to suit you and your budget.”

He suggests travellers who organise their holidays themselves, rather than a package holiday, could consider these five top tips before buying travel insurance:

  • Keep a note of the date your flight was cancelled. If it was cancelled more than two weeks before departure, then under EU rules the airline doesn’t have to pay you compensation, just a full refund of the cost of the flight. You could then look to your insurance policy to seek reimbursement of financial losses caused as a result of the cancellation.
  • Buy your travel insurance at the same time as booking your holiday, or at least in advance of your trip. If you don’t have travel insurance in place, you won’t be able to claim for consequential losses.
  • When you take out travel insurance, check if the policy covers you for consequential losses. These are the financial losses you may suffer as a consequence of your flight having been cancelled, for example hotel bookings, car hire fees and any reasonable expenses that have been incurred as a direct result of your cancellation. Also, be sure to save any receipts for spending that has resulted from the cancellation.
  • You might want to consider seeking the policies which include “cancellation for any reason” which does what it says on the tin; covers you if any part of your holiday is cancelled for reasons outside the normal parameters of cancellation cover.
  • The next time you buy flights alone, consider paying for them on your credit card. You will be covered under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act for purchases between £100 and £30,000.
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Holiday Risks Campaign Encourages Uptake Of Travel Insurance

iPMI Magazine Travel Insurance NewsAvoid forking out thousands of pounds to be repatriated in an emergency, book mid-floor rooms in hotels to escape break-ins and take out insurance that covers all your summer sports. This is just some of the advice for holidaymakers being given by global assistance and claims management company CEGA, as part of its summer campaign to increase awareness of lesser known holiday risks and encourage uptake of travel insurance.

CEGA's advice comes in the wake of new data from ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) showing that over 25% of travellers set off abroad without travel insurance in the last year; up 3% on the year before.

Dr Tim Hammond, CEGA's chief medical officer, says, "We are increasing awareness of the fact that, for a small outlay, travel insurance could save holidaymakers tens of thousands of pounds if disaster strikes in a far flung corner of the world.

"Every year we repatriate hundreds of holidaymakers who have become ill or seriously injured on holiday overseas, some from very remote areas. Not all of them have travel insurance, but none would risk setting off abroad again without it."

CEGA's other warnings to holidaymakers include advice that ice cubes used to chill drinks in developing countries can cause diarrhea, that having an accident after a night of heavy drinking could invalidate a travel insurance claim and that the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) only covers basic state medical care.

CEGA's research into travel insurance claims for 2016 shows that gastroenteritis is among the most common causes of claims from holidaymakers in developing countries and that France, Spain and Turkey top the list of European countries producing summer claims.

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CEGA Sees Surge In Number Of Travel Insurance Fraud Savings

CEGA's Special Investigations Unit reports close to a 20% rise in the number of fraud savings made on travel insurance claims over the last 12 months.

The achievement follows CEGA's considerable investment in fraud awareness initiatives and training across the company's entire travel claims and assistance operation. This has included preparing multi-disciplined staff, both within and beyond its fraud unit, for fraud investigation qualifications.

"Maximising fraud awareness and skills amongst both our investigators and our front-end staff has been fundamental in increasing our investigations and number of client savings," says CEGA's Head of Special Investigations, Simon Cook. "The results are testament to the value of our integrated in-house claims, assistance and fraud investigation provision."

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Future Generali India Insurance Launches Its First Exclusive Online Travel Insurance Products

Future Generali India Insurance Company Limited (FGII), a joint venture between Future Group and Generali has announced the launch of two online travel insurance products for the international travelers - Future Easy Travel Worldwide and Future Easy Travel Schengen. The plans are specially designed keeping in mind the uncertainties of today’s times right from loss of documents to sudden illness while on a foreign land.

The benefit of both the online products include cashless claim settlement, Universal International Free phone number (UIFN), Worldwide emergency, medical and travel assistance along with the flexibility to choose from different plans in each product category as per one’s requirement. A significant feature embedded in all the plans is that complete medical care like bearing of medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, continuation of medical treatment in India and daily hospital allowances are included in all of the plans. The age criteria for purchasing the policies range from six (6) months to 70 years old thus encompassing the entire family in a single proposal. Trip delays/ cancellations, emergency dental treatment, loss of check in baggage, burglary at home while travelling and financial emergency assistance are few of the additional benefits that one can avail, depending on the plan that the policy holder opts for.

Shreeraj Deshpande, Head of Health Insurance, Future Generali India Insurance Company Limited said, “India is one of the fastest-growing outbound travel markets in the world today. The well informed Indian traveler today looks for a combination of ease of buying, value as well as experience while buying insurance. We believe Future Group’s understanding of the Indian mindset together with the international experience of the Generali Group have helped us design these online products that will reiterate and reflect the importance of travel insurance”.

The Future Easy Travel Worldwide product can be purchased for travelling to different countries worldwide and includes some of the favorite personal/professional destinations like US, UK, Canada, Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong. There are 12 different plans in this category that one can choose from and enjoy the Future Generali Advantage of Global knowledge and indigenous expertise.

The Future Easy Travel Schengen plan is specially designed for customers travelling to Europe on a Schengen visa and covers the 26 countries included in the Schengen visa. There are Six (6) comprehensive plans to choose from for the discerning traveler.

These two travel policies are the first exclusive online products launched by Future Generali India. One can buy the products through the company’s website. The company is planning to launch more such online products in future to strengthen its position in the digital insurance market in India.

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Innovative Program Designed To Revolutionize Travel Insurance Experience

Allianz Global Assistance Canada announced its plans to test a new and innovative way for travellers to pay for medical claims while travelling.

A first in Canada, the unique solution will allow for payment of eligible outpatient medical expenses in real-time, eliminating any out of pocket expenses for the traveller and removing the typical claims process and paperwork which travellers are accustomed to.

Customers who purchase a travel insurance plan included in this limited program will receive a payment card for no additional fee to take with them on their trip. If they require emergency medical help while travelling, they call Allianz Global Assistance, which will transfer funds to the card and provide a referral to the nearest medical facility.

The traveller can then proceed to the medical facility for treatment where they present the card to pay the bill. The claim is settled immediately, in real-time, with no out-of-pocket expenses, paperwork or claim process for the traveller.

The program is being offered through a partnership with PassportCard.

"This solution is unlike any other offering available in Canada or North America today. Using PassportCard's technology, we can assist travellers more effectively and efficiently, making their life easier in the process. This directly aligns with our mission of helping people anytime, anywhere," says Gino Riola, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Allianz Global Assistance Canada. "With this solution, we're not only setting ourselves apart in our industry as innovators and leaders in customer experience, but also increasing the value travellers place on and receive from travel insurance."

"When setting out to extend the offering in North America, we were searching for the leading and most innovative market players. Allianz Global Assistance Canada's solid reputation for delivering top-notch travel insurance and assistance services made them an ideal choice as a partner." says Sharon Haran, CEO of PassportCard "We were already familiar with Allianz Global Assistance's capabilities having partnered with their German Business Unit to offer PassportCard to travellers."

PassportCard is a real-time claim settling solution available with the purchase of travel insurance policies associated with this program. Associated travel insurance policies are underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators group of companies.

During the limited program launch phase, PassportCard will be offered with select products on a limited basis. Once the limited program has proven successful, Allianz Global Assistance intends to make it available to its distribution partners on a broader scale.

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Allianz Global Assistance Named Preferred Travel Insurance Provider Of Hickory Global Partners

Allianz Global Assistance USA announced that it has become the preferred travel insurance provider of Hickory Global Partners (HICKORY), a travel management services company providing innovative service, distribution and technology to its network of travel agency and supplier partners. The agreement provides HICKORY-affiliated travel agencies with access to Allianz Travel Insurance products and a new Business Travel Protection plan.

Allianz Travel Insurance products* include coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delays, baggage delays and loss, as well as for medical and dental emergencies and 24/7 travel assistance to customers who may need help while they’re traveling. The new Business Travel Protection product provides post–departure coverage for delays, lost or delayed baggage, emergency medical expenses, evacuation and access to 24/7 assistance and concierge services.

“We are very pleased to provide our members with access to the award-winning travel insurance and assistance products offered by Allianz Global Assistance,” said Chris Dane, President, Hickory Global Partners. “Now our member agencies can offer their clients additional peace of mind by protecting their trips from lost costs associated with covered unforeseen events.”

“We are proud to be named the preferred travel insurance provider of Hickory Global Partners,” said Richard Aquino, Vice President of Sales at Global Assistance USA. “HICKORY member agencies now have convenient access to a wide variety of travel protection plans, including our new Business Travel Protection product and our popular Rental Car Protector.”

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GeoBlue® Announces New President and CEO

GeoBlue announced the appointment of Guillaume Deybach as President and CEO for parent company Highway to Health, Inc (HTH). This concludes the global search conducted over a period of several months for an exceptional candidate able to effectively blend industry expertise with strategic vision.

Deybach joins HTH from the role of Group Executive Vice President - Travel Business Line of the Europ Assistance Group, a subsidiary of Generali Group. His 20 years there allowed him to acquire expertise and prove his abilities through a variety of senior leadership roles, including President & CEO for Europ Assistance North America. With success in integral areas including strategy, product development, marketing, operational management and international business development, and time spent living and working in Paris, Munich, San Diego and Washington, Deybach brings a wealth of experience to the role.

Deybach holds a Business Organization Degree from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland and a Major in International Business Management from ESSCA Business School in France.

"We are very excited about this new chapter in the evolution and growth of Highway to Health. Guillaume's strong industry experience, leadership skills and strategic thinking made him the clear choice to become HTH's next CEO," said Alan Krigstein, Chairman, Board of Directors for Highway to Health, Inc.

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