RICHMOND, VA, SEPTEMBER 12, 2019 — It’s been just over a year since travel insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance launched its innovative SmartBenefits, providing customers with automatic payments for covered flight delays.** Since the July 2018 launch, Allianz has insured more than 1.1 million travelers with plans that include SmartBenefits.
Consumers and travel advisors have embraced the convenience of receiving proactive payments in real time after qualifying flight delays. The company sends customers an email two days prior to their departure, reminding them, or their agent, to enter or confirm their flight details so that delays can be actively monitored to trigger automatic claim payments.
Since the launch of SmartBenefits, Allianz has monitored more than 80,000 flight itineraries to issue claims to customers who qualified for fixed-amount proactive payments and “no receipts” claims for travel and baggage delays. Customers who submitted receipts for qualifying expenses related to their covered delay could receive an additional payment for their claim. Travel delay comprises about 85 percent of claims paid through SmartBenefits, while baggage delay makes up about 15 percent.
By actively monitoring for qualifying delays and sending fixed payments immediately, Allianz has made travel insurance more valuable and easier to use. Customers who choose to have their payment delivered to their debit card through the company’s partnership with Mastercard SendTM could receive their funds within minutes of it being sent. Allianz was one of the first travel insurance companies to offer proactive claim payments for flight delays.
When a customer enrolled in SmartBenefits has a qualifying flight delay of three to five hours (depending on the policy benefit), the company automatically files a claim for the customer and offers three convenient payment options.
Customers can receive typical fixed payments of $100 per person impacted by a qualifying delay on their debit card, sometimes within minutes, of entering payment details, while direct deposit payments can be available in as little as 24-48 hours. Alternatively, customers can automatically receive a check in the mail by doing nothing.
The most popular Allianz Travel Insurance plans include a “no receipts” payment option to easily file travel delay and baggage delay claims online without the effort of uploading receipts. The customer is notified of their claim approval status typically within seven days and can receive a fixed-amount payment of $100 per person impacted by a qualifying travel or baggage delay. Customers who provide receipts for reasonable expenses may qualify to receive additional payments, subject to the plan’s daily reimbursement limit.
“We’ve upended the traditional insurance claims model by proactively sending payments after qualifying flight delays. Our customers are often surprised and delighted when they get paid a couple hundred dollars without even lifting a finger. It’s no fun waiting after a delay, but it’s a much better experience when your insurance company covers your meal and drinks at the bar,” said Richard Aquino, Vice President, Head of Sales at Allianz Global Assistance USA.
Customers have responded that they’re “very impressed” with the proactive reimbursements, and have called them “pretty cool.” Similarly, travel advisors have been positive about SmartBenefits because of three primary benefits:
1. Easier to Use – Thanks to its automatic payments, SmartBenefits makes Allianz Travel Insurance easier for consumers to use and therefore more attractive when travel advisors offer it.
2. Better Service = Happier Clients – Starting a trip with a flight delay can put travelers in a bad mood; however, receiving a text notification that $100 per insured is being paid for a qualified delay can help mend frayed nerves and reinforces the value that travel advisors and travel insurance provide.
3. Faster Payments – Customers no longer have to wait for their check to arrive; rather, payments can be sent almost immediately. They may even be able to spend the money while they’re waiting on their delayed flight at the airport bar, texting their agent a thanks for looking out for them.
Notice for Travel Advisors: The proactive payment for flight delay is only activated if the customer’s flight information is entered in AgentMax and the customer opts-in for communications. Enter their flight details when the policy is purchased, or at least 48 hours prior to their departure, so they become eligible for this benefit.
Allianz Global Assistance
Allianz Global Assistance USA is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company with operation centers in 35 countries. In the United States, Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) serves 40 million customers annually and is best known for its Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies.
**Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply to all plans. Plans are available only to U.S. residents. Not all plans are available in all jurisdictions. For a complete description of the coverage and benefit limits offered under your plan, carefully review your plan’s Letter of Confirmation/Declarations and Certificate of Insurance/Policy. Insurance coverage is underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated "A‐" (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101‐C series or 101‐P series, depending on state of residence. Allianz Travel Insurance products are distributed by Allianz Global Assistance, a brand of AGA Service Company or its affiliates. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company. Noninsurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company. Benefits and limits vary by plan. SmartBenefits and “no receipts” payments available only on certain plans. See plan documents for a complete description of the coverage and specific benefit limits offered under your plan. For plans that include SmartBenefits: when you opt in and provide flight information, we’ll monitor flights and send flight status and benefit alerts, including alerts about flight delays that qualify for automated travel delay payment. Standard message/data rates apply to SMS alerts. Automated claims and payment system availability is not guaranteed and is subject to our sole discretion. All claims subject to policy terms, conditions, and exclusions. “Mastercard Send” is a mark belonging to Mastercard, which is a Non-Sponsor. Marks not owned by AGA Service Company or its affiliates are used without permission. Non-Sponsor does not sponsor or endorse AGA Service Company, its affiliates, or this advertisement, and AGA Service Company and its affiliates do not sponsor or endorse Non-Sponsor.