Destinations

“We sent people out to meet up with our customers” TravelCard CEO talks Lombok earthquakes

Lauren Croft

We wouldn’t blame you if you thought travel insurance was a pain. Tons of paperwork and claims that don’t pay out for months on end? No thanks.

But after the recent earthquakes in Lombok, this travel insurance company stood out from the pack when they sent staff over to help out their customers – and it just so happens that last week, they launched their real-time travel insurance in Australia!

Global insurance company TravelCard was born in Israel, and has since launched in countries all over the globe. Last week, it made it’s official debut in Australia, after partnering with The Hollard Insurance Company to bring their revolutionary products to the Aussie market – with Getaway presenter Catriona Rowtree as a brand ambassador, no less.

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The company has made headlines in the past after they opened a temporary office in Moscow during the world cup and flew two teams of staff – plus another team on a private jet – to Nepal in 2015 when an earthquake struck. And when an earthquake hit Greece in 2017, the company also got members and non-members alike home safely in one day.

Unsurprisingly, TravelCard prides themselves on providing some of the best customer service around – but just to make sure, we had a quick chat to CEO Michael Tauber at the company’s Australian launch last week.

Tauber confirmed that TravelCard is completely different to any other travel insurance company in Australia.

“We’re the only travel insurance company in Australia that provides real-time travel insurance. And what that means, is that we pay claims in minutes whereas other companies will take days and weeks to be able to pay a claim,” he said.

Here’s how it works: when you purchase a TravelCard policy, you receive a card in the mail. Then, if anything goes wrong while you’re away, funds can (and will) be instantly transferred to your card – which equals no out-of-pocket expenses, no mountain of paperwork, and no waiting period.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Tuber assured us it wasn’t.

“What I’m really excited about is delivering an unparalleled level of service and benefits to travelling Australians. We see ourselves as the good guys here, that are wanting to make life simple and easy and honest and transparent with the best level of cover.

“And when it comes time to make a claim, we don’t put them through the ringer, we make it simple and easy and straightforward and there’s not out of pocket expenses,” he said.

During the launch, Tauber referenced research that four our of five Aussies had encountered a problem with their travel insurance claims process, but said that would never be a problem with TravelCard’s real-time feature.

“Traditionally, if you make a claim it’s going to take on average 45 days by the time you lodge it to the time that money is in your account, and you go through on average 13 steps,” he said.

“We do it in real time, in a matter of minutes.”

There are three types of TravelCard cover: Corporate cover for business, Leisure cover for individuals and Business class for employees – which is brand new and the first in the market.

“If your business has a relationship with a broker, the broker can go out and put a travel card logo on your [website]. And you click on that and you get a special voucher. And what that enables you to do is have what we call ‘business class level of benefits’ for the employees of that company,” Tauber explained.

But no matter what kind of cover you get, TravelCard has proven they will go above and beyond – demonstrated recently, when two of their team flew to Indonesia after the earthquake.

“Unlike some of the other travel insurers, we sent people out to meet up with our customers, and there was a logistics person who reached out to our customers who were there and we met up with them and we fixed up their travel arrangements for them,” Tauber said.

“TravelCard, we don’t wait. We’re on the front foot, we’re calling, we’re catching up with them, and in this instance, we actually went out there and put people on the ground.”

And the word is spreading – TravelCard has 40,000 followers on Facebook, something that Tauber credits to people simply wanting to find out if the company is as good as everyone says.

“The growth has come purely from the consumer side of the market. When you experience what it means to have a travel card and get that instant payback while your travelling it just drives word of mouth,” he said.

“In countries where we’ve launched in terms of Israel and Germany and Canada and the UK, we’ve gone from zero per cent up to 35 per cent in less than five years, and we’re looking to emulate that in this marketplace.”

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