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.

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 10.52.30 am

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.”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Travel Agents

Flight Centre lowers FY19 profit expectations as Aussie leisure operations struggle

by Huntley Mitchell

Work at Flight Centre? Well, you may want to grab a pillow to scream in before reading this.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Technology

Google Maps adds new filters to its expanding hotel search options

by Christian Fleetwood

Google Maps does not yet offer a filter for mini-bar drinks though, much to the disappointment of Travel Weekly’s editor.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Technology

Air passengers to be weighed before boarding to cut fuel costs

In a bid to reduce airline wastage, a tech start-up has come up with an interesting way to potentially cut fuel costs and emissions on flights.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Pilot incapacitated during Perth to Hong Kong flight

by Ali Coulton

The flight captain was forced to call upon crew and passengers for help after becoming out of breath and suffering from impaired vision.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Boeing reveals billion-dollar cost blowout from 737 MAX crisis

by Huntley Mitchell

It appears the order for a new ping pong table and Nespresso coffee machine at Boeing HQ will be put on hold after this dour financial news.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Sri Lanka tourism speaks out about attacks, as death toll is downgraded

In light of the devastating bombings that killed hundreds of people in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, the country’s tourism board has released an update for travellers.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the Week

Didn’t get much done this week? Feel free to live vicariously through these high achievers.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“Business as usual” in Honiara following civil unrest: Tourism Solomons CEO

It appears everything is back to normal in the Solomon Islands capital, after the election of the country’s PM spurred violent protests.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent wrap: Club Med breaks famil record, name Travelmarvel’s new ship + more!

If the thought of going back to regular-sized working weeks makes you as petrified as it makes us, take solace in these pictures of agents having a kick-ass time overseas.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Aloha Friday wrap

How can you make your short week even shorter? Use this Aloha Friday wrap to convince yourself you’re exploring the Hawaiian Islands.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Where to play two-up around Australia

Industry punters looking to try their luck while paying homage to those who served in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations this Anzac Day, look no further.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Six Hawaii travel hacks

Get the most out of your holiday on the Hawaiian Islands.

Share

CommentComments