News Technology24 Aug 2018

Australia:Travel insurance claim process made easier with big data

24 Aug 2018

To give travellers more confidence in the travel insurance claims process, TravelCard is turning the process on its head - by using big data to pay the customer first and asking questions later... or not even asking questions at all.

More than half of all Aussie travellers who could have made a medical-related travel insurance claim couldn't be bothered to follow through with it, according to research from TravelCard, a travel insurance provider.

The survey of 1,000 Australians revealed that the claims process is just too much of a hassle, with a vast majority (82%) saying they've had issues claiming in the past. Travellers are most unhappy with the amount of paperwork involved (44%), claims that are only partially reimbursed (32%) and lengthy settlement times (31%), reports Finder.com.au citing the survey findings.

To facilitate claim payouts, TravelCard gives the customer a special pre-paid MasterCard to carry on the trip when the latter signs up with the company's Real Time Travel Insurance. If a claim-worthy event happens, all the customer has to do is ring TravelCard up and it will deposit funds onto the card immediately. No paperwork required.

Using big data, TravelCard looks at claims of all shapes and sizes and from all around the world, and then uses this to uncover patterns that tell it what a "reasonable and customary" claim looks like. If the customer's claim matches this pattern, TravelCard puts the funds onto the card immediately.

According to TravelCard CEO Michael Tauber, looking at big data is only the second step of TravelCard's verification process. The first "step" is: "We choose to trust our members and believe what they say".

TravelCard's strategy is a simple one. The increased percentage of payouts is offset by low administration costs (no paperwork means no paper-pushers to pay) and a high rate of repeat business. Mr Tauber says 86% of customers purchase again and many of them refer friends and family.

TravelCard isn't the only insurance company working on real-time solutions. Chubb just launched a new flight delay insurance product in Australia, and it also purports to pay claims in real time. Chubb has partnered with FlightStats, a provider of real-time global flight data, and this allows them to verify flight delays in real time. A delay will trigger an automatic payment to the policy holder's account, with most payments appearing within the hour. There's no need to claim because the delay has already been confirmed on the back-end.

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