Because travel insurance policies are very specific and usually purchased for individual trips, small hiccups in the administration of claims can mean the permanent loss of customers. The power and popularity of social media and online reviews now amplify these customers’ voices as they broadcast experiences and opinions—both positive and negative—on the Internet. Combine that with the necessity of maintaining compliance with numerous regulatory bodies on each policy and a delicate balancing act begins to take shape. Carriers and providers are tasked with delivering quality service at scale, while also navigating a dynamic regulatory landscape. When a third party administrator (TPA) is in place, the same standards are necessary for all partners involved. This highlights three key factors that come into play when choosing a TPA to manage travel insurance claims.
Consistent quality for customer satisfaction
Travel insurance carriers and providers often get one chance to impress customers. It’s important to remember that, for the customer, having to file a travel insurance claim is usually the result of, at best, an inconvenience and, at worst, a disastrous situation. Either way, their interaction with the TPA and carrier starts when their travel has not gone as planned. There’s a window of opportunity to be a shimmer of light in an otherwise dark situation, but there’s also the risk of making their experience worse. A good experience can help create a customer for life and an ambassador of the brand, while a single bad experience can leave providers with no opportunity to regain their customers’ trust and the risk of a developing negative reputation. Since customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance, each claim must be handled with top quality, promptly.
Scalability in high-volume situations
Weather can be unpredictable. And with unpredictability comes the need to scale at a moment’s notice. Hurricanes, typhoons, blizzards and other severe weather patterns create sudden, unexpected havoc and a situation conducive for producing a high volume of travel insurance claims. Preparation for any weather event, from cancellations on hotels and vacation rentals in evacuation zones to grounded flights, requires scalability at intake and follows the entire process through the resolution of the claim. Any friction along the way degrades the quality and increases administrative burden for carriers and consumers alike. Resources and processes that scale smoothly help each party involved get the time, attention and care they deserve.
Jurisdictional regulatory expertise
The regulatory environment in the insurance industry is ever-changing, and travel insurance is no exception. Maintaining compliance with the requirements of state and federal jurisdictions for benefit overlap, for example, involves an intricate set of variables that vary state-by-state. Delays or complications with compliance can also impact the timing of bringing new products to the market or impact scalability by creating backlogs of claims when large influxes of losses occur on existing policies. Navigation of these intricate governmental regulations requires superior compliance expertise.
Travel insurance carriers and providers face unique customer and regulatory challenges. The environment, natural or legal, can be unpredictable and customers’ demand for quality service is constantly increasing. However, by partnering with a TPA that incorporates scalability, consistent quality, and strict compliance into everyday practices, carriers and providers can turn those challenges into opportunities to succeed.