New Travel Insurance Includes Lots Of Extra Perks. Here They Are.

Travel insurance isn’t what it used to be.

The latest policies cover concierge services, airline lounge access, and a faster changeover system.

Take the latest INF Visitor Care, Elite and Premier travel insurance policies. They offer pre-existing coverage, access to a medical concierge and Priority Pass airport lounge membership so you can relax in the lounge before your flight.

“It also comes with the option for VIP airport assistance, where we arrange for someone to meet you at the gate, speed you through immigration, get your bags, and assist you to the curb or to your connecting flight,” said PK Rao, CEO INF Visitor Care.

Travel insurance used to be a policy that covered you when things went wrong. That is so, but lately travel insurance providers have added features to increase the appeal of their coverage. And they are not alone. Travel membership programs also add a “plus” to their offering, providing their customers with everything from medical advice to emergency evacuation.

“The world of travel is always changing,” said Daniel Durazo, spokesman for Allianz Travel Insurance. “And that includes the world of travel insurance.”

At the start of the pandemic, I found that I covered more when I was stuck in France and had to get home. My trip advisor asked me if I was a Medjet member. Me first. Turns out my Medjet Horizon membership gives me 24/7 access to FocusPoint International’s global crisis response center and covers everything from kidnapping to violent crime.

I do not know. FocusPoint got me home quickly, and best of all, it’s included in the price of my Medjet membership.

I shouldn’t be surprised.

“Companies need more time to consider the needs of their customers and customize products and services that benefit tourists,” said Angela Borden, product strategist at Seven Corners.

What drives these new benefits?

Travel insurance companies add this benefit because customers want it.

“It starts with convenience,” explains Mario Matulich, president of Customer Management Practice.

Travelers are looking for a better experience when they buy insurance — and when they travel. And the latest innovations offer just that. The benefit is filling in the gaps that are always there and which regular travel insurance cannot fill.

It’s about timing.

“Unfortunately, the travel and membership insurance industry has had years of eroding the trust of their customers,” added Matulich.

Travelers will purchase various forms of travel insurance or travel memberships that come with hidden loopholes. When they need insurance the most – and when their anxiety is highest – they will learn that their policy has limitations.

“The one-size-fits-all model of travel insurance is obsolete,” explains Rajeev Shrivastava, CEO of visitorscoverage, the insurance market. “Now travel insurance companies and the market are stepping up to offer consumers customizable policies that really suit their needs.”

What new facilities are out there?

Travel insurance companies are constantly updating their policies in a very competitive industry. Here’s what they offer:

Concierge service. At Allianz Travel Insurance, some policies now cover a concierge service, where specialized specialists can assist with everything from dining reservations and golf timings to referrals to translation services and transportation arrangements.

medical assistance. Genki, which offers travel insurance for digital nomads, is now offering an app called Air Doctor for its international health insurance plans. “You can search by language and specialty and book in-person appointments or telemedicine,” says Neville Mehra, head of marketing for Genki. “In some countries, you can also request a house call from a local English-speaking doctor. Best of all, there are no claims for reimbursement. Billing is direct from the application to the insurance company.”

Better benefits. This can include a higher coverage amount or additional coverage, such as car rental insurance. And these days, it’s all about covering up pre-existing conditions, says Pallavi Sadekar, head of operations at “Insurance companies in the travel insurance space — particularly for non-US citizens coming to the US — have recognized the importance of coverage for pre-existing conditions,” he said. “The plan has introduced coverage for pre-existing conditions including doctor visits, prescription drug refills, and laboratory work, and not just for acute onset of pre-existing conditions.”

What will the new travel insurance benefits look like?

I asked Adam St. John, CEO of Sitata, for giving me an idea of ​​how these benefits apply to real-world travel. He said the forward-looking company is focused on transforming insurance “from simply reacting to adverse situations after the fact, to a service that proactively helps you have a smoother, worry-free journey.”

St John describes his company’s efforts to transform travel insurance. Sitata has developed a travel alert service that uses a combination of artificial intelligence and a team of risk analysts that monitors the world for all kinds of events that could pose a threat or disruption to your trip.

“For example, when Ovidio Guzman was arrested in Mexico, a wave of violence swept through the country,” he said. “When this happens, we can detect where the violence is taking place and notify any Sitata members so they are not put in harm’s way.”

The company also developed a 24/7/365 “easy chat” assistance service for each member, which provides an easy way for members to receive concierge assistance for anything from rebooking requests to emergency travel assistance.

“Our members don’t have to sift through policy wording to find a toll-free number only to find the hassle and frustration of making international calls,” added St. John. “Instead we are just a few taps away and can quickly respond via chat or text message.”

Other travel insurance companies have developed similar technology. World Nomads, for example, includes FootprintID with US travel insurance policies. This is a program that allows travelers to store and carry their medical records and emergency contacts with them while traveling, with easy access in the event of an on-the-go emergency.

Plans in Canada even include an adventure explorer hotline to help travelers find the nearest reef, whitewater or trail or even a gear shop or outfitter where they are going, said Christina Tunnah, general manager of marketing and brand at World Nomads.

Sometimes, the benefits are practical and part of a more traditional travel insurance offering, notes Jay Jaishankar, CEO of Visitor Insurance Services, a travel insurance company.

“Of the many nuanced features that add to a travel insurance policy, plans that offer coverage for lost mobile devices seem to have real tangible benefits, especially when the traveler is in a foreign destination,” he said.

For more information on buying insurance, see my complete guide to buying travel insurance.

What’s next for travel insurance benefits?

Travel insurance company just started.

Dan Skilken, president of, says he’s seeing more and more travel insurance companies building their concierge services. Services can include food and beverage delivery, event tickets, golf outings, assistance with hotel bookings, restaurant bookings, and even travel arrangements such as hotel bookings and car rentals.

“This is the kind of service you’d get from a hotel concierge,” he adds.

The benefit is attracting a new type of traveler, according to Gabriel Lalonde, president of MDL Financial Group.

“The industry is trying to stand out to younger travelers,” he says. “Younger travelers, in general, are less likely to buy travel insurance than their older counterparts, but the benefits consistently attract them and encourage them to buy insurance and upgrade.”

One important thing to remember is that many of these features are not travel insurance — they just come with the policy.

“Travel assistance is provided as a service to travelers, but assistance benefits are not governed by the plan’s insurance terms and conditions,” says Stan Sandberg, co-founder of travel insurance website “Still, when purchasing a travel insurance plan, we always identify the global travel assistance and concierge services offered by a particular plan.”

Choose your plan carefully

But Narendra Khatri, headmaster of Insubuy, cautioned against being distracted by the gains.

“Most of what you pay for travel insurance goes towards the primary benefits of trip cancellations, trip interruptions, and trip delays,” he says. “So I would recommend that you choose your plan based on the core of the benefits you pay for first, and remember that any additional benefits are just that – benefits.”

Travel insurance experts can help you sort things out, says John Rose, ALTOUR’s chief risk and security officer.

“As always, check with a licensed travel advisor to purchase insurance because often these unique and too good to be true offers are not insurance,” he says.

However, the increase is a way for travel insurance companies to profit from travelers.

“There is an opportunity for a great comeback story,” said Matulich of the Customer Management Practice.

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