Forbes Magazine recently named AIG Travel as one of the best travel insurance companies. According to Forbes, AIG Travel received “the ultimate nod” from the prestigious Forbes Luxury Travel Club because of its consistent excellence in customer service, variety, and overall value. Out of all the competitors in the luxury travel club, AIG Travel received the coveted “First Place Winner” for being the most consistent in helping its clients meet or exceed their expectations.
Forbes contributor David Lyon identified several reasons for his selection of AIG Travel as the luxury company of choice for travelers making trips across the world. One reason was that AIG Travel offered extremely low rates: “The lowest costs are attainable by traveling through AIG Travel, even for the most high-risk trips.” Another was that AIG Travel offered extra benefits for members who travel frequently: ” VIP treatment at special travel destinations, access to airport lounges and priority seating, airport transportation services, and rental car assistance.” Finally, Lyon noted that AIG Travel offers its clients perks such as travel advisories and free travel packages, something which he said other luxury travel insurance companies do not offer: “AIG takes the extra effort to ensure that its clientele know exactly what they’re getting into so that they can make informed decisions about whether they want to continue with their policies or not.”
According to a representative who did not participate in the review process, AIG began offering policies to high-risk clients in January of 2021. AIG began by covering ten countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom. According to this representative, they will not be expanding their coverage portfolio in the near future, but instead focused on providing extra coverage for those travelers most in need of it: “We started with ten and we will not add any more.” The review did find that AIG’s European operations were among the best, with the company representative citing excellent customer service and assistance when needed and providing excellent coverage even during economic times: “We have had good experiences both in economic and financial crises and fortunately our customers are always welcome during these periods. For example, in a time of economic crisis all around the world our members in Europe were very calm and helped us get our financial house in order.”
When discussing the VIP experience, AIG representatives often talked about the VIP benefits being offered for members who travel on a frequent basis: “VIP benefits are generally available to VIP members only. We cannot provide additional coverage for members who travel once a year. In addition, AIG restricts the frequency of policy renewals to every two years.” As for the other travel insurance companies, Lyon noted that the best policy offerings are offered to regular clients: “AIG believes that clients who are not frequent travelers should consider a plan that will provide adequate coverage and cost-effectiveness for them. Since most policies include extras such as emergency assistance and emergency evacuation coverage, however, VIP clients may want to consider options that will provide extra benefits if they need them.”
When examining health insurance policies, AIG discussed both the benefits and limitations of many of the plans, even though they emphasized that AIG provides low-cost coverage even though it has higher deductibles and monthly premiums than some of the other providers: “AIG health insurance policies are designed to provide adequate coverage for unexpected events like hospitalization, operation, or emergency treatment. However, because we believe our clients can find reasonable cost-effective alternatives, we strongly recommend that our clients choose an AIG alternative, especially if the event happened while you were at work.” This helps to protect the employer from lawsuits regarding health care benefits provided to employees.
Allianz Worldwide was able to receive a lower rating than AIG because it offers low premiums with adequate coverage. “Allianz has been in this business for over eighty years, and our policies and practices have not changed one bit since we first started providing global travel insurance,” said Bruce Mann, Allianz President and CEO. “While AIG may be a well-established company with good consumer perceptions, Allianz has continued to meet the demands of the travel market by providing competitive rates, the widest range of travel insurance options, and customer service that is second to none.” Allianz provides coverage for all travel and tourism needs, regardless of where the trip is headed.
Travel insurers are governed by their own sets of policies and guidelines, which are subject to change on a regular basis. “In recent years, there has been some uncertainty with the interpretation of exclusions, coverage, and benefits for VIP clients traveling overseas,” according to David Ebers, Senior Vice President of Global Risk Management at Insurance giant Allianz Worldwide. “We continue to evaluate our options as a competitive provider and will continue to monitor any potential changes to the VIP policy.” Many VIP travelers will receive extras like travel insurance extras such as coverage for pending travel-related medical emergencies, or medical evacuation out of country, that would normally be included with the regular policy. For these extra benefits, additional coverage may be required. You’ll want to check with your travel insurance company to be sure that your VIP travel plan includes these extra benefits.
One thing that all travel insurance companies agree upon is that pre-existing conditions are not covered. “Pre-existing” simply means that a person is applying for insurance coverage and is currently undergoing treatment for a pre-existing condition. While it is always recommended that you seek medical attention in the event of an emergency, pre-existing conditions will not usually be covered. You may be able to get coverage for emergency medical care, or coverage for services that are provided for a shorter period of time due to a pre-existing condition, but you may have to pay more for this type of coverage than you would for normal coverage.