AVI is an international broker specialized in travel insurance since 1981. AVI operates and is fully licensed in Europe and the US, both as a broker and a TPA.
In 2008, AVI joined the SPB Group (2.000 employees in 12 countries) and was fully acquired in 2013.
Today, AVI shares with the group the same IT Infrastructure, Claims Management System, Phone Service Platform, Compliance rules, enabling a high level of flexibility and quality of service.
What is a Travel Insurance?
Travel Insurance is insurance that is intended to cover the risks that may occur before and during a trip. Not only to cover the expenses but also to provide helpful services, often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that can include concierge services and emergency travel assistance.
Why partners should use AVI as a broker?
Unlike other insurance providers, we work for the partner rather than for the insurance company.
We use our professional knowledge and experience to :
- help the partner to properly assess the insurance needs
- build the most optimal product
- shop for the best value on the market
- build and control the sales and claim processes
- identify and control the different providers : alarm centers / risk carriers…
Our international presence
In 35 years, AVI has built a specific and international organization.
3 Main offices, 400 partners across the world: Travel Agencies, Schools, Airlines, Banks, Web portals, Travel Guides.
• Insurance Licenses in the US and Europe
• TPA Licenses in the US and Europe
• Multiple risk carriers
• Multilingual team
• Access to the largest medical networks
• Advanced online booking tool
• Up-front payment (GOP or direct access to the PPO)
• Multi-currencies reimbursements
• In-house claims reimbursements
• Additional services though mobile app
4 questions to Philippe Gojon
General Manager of AVI International
How do you design your insurance policies? (E.g. do you cater to your different partner organizations?) Do you offer anything different to other insurance providers?
We have a double approach. We offer either standard products (plug & sell in 48h) or tailor-made products: based upon the organization's requirements we design a specific insurance plan for them.
This way we can always adjust to our partners' needs: time to market or flexibility, comprehensive package or cheap rates, etc.
Our differentiation on the market:
- We are able to offer comprehensive packages (medical/accident unlimited coverage, without deductibles, third-party liability - even in the US)
- Daily, weekly or monthly rates
- In-house claims processing
- Cash free claims processing: students do not have to pay upfront and wait to be reimbursed. We directly pay the providers in 80% of the cases.
The students have direct access to our preferred medical network with their assistance card or get a Guarantee of Payment from the Alarm Centre.
- We have 2 offices in Europe (Paris & Madrid) and one in the USA.
Do you cater for students going to potentially hazardous destinations or places where they may take part in dangerous activities?
Hazardous destinations and dangerous activities are complex matters for 2 reasons:
- It is most of the time unclear for the students or the organization whether the destinations or activities are covered or not.
- Following the development of these activities we have noticed an important increase of the claims ratio. This affects also the policy of students who do not practice these sports or go to these destinations.
Therefore we have decided recently:
- To cover high-risk activities through an extension on our standard policies
- To provide a detailed list explaining very clearly:
o what is usually covered in our standard products
o what is covered when getting an extension
o what will never be covered.
Why is it so important to travel with the correct insurance? Do travelers often forget to cover themselves for anything?
It's all about: Money (Insurance) and Communication (Assistance)
- Money: when traveling abroad, students cannot benefit from their home health insurance.
Also, most of the time, they do not have enough money to pay for their medical claims in the host country (Especially in North America where medical costs are considerably higher than in any other part of the world).
That's why it is necessary to make sure to get access to the medical services without having to pay upfront (either by getting an instant access to a specific medical network with your assistance card, or by getting easily and quickly a Guarantee of Payment from the assistance provider).
- Assistance: students are most of the time, not familiar with the medical processes in their host country.
Our customer services and alarm centres will assist them in that matter. Most of the time in their mother tongue, which makes things much easier when dealing with urgent situations.
We will also take care of the coordination with all the parties involved : partner/exchange organization, school, host families, native families…
If needed, we will fully take care of the repatriation to the home country.
Last but not least: for a large number of visas, travel insurances are mandatory. No travel insurance matching the visas requirements means no possibility to travel.
Which type of claims are the most common? Are there any reasons for this?
90% of the claims we process are for minor injuries / sicknesses: flue, infections, gastric disorders…
The other claims we have to deal with are more serious and in most cases are related to car accidents, sport accidents, or cancers…
We notice that often, very simple cultural differences can lead to dramatic situations: this explains the large number of car accidents we are facing every year.
Besides, the fact is young people are keen on practicing new sports/activities while abroad, without considering the possible risk of accident.
Regarding this, we believe that we all have a responsibility in providing as much information as possible to the students, mostly when they just arrived in their host country.
Some very simple things like reminding them how to cross the street, correctly walk on the sidewalk, could certainly avoid several accidents and save a few lives every year.
About AVI International
- 35 years of experience in travel & health insurance
- 3 offices PARIS / MADRID / MIAMI
- 450 partners worldwide
- More than 100 000 customers insured every year
- Claims office and emergency center available 24/7
- Multilingual team
- In house claims administration
- 100% online services
- Advanced mobile application
- A strong financial background as a subsidiary of the SPB Group
Read more about AVI International
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