You’re a unique addition to the travel and hospitality industry. Having the ability to give travelers breathtaking adventures around the world, or relaxing getaways in their own backyard is an impressive skill that is celebrated by your customers.
When customers begin picturing the unimaginable happening on vacation, it often involves crossing paths with a celebrity in Time Square or being blown away by the view from the newlywed penthouse suite – not landing in the hospital after suffering a stroke or broken arm.
If the unexpected occurs, here’s what you and your clients can expect when a call is made to our assistance team.
It starts with our assistance center hotline
When you first step onto the assistance floor you’ll automatically notice one thing – their office is pretty small inside our Richmond, Virginia headquarters. While a close nit team of 22 people working 24-hours a day seems tiny, their unique expertise had fielded almost 56,000 inbound and 57,000 outbound calls last year alone.
With six medical directors, who are physicians from the University of Virginia, and one chief medical officer on staff, the medical assistance team looks for registered nurses with a minimum of five years of emergency room experience to provide your customers with the service they deserve.
Each call is unique
Our assistance agents are trained to handle it all, from helping customers locate the nearest tow company when their RV gets stuck in the mud to arranging a medevac from South America to Brooklyn. The team has seen it all, heard it all, and provided assistance to a range of different circumstances.
The most frequent medical diagnosis we’ve seen coming into the assistance center are strokes, myocardial infarctions heart attacks, trauma/fractures from a fall, motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents, high-risk activities, robberies, pulmonary (pneumonia, pneumothorax, asthma) and gastroenteritis (vomiting, diarrhea causing dehydration).
Assistance Coordinator II Taylor Anne R. remembers one customer who needed emergency medical assistance in a part of the world where ambulances can often take hours to arrive. Using her skills and contacts, Taylor Anne secured transportation in 30 minutes. “It was a good moment,” she says.
All hands on deck
Calls don’t always come from customers; travel agents who have recommended and sold a policy to their travelers often include Allianz Global Assistance into their process of providing relief in a time of need.
Regardless of how the call arrives, once it’s received every member of the team is prepared to assist in whatever way they can – taking into consideration the needs of both the client and their travel companions.
“Every day is different,” says Kim G., an Assistance Coordinator Senior. “It just depends on what’s going on in the world. Depending on where they are, you may be it,” she says. “You may be the only lifeline.”
When an agent answers the call they attempt to remain calm, explain the options available to the customer, and keeps the lines of communication open between them, their travel agent, their families, and the medical facility where they are located.
Naturally there are barriers that the team will encounter while providing assistance to customers several hundred or thousand miles away. Kimberly Seay, Director of Assistance at Allianz Global Assistance and former emergency room and trauma nurse says her team works collaboratively with our 34 offices around the world, contracting more than 110 field agents who can help provide assistance in other destinations.
As travel agents are more inclined to educate their customers about the value of purchasing travel insurance, travelers are becoming more prepared should the unexpected occur. Take comfort in knowing that our team is behind you waiting to help you and your client in the time of trouble.
Should you or a traveler ever need assistance contact our 24/7 Emergency Assistance Numbers:
- Within the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands call toll free: 1-800-654-1908 or
- Outside of the United States, call collect: 1-804-281-5700