Analysis: iPMI - more than just paying the claim

"Our Global Wellness Solutions Programme and Condition Management Programme both encourage expats to improve their lifestyle and health," Kaye says. "We give higher-risk members pre-assignment preparation assistance and help them find qualified local doctors and specialists. All these are standard on our fully insured corporate plans."

OTHER BENEFITS

Cigna also offers an international employee assistance programme as a bolt-on to its corporate plans. This includes face-to-face counselling and work-life referrals, and is available 24/7 in 170 languages.

The little extras add up to a wealth of benefits.

"Members particularly like the country guides, and the ability to upload and track claims," Kaye says.

Insurers must always challenge themselves to offer more, says Susan Landers, head of marketing and client management at Allianz Worldwide Care.

"Expat tools such as our medical advice line Mediline, our hospital and doctor finder service, and health news updates, are now standard requirements for iPMI," Landers says. "Every insurer must go further, to build its own unique proposition."

Last year, Allianz Worldwide Care launched a new medical escort service that uses commercial flights to evacuate insured members with stable medical conditions, accompanied by an Allianz Worldwide Care doctor.

"This delivers significant savings to corporate clients, while providing a fast, flexible and safe evacuation service. Our existing air-ambulance partners will continue to transport members with critical conditions," Landers explains.

Allianz Worldwide Care also introduced two new benefits to its core plans. Where an evacuation is required, it will pay the travel costs of insured family members up to £1,660. It will also fund travel costs of insured family members in the event of "repatriation of mortal remains", up to the same limit, Landers says.

"We have also added two new benefits to our Repatriation Plan, paying the travel costs of insured family members to be with a relative who is at peril of death or who has died. We also pay the insured family’s travel costs where a member has been repatriated," she says. "Cover is up to £1,245 and £1,660 respectively."

Landers says Allianz Worldwide Care reviews its plans every year to add greater value to members.

She says: "The customer is key. Any changes are based on their actual needs and experiences."

The "extra" that really makes a difference to both individual and corporate members is feeling safe, secure and seamlessly served wherever you are in the world, adds Philip Wright, chief commercial officer at provider DKV Globality.

"That’s something clients simply can't get anywhere else," Wright says.

DKV Globality recently launched its Globalites worldwide service which guarantees all of its customers unified, standards of service.

"Our coalition of selected, high-quality service partners gives members access to worldwide best practice, and knowledge of the local rules and regulations," he says, adding that this is particularly important in an emergency.

"If you’re caught in a flood in Bangkok, you don’t want to call someone off-site sitting in front of a computer or telephone directory, who may direct you to a doctor in an area that is currently 1.5m underwater," he says. "You want someone who knows the local conditions."

INFORMATION IS KEY

DKV Globality offers online expat news and regular features such as "Ways to fight expat depressions" or "Top health apps for expats".

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