World Travel Protection, one of the world’s leading travel assistance organisations and part of Zurich Insurance Group, has expanded into the UK, with a core team based in London. The move comes as more corporate employers start to consider enhanced protection for their travelling employees given the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel, and traveller health and wellbeing.
World Travel Protection already operates two Command Centres in Brisbane, Australia and Toronto, Canada, which provide 24-hour emergency assistance to travellers via location-enabled smartphone apps and mobile connectivity.
The next step will be the launch of a purpose-built London Command Centre in the coming year, according to Adrian Leach, CEO of World Travel Protection.
“With the support of our parent company, Zurich, we continue to invest significantly in state-of-the-art technology and capability to enable full-service global assistance. So we’re delighted to now be able to offer our assistance to organisations in the UK.
“Our Command Centres allow our profoundly-trained team of medical, security, logistical and case management experts to be able to lead operations globally, using real-time data including our security intelligence and mapping technology, as well as world news. Our Command Centres deal generally with more than 100,000 assistance cases and 1,000 medical evacuations a year.”
“What sets World Travel Protection mainly apart from competitors is our global team of in-house medical and security experts, equipped with the latest technology. As more borders re-open, our services will become even more essential due to the additional challenges and requirements brought about by COVID-19,” he said.
According to Zurich’s global Head of Accident and Health, Drazen Jaksic, implementing a careful, multinational business travel solution is more important than ever to protect employees’ health, safety and wellbeing, and consequently aiming to protect the business from reputational and financial impacts if something should happen.
“Risks associated with business travel are changing rapidly and becoming more complex as exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, a rise in civil unrest, as well as extreme weather events and related catastrophes.”
“And the growing complexity of business travel risks has brought into sharp focus the value of the assistance services that are provided to help business travellers on the ground, as part of a business travel insurance programme, ” Drazen Jaksic said.
At the core of World Travel Protection’s operations is a range of innovative, technology-based tools to assist the traveller and organisation. These are the Travel Assist Risk Management Portal, the Travel Assist App, and a Global Care Database:
- The Travel Assist Risk Management Portal allows both organisations and World Travel Protection to track their people in real time against critical global intelligence. The World Travel Protection team can send alerts, in the event of an incident, with the ability for travellers to respond back to the Command Centres for on-going support and management. The portal enables the team to manage critical events, and communicate between a traveller and their company or insurer. This innovation also provides COVID-19 specific information by country, updated every 24 hours, including restrictions applied by local governments, international flight requirements etc.
- Travellers on the ground receive support from the Travel Assist App, which features targeted travel alerts, regularly updated country guides, an ‘emergency’ button, and constant monitoring locations in relation to risk.
- The World Travel Protection Global Care Database is an industry leading network withglobal provider coverage..
“Organisations have an obligation to look after their people when they are travelling and try to ensure nothing foreseeable happens which could have been avoided. In addition to support services for medical, travel and security emergencies, World Travel Protection sets objectives to educate and train businesses to mitigate risks before their employees have even departed for their destination,” Adrian Leach said.
“Discussions are already starting on how travel has changed since COVID, and our services will be even more essential as travel resumes for organisations in the UK,” he said.