As we finalise preparations for the upcoming ITIC Global conference in Madrid, we have been catching up with the ITIC Global committee, and are pleased to share their views on the return of international travel ahead of the conference. We recently spoke with ITIC committee member Rory O’Gara, of Allianz, about the challenges faced by insurers when modifying policies over the last 18 months, the technology advancements made and what he is looking forward to discussing at ITIC Global.
What do you think has been the biggest challenge for insurers to overcome in the last 18 months? Dealing with cancellation claims, or modifying policies to try and encompass the new risks travellers are facing?
One of the biggest challenges was modifying policies and determining how best to cover, support and assist our members through this pandemic and of course how we can continue to maintain the best in class service offering for members going forward. While the industry does have a level of preparedness for global pandemics included within the range of products, there are always unforeseen challenges that we need to assess and resolve in a way that is best for our travelling members.
How has technology helped Allianz manage the Covid pandemic?
Technology and the advances that we have made that best service our members needs has played a pivotal role in this pandemic. The extreme of unknowns, anxiousness and fear has had a bearing on everyone, enhanced technological connectivity with our members has provided significant levels of confidence, ease of accessing information and on-demand services maintained by best in class claims processing and global network access ensuring that members have our support when needed from their personal devices.
Have you been able to start travelling for work again, and how different is it to before Covid?
Allianz maintained a rigorous Covid-19 strategy from the beginning and endeavour to stop the spread of the virus, therefore travelling for business has not been restored as of yet. As a global organisation, we leverage on the technological platforms to maintain our business and continue to work through virtual meetings and conferences. It is much different than pre-covid and unanimous that we miss the direct engagement with our colleagues in the meeting room.
Are you looking forward to any particular sessions at ITIC Global?
I am looking forward to most of the sessions as they continue to provide insights from the experts that we are lucky to have attend and present at each ITIC event. There are two sessions in particular that I am looking forward to:
- International healthcare challenges and expectations simply to observe the common challenges and what expectations are forthcoming in these trying times and to come.
- Travel insurance response to Covid-19, understanding how the industry should apply necessary services for travellers in terms of vaccinations, testing and how policies will be adjusted to deal with Covid – 19.
Rory O’Gara – Operations Service Lead, Allianz Partners
Rory O’Gara currently holds the position of Operations Service Delivery Manager with Allianz Care. Rory is responsible for maintaining and managing service standards extending to key global outsourced partners and reviewing operational processes for efficiencies and value add member experience. Rory previously held the role of VP Medical Provider Management – North America with Allianz Partners responsible for medical networks, network partnerships and cost containment strategies, preceding this, Rory had a variety of network management responsibilities in Allianz Partners over his 10+ years with the business.
ITIC Global is an annual gathering of the travel and health insurance community. It’s where you can connect with partners and colleagues, hear from insightful speakers and join discussions that shape the future of our industry. ITIC Global 2021 is taking place in Madrid, Spain 31 October – 4 November, and marks our return to face-to-face business networking after an 18-month hiatus.
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