The combination of winter weather and Covid-related crew shortages can create travel delays that can cost consumers not only time, but also money. Understanding the need to make payments for qualifying travel delays fast and without the need to file a claim, Allianz Partners in 2018 launched its proactive payment system SmartBenefits, which actively monitors customers’ flights and issues automatic payments after qualifying flight and baggage delays. SmartBenefits are available on plans offered by travel advisors and purchased through the company’s consumer website.
Allianz Partners was one of the first travel insurance companies to offer proactive claim payments for qualifying flight and baggage delays. Travel delay comprises about 83 per cent of claims paid through SmartBenefits, while baggage delay makes up about 17 per cent.
When a customer purchases a travel insurance plan featuring SmartBenefits, they will be prompted to submit flight information on allianztravelinsurance.com or the company’s TravelSmart mobile app or if using a travel advisor, through AgentMax Online, Allianz Partners’ award-winning platform for travel advisors.
When it comes time to travel, Allianz will monitor customers’ flights and if the airline announces a qualifying flight delay, the company will send a text message or email letting the customer know they are eligible for an automatic claim payment of US$100 per insured person, which can help with covered expenses during a delay – like meals, transportation and hotel stays.
Faster claim filing and expanded benefits
If a customer experiences a qualifying baggage delay, they just need to submit proof of the delay to receive an automatic $100 payment to purchase essential items. If a customer needs to purchase more than $100 in essential items, they should file a claim and include their receipts to receive a payment up to the maximum of their benefit.
Allianz Partners’ SmartBenefits proactive payment is sent by check within 5-10 business days, but if a customer wants access to their payment faster, they can click a link in the text or email message and tell Allianz to send it via:
- Debit card: payment is sent right away once the claim has been approved (banks may take longer to process the transaction)
- Direct deposit: payment within two to five business days.
If a customer’s covered expenses during an eligible delay exceed $100, they can submit a claim with receipts for their total expenses, up to the maximum benefit limit specified in the plan. If a flight is cancelled, a customer with SmartBenefits can file a no-receipts claim for an eligible covered travel delay, but they will not receive an automatic payment.
“We’re proud to announce that we’ve covered our two-millionth customer with our innovative SmartBenefits proactive payment system,” said Richard Aquino, Vice President and Head of Sales at Allianz Partners USA. “Our customers told us they wanted faster claim filing and expanded benefits, so we created a platform that automatically sends same-day fixed-amount payments for qualifying travel and baggage delays. Our travel advisor partners have provided extremely positive feedback that tells us that their clients appreciate our fast, no hassle claim payments.”