Meet the ‘virtual nerd’

A virtual nerd
Company brief

Australians with credit cards who may be confused about the insurance and other benefits that come free with their cards can rest easy; they will now have access to Virgil Assist, a ‘virtual nerd’ that tells them exactly what benefits they are and are not entitled to.

Virgil Assist has been designed to trawl the Product Disclosure Statements that come with credit card and related insurances and tell users everything they need to do – including the criteria for activation.

According to a recent market report from Finaccord, some 47 per cent of Australian credit cards offer some form of free travel insurance, while 93 per cent of premium cards do. Cardholders simply need to head to the Virgil Assist website and the ‘virtual nerd’ will help them find the information that they need – users do not need to give any personal data, and if they find that they do not meet the criteria to activate the free policies, they can purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy without having to leave the website.

“When credit card providers first started offering benefits to entice customers, the quality of the insurance products was poor,” commented Cameron Pearson, Founder and CEO of Virgil Assist, “but this isn’t the case today. The insurance coverages vary significantly depending on the type of credit card; however, cardholders can enjoy good quality benefits for free if they know what they need to do to access them. It just makes sense to get the most out of your credit card.”

Pearson says that he developed Virgil Assist in response to a perceived gap between the quality of the free insurance that comes with credit cards and consumer awareness; a canny move, but not just because some customers don’t know that they have the option of free cover. There have been many high-profile incidents in recent years of customers activating the free travel insurance benefits that come with their cards, only to discover at the point of claim that they did not actually qualify for the policies – something that should obviously be made clear at the point of purchase. Hopefully, should the concept of the ‘virtual nerd’ catch on, this problem of – sometimes inadvertent – mis-selling may become a thing of the past.