Business

Understanding The Assistance Sector

It is no revelation to share customers’ expectation for transparent, rapid and caring intervention stands somewhat at odds of the reputation many insurance companies traditionally suffer. This is often caricatured as a distant relationship, one that occurs annually and can turn unpleasant when you may need to make a claim.

Assistance, as a concept, has a somewhat different approach, even if closely tied with, and often an integral part, of a traditional insurance company. Assistance can be a closer, more constant interaction with the customer.

Assistance is just over 55 years old. It started as a project of French entrepreneur Pierre Desnos who with the support of Generali Group was able to offer protection to French citizens as they travelled across Europe.

This innovative idea spread throughout Europe enabling people to travel with the security of a medical network to protect them if they got ill abroad or repatriate them in case of emergency.

As Europe became richer, travel became freer and easier and as the world has become smaller, the need for on-demand, reliable and emphatic services grew and that demand has not stopped.

Travel assistance is now offered as a stand-alone product directly to travelers, it is offered via airlines, travel agents and insurance products.

It is almost ubiquitous but you may never know the name of the company behind the service.

From these roots assistance has grown and now touches the everyday and difficult moments such as needing a plumber or helping to tow and fix your vehicle if it has broken down at the side of the road.  It can also touch life’s most stressful and dangerous moments – life and death medical or crisis situations or caring for a loved one as they grow old. What remains essential, regardless of the type of assistance, is a culture and network that can handle a global customer base while maintaining a close working relationship with local, on the ground experts such as craftsmen, mechanics, caregivers and doctors.

We believe that IT assistance will be a real driver of preference and growth; not only for the insurance sector but for companies that can find ways to meet evolving customer demand.

Today our largest clients are airlines, travel agencies, automotive giants but this is already evolving.

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We work with energy companies looking for assistance as our homes become smarter or banks looking to offer extra to their customers by adopting an on-demand concierge service.

While many of these activities are often carried out under the brands of our customers, we also believe there is an increasing opportunity to provide assistance and care services directly as we start to share more of our story and take advantage of technology which expands the reach of our transparent, rapid and caring services.

Discover more about assistance and Europ Assistance: https://www.europ-assistance.com

The interview was filmed with Sarah Lockett, Business Correspondent of The Business Debate and Antoine Parisi, CEO, Europ Assistance Group.

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