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How Second Opinion Worked for One Man


Peter, 43, was diagnosed with a brain tumour (Ewing’s Sarcoma). Before undergoing chemotherapy, Peter contacted Second Opinion. As his case was urgent, Peter’s file was sent to the USA and immediately reviewed by a Professor and a specialist pathologist in sarcomas. The team in the USA requested urgent further tests and found that he did not have a brain tumour, but had suffered a stroke. Peter was saved from unnecessary treatment and risk to his life.

Australia


On a business trip to Sydney, Australia, an insured learned his wife was taken seriously ill at home... 
 
Our assistance center was telephoned by an insured in the early hours of the morning. The anxious client explained he was on a business trip to Sydney, Australia to attend a conference. He learned his wife, in the USA, had just been diagnosed with pneumonia and admitted to the hospital. A family friend was looking after his young children. The client wanted to get back home as soon as possible to care for his wife and children. Our travel desk was able to reserve a seat on a flight to LA later that same morning with a connecting flight to New York.
 
The time zone change between Australia and New York meant the client arrived home the same evening he had originally phoned. We checked in with the client after his trip. He told us his wife was making a steady recovery. Under the terms of his company’s business travel insurance program, he was reimbursed for the full cost of the last-minute air fare.

New Zealand

On 22 February 2017, a bus carrying cruise ship passengers heading to their cruise ship outside Christchurch, New Zealand, collided with a car on a narrow, two-lane street and fell down a steep bank into thick vines and vegetation. Six travelers were injured and taken to the hospital along with the drivers of both vehicles. Among the injured were four AIG customers, so AIG Travel was contacted to assist. A crisis response team was formed to handle the cases and assess the needs of our customers. Recognizing the need for on-the ground support, a member of the AIG Travel operations team booked a flight to New Zealand within hours of the crash.

Upon arrival, he quickly assessed the situation on the ground, by meeting with each of our injured customers, and relayed that information back to our global Assistance Centres so we could make the best decisions regarding our customers’ physical and mental well-being.

The AIG travel representative also completed the following on behalf of our customers: 
  • Worked closely with the management of the cruise line, who were also on the ground in Christchurch, to handle any outstanding details on behalf of our customers. 
  • Sought out medical reports and the current condition of our customers. 
  • Liaised with the hotel staff to ensure that comfort was provided to our customers.
  • Maintained details of each customer’s medical condition and worked closely with the hospital doctor to ensure they were fit to fly. 
  • Worked closely with our global Assistance Centres to ensure smooth transition for a safe return to their home country.
AIG Travel worked diligently to assist the four clients injured in this tragic accident until they were able to safely return home.

Brussels Attack

On March 22, 2016, three coordinated bombings took place in Brussels, the capital of Belgium; two at the Brussels Airport in Zaventem and one at the Maalbeek metro station. This attack caused the loss of 32 lives and injured hundreds of others. This tragedy, the deadliest in the country’s history, was declared an act of terrorism. Among those who perished in the attack were two AIG clients; one from China and the other from India.

AIG Travel received the first distress call from the Indian client’s employer who requested assistance to locate its employee, who had been missing for three days after the tragedy. AIG Travel immediately established communications with the Indian Embassy in Brussels searching for anyone possibly seeking refuge, while contemporaneously contacting all local hospitals in the city regarding patient medical admission. Likewise, AIG Travel dispatched a representative to Belgium from our UK office to closely assist and coordinate the search for the missing client.

The brother of the Indian client, who works in Germany, arrived in Brussels and AIG Travel assisted him with searching for his brother by once again contacting all local hospitals. In addition, AIG Travel assisted with the brother’s movement around the city, ensuring he felt safe when traveling to the numerous hospitals around Brussels. Following a three-day search, sadly the remains of the deceased client were located in the Brussels Military Hospital.

AIG Travel further supported the brother of the deceased client throughout the DNA testing and identification process. In addition to the brother, the parents were flown to Belgium from India and requested immediate repatriation of the remains to their home country for last rites. We coordinated with Belgium authorities and the Indian Embassy in Brussels to expedite the release of the remains.

Due to the closure of the Brussels Airport after the blasts, the deceased client was transported to the Amsterdam Airport upon release and repatriated home, accompanied by his parents and brother. AIG Travel also ensured that ground transfer was coordinated from Brussels to Amsterdam and was escorted by Brussels enforcement officers.

Upon touchdown in India, the remains were swiftly released within an hour, a process expedited by AIG Travel. The family and the remains of the deceased insured arrived safely at the family residence via ground transfer.

In addition to assisting the family of our client, the AIG Travel representative on the ground in Brussels visited all of the major sites throughout Brussels to provide on-ground feedback regarding the state of security to security offices globally.

Following a phone call from the second AIG client’s employer, AIG Travel worked closely with Belgian officials in Brussels to begin the search for him as well. Once AIG Travel confirmed that the client was deceased, we worked with the family to ensure that their request for their family member to be cremated in Belgium was done in a timely manner. AIG Travel also worked closely with a local provider to ensure that the family traditions and guidelines were upheld. Finally, AIG Travel contacted the Chinese Embassy in Brussels to ensure that the right documentation for repatriation was gathered and that the remains were sent to China for his family to receive.

Ghana

An insured business traveler, accompanied by his wife and two children, started a long-term assignment in Accra, Ghana, when he received the news that his wife was pregnant. The insured contacted his employer and the AIG Travel global service center to prepare arrangements for his wife to give birth in their hometown of Johannesburg, South Africa, and then travel back to Ghana after the birth of their child. Since the insured’s two children were too young to remain in Ghana, they also had to plan for them to travel to Johannesburg for the birth. Only one airline offered a route between Ghana and South Africa, so AIG Travel coordinated closely with the insured and his wife’s doctors to determine departure and return flight dates timed appropriately with their baby’s estimated date of birth.

The insured preferred email communication only, and AIG Travel sent regular, detailed email communications and responded to any questions the insured encountered while his wife was completing pre-natal appointments in Ghana and all throughout their case. AIG Travel reserved a flight for the insured and his family to travel to their home country of South Africa a month before the baby’s estimated date of birth. The insured’s wife welcomed a healthy baby girl to their family a few weeks after arriving in their home country.

The insured’s wife and baby were doing very well and completed follow-up appointments with their gynecologist and pediatrician. AIG Travel assisted the insured with the process to obtain a passport, visa and fit-to-fly document for their five-day-old newborn baby. Because of a public holiday, obtaining the visa was delayed, so AIG Travel helped re-book their flight within three days of the original flight date. Furthermore, AIG Travel ensured the airline had a seat with a bassinette to comfortably accommodate the weight and length of the insured’s newborn baby. 

The centralized efforts of AIG Travel’s global service center went above the insured’s expectations and included frequent status updates, medical facility payment arrangements, seamless handling of unexpected visa and flight delays, and most importantly, resulted in a safe flight back home for a newborn baby and her family. 
 
“The travel went smoothly, and it's not our first time travelling with an infant. However, travelling with a nine-year-old, a toddler and an infant was quite an adjustment. In the end, we arrived home in Ghana in one piece without losing anything or anyone,” said the insured. “Thank you for the interest and the support we received from your AIG team throughout the entire period. It was really fantastic and commendable."

Dominican Republic

A group of insured business travelers from the United States were on a business trip with a client in the Dominican Republic.
After the travelers treated their client to dinner, they all boarded a golf cart to ride back to the hotel.  During the ride, their client accidentally fell out of the golf cart and struck his head. He was immediately rushed to the hospital, where he unfortunately passed away. One of the insured employees contacted the AIG Travel global service center requesting urgent assistance after this tragic event.

The travel assistance coordinator explained all of the available services, including help with repatriating the mortal remains whether the deceased was insured with AIG or not. However, the employer of the deceased worked with their insurance provider to repatriate his mortal remains.
The travel assistance coordinator re-booked earlier return flights for the insured employees to leave the Dominican Republic and return home to Chicago. Within just a few hours from the initial call to the AIG Travel global service center, the insured employees were able to fly out of the Dominican Republic and arrive home safely.

Dealing with bereavement is challenging, especially when it occurs on a trip in another country. If a grievous situation arises while travelling, AIG Travel is available 24 hours a day to help and support insureds around the globe. 


“I am very happy that we had Travel Guard® to provide the needed support and guidance.
The Travel Guard team did a fantastic job and provided continuous updates and support.
It is not often that when I am told that things will be handled, that I actually have the comfort that things will be handled properly.  When dealing with Travel Guard, I have trust and confidence that the team will always follow through to the end.

Thank you again. GREAT JOB!! ”

-Insureds Employer

Burkina Faso

On September 16, 2015, Burkina Faso's elite Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) led a military coup that overthrew the interim government. The coup occurred ahead of general elections scheduled for October 11, 2015, to restore an elected civilian government following the resignation of long-time President Blaise Compaore in October 2014. The RSP, angered at the exclusion of Compaore's political party from the elections and dissatisfied with the transitional council's recommendation that they be disbanded took action by detaining the president, prime minister and cabinet.  Shortly thereafter they disbanded the government and installed the head of the RSP as the transitional leader of the country.

 Following initial reports of the unrest, AIG Travel rapidly notified clients of the development and immediately prepared to provide on-the-ground support. On September 17, upon the formal announcement of a coup, the AIG Global Security team issued an advisory notification recommending evacuation from Burkina Faso, and then took the following actions:
  • Coordinated with AIG Travel's global assistance centers to identify and located clients in Burkina Faso ahead of potential operations.
  • Identified the various needs of those clients, including intelligence support, transportation services, personal security details and flight arrangements.
  • Liaised with in-country contacts to maintain an accurate picture as the volatile, and very fluid, situation developed.
  • Security specialists coordinated with the global assistance centers to track client status and movements, and provide regular situational reports.
  • Worked with teams on the ground to adjust itineraries and provide safety and support for clients facing uncertain circumstances, such as abrupt flight cancellations, roadblocks and outbreaks of violence.
  • Prepared contingency options in the event that the situation deteriorated further, including charter flights, security escorts and alternate safe locations.
In all, AIG Travel regularly updated assistance centers and clients, coordinated security and travel services, and assisted 36 individuals until they safely returned home.

Bangkok Explosion

Bangkok, the capital of Thailand and the largest city in the country, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South East Asia. Known as the City of Angels, Bangkok?s bustling charm was replaced with shock and fear when an explosive device was detonated near the Erawan shrine, a popular Hindu shrine located in the city centre, on 17 August 2015. 

The blast killed 20 people and left over 120 injured. Two smaller explosions took place the following day with no reported injuries or fatalities. Security was tightened immediately at the explosion sites and other prominent tourist spots. Among the victims were 13 AIG insureds, 10 of whom were injured and three perished. 

Recognizing the need for immediate response and support, within 24 hours after the blast AIG Travel dispatched a crisis management team of medical, security and operations staff. They worked with the treating physicians at the local hospitals upon arrival to assess the injuries and conditions of the 10 AIG-insured patients. Five underwent emergency surgeries for limb fractures and severe burns. The other five were treated for minor burns and tissue injuries. 

In addition, the crisis management team worked closely with hospitals, local authorities, embassies, and family members of the deceased to efficiently coordinate the repatriation and cremation of remains of the three insureds who perished in the blast. While on the ground, the crisis management team also provided counselling and administrative support to the patients and family members of those affected by the tragedy. 

Having established direct communications with the treating physicians and relevant authorities, the crisis management team and the Assistance Centre staff in Kuala Lumpur continued to monitor the conditions and treatments of the patients in the hospitals after on-site support ended. Upon their discharge, the team facilitated and ensured the safe return of all the patients and their family members to their home countries. 

The Claims team supported the insureds by swiftly reviewing the coverage of their travel insurance policies and expediting claims payment processing. Assisted by the AIG Travel Hong Kong team, payments were personally presented to the insureds and their family members on the ride home from the airport in a prearranged car transfer.

Nepal Earthquake

On April 25, 2015 a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, significantly damaging infrastructure in populated areas and triggering avalanches throughout the mountainous regions of the country. Within hours of the devastating impact, AIG Travel was contacted by students, leisure travelers and business travelers around the country who needed help. Our global service centers immediately began providing around-the-clock security information, medical consultations and other assistance services to help clients during the duration of the crisis. 

AIG Travel initiated a detailed plan, which prompted rapid response activities to begin client evacuations in Kathmandu and in more remote areas of Nepal. Recognizing the need for on—the-ground support, members of AIG Travel and AIG Global Security formed a crisis management team and swiftly deployed to the region. Upon arrival, the team established a central location to meet with clients, assess their medical needs and coordinate flights out of the country. This enabled a quick response to client needs and ensured a streamlined execution of operations. The crisis response team also took the following actions:
  • Deployed an AIG Travel medical doctor to various client locations to assess the injuries and medical conditions of clients.
  • Coordinated efforts to rescue 38 clients trapped in remote mountain locations of Nepal, including Mount Everest, via helicopter. Clients were flown to Kathmandu, where they were met by the AIG Travel doctor and cleared to fly home.
  • Evacuated the first group of clients closest to Kathmandu, who boarded commercial flights out of the country within 72 hours of the earthquake.
  • Conducted food and supply drops to clients in remote locations who were running low on critical supplies.
  • Coordinated hotel accommodations in Kathmandu, which served as a staging area for clients needing to evacuate. The team also conducted a thorough assessment of the hotel’s structural soundness, and conducted medical evaluations of the clients as they arrived.
  • Chartered a 737 airliner for a large-scale evacuation out of Nepal to New Delhi, India.
  • Coordinated with a team of staff from AIG and TATA-AIG to meet with evacuees as they arrived in New Delhi. The staff helped with accommodations and coordinated onward commercial flights home.
In all, AIG Travel assisted more than 100 clients and partners by providing medical, security and assistance services, including 68 individuals who were evacuated via commercial and charter flights. Our crisis response activities in Nepal were coordinated and completed on May 2, 2015; only seven days after the earthquake struck.

Travel Assistance Cases

Travel Guard® Assistance Capabilities

Flight delays, unpredictable weather, lost or stolen luggage and other travel hassles are an unfortunate reality of travel today. AIG Travel’s global service centers provide dedicated, around-the-clock travel assistance coordinators who are just a phone call away to help solve last-minute travel problems or assist with emergencies. The following are a few cases where our global team aided clients in need of travel assistance services.

Pre-trip assistance prepares insured for Dominican Republic
In preparation for her trip, an insured called the service center to obtain pre-trip information for her upcoming travel to the Dominican Republic. The assistance coordinator answered the client’s questions and provided vaccination information and an extensive country report with key information on security issues, political conditions, cultural facts and travel logistics, which is also available on the member only, travel assistance website.

AIG Travel’s assistance coordinators are available to help answer questions prior to travel since it is important to be knowledgeable about your destination, especially if it is a different country.

Travel assistance helps insured in need of a last-minute hotel reservation in Florida
An insured and her four relatives were traveling from Canada to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to take a cruise vacation. The flight from Canada was scheduled to arrive in Florida only one day prior to the cruise ship departure, and since timing was tight, the insured contacted AIG Travel’s service center for assistance with booking a hotel room for the whole family. The assistance coordinator saved the insured and her family time and stress by sourcing multiple hotels to quickly secure a reservation, allowing them to enjoy a relaxing overnight stay before their cruise set sail.

Finding a hotel room or a car rental at the last moment can be challenging, especially in a different country. AIG Travel has plenty of experience helping clients with a variety of last-minute travel requests.

Travel assistance for LGBT-friendly establishments in Dominican Republic
While vacationing in Samana, Dominican Republic, an insured reached out to AIG Travel’s service center requesting assistance with finding LGBT-friendly bars in the area. The assistance coordinator helped provide a list of establishments for the insured to choose from.

LGBT-friendly travel destinations are gaining popularity among travelers as more and more countries support equal rights for same-sex couples. LGBT travelers may experience some challenges in finding LGBT-friendly hotels and attractions in different countries, but AIG Travel is here to assist.

Concierge assistance comes through for a golfer in Mexico
An insured contacted the service center for pre-trip information and golf course options for an upcoming trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The assistance coordinator provided a detailed list of golf courses in addition to available tee times. The assistance coordinator also offered to organize equipment rental which was one less thing for the insured to handle.

Among the wide range of services provided by AIG Travel’s global service centers, concierge assistance helps insureds with a variety of requests – large or small – whether it is concert tickets, directions or hard to get reservations.

Insured receives help with lost luggage in Belize
While one insured was on vacation in San Pedro, Belize, waiting for a flight in the local airport’s restaurant, one of her bags was stolen off a chair. The bag contained the insured’s phone and identification. She contacted the AIG Travel service center for urgent assistance. The assistance coordinator provided stolen luggage replacement and travel documents assistance in order to help ease the insured’s concerns.

Lost or stolen luggage is never a pleasant experience for any traveler. While airports and transit stations across the world continue to improve their security measures, unexpected luggage loss or theft may occur. AIG Travel helps travelers around the world in retrieving and replacing personal belongings.

Security Assistance Cases

Travel Guard® Security Capabilities

AIG Travel provides a wide spectrum of personal security services through our global network of security experts. We can provide up-to-date response for minor security incidents to truly life-threatening events. The following are a few recent cases where our global security team aided traveling clients in need of security services and protection.

Students Abroad in Germany Caught in Devastating Floods
While on a month-long university trip in Central Europe, 13 insured student travelers were staying in the southern Bavaria region of Germany when ongoing flooding deluged the region. The flooding was the third-worst recorded incident of flooding in Central Europe since 1856. AIG Travel’s Global Security team was contacted for help and immediately researched accommodations in the Bavaria region to establish locations that had not been compromised by the flooding. The team called the students, parents and university administrators on a daily basis with updates on weather forecasts, possible relocation points and operational airports. As soon as the Global Security team determined that the situation in southern Germany had improved and commercial transportation out of the region was readily available, they provided multiple verified transportation options for the students to safely return home.

Distressed Hikers Stranded in Indonesia
A group of nine multinational hikers were left stranded in a mountainous area adjacent to a gold mining facility in Papua, Indonesia. They were running low on food and supplies, suffering from climbing-related injuries, and were abandoned by their hiking guide. AIG Travel’s Global Security Team was notified and coordinated with multiple parties to plan a strategic evacuation for the hikers. They assessed the condition of the hikers and identified risks to their immediate physical safety taking into consideration a tribal conflict in the area, which significantly impacted their route of descent. The team liaised with local intelligence sources, the U.S. Department of State, and Indonesian government contacts as well as local security assets, to develop a safe evacuation plan and administer medical attention. AIG Travel was then able to expedite the hikers’ trips back to their respective home countries.

Surfers Marooned in Mexico after Hurricane Odile Strikes
Six clients on vacation in the popular surfing destination of Scorpion Bay, Baja, Mexico, were left stranded a few days after Hurricane Odile hit the region and ravaged roads and transportation. The clients called AIG Travel for assistance, and the Global Security team monitored the area in order to communicate timely updates for the clients to understand road travel and airport operations. The team assisted the clients over the phone and via email while they self-evacuated, and monitored the clients’ movements until they safely made it home to the United States.

Humanitarian Volunteer Goes Missing in Ecuador
A client was on a volunteer humanitarian assignment in Tulcun, Ecuador, when his mother lost contact with him for several days and noticed unusual cash withdrawals at various ATM locations in Colombia. The client’s mother contacted AIG Travel and explained the situation. The Global Security team gathered necessary information to conduct a thorough investigation with local U.S. law enforcement resources, the U.S. Embassy in Bogota and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to identify the whereabouts of the missing volunteer. Through monitoring of the client’s bank statements, local security forces were deployed to the location of the most recent ATM transaction where the client was believed to be located. Fortunately, there was no occurrence of criminal activity associated with the case, and the client was put in contact with the concerned parent.

Medical Assistance Cases

Travel Guard® Medical Assistance Capabilities

From medical provider referrals to coordination of complex medical evacuations, AIG Travel has in-depth experience providing a wide range of medical assistance services through our global network of medical experts. The following are a few cases where our assistance team aided traveling clients in need of medical assistance services.

Medical Evacuation for Child Diagnosed with Leukemia in Italy
An insured’s family was on an extended vacation in rural Italy and noticed their two-year-old daughter was experiencing prolonged nosebleeds. She was seen by a local physician and had abnormal lab results. The insured called the AIG Travel service center for help, and the medical assistance team immediately opened a case and arranged the transfer of the daughter to a higher-level-of-care hospital in Rome with diagnostic resources to make an appropriate assessment. Sadly, she was diagnosed with acute leukemia and required long-term chemotherapy with pediatric cancer care. After reviewing the situation with the family, it was determined that the child and family should be evacuated back home to St. Louis, Missouri. AIG Travel facilitated conference calls with the local treating physician, medical case managers, and the doctor on duty to coordinate a commercial flight with a nurse escort for a safe return home.

Air Ambulance Evacuation for Skier in Switzerland
A 36-year-old insured male was on vacation in Switzerland and seriously injured himself while skiing. He was diagnosed with acute spinal cord injury by a local clinic and transferred via ground ambulance to a hospital in Bern, Switzerland. After AIG Travel was contacted, the medical assistance team and doctor on duty reviewed the insured’s medical reports and consulted with the treating neurosurgeon in Bern. Since the insured’s fracture was unstable, he could not be immediately evacuated to his home in the U.S. The neurosurgeon performed surgery on the insured to stabilize his fracture, but the client remained paraplegic and required long-term care and rehabilitation. After it was determined that his fracture had stabilized, AIG Travel arranged for the insured to have an air ambulance evacuation with nurse and paramedic escorts to a hospital near his home in Boston, Massachusetts.

Medical Evacuation after Vacationer Experiences Bacterial Infection Abroad
While on a photography trip in Ethiopia, a 76-year-old insured female had a scratch on her leg that became infected. She was diagnosed with cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the skin, and given oral antibiotics by a local physician. She contacted the AIG Travel service center for help when she noticed her condition did not improve. The assistance team referred her to a hospital in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, and antibiotics were administered through an IV. Unfortunately, her condition worsened, and the AIG Travel doctor on duty conferred with the local physician and decided she required evacuation to a higher-level-of-care hospital for further treatment. AIG Travel coordinated an air ambulance evacuation to the American Hospital in Paris, France. She was hospitalized for several weeks due to the development of systemic sepsis and respiratory and renal failure. After a difficult hospital stay, the insured recovered and was evacuated back home to the U.S. on a commercial flight with upgraded seating and a nurse escort.
 

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