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After a reinvention and rebrand, PassportCard is ready to relaunch in Australia

The company is promising to shake up the status quo in how travel insurance works for travellers making common claims.

PassportCard is returning to Australia and aiming to shake up travel insurance.

Gone are the days of waiting weeks, sometimes even months, for a travel insurance claim to be paid – and the first question that springs to mind is ‘why has nobody thought of this sooner’?

When something goes wrong on holiday, it often requires dipping into a savings account or loading up a credit card to cover incidentals you didn’t see coming when you were packing your bags at home but are why you bought travel insurance in the first place. And while not catastrophic events, these annoyances can leave a sour note on an otherwise pleasant holiday or business trip.

Australian travellers now have access to the relaunched PassportCard, which has flipped conventional travel insurance on its head by introducing instant payments to policyholders for a range of common occurrences such as medical emergencies, lost, damaged or delayed baggage or stolen cash, valuables or technology.

In fact, these incidents are so common that they account for nearly six in every 10 travel insurance claims anywhere in the world, according to data from the Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The company, once known under its old name Travelcard from its initial entry into Australia in 2018, already has more than two million cardholders globally via its offices in Israel, Germany, the UK and is now seeking to make its mark once again in Australia.

For travellers, the claims process involves four steps which allows for payment to be made in minutes, instead of requiring travellers to fund their own restitution and wait for reimbursement long after they’ve returned home.

Petty theft on holiday is extremely annoying, but claiming doesn't need to take weeks.

PassportCard doubles as a prepaid, reloadable debit Mastercard, issued to customers once they purchase their policy ahead of departure.

In the event of a medical emergency, delayed luggage or stolen cash, policyholders call the company’s 24/7 Assistance Team, who conduct a rapid assessment, can approve a claim and pay out in a few minutes, with funds transferred and instantly accessible through the card’s debit facility with no excess charged.

This card can then be used like a debit card to settle medical debts or purchase lost essentials with up to $500 in replacement cash from a local ATM, anywhere Mastercard is accepted worldwide.

Claims made for items or incidents higher than these common values may incur an excess and may take longer to settle, with documentation required as proof such as police reports, airline luggage receipts and more.

Central to the platform’s viability is its exhaustively comprehensive database, built over 15 years, containing petabytes worth of metadata on common claims history and cost data from 150 countries, enabling it to predict the cost of specific claims for various inconveniences virtually anywhere in the world.

PassportCard CEO Peter Klemt says many travel insurance companies promise quick and hassle-free insurance policies but PassportCard “really delivers”.

“Insurance companies in Australia talk about responding to your claim in five or even 10 business days, but why wait?” Klemt said.

“Get instant payouts for approved claims anytime, anywhere - whether it’s a doctor in Denmark or delayed luggage in Lisbon. It’s the way insurance should be-quick, simple, and hassle-free.”

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 11 October 2023

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