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TravelEx/Stonebridge?


nothriver

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I've used TravelEx for trip insurance several times in the past with the good fortune of never having to use their services, however I'm always lured in by the free package for my children.

 

I've just booked an upcoming Europe cruise and noticed that TravelEx is now underwritten by Stonebridge Casualty? They used to be underwritten by Old Republic.

 

My question: Does anyone know why the underwriting company for TravelEx has changed? I've never heard of Stonebridge, I see they are A- rated where I believe Old Republic was an A+. I'm a little concerned about relibility (was VERY glad to have had trip insurance with TravelEx/Old Republic back in '08 rather than AIG when they about went bankrupt!), and also wondering whether this has effected the claims service in any way?

 

Thanks in advance!

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Thanks Pat.

 

Checking my old travel documents, and I see when we used TravelEx in '09 it underwriten by Old Republic, in '10 it was Nationwide, and now it is Stonebridge.

 

I'm not familiar with how the trip insured/underwritng companies relationship works. Maybe they all switch underwriting companies all the time and this is a non-issue?

 

I know it has been another rough year for property and casualty insurers and I just want to make sure that the trip insurance I purchase today is underwritten with a company that will be solvent at the time of our trip in 9 months!

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I can tell you that TravelEx along with many other travel insurance claims all go to TripMate for claims review. They handle Stonebridge, US Fire, Nationwide and others. So all the claims are handled by the same compant. When I just had a claim when you went to check on it I had to choose from about 12 different plans they serviced.

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Thank you, good to know!

 

I can tell you that TravelEx along with many other travel insurance claims all go to TripMate for claims review. They handle Stonebridge, US Fire, Nationwide and others. So all the claims are handled by the same compant. When I just had a claim when you went to check on it I had to choose from about 12 different plans they serviced.
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I've used TravelEx for trip insurance several times in the past with the good fortune of never having to use their services, however I'm always lured in by the free package for my children.

 

I've just booked an upcoming Europe cruise and noticed that TravelEx is now underwritten by Stonebridge Casualty? They used to be underwritten by Old Republic.

 

My question: Does anyone know why the underwriting company for TravelEx has changed? I've never heard of Stonebridge, I see they are A- rated where I believe Old Republic was an A+. I'm a little concerned about relibility (was VERY glad to have had trip insurance with TravelEx/Old Republic back in '08 rather than AIG when they about went bankrupt!), and also wondering whether this has effected the claims service in any way?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Travelex is still using Old Republic for some of its plans (for example the TraveLite plan) and in the past couple of years has also used Nationwide (currently being used for the Travel Net plan). The underwriter calls the shots on how claims are handled. The plans underwritten by Nationwide had the claims administration done by a third party -- Trip Mate out of Kansas City. I'm not sure about Travelex, but other insurers that have Stonebridge as their underwriter do their claims in-house.

 

I'm sure a large part of the decision on which underwriter to use is cost. A travel insurer comes up with a new plan then sits down with a number of underwriters and a bunch of number crunchers and they see who can offer the best deal based on the plan provisions and coverages, the expected premiums and the expected losses. If underwriter A can offer to do the underwriting for a little less than underwriter B (leaving more $$ on the table for the travel insurer) and everything else being equal they'll go with underwriter A.

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Thank you for the explaination, Cruiseco. Interesting! So the underwriting company does have an effect on claims service. Makes it difficult to search reviews on claims service for Travelex and know which underwriting companies were involved, however?

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Thank you for the explaination, Cruiseco. Interesting! So the underwriting company does have an effect on claims service. Makes it difficult to search reviews on claims service for Travelex and know which underwriting companies were involved, however?

 

Travelex has never paid a claim -- the underwriter pays the claims. If you filed a claim against a TraveLite plan the check would be from Old Republic. A claim on the old Travel Select plan would come from Nationwide, and so on. Because all claims come from the underwriter's bank account they have a great deal of say in how those claims are handled. Some will insist on the use of a third-party administrator like Trip Mate. In fact, this is how CSA got into the business. At first they did nothing but administer policies for other insurers before eventually coming out with their own plans. That's why they just use CSA and not their full name -- Customized Services Administrators.

 

Whether a third party is used or if the claims are handled in-house there will ALWAYS be some employees of the underwriter personally keeping an eye on everything -- spot checking approved claims, making the final decision if there's something that falls into a gray area, etc.

 

The use of a third-party administrator can be the decision of the underwriter or it can be the decision of the travel insurance company. For example, CSA is underwritten by Stonebridge and does their claims in-house, which they have lots of experience doing. But another company also using Stonebridge may decide they don't want to take on that function and have it done by someone else. But either way, Stonebridge people will be right there overseeing how their money is spent. And the way they do this may be subtly different from the way Nationwide or Old Republic would handle the same process.

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