Mr Lee Gerry, Expatriate Group Director, has been with the company for over 12 years. We’ve had the privilege of having him for an interview last year to discuss Expatriate Group’s rebranding. Now we have another opportunity to catch up with him and check on the developments following the company’s rebranding, as well as his personal insights on the latest trends and developments in the IPMI industry.
Learn more from Mr Gerry’s full interview below.
A: Expatriate Group’s products and services are constantly evolving. We are under a continuous enhancement process, looking for all the 1% improvements and marginal gains to our customer service, as well as introducing new products and benefits to widen and enhance our existing portfolio.
We’ve just completed an overhaul of our online system to simplify the enrolment and fulfilment of our healthcare and travel products. These have been well received by customers, especially the new improved travel benefits and healthcare areas of cover.
In another recent advance, we replaced our Term Life underwriting facility. The new facility allows us to contract with customers in many more countries, as well as allowing terms of up to 30 years.
Our vision is to be a one-stop shop insurer for all an expatriate’s insurance needs, wherever they are in the world.
A: All our customer facing software systems are bespoke to our business. We are in the midst of final testing our new online claims platform for healthcare and travel claims.
We’ve been working hard to provide a fully sign-posted claims application process. This will fully analyse the claim throughout the process, only asking pertinent questions and requesting data from customers that is appropriate in support of their claim.
It all sounds very simple but getting those processes absolutely accurate is a difficult balance.
Striving to achieve the system adding the most value, with as light a touch as possible required from the customers while giving our claims team all the data they require to make an early decision is quite difficult.
Ultimately, if the customers using the system think it’s a ‘simple system’, then we would have achieved our aim.
A: The rebrand from Expatriate Healthcare to Expatriate Group has enabled us to shine a light on our other products. The healthcare focus in the early days, has forged our core customer base, with which, we have seen so much success. It’s these same customers who have also requested different products from us, outside the healthcare arena.
Our international travel policy for expats has been a wonderful success: allowing people around the world access to a ‘western style’ travel policy, which they didn’t necessarily have access to before. Providing these type of products to our customers is really important to us.
Many people around the world are going uninsured because either, they don’t have access to relevant products or, the products available to them don’t have the security or customer service that they need and can be relied upon.
We have a responsibility to our customers to make sure that they do. We’re looking to replicate that with our new term life facility, now that we can take this in to new territories and offer longer term contracts to customers.
A: Customers are continuing to want to automate the processes that sit around insurance products and the services afforded by the plans. Whilst this isn’t a trend that this exclusive to international iPMI, there is a much greater demand from automated processes from international customers across all product lines. There is a much greater reliance and trust in system driven processes from our international customers than we see from domestic customers.
Systems are fantastic at taking over the heavy lifting – especially for applications/renewals and any resulting claim. But that poses us with a different problem: At Expatriate Group were very proud of our customer service and we relish the opportunity to communicate and serve our members. Therefore we have to find that balance between offering online automated process, and then ensuring that we have the ability to be available to customers when we are needed. To do this we employ things like direct phone lines (no IVR or switchboard), so you go straight through to a customer services operative. And online live help, which has taken over phone calls in the main way we are contacted by our customers.
A: International Healthcare insurance is our core product and it’s the one for which we are best known. However, we now have new customers who have joined us because of one of our other products – so you could say that there is a change of focus, that’s somewhat been forced on us by the needs of new customers. Ultimately, we don’t want to be known for any one particular product. We want to be known as the company who can protect an expat’s life overseas, for all of their accident and health concerns. Whether that’s disability, personal accident, life, travel or healthcare – or the other new products we’re introducing. IPMI will still be an important item in our one-stop shop.
A: Our immediate focus is making the new term life facility available online. We’re in the process of transitioning the existing system from the old product, to our new Term Life Binding Authority.
This is the only international online term life facility that allows online end-to-end enrolment and monthly premium collections. So it’s important to us that we showcase what’s really possible when you put your mind to it, for the benefit of the international community seeking to cover their lives overseas.
And so it continues, as we have another new ‘world first’ product in the final development stage, soon to be launched. It’s exciting times, as always at Expatriate Group.