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‘Is this normal?’: Major travel insurer grappling with claims backlog

Southern Cross Travel Insurance says its biggest challenge is recruiting enough assessors. Photo / File

Some customers of Southern Cross Travel Insurance face long delays in getting claims settled, with the company today telling claimants it is assessing cases lodged in early September.

“Please note, it is taking us much longer than normal for our team to process claims,” ​​the company said in a message on its website.

That means some claimants have waited four and a half months for their claims to be dealt with.

One customer who posted about his claim delay on Reddit said “wtf is the backlog?? is this normal?’

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SCTI Chief Executive Jo McCauley said the company knew delays in claims reimbursement were frustrating.

“Currently 50 per cent of claims are processed within 10 days and we expect to increase the percentage of claims processed within our target timeframe of 15 working days by the end of February.”

McCauley said international travel had returned faster than anticipated and the level of claims in the last six months was an 11 percent increase on pre-pandemic levels.

The company had also reduced its team due to Covid-19 and was now recruiting and training new assessors as fast as it could in a tight labor market.

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“This shortfall in experienced claims assessors has been the most significant factor in the delays in claims processing for some of our customers.”

“Our 24/7 emergency assistance line for Southern Cross Travel customers continuously operates, ensuring that we are there to provide advice and service for people in their moment of need, no matter where in the world they are.”

It’s the latest in a series of headaches for the tourism industry, with travelers already facing the increased likelihood of flight disruptions and the prospect of long delays in tracking down lost luggage.

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