Global claims and assistance providers CEGA have expanded their Special Investigations Unit with the appointment of an additional investigator; Geoff Foster.
Geoff brings more than 14 years’ experience of insurance to CEGA’s fraud team, five of which were spent with the provider’s own claims handling operation, from 2003 to 2008. His multidiscipline skills span several sectors of the industry, including motor and travel.
“Geoff’s appointment has been driven by a growing demand for our global fraud investigation services,” says CEGA’s Head of Technical Claims, Simon Cook. “His skills add considerable value to our existing team, which works with our representatives all over the world to provide desk-top and ‘on the ground’ investigations for travel, health and household claims.”
Geoff is soon to complete his formal professional investigator accreditation. Like his counterparts in the Special Investigations Unit, he will also play an active role in increasing fraud awareness amongst CEGA’s front-end claims handlers. Many of the latter are encouraged to pursue investigator qualifications themselves, as part of the provider’s proactive fraud detection initiatives.
Paris; Brussels; Munich and more…. Disturbing events in business travel locations that have long-been considered benign are on the rise. But how can businesses act quickly to find and help their people in a crisis, wherever they are in the world? What if employees are in the vicinity of a terror incident – or in a country whose government looks set to be overthrown? What if there has been a natural disaster and one of them is injured?
Experts from global assistance and security providers CEGA and Solace Global will have the answers at this year’s Business Travel Show.
They will explain how the integrated medical and security assistance service, INtrinsic, can help businesses to reduce employees’ risks overseas, to source integrated medical and security information from a single platform and to access one-stop emergency assistance via one point of contact. They will also introduce the latest phase of INtrinsic’s state-of-the art employee travel tracking technology.
“INtrinsic’s unified medical and security assistance can negate the unnecessary delays and costs often associated with disjointed supply chains; giving employers and employees peace of mind, wherever they are in the world,“ says Chris Knight, Head of Corporate Services at CEGA
“Its development has been guided by security and crisis management experts and our clients’ own risk management needs, providing a service that links seamlessly with existing travel risk management programmes,” adds Chris. “We look forward to sharing case studies and client insights to show just how well it helps protect employees travelling abroad.”
Find out more from CEGA and Solace Global at the Business Travel Show, Stand B251. You can also join a live discussion on INtrinsic at the show: 10am, Wednesday February 22nd.
Make sure that you’re registered with a GP; be open and honest about your medical history when you buy travel insurance and don’t drink excessively on holiday. This is the advice for winter holidaymakers from Dr Tim Hammond, Chief Medical Officer at CEGA, the claims and global assistance providers. Ignoring it could invalidate a travel insurance claim for medical expenses.
Dr Hammond’s first warning is made more pertinent by NHS England plans that could see patients removed from GPs’ lists if they do not contact their surgery for five years. “Even if a visit to the doctor isn’t necessary, it’s important to keep in touch at least once every five years,” says Dr Hammond. “If a travel insurance policyholder is not registered with a GP, an insurer cannot check their medical history - and this could invalidate a claim for medical expenses.”
“It is also important”, explains Dr Hammond, “for holidaymakers to volunteer information about any existing or historic medical problems when they buy a travel insurance policy. They can then find out if their existing condition is covered by their policy, if they need to pay an extra premium or if they need specialist cover.”
Other common causes of holidaymakers’ medical claims being turned down, says Dr Hammond, include excessive drinking. “If an accident follows a session of heavy drinking, any related travel insurance claim may well be turned down,” advises Dr Hammond. “With most insurance cover there’s no need to be teetotal on holiday – just be moderate.”
Dr Hammond tells holidaymakers: “Always talk to your travel insurer before you set off abroad if you have any questions about your policy. Your travel insurance provides an invaluable safety net if an emergency strikes while you’re overseas.”
Dr Tim Hammond, Chief Medical Officer for assistance and claims specialists CEGA sets out the less obvious risks of winter sports holidays - for devotees of skiing, strolling and après-ski alike.
The risks: Drinking alcohol at altitude will exacerbate its effects and increase the risk of feeling disoriented, having an accident and getting lost. And, if something does go wrong after over-indulging, your travel insurance may not cover you.
What to do: There’s no need to be teetotal on holiday – but avoid drinking excessively, and don’t walk home alone after an indulgent night out: temperatures drop dramatically after dark in the mountains and ski resorts are not the safest places in which to be lost.
The risks: Oxygen levels in high altitude resorts, especially in North America, are much lower than you may be used to. Nausea, confusion, headaches and shortness of breath can all be signs of altitude sickness. So too can concentration problems and slow reaction times.
What to do: Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive activity on the first day at high-altitude. You can even stagger your journey and gradually increase altitude over a few days. Bear in mind that children and sufferers of respiratory illnesses or reduced lung function will be most affected.
The risks: Mountain weather is unpredictable and a “white-out” on the slopes can come from nowhere. It can make it hard to see anything more than a few feet away and increase your chances of getting lost – even if you’re not skiing.
What to do: Stay close to other people and keep the person in front in view until you get to the bottom of the mountain. If it’s windy, stay away from the mountain edge and try to find shelter under trees. Call for help if you can’t find your way back.
The risks: Extremes of temperature can be felt in a single afternoon. A fierce sun can burn, whilst intense cold and wind can quickly cause frostbite (as can touching frozen metal with bare skin). Occasionally, hypothermia can even set in, causing excessive shivering, weakness and exhaustion, as well as slurred speech and mental uncertainty.
What to do: Wear plenty of sunscreen, cover your extremities and keep skin away from frozen metal. If your fingers, toes or ears begin to feel numb, get inside as quickly as possible to warm up. Finally, wear layered clothing so you can increase or decrease warmth as the temperature changes. And, if you think you’re experiencing signs of hypothermia, get professional help.
The cost of medical repatriation
The risks: You don’t have to be on skis to have an accident: slipping on ice outside your hotel could give you a broken leg. And if you need an emergency repatriation from a European ski resort, it could set you back up to £8,000 without insurance (even if you have a European Health Insurance Card). From the US or Canada it could cost you up to £70,000.
What to do: Take out a good travel insurance policy that covers everyone in your party for every activity that they plan to do (even if it’s only walking). And remember that a travel insurance policy doesn’t just cover the costs of repatriation - it also offers you a helping hand when you need it most.
Injuring a third party
The risks: You could be sued for an injury to a third party, if it’s deemed to be your fault. A personal liability claim can be made months after the event, when the full implications of an injury are clear – and it could bankrupt you if you don’t have insurance
What to do: If you want to avoid potentially high costs and litigation headaches, make sure your travel insurance policy includes personal liability cover.
Travel insurance fraud won’t be tolerated, nor will its perpetrators escape detection.
This is the message that claims and global assistance group CEGA is to give BBC viewers as it starts filming this week for BBC One’s latest Claimed and Shamed series.
Simon Cook, CEGA’s Head of Special Investigations and now a regular participant on Claimed and Shamed, expects millions of BBC viewers to tune into the programme: drawn by blow-by-blow accounts of outrageous travel insurance claims and the ever-more sophisticated measures taken to detect fraud.
“The travel insurance industry will go to great lengths to validate or negate a suspicious claim,” says Cook. “If this means questioning a doctor thousands-of-miles away; carrying out a face-to-face interview with a retail outlet in a foreign backwater or translating and scrutinising the most complicated medical evidence, we’ll do it.
“The travel insurance industry has to take a two-pronged approach to fraud: both increasing consumer awareness of its severity and employing effective detection techniques,” says Cook. “Claimed and Shamed is an invaluable media through which to do the former and to reinforce the message that fraud is a serious offence and fraudsters will be found out.”
The popular Claimed and Shamed Series will be broadcast again early next year.
Heart problems, long term illnesses and complex fractures are among the most common medical ailments at the source of private repatriations, according to CEGA, with demand spanning areas as diverse as southern Asia, the Caribbean and mainland Europe. Among those requesting the repatriations are uninsured individuals; business travellers; government organisations and even royalty.
“The demand for medical repatriations is greatest from Europe, says “Cecilia Geofilo-Pearson, CEGA’s Business Development Manager, “but we are getting requests from all over the world - ranging from straightforward road journeys and scheduled flights with medical escorts, to intensive care air ambulance transfers that necessitate full medical management, complex travel arrangements and hospital admission.
“A repatriation involves much more than a journey,” adds Ms Geofilo-Pearson. “An individual injured or taken ill abroad should expect it to come hand-in-hand with, among other things, travel arrangements made for relatives, translation services and expert medical supervision from start to finish.”
Ms Geofilo-Pearson warns against using inexperienced repatriation providers that lack the backing of a multi-skilled team. “The welfare of the patient can be put at risk if providers don’t take the time to fully assess a patient’s needs, to organise exactly the right transport and care to meet those needs and to support them throughout the journey.” She cites a recent case involving a young man with a spinal injury whose attempted repatriation from the other side of the world was hampered by a provider who tried to organise transport that would have worsened his injury and whose doctor deserted him at the airport. CEGA was later asked to (successfully) take on the repatriation.
For more information email: email@example.com +44 (0) 1243 621 107
Jonathan Brown, Risk Team Manager at CEGA, the global risk, assistance and claims specialists, shares some pre-travel tips with employers:
Be prepared for every eventuality – and go well beyond pre-travel vaccinations. Just for a start, you need to think about the current health needs of your employee/s: for instance, do they rely on regular prescriptions or are they diabetic - and do accompanying family members suffer from any medical conditions? Also find out about the capabilities and limitations of local routine medical and dental care in situ. Will it meet your employee’s needs or will you have to provide access to extra support? And you’ll need to know about the prevalence of contagious diseases, rabid dogs, poisonous stings and unsafe drinking water, as well as the suitability and accessibility of emergency care. Above all, make sure your employee/s can take the right precautions and knows exactly what to do and who to contact in an emergency.
Find out if the political situation is stable and if conflict or terrorism is likely to strike in the future – and remember that things can change quickly. Is it safe for your employee to walk around alone at night or during the day, or is kidnapping and mugging prevalent? Do they know how to avoid unwelcome attention and cultural clashes? What about protecting themselves against credit card or mobile phone cloning or insecure Wi-Fi networks? It’s up to you to have the right processes in place to keep them safe and to make sure they know how to mitigate risk and react to security threats.
Get advice about the climate: is there a danger of excessive heat or cold? Are earthquakes, hurricanes or floods likely? Let your employee/s know the procedure if a natural disaster strikes. And educate them about heatstroke and other heat-related problems, or how best to cope in plunging temperatures.
4. Emergency assistance
How will you locate your employee/s if an emergency strikes? Could an evacuation be implemented quickly and what would it involve? How do you know that your emergency planning will work? Will your staff know exactly what to do? A matter of minutes can turn a minor incident into a catastrophe - but planning ahead with real-life scenarios can help to avert this.
Make sure your employee/s feel supported and prepared, not just for their destinations but also for their journeys. Many employers forget that travel itself can be hazardous, especially if it involves crossing high-risk countries. Anticipate the risks before a deployment overseas and put in place the appropriate safeguards, training and procedures. You won’t just be meeting duty of care obligations, you’ll also be investing in a safe and productive workforce.
Healthcare and emergency medical support specialist International Medical Management (IMM) has secured a partnership with global medical and security assistance provider CEGA.
Aberdeen headquartered IMM, which provides travel and health services has increased turnover to £500,000 in the last year following contract wins in the oil and gas, renewables and fishing industries.
IMM operates the only travel clinic in Aberdeen to be accredited by the Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad (MASTA).
The new strategic alliance with CEGA, a provider of medical and security assistance with a world-wide reach will give energy industry clients emergency access to global trauma doctors, together with medical support from CEGA’s 24-hour UK response centre.
Susan Reid, general manager of Aberdeen-headquartered IMM said: “Despite the downturn, we have continued to grow and invest in our personnel, technology and capability to provide a unique “out of the box” way of thinking on how best to provide health care for the energy industry.
“Partnering with CEGA allows us to offer a holistic medical service. CEGA’s multinational, multi-sectoral expertise significantly expands our network. In the management of CEGA we have found like-minded professionals who share our vision achieving a service provision that is driven by our clients’ unique requirements where we then work collaboratively to achieve their global operational needs.”
Jody Baker, commercial director at CEGA Group, added: “This partnership delivers optimum medical support to workers in the oil, gas and renewable energy industries, by uniting the skills of our specialist clinical teams worldwide.
“Our current support to the offshore subsea sector has provided us with a global knowledge of the energy industry. IMM’s determination to drive change and employee welfare was a key factor in our decision to work with them as our preferred partner.”
BBC viewers are to have twice-weekly doses of travel insurance fraud warnings - starting next week - as our Head of Special Investigations, Simon Cook, takes to the screen in BBC One’s popular Claimed and Shamed programme. The series is to be presented by Strictly’s Ore Oduba.
Simon will talk more than a million potential viewers through far-fetched travel insurance claims: hammering home the message that the penalties for fraudsters are harsh.
He says: “Travel insurance fraudsters come all walks of life and include doctors, celebrities and even solicitors. But I want to let potential fraudsters know that there is nowhere to hide and their scams will be uncovered in all four corners of the world.”
Simon and his UK team work with global investigators to get to the bottom of suspicious travel insurance claims that range from fabricated deaths and made-up muggings, to doctor and patient collusions and false medical bills. They use a huge variety of detection techniques that include face-to-face meetings, cognitive interviewing and investigations of overseas medical centres. With translation services at their fingertips, they communicate with doctors, police, retail outlets and more - wherever they are in the world, whatever language they speak.
Simon will appear on Claimed and Shamed twice-weekly for the next four weeks. This is the fourth time that he features on the programme, which gains popularity year-on-year.
Watch Simon on Claimed and Shamed at 11am on BBC One to find out more: starting next Tuesday and Wednesday October 18th and 19th.
The revelation comes as thousands of post-summer-holiday travel insurance claims are submitted: a minority of which are dishonest.
“Although the vast majority of travel insurance claims are honest, those that are not are often submitted by individuals who don’t in any way match the typical fraudster profile,”, says Simon Cook, Head of Special Investigations for CEGA. “They include those working in professional trades who feel that they are entitled, after they have paid for travel insurance, to exaggerate or inflate genuine claims - especially those for lost or stolen possessions.”
“Fraudsters don’t realise that their claims will be closely scrutinised,” says Simon. “But their scams are investigated in all four corners of the world, leaving them nowhere to hide. They could even end up with a criminal record”
Travel insurance fraudsters span both sexes and all age groups, concludes Simon.
The achievement follows CEGA’s considerable investment in fraud awareness initiatives and training across the company’s entire travel claims and assistance operation. This has included preparing multi-disciplined staff, both within and beyond its fraud unit, for fraud investigation qualifications.
“Maximising fraud awareness and skills amongst both our investigators and our front-end staff has been fundamental in increasing our investigations and number of client savings,” says CEGA’s Head of Special Investigations, Simon Cook. “The results are testament to the value of our integrated in-house claims, assistance and fraud investigation provision.”
The news comes in the wake of recent success for CEGA’s Gary Wimbledon, who has been shortlisted for the Young Investigator of the Year title in this year’s Insurance Fraud Awards. His colleague. Adam Grady, won the title last year.
Charles Taylor plc announced today that it has acquired CEGA Group (CEGA), a specialist provider of technical medical assistance and travel claims management services. The acquisition will enable Charles Taylor to offer new services to its clients and to establish deeper relationships with global insurers. It will strengthen CEGA’s position in the UK market and enable CEGA to realise its ambitions to grow in international markets.
CEGA is a market-leading provider of medical assistance and travel claims management services to insurers. It provides a high-quality, seamlessly integrated end-to-end service, which combines medical assistance with claims and case management, pre-travel advice, medical screening and corporate travel contingency planning.
CEGA is an excellent fit with Charles Taylor. It brings additional technical, high value-add services to the Group which complement Charles Taylor’s existing capabilities. CEGA has long-standing relationships with large, high profile insurers, some of which are new to Charles Taylor, and these offer the opportunity to cross-sell the Group’s other professional services. In addition, Charles Taylor’s businesses and its major clients regularly use medical assistance services. This means the Group is well-positioned to support CEGA’s long-term growth.
CEGA will continue to be run by its current management team. Alistair Hardie, CEGA’s CEO, will report to David Marock, Charles Taylor’s Group CEO and will join the Group’s Executive Committee. CEGA’s clients will continue to be served by their existing teams, and will benefit from Charles Taylor’s financial strength, its operational and technological capabilities, the breadth and depth of its client relationships and its global reach.
The transaction marks an important step forward in Charles Taylor’s business strategy to grow by developing new professional services lines, which are closely-related to its core business, through targeted acquisitions. It forms part of the Group’s overall business strategy of delivering growth organically and through investments.
Liberum advised Charles Taylor on the transaction. CEGA was advised by Meridian Corporate Finance.
David Marock, Group Chief Executive Officer, Charles Taylor said:
"The acquisition of CEGA opens another exciting chapter in the growth and development of Charles Taylor. CEGA is one of the UK’s leading providers of travel assistance services and works closely with major insurers which form an important part of our client base. The acquisition will enable us to further deepen and develop these important relationships.
The services of our two businesses are highly complementary and the acquisition adds to the wide range of technical insurance services offered by Charles Taylor. We can see significant opportunities for profitable joint-working. We have client relationships across the global insurance and industrial markets, which mean that we will be able to support CEGA’s continued growth. We will also be able to offer new high-value medical assistance and claims management services to our existing clients.”
Alistair Hardie, Chief Executive Officer, CEGA Group, said:
““I am delighted that CEGA has become a member of the Charles Taylor Group. CEGA has built a market-leading range of services including international assistance, medical transfers, claims management and pre-travel consultancy. As part of the Charles Taylor Group we will have access to resources, expertise and global networks to realise our ambitions to drive growth and develop new markets for our services, and importantly further improve the competitiveness of our core proposition for our existing insurer and corporate clients.”
Notes to Editors
About Charles Taylor plc www.ctplc.com
Charles Taylor plc is a leading provider of professional services to clients across the global insurance market. The Group has been providing services since 1884 and today employs over 1,300 staff in 69 offices spread across 28 countries in the UK, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The Group offers services, principally on a fee-based model and operates through three businesses – Management, Adjusting and Insurance Support Services. Charles Taylor also owns insurers, creating value through select acquisitions and operational efficiency.
About CEGA Group http://www.cegagroup.com
CEGA Group is one of the leading independent providers of global risk management, emergency assistance and claims management services. CEGA provides services to a blue-chip client base that includes many of the world's leading banks, insurance companies, government departments and other global brands.
CEGA’s Gary Wimbledon has fought off stiff competition to be shortlisted for the Young Fraud Investigator of the Year Award in the 2016 Insurance Fraud Awards. The news comes just a year after fellow special investigator Adam Grady scooped the same accolade.
Twenty-eight-year-old Gary, who joined CEGA’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) three years ago, has made a significant contribution to our global fraud investigations across a variety of insurance disciplines.
“This nomination is both a personal triumph for Gary and further recognition of the enduring efficacy of our SIU, which generates client savings in all four corners of the world,” says CEGA’s Head of Special Investigations, Simon Cook.
We now wait with bated breath until October 6th, when the award’s judges give their final verdict at a London ceremony.
Iraq, Somalia and Pakistan are among the many countries from which demand for integrated medical and security assistance is coming, says the provider. Specific requests have ranged from security risk assessments for emergency medical evacuations, security management for journeys to employees’ medical appointments and employee search services in hospitals that are in areas of conflict.
“In recent years, several once-safe employee destinations have been relegated to the Foreign Office list of high-risk places to visit, thanks to political instability, terrorism and other threats,” says CEGA’s Commercial Director, Jody Baker. “As this travel risk landscape changes, employers are becoming increasingly aware of their duty of care obligations and seeking more comprehensive assistance services to support their mobile workforces in all four corners of the world.”
CEGA Group, the provider of travel assistance, risk management and claims services, has appointed Mike Flippance as head of retail and international private health insurance services. The move further extends CEGA’s offering to travel and health insurers and complements its appointment last month of a head of corporate services.
CEGA Group has appointed a Head of Corporate Services: extending its risk management and assistance capabilities for insured corporate travellers and supporting the recent launch of its integrated medical and security service, INtrinsic.
The over 50’s are submitting travel insurance claims from all four corners of the world, from Aruba to Australia and Mexico to Morocco - in a clear indication that their spirit of adventure is alive and kicking.
Chichester-based CEGA, the global emergency assistance, risk and claims management experts, are looking to boost regional employment opportunities by drawing on local talent to expand their successful operation.
The news comes after several months of growth for CEGA, which employs nearly 400 staff across Funtington and Bournemouth sites, and looks after business travellers and holidaymakers all over the world. Its remit covers everything from managing global repatriations and emergency medical care, to booking alternative accommodation and travel for Britons in need abroad - on behalf of some of the best known brands in the insurance, banking and corporate worlds.
Advice from Dr Tim Hammond, Chief Medical Officer for CEGA.
It’s not just skiing that may be enticing you to the slopes. There’s also snowboarding, snowshoeing, sledging, paragliding, ice-skating and ski jeering … the list goes on. And with this greater choice comes greater risk. Here are ten tips to help keep you and your family safe…
An innovative travel risk management programme - INtrinsic - has been launched for insurers and organisations sending employees abroad, providing a full range of medical and security services via a single contact point.
The INtrinsic programme aims to ensure that companies with employees overseas are able to prepare for the unexpected, to keep staff safe and to reduce travel risk in an emergency abroad. The product of a strategic partnership between CEGA, the global medical assistance and risk management providers, and Solace Global, the security specialists, it comprises comprehensive staff training, travel risk mitigation measures, usable technology, 24/7 response capabilities and post-event evaluation.
Thousands of BBC viewers will find out about the folly of travel insurance fraud in February, when Head of Special Investigations for CEGA, Simon Cook, takes to the screen to explain that no stone is left unturned in the industry’s quest to expose fraudsters - wherever they are in the world.
BBC One’s Claimed and Shamed will see Simon talking viewers through a supposed car break-in near Mumbai, a fictitious death in Nigeria and cosmetic surgery posing as emergency medical treatment in Lebanon - all exposed with the help of CEGA’s investigators “on the ground” overseas. Meanwhile, Simon and his team also get to the bottom of a suspicious mobile phone theft in Spain, after desktop investigations back in the UK.
“The message to travel insurance fraudsters is clear,” says Simon. “We will go to great lengths to investigate suspicious claims all over the world - however complex and distant they may seem.”
This is CEGA’s third appearance on the successful Claimed and Shamed series, which attracts over a million morning viewers. By shining a spotlight on fraud, the series has acted as a catalyst to increase the volume of reports of suspected insurance fraud submitted to the Insurance Fraud Bureau’s (IFB) Cheatline.
You can watch CEGA in Claimed and Shamed on Thursday 18th, Friday 19th, Monday 22nd and Wednesday 24th February: BBC One at 11:45am.
Following the recent terrorist attacks in France and advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france), please contact your tour operator and refer to the telephone number in your travel policy.
Thousands of travel insurance customers are now using Barclays PIngit to receive instant claims payments via their mobile phone numbers, according to CEGA, the global emergency assistance, risk and claims management provider.
Following the recent announcement from the UK Foreign office (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt), advising against all but essential travel by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh. UK carriers will not take passengers directly to Sharm el Sheikh airport. Please contact your tour operator to confirm your travel policy and refer to the telephone number provided.
CEGA, the global emergency assistance, risk and claims management provider, is delighted to announce that it has been appointed to provide multilingual emergency assistance services on behalf of White Horse Insurance Ireland Ltd.
CEGA Air Ambulance recently united its medical and aviation teams with its specialist NHS partners for a simulation training day in its fixed wing air ambulance - the first training initiative of its kind to involve all three disciplines.
CEGA is growing - and investing in people is high on the list of our business priorities.
The fraud investigation skills of CEGA’s Adam Grady were celebrated last night at the Insurance Fraud Awards, when he won the coveted title of Young Fraud Investigator of the Year.