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Huge insurance savings for int. students

Huge insurance savings and benefits for international students.

Students paying less for more is usually wishful thinking – not for Uni-Care Educational Travel Insurance. “We’ve never been afraid of innovation to ensure the best protection and service at the best price for international students. I’m delighted that we are now able to offer so many of them our top policy for considerably less” says Ian Cameron, Uni-Care director, at the announcement of its new Premier Partnership package.

Uni-Care’s latest innovation is to offer its Premier policy, arguably the world’s most comprehensive medical and travel insurance, for only $450 p.a. to selected education providers– a 27% reduction in premium. This policy contains many features that Uni-Care introduced into the market, including unlimited medical and repatriation cover, mental illness cover, cover for returning students to New Zealand following an emergency back home, continuing treatment after medical repatriation, and a lot more.

Now, thanks to innovative work in issuing policies electronically and dealing with bulk claims electronically from tertiary institutions’ medical centres, Uni-care is able to offer to students of those institutions a large reduction in premium. “Early this year we stood back and watched as 1045 policies were issued in 45 minutes directly to the email accounts of students at the University of Canterbury,” said Ian Cameron.

For the past six months the medical centres at Waikato and Canterbury Universities have been submitting claims in bulk on behalf of students, saving time and energy for students, university staff, Uni-Care staff and the claims service. True to its philosophy of giving back to the industry, Uni-Care has reduced the premiums and is offering this Premier Partnership package to all tertiary institutions with on campus medical centres or comparable off campus facilities.

Even better for students and the industry, Uni-Care continues to return a considerable portion of its earnings to the Export Education industry. Surprisingly, Cameron has found it “incredibly difficult at times to persuade people that we are choosing to give money away with nothing expected in return” because people just can’t believe you can run a business that way. It’s possible because, unlike many insurance businesses, Uni-Care runs a compact technology driven business supported by excellent staff and relies on word of mouth marketing. “Our technology enables us to run our service with the same number of staff we employed when the number of students we insured was a third of what it is now”, says Cameron.

Funding donated by Uni-care is intended to be used to assist students who suffer medical and welfare related events that are not covered by insurance and that they cannot afford to fix themselves. It is “no strings attached” funding. The major proportion of it is returned to the partner institutions for their administration and extra student support but Uni-care funding also goes to professional and welfare support organisations engaged in promoting the well being of students and the industry. These include: ISANA: International Education Association, International Student Ministries (ISM), the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA), the Association of University Staff (for their Benevolent Fund), New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI) and others.

The Code of Practice (COP) made travel and medical insurance compulsory for international students less than a year ago. Uni-Care has been leading the educational travel insurance field for 21 years. Cameron says, “We want students to have the best protection at the best price. And we do that year after year by extending the cover, improving our service, relying on word of mouth marketing and by channelling hundreds of thousands of dollars back to institutions and those who can provide additional services for the students.” This approach, thought maverick and crazy by some, seems to have worked as Uni-Care has maintained its 21 year position of being the largest supplier of travel and medical insurance to international students in the country.

Quality of service and product is key to Uni-care. Strength, safety and sustainability are their watchwords. Cameron prefers others to tell that side of the story – these are the words of Principal Yvonne Browning following the illness of a student necessitating urgent medical evacuation to Europe; “Southland Girl’s High School is very relieved that Uni-Care provides quality cover for our international students. This has indeed been much comfort to our School and also to the student’s parents over the last month…”

Terry McGrath of International Student Ministries (ISM) said the following; “ISM was involved in arranging for a student to receive training while here so we had a lot to do with him. His illness last year was very debilitating and the recovery slow. The provision of insurance and their going the extra mile when the family returned home has helped them immensely. I can honestly say from knowing their personal circumstances and the trials they have been through that without the Uni-Care assistance they would have been a family in fairly dire straits”

Uni-Care Educational Travel Insurance has contracted ie Limited to facilitate the introduction of this new Premier Partnership package to educational providers.

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