SOURCE: APRIL Travel Protection

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December 09, 2014 10:21 ET

APRIL's Jason Schreier Expounds on Differences Between U.S. Insurance Market Versus Mature European Market

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwired - December 09, 2014) - Jason Schreier, CEO of APRIL-USA, the U.S. division of 26-year-old APRIL Travel Protection (www.AprilTravelProtection.com), is embarking on a campaign to educate Americans on the difference between the insurance market in the U.S. and Europe's significantly more mature industry -- and the implications for travelers.

Since launching the U.S. division of APRIL Travel Protection in 2013, the company's mission has been to change consumers' perception of travel protection, starting with developing an understanding of why Americans have negative views of insurance companies.

U.S. consumers have become all too used to convoluted legal jargon and complicated agreements. While these agreements are created primarily to protect companies from liability, many feel the practice is intended to trick them into agreeing to terms they otherwise wouldn't.

"No one has time to read a 45-page text in small print every time iTunes updates their EULA and many people wouldn't understand it if they did," noted Schreier, drawing a comparison to end user license agreements consumers are required to sign on a regular basis.

Similarly, many consumers in the U.S. insurance market expect their provider to look for an out-clause in the fine print of their insurance agreement. Policyholders feel that once they pay their premium, their insurance company would prefer not to hear from them again and, therefore, purchase policies reluctantly with the anticipation of having to fight tooth and nail for reimbursements throughout a lengthy claims procedure.

"This is only partially true, of course. In many cases, U.S. travel insurance policies pay out on claims. Unfortunately, the average process can take months and often requires significant paperwork. By then, the consumer's vacation has already been ruined and they may have suffered financial strain in the process," said Schreier.

In comparison, the travel insurance industry in Europe is a much larger and mature market. "Virtually all travelers purchase coverage and it's seen as a necessity," observed Schreier.

"Europeans expect more from their insurance company, which has led to an environment where companies operating in a progressive manner are rewarded with market share. This fierce level of competition forces providers to seek innovative ways to stand out," explained Schreier.

APRIL's success throughout Europe and Latin America -- and now in the U.S. -- is based on the company's mission to create a nurturing relationship with policyholders.

At the core of this philosophy lies APRIL's "instant adjudication" -- a ground-breaking innovation which means the policy pays to resolve the consumers' problems on-the-spot while the vacationer is still traveling. This makes it possible for policyholders to enjoy their vacation without having to worry about out of pocket expenses in an emergency -- an all too familiar burden for American travelers.

APRIL Travel Protection adopted instant adjudication as the centerpiece of its signature 'Stress Less Benefits' and is the only insurance company to offer this progressive benefit to U.S. policyholders. 

Every policy sold by APRIL Travel Protection and its supplier partners offers instant adjudication for a wide range of potential inconveniences that can't be predicted in advance, including severe weather or natural disasters as well as injury, sickness, death, job loss or relocations, supplier default, terrorism, military duty, strikes and more.

"Not all policies are created equally," Schreier said. "The challenge is cutting through Americans' hardened distrust of insurance companies."

APRIL has made tremendous strides in the 18 months since its U.S. launch and has been forging relationships with some of the travel industry's biggest players from leading operators such as STA Travel to travel insurance comparison sites such as Squaremouth.

With regard to Squaremouth in particular, APRIL climbed into the site's top 5 in less than six months and has continued to gain momentum, ascending to the #4 spot in November 2014.

Even more importantly, APRIL received the second-lowest percentage of negative reviews to sales, a testament to policyholders' satisfaction.

While APRIL remains competitive with other U.S. insurance companies on price point, the company's value proposition is far more important: simple agreements and services that are easily understood by customers and a progressive philosophy that comes through for policyholders at the exact time they need it.

APRIL's pro-active approach to support keeps up with travelers' evolving needs with a multi-lingual team and 24/7 toll-free access from most destinations as well as other convenient support channels from Skype to texting, email and live chat. APRIL is the first company to pioneer these support mechanisms for American travelers as well as other innovative benefits including instant adjudication.

APRIL creates a nurturing relationship with every client and educates policyholders on the full scope of support and services available to them.

More than "just" travel insurance, APRIL's recent introduction of Concierge and Travel Assistance Services help make clients' travel experiences more enjoyable with express airport security assistance, innovative smartphone travel applications, identity theft protection, airport parking, retail discounts, restaurant referrals, event ticketing and language services -- automatically included with any APRIL Travel Protection policy for U.S. residents.

For more information, contact APRIL Travel Protection at 855-277-4587, email info@AprilTravelProtection.com or visit www.AprilTravelProtection.com.

About APRIL Travel Protection

APRIL Travel Protection is owned by APRIL, an international group with 45 operational companies in more than 40 different countries. APRIL is listed on Euronext Stock Exchange and has yearly sales of more than $1.1 billion. 

With its guiding principles to build trust, push boundaries, innovate and keep it simple, APRIL Global Assistance Network benefits from an extensive organizational structure servicing more than six million policyholders worldwide.

The company's U.S. division is supported by American Modern Insurance Group (an AM Best A+ rated carrier) as its preferred underwriter and is headquartered at 11900 Biscayne Blvd. Suite 600, Miami, FL, 33181.

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