One year after Allianz introduced SmartBenefits to its travel insurance plans -- which gives customers automatic payments for covered flight delays -- the company is urging advisors to enter flight itineraries for clients so that they can reap the benefits.

Since SmartBenefits launched in July 2018, more than 1.1 million travelers have been insured with plans that have the feature. Allianz has monitored more than 80,000 flight itineraries and paid out over $500,000 in claims for qualifying customers. Those claims were for travel (85%) and baggage (15%) delays.

With the benefits, travelers or their travel advisors enter the flight itinerary into the customer policy details. A qualifying flight delay (three to five hours) automatically triggers a claim, and Allianz alerts the customer that they will receive $100 per person. If a customer enters a debit card as a payment method, they are paid within minutes. Allianz can also make the payments through direct deposit or mail a check.

Even though there are 1.1 million travelers covered through SmartBenefits, only 80,000 flight itineraries are monitored for delays. Allianz attributes that discrepancy to policy holders not entering their flight information in advance. 

The company urged travel advisors to take advantage of SmartBenefits for their clients and proactively enter their itineraries. Advisors can activate the proactive payment for flight delay for their clients by entering their flight information into AgentMax at least 48 hours prior to departure. The customer must also opt in for communications from Allianz.

"It's no fun waiting after a delay, but it's a much better experience when your insurance company covers your meal and drinks at the bar," Richard Aquino, vice president and head of sales at Allianz Global Assistance USA, said in a statement.

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