Wealthy Client Support | ITJ

Everything is magnified for HNW

Sunderman recalls one specific case. “There is a famous/apocryphal story of a wealthy individual having a skiing accident in a European country and instead of trusting the local hospitals the patient was flown to the United States for treatment. result was very poor as they should have trusted the local surgeons to perform an immediate operation after the accident An assistance company like Collinson who are able to understand the most suitable treatment options available would have politely and firmly informed the wealthy person that they should have the surgery done locally.

Prominence makes it harder to fly under the public radar

“Otherwise, when we work with HNW clients, the expense is usually not a limiting factor and there is a natural instinct for clients when something is happening in a remote environment, for them to pay to be moved to a more familiar place. Despite this, I remember working with one particular HNW person who was cared for on a remote island. The gut instinct of the team on the ground was that the patient needed to be moved to a less remote location – and they could well have afforded to go anywhere in no time. But, following discussions with the medical team, it was clear to us that the patient was doing very well and that he did not need to be transferred to another country, which ultimately led to better results and a better customer experience.

Be safe on the road

Another way wealthy individuals will have peace of mind while traveling is by hiring security drivers, as the leading cause of death among travelers is
road accidents.
“Everything is amplified for HNWs – they have more influence and get more attention,” Sunderman says. “With increased visibility, a supplier needs to consider issues that the everyday traveler might not be as concerned about. For example, something like waiting in a queue suddenly poses risks to an HNW if they were to be identified.

On a practical level, wealthy individuals are usually covered by elite levels of insurance, which would normally include pre-departure security advice and training before even leaving the country.

The World Health Organization (WHO) counts crashes as “road fatalities per 100,000 vehicles”, and the gap between countries is significant. The United States reports 12.9, while most Western European countries and Japan are in the single digits. China sits at 104, India at 130, Nigeria at 615.
Although no driver can completely eradicate the possibility of a traffic accident, carefully selected safety drivers greatly mitigate the risk and reduce the likelihood.
“On the one hand, these drivers and their vehicles are checked against a variety of criteria by professionals with international experience,” writes Aviva Insurance. “Where possible and legal, they check a variety of critical factors which may include driver backgrounds, criminal and traffic records, specialist training, etc. They also ensure that vehicles meet objective standards of safety and comfort.
In addition, confidentiality clauses and individual non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are built into driver contracts to ensure that they are aware of the importance of maintaining the anonymity of their passengers and that penalties are applied accordingly. breach of confidentiality.

Provide protection officers

Another popular way to keep HNW travelers safe is to provide executive protection officers, whose responsibilities may include:

  • Verification of itinerary locations for personal safety prior to arrival
  • Provide close protection while the person goes about their business
  • Check-in at the traveler’s hotels to increase their anonymity and save them time
  • Ensure the HNW traveler is supported in unfamiliar surroundings, from obtaining forgotten medications to booking restaurants.

On a practical level, wealthy individuals are usually covered by elite levels of insurance, which would normally include pre-departure safety advice and training before they have even left the country. These levels usually have additional extras, like lounge access and travel assistance apps which are also usually provided by the assistance company. Once at their destination, insurers need their HNW customers to have 24/7 access to medical advice and doctors, kidnap and ransom coverage, and an extensive range of benefits with cashless arrangements and assistance.

Sunderman says that with HNW clients, another big challenge is mitigating the impact of an incident that a chief executive officer (CEO) may be in. Due to the nature of HNW customers, care should be taken to reduce the risk of fraud, blackmail or kidnapping, which may be heightened in some destinations. All of this can be even more complicated when traveling with an entourage.
“One of my most memorable experiences as an HNW client was working with the CEO of a major Australian power company and advising him before his leisure trip to Uzbekistan,” Sunderman recalls. “The client and his partner were on trips based on the ancient Silk Road route, which took them to places off the beaten track, and the fact that he was an HNW and a reasonably well-known figure, which would have been an interesting trip already, required incredible attention to detail.”
It seems that HNW clients expect immediate contact with the most experienced staff, no paperwork, no delays while waiting for cost approval and extreme attention to details from the most experienced staff. As such, Sunderman says, they’ll be looking for a support provider that can deliver an exceptional level of service.

This article originally appeared in

Assistance & Repatriation Review | April 2022

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