One fateful night, we received a call from our corporate client stating that one of their employees, who was on a work assignment in China, had met with an accident and passed away.
As a routine travel insurance procedure, we immediately activated the claim to our overseas partner, Allianz Global assistance (AGA), and requested them to provide us with the death certificate to decide the admissibility of the claim. After the admissibility was established, we decided to procure the mortal remains of the client from China.
We were looking at three hurdles, which under normal circumstances and means, were not easy for anyone to overcome.
- Document procurement from the Chinese government takes around 15 days. It seemed impossible to repatriate the mortal remains before that stipulated time.
- There were only Air India flights which operate twice in a week only, to repatriate the body from China to India.
- There was the excruciating language barrier.
But above all, we were moved by the bereavement of the customer’s family and the requests by the corporate HR to ensure the mortal remains reach India within 5 days.
What We Did
Understanding the seriousness of the situation, we could not wait till the Chinese government’s procedural TAT. We had our own timeframe to keep.
- We started by having a translator for every single communication. Getting all the 3 parties together was a bigger challenge ( BJAZ, Allianz Global assistance (AGA), Chinese Providers)
- We went one step ahead and we called the airport authorities in China and India .We spoke with the Air India Operation Head and came to know that we have only 2 days before the next scheduled flight takes off from there to India.
- The hands of our overseas partner were tied owing to Chinese government’s procedure. Yet we managed to clear the customs by getting in touch with the Indian embassy in China and apprising them of the unique situation.
- They empathized with us and assured us that they would speak with Chinese government to release the body at the earliest.
Meanwhile, we had requested the insured’s relatives in India to clear all the customs till the time mortal remains arrived at Mumbai airport. Finally, we got the confirmation that body will be released. The mortal remains arrived at Mumbai airport and were handed over to family members; we also arranged for an ambulance to transport the body to his native place in Maharashtra.
What was the Outcome
- The entire process was completed within 5 working days. The corporate and family members stated that they would never forget the help extended by Bajaj Allianz in the critical time.
As a travel team, we are constantly faced with such situations, and it not easy to keep your calm and think straight amidst such stressful situations. But the determinant spirit makes the team believe that nothing is impossible. Nothing is more gratifying than, our customer’s family taking time to appreciate the team, even in such difficult times.
Check out our travel insurance page for more information about the different insurance policies to buy when traveling abroad.