Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection
|Headquarters||Stevens Point, WI, USA|
|Parent||Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance|
Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP) is a North American-based travel insurance company, headquartered in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The company also has regional offices located in Asheville, NC.
Business lines include MyAssist, a personal-assistance and mobile-telematics service, a travel-agent errors-and-omissions insurance group, and a technology-based travel-insurance division.
The company’s primary product is AirCare, which pays air travelers when common mishaps occur, including flight delays, missed connections (when scheduled connection times are 52 minutes or longer), and lost or delayed baggage (unless on an itinerary with connection times of 51 minutes or less).
BHTP is a division of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, which provides commercial property, casualty, healthcare liability, executive and professional lines of insurance and programs for customers across the United States. Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance underwrites on the paper of Berkshire Hathaway's National Indemnity group of companies, which hold financial strength ratings of A++ from AM Best and AA+ from Standard & Poor's. BHSI locations of operation include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Atlanta.
On Jan. 27, 2014, it was announced that Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance had signed an agreement with Noel Group to purchase the assets of MyAssist and Insure America. The purchase allowed BHSI to offer its customers 24-hour global personal assistance, virtual-concierge and connected-vehicle service as well as travel-industry liability insurance.
MyAssist is a virtual-concierge and personal-assistance service used primarily by companies as a value-added service for customers or employees, and by automobile manufacturers as part of their telematics packages. MyAssist customers include Ford Motor Company and Verizon Telematics.
BHTP’s current product is called AirCare. It is designed to keep travelers continuing on their journey with minimum hassles, even when encountering delays, cancellations or lost baggage. For a charge per trip, AirCare reimburses incidental losses up to predefined limits. Coverage under AirCare was changed in August, 2014 so that connections of 51 minutes or less are not allowed. In these cases, BHTP still charges the full AirCare premium of $25, but offers no coverage for the second flight, nor any coverage for baggage delay for either segment. On 17 October 2014, Berkshire Hathaway announced in an email to their existing customers that they were adding further restrictions to their AirCare product. These restrictions are as follows: policies need to be purchased at least 24 hours in advance (as opposed to one hour in advance) of the scheduled flight time, the missed connection benefit is reduced from $500 to $250, and no more than four connecting flights may be included on a single policy, with no more than two connecting flights per day. The premium remains the same at $25 per policy.
USA Today called BHTP “an innovative new company … aiming to cover snafus not covered elsewhere, with minimal effort on the part of the insured .” Travel + Leisure said AirCare is “simple, inexpensive travel insurance that covers what’s never been covered before ,” while Condé Nast Traveler said AirCare means that “put-upon fliers can get relief without having to depend on an airline to deliver it. ”
Other travel insurance products are currently in development. ExactCare, a comprehensive travel-insurance product, is currently going through state approvals.
Noel is an adherent of Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. All BHTP employees receive 7 Habits training as part of their onboarding and are encouraged to make business decisions based on the tenets of the 7 Habits philosophy.
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