HOUSTON – June 20, 2019 – AIG Travel, a global leader in travel insurance and travel assistance services, has launched an educational initiative designed to boost awareness of student travel safety considerations and help students journey safely and confidently, anywhere in the world. The initiative, encompassing a dedicated Student Travel Safety microsite, a related webcast, social media outreach and more, focuses on sharing practical advice, actionable tips and helpful resources for students, their parents, study abroad organizations, universities and other key stakeholders.
“Domestic and international travel, for both educational and leisure opportunities, is popular among students of all ages, but given the increased risks they face while traveling, more can be done to enhance their safety and wellbeing,” said Jeff Rutledge, CEO, AIG Travel. “Whether students are venturing off for an international field trip, a study abroad program, sports tournament, volunteer mission, vacation with friends or other purpose, a comprehensive safety and preparation plan can mitigate risk and help ensure they enjoy travel and the valuable experiences it can bring.”
More than 332,000 American students studied abroad for academic credit in 2016-17, a 2.3 percent increase over the prior academic year and a 37.6 percent rise in 10 years, according to a 2018 fact sheet from the Institute of International Education. The Forum on Education Abroad has reported that 10 percent of U.S. students who studied abroad filed an insurance claim.
While every traveler is different, students may not have a significant amount of global travel experience. Their chosen activities, transportation choices and housing during their journeys all impact their risk profiles. Students on shoestring budgets are more likely to make compromises on accommodations and transportation, such as staying in less expensive hotels, hostels, home-share rentals or campus dorms, perhaps with people they’ve only recently met. Student travelers also often rely on walking, biking, using scooters or public transportation like trains, buses, ride-sharing services and university-provided vans and shuttles. These forms of accommodation and transportation may be less secure than other options.
When compared to the typical business or leisure traveler, students are likely to be more adventurous and immersed in local culture, conduct more intra-country and regional travel, engage more in nightlife activities, and spend more time at their destinations. Even the most diligent traveler can become complacent about personal wellbeing, and being adventurous exposes students to greater safety, security, health and even cultural and legal risks.
The risk-mitigation advice, tips and resources on AIG Travel’s Student Travel Safety microsite are directed primarily at students, but much of the content is pertinent for all travelers, and may also serve as a resource for parents, faculty and study abroad organizations as they seek to facilitate student travel safety.
Universities and study abroad programs are responsible for their students’ wellbeing and can take vital steps to help decrease risk and offer appropriate duty of care for their students. Also, parents and guardians, who often finance student travel abroad, have a need and a right to know the safety and security precautions being taken.
“One of the greatest tools that student travelers and those who are responsible for their care have is the opportunity to research destinations, areas to avoid, local health concerns, laws and cultural issues,” Rutledge said. “It’s vital to understand whether any prescription medication that may be needed is allowed, how to pack it, how to call internationally and locally within the destination, how to ask for help in the local language, how any applicable travel or health insurance is designed to work, the financial and other requirements that local hospitals may impose if treatment or admission becomes necessary, etc.”
As a travel safety advocate, AIG Travel continually looks for ways to educate customers and the broader traveling public on how to stay safe and minimize risks to ensure an enjoyable journey. In addition to launching the Student Travel Safety initiative, AIG Travel recently implemented a safety campaign focused on helping members of the LGBTQ community travel with confidence and pride, and expanded the AIG Travel Women’s Travel Safety initiative.
For more information about AIG Travel, its products and services, and its initiatives to help ensure safe and enjoyable travel experiences, visit www.aig.com/travel or www.travelguard.com, or follow AIG Travel on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
About AIG Travel and Travel Guard
AIG Travel, a member of American International Group, Inc., provides travel insurance and global assistance through innovative product offerings. Travel Guard® is the marketing name for its portfolio of travel insurance and travel-related services. From lost luggage to a medical emergency, our 24/7 multilingual assistance team is always just a phone call away. Through our global service centers and a network of experienced providers, we deliver medical and security assistance to help our customers travel with confidence. AIG Travel is a socially responsible and inclusive organization that meets the diverse needs of leisure and corporate travelers alike. Learn more at www.aig.com/travel or www.travelguard.com, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading global insurance organization. Founded in 1919, today AIG member companies provide a wide range of property casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement products, and other financial services to customers in more than 80 countries and jurisdictions. These diverse offerings include products and services that help businesses and individuals protect their assets, manage risks and provide for retirement security. AIG common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Additional information about AIG can be found at www.aig.com | YouTube: www.youtube.com/aig | Twitter: @AIGinsurance | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/aig. These references with additional information about AIG have been provided as a convenience, and the information contained on such websites is not incorporated by reference into this press release.
AIG is the marketing name for the worldwide property-casualty, life and retirement, and general insurance operations of American International Group, Inc. For additional information, please visit our website at www.aig.com. All products and services are written or provided by subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. Products or services may not be available in all countries, and coverage is subject to actual policy language. Non-insurance products and services may be provided by independent third parties. Certain property-casualty coverages may be provided by a surplus lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds, and insureds are therefore not protected by such funds.