Planning to travel?
Empire Life spoke with Trident Global Assistance CEO, Magdi Riad, and Dragana Kosic, Director of Claims and Assistance, for some expert advice on making the most of your get away. Empire Life moved to Trident Global Assistance in May this year, so we asked how the move has gone from their perspective.
Empire Life moved to Trident Global Assistance May. How has the move gone so far
Magdi: So far it’s been very smooth, I’m happy to say. Call volume is up, and customer satisfaction is high so I’d call this a success in terms of transitioning to a new service provider.
With COVID subsiding, people are travelling again. What are the most frequently asked questions people are calling about?
Dragana: “Am I covered for COVID?” tops the list. People are asking if they will be covered if they get sick from COVID while travelling—the answer is yes since Empire Life’s travel emergency program has no restrictions related to COVID-19. They’re also asking lots of general questions about their coverage: “What am I covered for?” or. “Am I covered for an ambulance?”
We suggested that plan members save a copy of their benefit card in the way that works best for them—digital wallet, photo library, etc. How did you save your card?
Magdi: I saved mine to my phone photo library, but someone suggested I use Notes. That’s a good idea for people who take a lot of pictures. That way you’re not scrolling through your library to find your card. I don’t have to worry about that! I do the same for my car insurance. My phone is always with me, so saving to my phone works for me.
Dragana: I’m a paper person—I want a hard copy, so I printed mine!
We’re pleased so many plan members downloaded their new card—but not everyone has. What happens if someone calls Trident Global Assistance and they don't have their card?
Magdi: I’m not sure how they would call us without their card—unless they saved their phone number in their contacts, which is really a pretty good idea, actually—but we can look up their coverage details and provide assistance.
You’re seasoned travellers. What are your top five pro tips to make travelling more enjoyable?
- Research your destination: the more you know, the more you will be able to make the most of your time there. You will also have greater insight and understanding of what you are experiencing—natural phenomena, people, customs, and architecture.
- Keep your suitcase as light as possible. You really don’t need as many outfits as you may think. Pack lightweight items you can wash and wear again
- Leave yourself extra time: Nothing sucks the joy out of travel like being stressed because you’re late. Racing to the airport, racing to catch a ferry or get to a site—It’s all so much more enjoyable if you give yourself a little extra time. This is especially true this summer.
- Be patient: with yourself, with others, and with events when things don’t go exactly according to plan. If you can take a breath and lean into patience—and curiosity—you may be able to avoid feeling angry or irritated if things go wrong.
- Pack comfortable shoes: it sounds so simple but having the right footwear for your destination will keep you safe and make your days more enjoyable. Going to a rocky beach? Pack a good pair of water walkers. I agree with Magdi about packing less and keeping the suitcase light—and I always pack two or three different pairs of shoes.
What dream destination is on your bucket list?
Magdi: Thailand and the Philippines. They have gorgeous beaches, they’re out of the ordinary, and they’re well priced, so a great way to stretch your dollar. We’re in Canada, a country with short summers, so a dream destination for me better be sunny and have water.
Dragana: Israel and Egypt are top on my list. I’m a history buff and usually travel to historic sites. Art, architecture, culture, ancient civilizations—these two have it all.
Empire Life moved its travel emergency assistance program to Trident Global Assistance Inc. May 1, 2022. Learn More