Collaboration between assistance providers in Holland is a natural part of their day-to-day work process. Eric Grootmeijer provides an insight on this one-of-a-kind market

Holland has four major assistance companies: ANWB since 1959, SOS International (Amsterdam) since 1978, EuroCross since 1982 and Allianz Global Assistance since 2012. Despite the fact that they are essentially competitors, they work closely together on the operational side of their businesses. It is not exceptional if a client has a travel insurance policy with company A and a health insurance policy with company B. Both policies are usually complementary towards each other as far as medical cover is concerned. So the client may call the

28 | International Travel & Health Insurance Journal

assistance company of insurer A whereas insurer B may have outsourced its assistance to another assistance company. And yet, both insurers are involved in this case. Does the client need to call both assistance companies? No, the assistance company that receives the request for assistance fi rst will keep the other company in the loop behind the scenes and makes sure that whatever guarantee is sought, it will be handled by the company that provides the actual cover. T is way the client will only have to deal with one provider. T is co-operation goes a step further after a Large-Scale Incident (LSI) abroad (defi ned by the Dutch assistance companies as ‘involving more than eight individuals in one incident’, like bus accidents, plane crashes, or after the Asian tsunami in 2004). Specifi cally for these situations, the Dutch assistance companies have agreed to adopt

The Dutch have learned that it is better to cooperate than to compete in critical situations

a twelve-month roster (1 April to 1 April) in which only one of the mentioned companies (the one that is ‘on duty’) will respond to a LSI on behalf of all the others. T is arrangement had its origin after the airline crash of a Dutch Martin Air DC-10 in Faro, Portugal, in 1992. It was

recognised afterwards that, although well intended, it wasn’t very effi cient to all rush to the scene at the same time. So, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Aff airs, the Dutch assistance companies decided to adopt this LSI schedule. T e Dutch have learned that it is better to co-operate than to compete in critical situations. In the Dutch


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