RICHMOND, Va., May 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Allianz Global Assistance announced today new tuition protection plans to improve financial security for students and their families. The company is partnering with colleges and universities to offer the plans to students to increase access to reimbursements for tuition and fees when students have to leave school for a sudden covered illness, injury or other covered circumstance. The expanded plan options are part of an effort to join with institutions and help protect the 21 million college students who spend nearly $500 billion every year on their education.
"A significant number of students are forced to leave school because of an unexpected illness, injury or serious mental health issue sometime during their college career—creating a significant financial loss for students and their families," said Joe Mason, Chief Marketing Officer of Allianz Global Assistance USA. "Our protection plans can reimburse lost tuition and fees, offering families a financial lifeline while improving the student experience by providing a family-friendly solution to sudden withdrawals."
To help offer these new protection plans to more students and universities around the country, Allianz Global Assistance is partnering with GradGuard™, a leading provider of student protection programs at more than 200 colleges and universities.
"Schools can rely on these robust new plans to deliver a modern form of tuition protection that is designed specifically with the interests of the student and the tuition payer in mind," said John Fees, co-founder of GradGuard. "Backed by the world-class service of Allianz Global Assistance, participating schools can now help the families they serve save money and protect their investment in a college education."
Partnering schools will have the ability to customize a tuition protection program to best fit the needs of their students, with each plan covering in-state and out-of-state students in accredited public and private institutions. Tuition insurance helps colleges to provide a better withdrawal experience by covering non-refundable tuition, housing, and fees in the event a student needs to unexpectedly withdraw following a covered illness, injury, mental health disorder, or other covered reason.
A January 2017 national survey** completed by 107 college and university bursars and student accounts representatives revealed that 45 percent of respondents reported increased withdrawal rates due to illness, while 74 percent said they do not currently offer tuition insurance.
"Tuition insurance may offer a remedy to the growing problem of unexpected withdrawals," said Mason. "Tuition insurance can ensure families won't lose their non-refundable tuition and fees following a covered unexpected illness but also may help universities avoid potential health records privacy issues since Allianz Global Assistance manages all claims for reimbursement."
While most college and universities do not offer a full tuition refund past the early part of the semester, 80 percent of bursars and student account representatives agreed that it would be wise to help families protect themselves from unexpected financial losses, with 85 percent saying that tuition insurance should be as easy to purchase as travel insurance.
"It's important that students understand their school's reimbursement policy and consider tuition insurance as a way to save money and gain valuable protection against a significant loss," said Mason. "Tuition is a significant investment for most families and it should be protected just like other large investments such as homes and cars."
**About the study: This survey was completed by 107 university officials across the United States during December 2016 - January 2017, by HigherEdStudy.com. University officials included university bursars / student account and student health staff. In the study, HigherEdStudy.com reached out to approximately 700 colleges and universities across the U.S. These institutions represent a total enrollment of 800,000, with 55% being private and 45% being public institutions with a median size of 6,500.
Allianz Global Assistance USA Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company. We serve 25 million customers annually and are best known for our Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies.
GradGuard, a service of Next Generation Insurance Group LLC, is a leading provider of student protection programs at more than 200 colleges and universities and an authority at designing and implementing student benefit programs that help schools to attract and retain students. Since 2008, GradGuard's tuition and renters insurance programs have helped more than 600,000 students protect their investment in a higher education. Please visit GradGuard.com to learn more about how we fulfill our mission to protect the investment students and their families are making in a higher education. Learn more at GradGuard.com/highered .
*Terms, conditions, reductions, and exclusions apply. All plans not available in all states. For a complete description of the coverage and specific benefit limits offered under your plan, carefully review your declarations page and insurance policy. Plans are only available to U.S. residents. Insurance coverage is underwritten by Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 107-P series. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Tuition Insurance are brands of AGA Service Company. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of this plan and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage because of the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company.