Germany’s Allianz announced that it has been providing “on the ground” support to customers in Phuket, Thailand, the popular tourist island which was hit by the tsunamis that devastated Southeast Asia.
“When Allianz in Thailand heard of the tsunami on December 26, employees sprang immediately into action,” said the bulletin. “Representatives from Allianz’s Thai life operations, Ayudhya Allianz C.P. Life (AACP), were sent to Phuket, Thailand’s worst affected region, to provide support to policyholders in need of medical treatment, or who wanted to make claims.”
The AACP team set up information booths on the island to offer advice and support. The company also opened a 24-hour care center for tsunami victims in front of agent offices in Phuket. To reach affected customers in other regions, AACP set up a special hotline.
“Given the Christmas holiday makers and the potential number of Allianz customers in Phuket, both Thai and from abroad, we felt it was necessary to dispatch a special team to the region” stated Wilf Blackburn, CEO of AACP.
Germany has so far reported that 60 of its citizens have been confirmed dead, but over a 1000 are still reported missing. Sweden suffered the highest total among European nations with 52 reported dead, but 2,322 still missing. Other European casualty figures, as reported by the BBC, are as follows:
UK – 40 dead, 159 unaccounted for
Switzerland – 23 dead, 105 missing
France – 22 dead, 100 missing
Italy – 20 dead, 338 missing
Norway – 16 dead, 91 missing
Austria – 10 dead, 443 missing
Denmark – 7 dead, 57 missing
Finland – 1 dead, 177 missing
Allianz also said that Mondial Assistance, its emergency assistance subsidiary, which had sent a thirteen-strong team of physicians with medical equipment and medication to Phuket, had returned to Munich. The team consisted of orthopedic surgeons, pediatric surgeons and specialists for infectious diseases. “Its main task was to prepare patients for medical transfer to Germany, including customers of Allianz’s private medical insurer, Allianz Private Krankenversicherung, and travel insurance provider, Elvia Reiseversicherung,” said the bulletin.
Upon returning to Munich, Wunibald Bischoff, officer in charge, stated: “We successfully prepared the repatriation of patients from Germany and the rest of the EU. In several cases, we transferred patients from small hospitals at the seashore to higher-level clinics in Bangkok.”
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