Highlights From the 2020 THIA Innovation Summit

On Tuesday, October 27th, our team had the pleasure of helping organize the second annual THIA (Travel Health Insurance Association) Innovation Summit. Our Founder and CEO, Tony Abou-Assaleh led the organizing committee to bring together over 200 travel, health, and insurance professionals for a one-day conference.

Here are some of the event highlights:


Although the event took place virtually, the summit still offered many opportunities for attendees to interact with one another. Afterall, we all need a more human interaction nowadays! Dedicated networking slots were added as part of the agenda before and after the event sessions. Networking was quite a bit different this time, as it was similar to speed-dating, where attendees would have one-on-one conversations with other attendees with a 3-minute time limit. This gave participants the opportunity to network with as many people as possible throughout the event!

Keynote – Now, Next, and Beyond – Transforming Amidst a Pandemic

Puneet Chattree, the leader of EY Canada’s Insurance Strategy and Business Transformation consulting services, took the keynote stage by sharing relevant statistics from the insurance sector. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the lives of many, Puneet spoke about how travel and health insurance carriers must continue to evolve and innovate to remain customer-centric.

Puneet Chattree, EY

Panel Discussion #1 – Post-pandemic Travel


  • Warren Brown (moderator)
  • John Spears, Global Excel
  • Joel Lockwood, Medical Officer, WTP
  • Mira Jelic, Digital Health Consultant
  • Paul Prendergast, Blink

Warren Brown, an expert in the travel insurance space, led the conversation of what should be expected of travel in a post-pandemic world. The panelists provided their input on many interesting topics around whether or not people will be willing to travel, what kind of additional services insurance providers should offer, and how to resume travelling safely as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Warren Brown (top left), Mira Jelic (top center), Paul Prendergast (top right), Joel Lockwood (bottom left), John Spears (bottom right)

Panel Discussion #2 – Communicating with clients in a crisis

  • Elliott Draga (moderator)
  • Adam St. John, Sitata
  • Renaud Million, Spixii
  • Emanuele Scansani, Riskline
  • Matt Pearson, E&Y

Elliott Draga, the head of Sales and Marketing at Nordic Insurance Software, took charge of this panel discussion. This session focused in on how travel insurance organizations should communicate with their clients and what kinds of technologies are available to make it easier to provide frequent updates to customers.

Elliot Draga (top left), Renaud Million (top center), Adam St. John (top right), Matt Pearson (bottom left), Emanuele Scansani (bottom right)

All in all, the THIA Innovation Summit was a great success and everybody is looking forward to another event soon! Many thanks to the event sponsors that helped make this event happen.