You have been President of Seven Corners since 2020 – what was it like to adapt to this role while a pandemic broke out?
Honestly? It was the most difficult challenge of my professional career! Navigating the challenges faced with a significant global disruption of travel wouldn’t have been possible without the strong, determined team members at Seven Corners. We buckled down, focused on the customer, drove innovation, and moved our business forward despite the pandemic. We’re stronger and better positioned in the market now more than ever.
How did your previous experience at Ingram Micro help you in your current position?
Ingram Micro is a Fortune 500 wholesale provider of technology products and supply chain management services. As a part of a technology focused organisation, I spent a lot of time developing innovative supply chain solutions for our partners and their customers. This focus on innovation has translated perfectly to my role at Seven Corners in the last two years, while leading the team and challenging ourselves to look at our business critically and find opportunities to innovate in both our product development and services that enhance the experience of our customers, even in a down market.
Travel insurance is going through a lot of changes due to Covid – are there any changes you welcome and that you hope stick around?
This is easy – the focus on the customer. The pandemic highlighted that travel insurance had become too complicated and not focused enough on the customer – customers often didn’t understand what they were buying, policy language was difficult to understand, some benefits weren’t important to consumers, and the services after the sale didn’t meet their needs. Consumers want easy, fast, and ‘there when I need it’ service.
What about some of the difficulties? How have you been overcoming challenges related to the pandemic?
One thing I’ve seen that really impresses me about Seven Corners since joining the company almost four years ago is how quickly the team members move to address challenges or opportunities. During the pandemic it has been so important to recognise issues quickly, and move even faster to address them to avoid lost revenue or service impacts. The team members here have a true ‘customer comes first’ mentality, and it’s never been more on display than over the last two years.
Do you have any stories of particularly weird or interesting claims?
Let’s go with ‘interesting’ for this one, or maybe the right way to describe this one was dynamic, complex, and life-saving. At the beginning of Covid we had a member from Canada that was vacationing with his wife in Turks and Caicos. He had no idea that he had underlying cardio/pulmonary medical issues until he became severely ill. He went into cardiac arrest and the local hospital was unable to provide the level of care needed, so they contacted our 24/7 assist team who sprang into action.
The borders were closed and we were still on full lockdown, so options were limited. The plan was to evacuate him to Miami and then back to Canada once he was stable, but Covid added a lot more complexity than normal to coordinating everything.
Upon landing in Miami, both the husband and wife tested positive for Covid. He was denied entry into the country, so they had to be flown back to Turks and Caicos and then re-routed up to Canada – with his severe medical condition timing was of the essence. With the help of the assist team, he received the appropriate transportation and care while in-transit and survived the flight to Canada. And I am happy to report he made a full recovery.
What sets Seven Corners apart from other travel insurers?
I truly believe that it’s our focus on the customer. We put the customer above everything else. As a privately held company, still owned and controlled by our original founders, we are not beholden to other corporate interests or ‘put in line’ behind the priorities of other divisions. In every executive meeting, strategic planning meeting or project meeting, we talk about everything in the context of how it will impact the customer experience. It doesn’t matter if you have the best rates and largest portfolio of flashy products with all the marketing hype in the world, if you can’t take care of the customer, it doesn’t matter. Our Net Promoter Score (NPS) is at the top of insurance industry benchmarks and reflects our commitment and focus on doing what’s right by our customers.
What’s your ideal travel destination?
I’ve always wanted to travel to and spend time in Alaska. I love nature, beautiful landscapes, mountains, hiking, and camping, and I’d love to spend a few weeks there disconnected from everything.