The travel sector has experienced frequent and increasingly large-scale flight disruption events in recent years. Though not all major surge events can be attributed to extreme weather, such as the major UK ATC glitch in August 2023, travellers all over the world are becoming accustomed to more frequent and increasingly large-scale flight disruption events triggered by severe weather conditions.
Will we see a repeat of winter 2022 travel chaos?
From 21 to 26 of December 2022, Storm Elliott hit North America as a low-pressure system whose central pressure fell dramatically within a 24-hour period – becoming a ‘bomb cyclone’! During that peak seasonal travel period, chaos ensued, triggered by winter storm conditions, including blizzards, high winds, snowfall and record cold temperatures across many of the United States and parts of Canada. This had a major impact on airports, airlines, and travellers. It was also not restricted solely to those arriving at, departing from, or transferring through North America, but the winter storm had a knockon effect to air travel globally as both planes and people were simply not where they were scheduled to be.
Our platform is equipped to service tens of thousands of claims per hour in realtime to assist travellers that are experiencing the realworld frustration of flight delays, cancellations, and luggage delays
Implications and cost
With the travel sector still in a post-pandemic recovery phase in December 2022, the setback was significant, resulting in:
• 40,000 flights delayed in a five-day period
• 17,000 internal, inbound and outbound flights cancelled
• 3,200 flights cancelled on Christmas day alone
• 2,500 flights cancelled by midday on 26 December.
Typical flight delay metrics averaging 2.5 per cent and rising to 5 per cent at previous peak levels were shattered, and escalated rapidly to 10 times that level. Hundreds of thousands of travellers were impacted very quickly. Travel insurers across North America were hit hard and tested at every level, from their operational resilience to their reputational integrity. Many traditional travel insurance companies faced a huge overhead and operational burden in processing claims.
For those travel insurers and third-party administrators utilising traditional flight delay, flight cancellation and luggage delay claims handling techniques, it was simply not possible to scale up by a factor of 10 in such a short period. For many, this massive claim surge had a material knock-on effect that overwhelmed their phone lines and claims handling service with a further impact on their ability to handle more specialised claims such as medical, personal accident and legal. Some brands took several months before their claims SLAs returned to normal
Thankfully for those travel insurers and brands powered by Blink Parametric real-time flight delay and luggage delay solutions, they literally ‘rode the storm’ as well as the surge in claims volume, because the technology simply scaled up to accommodate the increased volume. This shielded their claims handlers, allowing them to concentrate on core medical and complex claims.
Influencing positive change
The widespread implications were sufficient to influence in part a further acceleration in the adoption of real-time parametric flight disruption assistance and claims resolution for the travelling insured. The large-scale increase in the deployment of Blink Parametric realtime flight and luggage delay technology was reported in its half year 2023 report resulting in:
• 100 per cent renewal rate with existing clients
• 850 per cent increase in flights monitored
• 250 per cent increase in claims paid
• 158 per cent increase in policies sold including Blink Parametric technology
• Multiple new insurer partner deployments in a wide range of regions globally.
The Blink Parametric platform is equipped to service tens of thousands of claims per hour in real time to assist travellers that are experiencing the real-world frustration of flight delays, cancellations, and luggage delays. This is what we do, worldwide, all day long, 24/7. We provide real-time assistance when the traveller needs it most, providing immediate compensation and practical service choices which range from airport lounge access to flight rebooking or hotel reservations. Our insurance and financial services partners prioritise the delivery of excellent care for their customers. The time has long gone when people had to wait months to receive a claims payment. With Blink Parametric it's virtually instant!
Blink Parametric work with travel insurers across the globe to improve customer experience and manage costs and claims in real-time, where there is a clear payout requirement, e.g., flight cancellation, flight delay or checked luggage delay. Our experience from working with global insurance partners is that insurers want to provide both great assistance and to pay claims in a timely manner, but many are hampered by the operational and staffing costs of managing the claims process manually, especially at peak times in what is still a very traditional industry. With increased frequency of weather-based disruption events, such surge events will only continue to increase.
We are seeing increasing demand from travel insurers worldwide that are looking to modernise and improve their customer claims experience on high volume, low value claims while mitigating claims handling costs. Thus freeing up human skilled claims resources to focus on adding service and attention to more complex travel insurance claims and cases.
Blink Parametric is an insurtech that uses parametric technology and digital communications coupled with insurance provided by their insurer partners to simplify and expedite claims processing for the insurer, the brand, and their travelling customers. Reducing operational complexities for insurance partners worldwide in a time of high-risk and ensuring a successful customer experience is a top priority for the company.
How the Blink Parametric Flight Disruption solution works:
An insured traveller simply registers their flight details prior to travel. This is a super-quick and easy process, additionally it provides added touch points for the brand partner to communicate with their client. For some partners such as airlines and online travel agents (OTAs) we can even auto-register the customer’s flight based on data available from the partner. It’s then ‘set and forget’ as Blink Parametric then monitors the flight(s) in the background in real-time. Any eligible delay that occurs to the registered flight automatically results in a traveller being proactively notified and being offered choices in real time that help alleviate the stress and consequences of the delay. These assistance options can include airport lounge access if a flight is delayed by a predetermined number of hours, or a cash payout per traveller, which is directly issued. There is no need for forms, receipts, or phone calls. We also integrate with a global service that can provide hotel accommodation reservations for extended delays or flight rebooking for customers. The traveller selects their preferences via their smartphone.
Our insurance and financial services partners prioritise the delivery of excellent care for their customers
The average resolution delivery time from event to receipt of resolution is four minutes or less. That is even quicker than locating their travel insurance policy and making a phone call – with zero work required at time of incident by the insurer or their third-party administrator (TPA). For some partners we can also allocate reward points back to a membership account or redirect the customer back into the travel partner’s buying ecosystem.
For the travel insurance sector, we specialise in high-frequency, low-value claims with market-leading multi-award-winning realtime propositions for global flight delay, flight cancellation, checked airline luggage delay and loss.
Are you winter-ready with real-time travel insurance solutions to assist your customers?