With a better awareness of travel insurance and its benefits, what has the industry done to respond to increasing customer expectations?
Sebastian Kaisin at MAPFRE Assistencia named digitalisation, telemedicine and Covid-19 related covers as some of its main trends in adapting to a changing world after Covid-19 broke out. Due to increased digitisation, MAPFRE has been able to access comprehensive travel health and safety information through a travel risk platform, to provide real-time alerts and risk assessments by country and region.
Kaisin added that a renewed shift of focus to customer experience made it possible to be there for the customer more directly, via real-time video and online alerts and information, due to increased usability of its platform and increased support services aimed at the customers.
Sasha Gainullin, CEO of battleface, explained how his company adapted by making its travel insurance offering customisable to travellers’ needs. He said many travellers were travelling with products that weren’t responding well to the pandemic, or they couldn’t even find any cover at all. He wanted to solve the problem of there not being any cover when there is a travel warning.
“The travel industry has gone through so much innovation,” Gainullin said. “It has changed the way we travel and experience the world. However, travel insurance has not changed, it’s still the same product as when it started out – only more exclusions were added.”
battleface decided to build cover that is relevant to all travellers. “My worst nightmare would be if in 20 years, someone stands up here and says battleface is still selling the same products it sold 20 years ago,” concluded Gainullin.
Mark Carney, President and CEO at Tokio Marine Global Travel Group, spoke about his company’s 15-question survey to TM Group companies who underwrite and sell travel insurance to gather insights of the landscape of travel in a Covid-19 world. All survey respondents who underwrote travel insurance prior to the Covid-19 pandemic continue to offer products today, ‘which is the good news’, he said. Over half of survey respondents made product amendments or new endorsements in response to Covid-19. Nearly all survey respondents have policy wording that treats Covid-19 the same as any other illness.
When asked about their reaction to the pandemic, Kaisin concluded: “The pandemic is still there and we have to continue through it, but we have more confidence to cover it now.”
You can read the latest news from ITIC Global 2021 1-4 November, including our coverage of Dr Vanya Gant's presentation on the future of Covid-19, including details on varients, treatments, and vaccines.