The ITIJ team have been reporting live from ITIC Global in Barcelona this week (November 2023) sharing the discussions that took place at the conference. Read all reports
Katie Crowe, Global Head of PR & Communications, battleface
To begin the session, Crowe homed in on what it is that the modern traveller wants. She explained that post-Covid-19, travellers are looking for more personalised travel experiences down to the choices of hotels, restaurants, and shops, but most importantly travel insurance. Offering a modular approach whereby travellers can fully customise their policy is key.
Her next focus was the benefits of A/B testing – also known as split or bucket testing – to understand the user experience. She explained that ‘modularity allows for A/B testing based on the product benefits to customise programmes that are tailored for different distribution platforms’. Having this customisation ability then offers flexibility to quickly test and market individual benefits to customers, while also checking what competitors are doing. Crowe used trip interruption as an example, so insurers can see how often it is clicked on and what is needed to be changed for higher conversion rates.
Crowe subsequently explained that this system is available for all kinds of travel, despite their differences and varying requirements – whether business travel, trips with friends or family, sabbaticals, or gap years.
She next noted how travellers would have to pick the modules that they require for their journey. Whether they wanted cover for trip curtailment, pet return, damages to rental vehicles and holiday homes, or business necessities, they could have their choice.
And the benefits of a ‘one-stop shop’ approach, which offers claims, and emergency medical and travel assistance support. battleface has recently brought all their business in-house with the launch of Robin Assist, its assistance company. Crowe explained the justification for this: “Travellers want to have everything in one place.”
After her presentation, session moderator and Director of Publishing at Voyageur Group Mandy Langfield asked Crowe if battleface has noticed any regional differences in module choices. Crowe said that in the US trip delay/interruption is popular, especially due to the commonality of connecting flights and the overbooking of flights. In the UK though, activity coverage is increasingly common with the return of gap year students post-pandemic. Overall, trip delay/interruption is the most chosen module by travellers.
Irene García Saez, Deputy Chief Business Officer and Chief Data Officer, MAWDY
Following on from Crowe, García Saez also noted how travellers are most conscious of what coverage they want and are wish to know what it is that policies actually cover. She identified five trends and explained how the industry is coping.
Firstly, they want more information – she noted that the question ‘Am I covered for Covid-19’ is prevalent – before purchase and before the trip, particularly about places they can go for pleasure, but also places they can visit in an emergency like medical centres.
Leading on from physical medical centres, García Saez highlighted the growing importance of telemedicine. She explained that telemedicine is able to solve more issues online before insureds go to a medical centre and have to wait. In terms of medication, prescriptions can also be organised and handled online, saving the customer hassle and stress.
Similarly, customers want simple, online or digital solutions. For example, claims handling can be managed through QR codes leading to webpages that facilitate claims and reimbursements. Progressive web apps (PWAs) can also assist both the customer and the insurer to actively manage trips and policies. Also, application program interfaces (APIs) can be used to integrate easily with customers and partners, explained García Saez.
Personalisation is wanted by customers, she highlighted. Modular products offer them the opportunity to tailor their policy, but insurers also benefit; they can tailor their underwriting and price per region by knowing what customers want and what their partners can offer.
Finally, policyholders want help before, during and after their trip on a 24/7 basis; García Saez summarised this as a ‘more rounded, end-to-end experience’.
To conclude her presentation, García Saez said: “The sector’s evolving and we must develop ourselves.”
Recently, MAWDY has rebranded, so Langfield asked if this was a sign of traditional insurers changing and why is it so hard to adapt to insurtech? García Saez explained that traditional insurers run on legacy systems and solvency, however, they are very aware of both the times and customers moving forward. Therefore, to keep up with the change, she explained that insurers are adding an API layer to legacy systems for a more digital approach. García Saez summarised the move to digital: “It is a question of survival.”