Travelling is one of the most “fun” events in one’s life. Not just travelling, planning the trip is also exciting. However, travel, especially in the post covid world, could be treacherous. With so much uncertainty, it is obvious that most of us would like to “insure” the risks. Here comes Travel Insurance Plans.
Traditional wisdom says travelling needs to be insured. But hand on heart, how many of you actually opt for it if it is not necessary for visa purposes? But, if an easy and affordable option is provided at the time of purchasing the plan, chances of opting “in” for a travel insurance plan is much higher than if it were left to the customer’s discretion as an after-thought. This is because, the risk is highest in a customer’s mind while making the higher ticket transaction, i.e. purchasing the tickets or the vacation deals.
This is where “embedding” insurance at the check-out helps customers feel more protected when purchasing anything from airline tickets to vacation plans.
What is Travel Insurance? Travel insurance can be defined as coverage against unpredictable losses or expenses while travelling domestically or internationally.
Need for Travel Insurance:
The most common reason for availing a travel insurance plan is for medical emergencies while travelling. Hospitalisation, especially in a foreign country, can be quite expensive without insurance. However, there are many other features and benefits of travel insurance which makes it worthwhile. For example, in domestic travels within the country, you get coverage for lost checked-in baggage, flight cancellations or delays, theft, etc. along with medical emergencies. For international travel, it could be a prerequisite for visa requirements. Since international travel is much more expensive, travel insurance is necessary for missed flights or connecting flights due to delay, lost baggage or passport, etc. along with hospitalisation for critical reasons. There are Group Travel Plans especially for larger corporate groups or holiday packages and Annual Travel Plans for frequent travellers. Even Student Travel Plans are necessary for students travelling to other countries for educational purposes as a prerequisite for student visa applications as well.
What is “embedded” travel insurance? When insurance is added at the check out while purchasing tickets or vacations, without any additional paperwork, but just as an “opt-in” to provide coverage, it is called Embedded Travel Insurance. It is weaved into the entire framework and seems like a simple add-on feature, just like extra cheese on pizza, but actually, it is a completely different product.
Thus, to put it simply, “embedded” travel insurance is the “bundling” of insurance at the time of check-out of car rentals or flight tickets or hotel bookings at the point of sale as an add-on facility; whereas it is actually a different product altogether.
Importance of “embedded” travel insurance
With artificial intelligence sweeping its way in the digital era, millennials and Gen Z people do not purchase a product or a service in a silo. It comes with ease and convenience. So, while purchasing online, the element of risk is paramount in the mind; and if that can be overcome by simply paying an additional fee, it shouldn’t pinch too much. For customers, it is an additional benefit provided at minimal cost for the convenience of coverage of risk!
So, from the insurance penetration point of view, it's great. Embedded insurance is the way ahead for this industry and in the next 10-20 years, 40% of all insurance products would be through the “embedded” channel. In fact, embedded insurance is expected to become a $3Trillion industry. From a revenue point of view, it could surely help in generating additional income for any business. Thus it is a win-win for all stakeholders. How can “embedded” travel insurance help you as an Online Travel Agent? When your clients book tickets, you would be able to give them an option to avail of travel insurance without any additional paperwork or information, just by checking the box and paying an additional amount included in the total cost. So, you could embed the insurance plan along with taxi booking, car rental, flight tickets, holiday packages, hotel reservations, along with your one-stop-shop of compare and book travel experiences. Thus, the insurance cover would typically be offered as a “pop-up” when the customer has decided on his travel and is contemplating the final financial detail with pre-filled data, to expedite the sale. When this convenience is offered backed by technology and data, the customer gets the right product at the right time based on his digital footprint, without any additional hassles. This appears like a customised and attractive proposition for the customer and often ends in a positive sale. This makes embedded insurance an IAAS, i.e. “Insurance as a Service” product.
What is the current scenario of Embedded Travel Insurance?
After the slump last year due to travel restrictions, it is not yet at its peak; the travel insurance industry has seen steady increases in recent months. Thus the demand for travel insurance has already seen a surge as nations opened travel and passenger confidence grew. Sales surged in the 3rd quarter of 2021, surpassing the previous average travel year of 2019.
In the western world, Squaremouth claims that sales have increased after the release of the company's newest Covid-19 version. According to them, purchases of travel insurance coverage have jumped 53% since information of the omicron variant of Covid-19 surfaced. In contrast, the surge following the announcement of the Delta variant was merely 20%.
In India as well, there are several companies that have begun to embed travel insurance into their products and services. Car rental apps, travel websites, as well as ticket booking apps, have embedded insurance into their offering. A lot of adventure event/booking and hotel booking companies are also steadily adopting the embedded travel insurance trend. Embedded Insurance simplifies the process even further by providing travel insurance plans in parallel to tickets and event booking.
What the future holds for Travel Insurance?
Travellers were worried about the possibility of travel bookings being delayed or cancelled following the extensive disruption created by the COVID-19 Omicron outbreak. The incorporation of parametric items into the purchasing process boosted customer trust as the sector recovered. And it is only expected to grow further.
An insurance poll conducted by BHTP (Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection), an American travel insurance company, confirms the rise of travel insurance in the post-pandemic world.
As per the poll,
29% acquired travel insurance for the majority of their 2021 trips, opposed to only 7% for the majority of their 2020 trips.
In 2021, 41% stated the COVID-19 pandemic was a cause to get travel insurance coverage more often, up from 30% in 2020.
The greatest thing is that these figures are continually climbing and are expected to rise further as a result of the recently discovered Omicron variant of the virus.
“Embedding” Travel Insurance = Add-on Benefit Since people often spend a lot of money travelling, it is easier for people to incorporate the ‘additional’ cost for insuring the trip through an “embedded” travel insurance plan along with the ticket prices at the time of purchasing it, as it is perceived as an “add-on” service along with their travel expenditure. So, it doesn’t incur an additional cost factor in people’s minds.
As a result, it is reasonable to predict that Travel Insurance will reach new heights in the next few years. Adding embedded insurance to the mix might further speed up the process and this is where Turtlefin has a significant role to play.
What is Turtlefin? Turtlefin has its own insurance API which can be integrated with any complementary business model to enhance the overall offering to the end user. It has been digital-ready for a really long time now; making it the largest insurtech model that pioneered the online-offline concept in India. It creates a benchmark for leveraging the right digital tools optimally in order to make it into a win-win situation for all stakeholders. Where does Turtlefin stand?
Turtlefin helps you to focus your energy on your core business without spending time on building verticals in integrating insurance into your business. Our mission here is to provide an integrated and standardized identity platform across insurers and financial institutions. We currently support 50+ insurance players and 600+ product integrations.
Our back-end technology for insurance distribution makes certain that the consumers get the best possible experience through a plug-and-play solution. We have been providing reliable information about insurance services and goods in an understandable approach to insurance professionals as well as their diversified consumer base for years, resulting in a smooth digital transition for any firm.
How can Turtlefin help you? So, if you have a business in online ticketing, hotel reservation, tour planning, vacation outlay, etc.; you can increase your overall offering by simply embedding the TurtleFin OneAPI into your business model and making insurance a small “add-on”. This not only helps you to increase your revenue, but helps the customer to get the right coverage at the minimal cost and less documentation. Also, it helps the industry to increase insurance penetration! Turtlefin’s promise to their Partners
Turtlefin ensures a seamless integration of API in a short amount of time without any hassles along with complete hand holding through the integration process. In fact, we can help you set up the complete tech integration in a hassle free manner which would help you to offer insurance products from multiple companies to your customers. We also promise to provide constant tech support to your team, thus making the integration process easier.
So, you can now focus on your core while we manage insurance for you – everything from tech to customer service. To learn more, please visit our website.