First published in ANZIIF The Journal

It’s been a difficult year for the insurance industry, but the travel insurance sector has no doubt been one of the hardest hit. The global and local lockdowns have had a significant impact and triggered a spike in claims, disputes, disrupted travel plans and policy interpretation.

Now majority of claims have been processed, the limited and uncertain future of global and local travel has resulted in a decline in policy sales, and we expect it will be some time before the travel claims portfolios return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Travel insurance providers need to plan for a future that has never been chartered before. This is how travel insurance will look different in 2021.

1. Flexible

Customers are acutely aware of travel policy coverage issues and providers will need to embrace this new reality. Providers must deliver clear and concise products, whilst also offering flexible options. We’ve all learnt the way we service claimants is a defining factor in how an insurer is perceived – and the ability to be flexible, fair and bring a useful product to market will determine success for carriers moving forward.

2. Domestic

It’s a common belief that international travel insurance is a necessity, but the uptake of domestic travel insurance is still lacking. Historically, Australians have felt they were ‘safer’ within their own
country and already protected and covered for incidents. However, this perception has been rocked by the changing barriers of COVID-19. With international travel still unlikely in 2021, travel insurers need to provide tailored domestic products to help Australians travel locally, safely and with confidence.

3. Scale

The domestic travel sector is set to ramp up in the new year. Whether it’s onboarding new staff or revising policies and product marketing to meet the changing needs of insureds, you need to
build a strategy to ensure you can capitalise on this growing market.

4. Digital

The digital trend is set to continue in 2021, with insureds expecting to interact with travel insurers in a digital space from start to finish. From a simple and responsive online claiming portal or a quoting mechanism that supports each aspect of a trip, make sure your system is ready to seamlessly service customers.

5. Corporate

For some businesses, video conferencing will no longer cut it as in-person meetings and events gain in popularity again. Offering a tailored corporate product to support businesses taking their first step into business travel again will ensure you secure a profitable corner of the market.

At Gallagher Bassett, we’re helping carriers capitalise on the changes to travel insurance in 2021 with our best-practice claims management solutions. Subscribe to our newsletter for more information on the trends impacting the insurance industry this year, or connect with one of our experts to learn how we can help you.

Blog Author

James Needle

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