In 2020, be on the lookout for hashtags and concepts lifted off yoga mats and wellness mags. Gone are the days of ‘bucket-lists’ and 20 postcodes in 20 days. Instead, we’re now about ‘slow travel’, ‘retreats’ and ‘transformative travel’. Insurers that cover transport alternatives - such as sailing, cycling and carbon-offsetting, will win the conscious-consumption vote.
Transformative travel connects to ‘doing’ rather than ‘seeing’. In 2020, travellers are getting active in pursuit of happiness. They’re walking, they’re houseboating, and missioning off-grid. For insurers, an uptick in activities and exotic locations, leads to risk, which leads to soaring premiums. Instead, we see the industry responding with an adaptive approach to policy building, by offering a truly broad range of optional extras built around trending activities, and better cover for non-included medical conditions.
For decades, travel insurance offered two choices, ‘basic’ or ‘comprehensive’. In 2020, as consumers continue to individuate, and product differentiation rises, we see insurance plans diversify from the binary standard. In particular, entry level cover, or bare essentials plans, will join the market. As emergency medical cover is the key driver to purchase, watch as ‘medical-only’ plans find an audience.
Remember the days of calling up an insurance broker to buy travel insurance? The industry has come a long way. But in many cases, the business of travel insurance can still feel analogue and ‘manual’. In the same way that consumers want instant quotes, and lightening quick purchase paths, they also want to access customer service and information without having to navigate a phone tree within restricted hours. Compared to the customer support offered by finance and health insurance, travel Insurers are lagging, but in 2020, the introduction of chat bots, live chat, user profiles and dashboards will bring the industry up to speed.
Value over price
Travellers who’ve had to make a travel insurance claim understand that buying travel insurance purely on price is not a good idea. According to the Smartraveller Survey of Australians' Travel Insurance Behaviour 2017, “33% of travellers just choose the cheapest policy without checking the small print”, but this trend is changing. More and more customers are educating themselves that the cheapest is not always the best.
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