Urgh. Travel insurance. Possibly the most mundane but necessary part of planning any trip. But plenty of travellers still don't even bother. Is that because they truly don't see it as important? More likely is that they are frustrated with how complicated the process is and weary of completing any purchase that takes more than 30 minutes.
So what's the solution? Clearly, travel insurance needs to get with the times and become smarter. But disruption rarely comes from within the industry. In this case it looks like an external company, Revolut, is set to revolutionise the way we think about travel insurance.
We've come across Revolut in the past. The disruptive FinTech company is already changing the travel experience with seamless currency conversions and fee-free money exchanges. You can read more about that here.
Earlier this month the Revolut team introduced something completely different to the market: pay-per-day travel insurance enabled by users' smartphone location services. In simpler terms, travel insurance plans you can buy that will only kick in when your phone registers you as abroad.
The idea is that the insurance plan is simple to use and inexpensive. With the tap of a button, the service will be set to kick in whenever you are abroad. Coverage includes medical and dental, and there are additional options to add flexibility for adventurous travellers seeking cover for winter sports or their companions.
The plan, just like the rest of Revolut's services can be turned on and off from the traveller's phone through the Revolut application. When in use, it will rely on the phone's location services to calculate the cost of insurance. The price will start from less than £1 per day.
But the cost per day will vary depending on location. Some places are more dangerous than others, after all. But Revolut has said that Europe's base rate will start at £0.99, stepping up to £1.50 for North America and £1.25 for the rest of the world. More good news for Revlut customers: There will be a cap on the costs for the year, along with the flexibility to choose to pay a fixed sum for a standard annual travel policy.
All of Revolut's new insurance policies will be underwritten in partnership with Thomas Cook Money. The London-based Fintech startup has said that their average customer spends 13 days every year on vacation. To insure this under Revolut's plan would cost roughly £11.76 a year - a significant reduction compared to plenty of established insurance providers.
Nikolay Storonsky, CEO and Founder of Revolut, has said that the new insurance feature is a world first.
..."Pay-per-Day travel insurance which leverages the power of your phone to save you money. We wanted to create a type of insurance that uses technology to help our customers and only cover you on the days you actually needed to be covered – all for the best price. Pay-per-Day travel insurance is a global first, and is another step in our journey to build a platform to offer a better kind of banking.”
Anth Mooney, CEO of Thomas Cook Money, the company backing the insurance scheme, stated that partnering with Fintech innovators like Revolut is a key part of the company’s strategy.
“We want to help more people have better holidays by making sure everything to do with their holiday money is looked after at every step," he said. "And improving the experience of buying travel insurance is an important part of that. You need strong alliances to start a revolution, and Revolut are making great strides in disrupting the traditional finance industry – we’re proud to be a partner and friend to Revolut, who share our simple vision of making things much better for customers.”
Despite still being a company in its infancy, Revolut has continued to roll out a number of features to benefit travellers in recent months. Among those services is a cash card that can be topped up and used abroad, currency exchange at inter-bank rates, official UK bank accounts and, most recently, the ability to buy and trade cryptocurrencies through the Revolut platform.
If there's one thing we understand, it's the potential that technology has to change the way we think about travel. And that counts for every part of the journey. Research, booking, arranging insurance, exchanging foreign currencies - all the things you do before you even set foot abroad can be transformed for the better. And that's before we get to the actual travelling part.
As a startup enabler and supplier of travel marketplace software, our focus is mainly on everything in the lead up to the booking. The priority is to make that process as informative, seamless and rewarding as possible - for operators and their customers. If it goes well, everybody wins. If it goes really well, everybody wins in the long term.
That's because what we've found with our first marketplace in Iceland, is that focusing on those initial stages of the travel journey can improve the whole experience for travellers. Here's how.
Before any decision is made on a booking, travellers will conduct research, look for inspiration and read around about a place, a particular operator or different types of excursion. Travelshift software acts as a one-stop-shop for all of that, not just a place to finalise bookings. That's because our marketplaces are community-driven. They are fueled by passionate locals, travel operators and fellow travellers all sharing their stories, experience and expertise.
From a technical perspective this is an SEO dream. More relevant content from relevant parties is always a winner in the eyes of search engines. From a practical perspective, it means that travellers making bookings through Travelshift platforms are better informed, better connected to operators and much more likely to have a positive experience as a result.
You can see how this all feeds back into fueling the platform even more. It's a virtuous circle. First, travellers research on the platform and search for inspiration, connecting with locals and finding out more about their potential booking. Then they book and have a more memorable experience because all the information was right at their fingertips during the process. Once they get home, they feedback into the system, perhaps with their own content, review or blog post. The network effect creates an even more valuable source of knowledge every time a traveller goes through the process.
Sound like a platform you could harness? Perhaps you already have a travel niche in mind. Get in touch with us today to get the ball rolling.