Is Co-opting technology into travel insurance a trend?
The move by the Co-op to marry technology with unlimited medical expenses - with its first foray into the travel insurance market - has been hailed as the shape of things to come by Aquarium Software. The travel insurance technology specialist says that in addition to being a first for the general insurance market, the ability to speak to a doctor before and during a trip via smartphone is just one more example of how technology will transform the sector in the years ahead. The move to pay medical expenses up-front is big news, with holidaymakers currently having to claim back retrospectively – with the average travel claim standing at over £2,000.
Back in November, Zurich introduced a ‘selfie app’ to improve consumer experience of buying life cover. The Co-op is moving down a similar tech track by including online medical consultation worldwide - enabling customers to receive prescriptions on the fly and eliminating the need to navigate foreign health systems and language barriers.
“With travel insurance under the spotlight more than ever, this is an interesting move by the Co-op,” said Aquarium Software Director, Mark Colonnese. “Being inclusive of all ages and medical conditions, it should certainly prove popular, as no-one wants to be counting the cost of being ill or seriously injured abroad. The high-tech side is part of the Co-op’s new offering illustrates an exciting and emerging trend travellers are going to be seeing a lot more of,” added Mark.
“With Zurich and now the Co-op upping the technology stakes, the travel insurance sector is watching closely,” said Colonnese. With competitive policy pricing, there is a gap in the market for this product and despite the Co-op banking arm’s £2.6bn losses since the crash, consumers still trust the brand”, added Mark. “The big unknown is how profitable it will prove to be, once quotes are known for the demographics likely to find cashless medical expenses and the all age-inclusive offer most tempting. If technology helps prove the success of this model, we can expect the market to follow suit,” concluded Colonnese.