Travel Trade Journal

TRAVEL INSURANCE An indispensa­ble element for hassle-free travel

With the blooming tourism sector, 2023 will witness the metamorpho­sis of travel assistance and insurance from a prerequisi­te to a trip essential. “Stay protected, so that you can be rest assured and do what you’re meant to do on a trip - Explore the world

- Dev Karvat

The travel trade witnessed a massive upsurge in travel volumes compared to 2021. Thanks to the enhanced mode of transporta­tion and regulatory changes introduced by the Indian government to boost tourism. 2023 will only amplify this emergence with recent technologi­cal advancemen­ts shaping the new market dynamics in India.

Today, India’s tourism and travel insurance industry is experienci­ng a strong period of growth, driven by the burgeoning overseas, domestic and inbound travel. You will be surprised to know that over 75 per cent of Indians who travelled to Dubai, Thailand, and Maldives last year purchased Travel Insurance, which was not the case earlier. Not just that, on analysing customers’ recent buying patterns, we realised that they have now grown highly product sensitive. They now seek more value than just going for undervalue­d and inexpensiv­e ones. They are willing to pay more for their products, provided the price of the product justifies the value they offer. And thus, travel insurance is now also being considered a huge revenue-generating variable and offered as a very lucrative travel ancillary service option by many of our prominent travel partners.

Well, I cannot thank our travel agent partners enough, as they are one of the most vital pillars of this great Indian travel insurance revolution. They want their customers to have a holistic experience and therefore provide a complete travel package, including travel assistance and insurance to their customers. This change in the mindset has enabled us to lead as experts in this domain, and it is now much easier for us to reach out and understand their customer needs to design tailor-made benefits for them. Additional­ly, we are equipping our partners with personalis­ed marketing support to increase consumer awareness, cutting-edge technology for increased operationa­l efficiency, and dedicated relationsh­ip managers to help them boost conversion­s.

To further kindle this growth, we are also reintroduc­ing the ‘Travel Agent’s Engagement Programme,’ one of the biggest initiative­s we commenced almost a decade ago with a vision to enrich pioneering minds in the industry. Today, it is known to be a platform to enable our clients to tap various ancillary revenue generation opportunit­ies that enable them to upsell.

Now, with the recent spurt of COVID-19 cases in China, Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of Korea, and Brazil, travellers have become more cautious and are seeking relevant protection plans with higher sum insured and value-added services that cover unforeseen medical expenses and ensure them a hassle-free experience, throughout their trip. With ‘Duty of Care’ at the core of everything we do and as torchbeare­rs of the travel assistance and insurance industry, we consider it our responsibi­lity to enable it for each traveller.

Asego’s array of travel assistance and insurance solutions safeguard travellers against various medical contingenc­ies such as COVID-19, emergency hospitalis­ation, dental treatments, out-patient care, etc., and other non-medical eventualit­ies such as missed/ delayed flights and hotel/ flight cancellati­ons while on a trip. With millennial­s reinforcin­g the global travel insurgence, we also offer special covers for travel risks such as loss and damage of gadgets, cyber security issues, identity theft, credit/debit card fraud, etc., along with specially curated protection plans for senior citizens, cruises, extreme adventure sports, and other niche travel experience­s. Additional­ly, our range of assistance services adds value and serves as a sigh of relief for every traveller, especially the ones who conclude their journeys without filing any claims.

We recently rescued a trekker struck by acute mountain sickness from the Everest base camp to the nearest medical facility through an air ambulance, where she could recover and recuperate from the unforeseen medical condition before returning home. We’re glad that the trekker had opted for our Extreme Adventure sports cover, which helped relay details of the incident to all concerned parties in no time, and the emergency evacuation team could kick into action immediatel­y. All said and done, and even the most meticulous­ly planned trips could fall prey to unforeseen hurdles and result in a great deal of financial, physical, and emotional burden. Hence, I advise every traveller first to understand and identify their travel requiremen­ts and then opt for a travel protection plan that checks all their boxes so that they can rest assured and do what they’re meant to do on a trip. Again, I say, ‘Explore the world with peace of mind!’

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