According to travel insurer FastCover, an authorised representative of AGA Assistance Australia Pty Ltd, trading as Allianz Global Assistance, the recent gowth in travellers booking their insurance online has been phenomenal. It’s a trend that contibutes to grow, and Fast Cover has just launched its new mobile-responsive website. Travellers looking to purchase insurance will now have the same experience and functionality of the website whether they are on their PC, tablet or phone.
“Mobile (smartphone) shopping grew by 101% between 2012 and 2013 and we can only expect that to increase,” said Mr Dean Van Es, Fast Cover’s CEO. “The new interface will make purchasing travel insurance even simpler and faster.”
Along with the new site, Fast Cover has also released three new product features. The company’s latest offerings include a new Medical Only plan. All policies will also now provide cover for pregnancy** and the Comprehensive with Snow Cover plan will now provide cover for cat-skiing, heli-skiing and off-piste skiing*.
Canstar caught up with Fast Cover’s CEO for a quick Q&A on travel trends and changing needs.
Q: Have you noticed changes in the way that Australians travel in recent years?
A: There has been an increase in the number of mothers-to-be going on a babymoon, which is why Fast Cover has introduced new automatic cover for pregnancy up to and including the 23rd week in all our policies.
There has also been an increase in airline competition on Pacific and Asian routes and as a result, a drop in the cost of flights. Now more people are travelling to destinations such as Bali, Thailand and Vietnam. At the same time, more travellers are regularly heading to Europe for shorter trips because it is less expensive to head overseas. Of course, getting medical treatment in Europe is more expensive than in Asia and the Pacific, which has increased demand for overseas emergency medical cover.
We’ve also seen an increase in the number of people seeking cover for adventure activities such as trekking to 6,000 meters such as Everest Base Camp and scuba diving to 30 meters. This inspired our new Adventure Pack.
Finally the number of people going on cruises has increased. This has also contributed to the demand for medical cover, as more people are aware of the medical costs that come with needing emergency medical assistance on board.
Q: What type of data do you use to help you determine the policy inclusions that are important?
A: Every day we are discussing our policies with our travellers on the phone and via email. We have also commissioned an independent survey of 1,000 Australian travellers to better understand their needs.
Claims data is regularly analysed and we work closely with our emergency assistance partner Allianz Global Assistance.
Q: The growth in mobile shopping is amazing. Do people buying on a smartphone tend to be making a last minute purchase?
A: A lot of travellers use their mobile to research. Purchases on mobiles and tablets are consistently growing for both long lead time purchases and last minute purchases, which is why we have built our mobile responsive website. It allows you to have a similar fast and simple experience whatever device you’re using.
Q: Your medical only policy is interesting. What are common types of medical claims you see?
A: There are many medical emergencies that travellers can experience. In our top ten travel insurance claim pay-outs in the last year we saw people fall on a cruise ship and fracture their leg, fall from their bed on a cruise ship and injure their spine, suffer internal bleeding from a fall while snowboarding and people that have become suddenly sick with a bacterial infection or a new chronic disease. Five out of the top 10 highest claim payouts were related to cruises, four of which were medical related.
Anecdotally we’d say becoming injured after a fall, whether that’s on a cruise, on a ski run or on dry land, is one of the most common causes for a medical claim.
Fast Cover’s new product features, strategic pricing and revamped website are the initial stages of its plan to become a dominant player in the Australian travel insurance market.
**No cover is provided for pregnancy, childbirth or related complications unless it is a single, uncomplicated pregnancy up to and including 23 weeks. In any event we will not pay medical expenses for regular antenatal care, childbirth at any gestation or care of the newborn child. Complications mean any secondary diagnosis occurring prior to, during the course of, concurrent with, or as a result of the pregnancy, which may adversely affect the pregnancy outcome.
*See Product Disclosure Statement for full terms and conditions and exclusions and limits that apply