June 13, 2019

How Blink’s innovative travel disruption solution is revolutionising travel insurance

Source:Willis Towers Watson Quarterly InsurTech Briefing Q3 2018

Flight delay and cancellation insurance products, there’s plenty of them out there. However, most are a reactive solution to a problem that’s already happened and caused enough irritation. After which you have to fill out forms, submit documents and then wait for your payment to arrive… What if there was a travel insurance product that could remove the need for claims processes? Better yet, it tells you that there’s been an issue with your flight and solves the problem for you?

Blink’s travel disruption solution takes this kind of proactive approach. It offers customers a real-time insurance product that meets the speed and convenience that modern customers demand. Blink has formed a number of distribution partnerships in large markets including Blue Cross in Canada and Generali in Pan Asia.

With the Blink travel disruption solution, a customer is notified promptly if a flight is delayed, cancelled or a connecting flight will be missed. Real-time event notification allows for real-time problem resolution. Blink offers customers options for a cash payment, re-booking of next available flights or access to airport lounges to remove the stress and anxiety of travel disruption.

Paul Prendergast, CEO of Blink, talks about where the concept for Blink’s travel disruption solution came from in the latest Willis Towers Watson Quarterly InsurTech Briefing: ‘We were looking at a data driven insurance platform and felt that building a tangible product was the best way to communicate what we were trying to achieve. Travel insurance was an interesting sector as it is bigger than digital music with little or no innovation over the past 20 years. Secondly, travel was very mature in terms of data availability and there were many global providers that we could partner with to build a scalable event-based insurance solution.’

Paul explains how the main challenge with bringing this concept to life was in establishing the best way to bring the idea to market. ‘We tested a number of approaches and are now very happy that we are working with travel insurance companies across the globe to help them provide innovative solutions and enhanced customer experience to their customers.’

Although there are so many travel insurance related products on the market, Blink’s solution doesn’t re-package what’s already out there. Blink’s event-based insurance re-thinks products that provide reactive solutions to travel problems. With a traditional insurance indemnity, customers will often have a number of issues to tackle when their moment of truth arises and they need to make actual use of their insurance product. Providing proof, follow-up correspondence, covering costs themselves, realising that their policy doesn’t cover them for what they hoped it would – these are just a few of the problems that customers will encounter with a conventional travel insurance product. Paul discusses the importance of continuing to improve customer experiences by keeping things simple for them:

‘Customers today demand simplicity and speed. Our customers are always pleasantly surprised at how simple and transparent the process is and how quickly it works. They will continue to demand higher levels of service offerings and it is up to users of data to provide a progressive customer experience that matches advancements in technology.’ It’s a real-time solution that proactively notifies the customer if there has been any disruption to their travel plans before solving the problem for them. They don’t need to fill out any claim forms and there are no frictional cost implications to the customer i.e re-booking flights themselves.

For travel insurance companies Blink’s solution could be a real game changer for their existing product. Paul describes two ways in which their travel insurance partners can benefit from the Blink Solution, ‘Firstly, as a way of adding real value to their core travel insurance solution and providing real innovation to their customers. Most partners are looking to remove the fluff from their policies where there is no real usage or real customer value and to replace this with solid tangible value… The second way is to sell the solution as a standalone product to generate a new revenue stream.’

To read more about how the Blink travel disruption solution works click here.

This post is extracted from an article in the Willis Towers Watson Quarterly InsurTech Briefing Q3 2018.