Frederik Bisbjerg is head of group retail & executive VP – MENA at QIC and Arijit Munshi (Ori) is GM, Tune Protect Commercial Brokerage LLC
You are in a partnership with Tune Protect to provide travel insurance to travellers in the region. What triggered this collaboration?
Frederik: Travel is a fast growing industry in the region, and from within the Middle East markets, it is known to be one of the most active in the world in regards to travel. That said, however, only a fraction of those who travel buy travel insurance. We see this as a very high growth area and hence our decision to partner with Tune Protect.
Tune Protect is known for understanding the concept of providing travel insurance for travellers through both online as well as the offline side of travel and providing a unique selling proposition to motivate the travellers to purchase travel insurance.
Ori: For Tune Protect, it is important that our partner is as passionate as we are to insure travellers as well as to expand their (partner) footprint across the region through both the online as well as offline booking channel for the travel industry. QIC is a well-known brand name and their vision is in line with what we strive to achieve, to become a market leader in the travel insurance segment within the online space as well as capitalise the growth in the region through innovation and value proposition.
In regards to the Travel Insurance segment within the region, how different are you in terms of product as compared to the other Travel Insurance providers?
Ori: We understand the importance of the Travel Agency community and their role in educating the travellers in regards to the Travel Insurance. It is through the Travel Agency community we are reaching out to the various types of travellers be it business, leisure or adventure, in offering customised travel insurance plans for the different types of travellers. And based on the feedback received from the travel agency community, we are continuously developing our products so that the travel agency community can offer better service to their customers combined in providing peace of mind while they travel.
In your view, how/why has the concept of travel insurance picked up in this region?
Frederick: Besides better-informed travellers on the benefit of travel insurance, we cannot discount the global events which have pushed travellers to be savvier when they travel. I believe that travellers are slowly accepting and understanding that travel insurance is an important element to enable travellers to be prepared should a misfortune befall them. It is our aim to make the purchase of travel insurance habitual instead of optional, with the advocacy and directing our joint efforts with Tune Protect towards the travel agency community we should be able to get the travellers more informed and understand the importance of travel insurance. A better informed travel choice, to purchase travel insurance.
What do you think is the future of travel insurance in the region? – may be a good idea to get in some numbers here…
Frederik: With our partnership, we have very good potential to grow the market. Travel is a major economic contributor to the region and this will remain despite economic headwinds. With the influence of digital technology, purchase behaviour would gradually shift to favour e-commerce or online purchases.
In line with that, travellers will assume the roles of researchers where the ‘shop’ for insurance like how they shop for their travel tickets, destinations etc. When that happens, travel insurance will be part of a traveler’s checklist of essentials and the adoption of travel insurance will be innate.