Canada Insurance Giant Manulife has turned to Irish travel insurtech Blink to help it connect to younger, digitally-savvy customers. Blink has established itself through offering proactive travel insurance to customers as it automatically rebooks cancelled flights. It has a staggered system where customers delayed for three hours gain access to an airport lounge, then a hotel room if it’s over six hours and a new flight if it is cancelled or a flight connection is missed.
This is an emerging trend within the travel insurance sector, with competitor Fizzy offering a similar product to customers flying to the USA, though that only covers rebooking flights for severe delays or cancellations.
The Canada market represents a good opportunity for Blink, as only 28% of the population currently holds an annual travel insurance policy, according to GlobalData statistics. This compares to 35% in the UK and 38% in Ireland, where Blink originates, which suggests that there is room for growth within the Canadian market.
Manulife turning to Blink shows the interest from top insurers in real-time flight insurance continues to be strong, following Axa’s launching a partnership with Fizzy in 2017. With travel insurance penetration rates low around the world (an average of 27% of consumers globally hold an annual travel insurance policy) – especially among younger customers – convenient and digital policies like these should help to engage customers. It is also a continuation on the trend of leading insurers turning to start-ups to help them with innovation, and specifically in connecting to younger customers.
Our survey data showing that 72% of Canadians travel without an annual insurance policy suggests that this is a real opportunity for Blink to expand its global reach. The start-up has already been backed by European Insurance giant, Zurich, and it looks well set to continue disrupting the travel market.