The thought that an unexpected illness or accident could ruin a vacation may cross the mind of many travelers. But Seven Corners, an international travel insurance and specialty benefit management company, is piloting a new program to help its ecosystem of independent brokers – more than 4,000 strong — advise travelers that the financial risk and inconvenience associated with falling ill far from home can be hefty.
“Educating consumers on the need for travel medical insurance is a major challenge,” said Greg Jung, Sever Corners’ VP of Marketing. Many people mistakenly assume that their health insurance automatically provides coverage while on vacation. But according to the US State Department, while “some health insurance companies pay ‘customary and reasonable’ hospital costs abroad, very few pay for your medical evacuation back to the United States. Medical evacuation can cost more than $50,000, depending on your location and medical condition.”
To help brokers more proactively market travel insurance offerings to the same customers they may sell auto, home, property and casualty protection policies, Seven Corners is piloting a digitally-supported program built on through-channel marketing automation technology from Zift Solutions.
The program will be made available to 15 brokers through the first quarter of this year. Another 35 brokers will be added to the program by July. By the end of 2019, Seven Corners is planning to engage 100 brokers in the program.
“We understand that rolling out a program like this us going to take some time and hand-holding for our broker community,” said Jung. “If we can just get co-brandable assets to them this year, we’ll be much further ahead than where we were last year. We’re realistic with the goals that we have.”
The company has dedicated a new resource to focus solely on brokers enrolled in the program. Zift Solution is also providing onboarding support.
Jung is confident that brokers will participate. “They have told us they need help with marketing. They need more assets to support campaigns. And they need help playing in the digital demand gen space,” he said. “Our goal is to help our brokers by making landing pages and banner ads available for co-branding so they can leverage them to drive additional sales volume and activity.”
Jung expects the program will encourage brokers to use some of the most basic marketing tactics to grow their business. “A lot of brokers don’t even do email marketing,” he said. By providing brokers with compelling content and the technology to automate campaigns, “we’re making it very easy for these brokers to run simple customer acquisition campaigns. I think that’s going be a big win.”
With the Zift solution, brokers will be able to identify which customers are engaging with their marketing efforts, said Jung. “They’ve not had that visibility in the past.”
Seven Corners is also supporting its brokers with marketing best practices such as customer persona development. “We identified 11 different personas that are buying travel insurance from us,” explained Jung. “Boomers are definitely a big part of our target, but they’re not the most popular. In fact they come in third. Our largest market segment is actually in the 25-34 demographic, and then 35-44 years. What we’re seeing is a lot of millennials who are actually inquiring about travel insurance for their parents.”
The launch of Seven Corner’s pilot is well timed. According to research by Adroit Market Research, the global travel insurance market, which includes products for medical expenses, trip cancellation, trip delay and property damages, is expected to grow to than $35 billion by 2025 due to increasing levels of tourism globally. The U.S. travel insurance market size is estimated to surpass $8 billion by the end of 2025.
In addition to providing travel insurance for medical expenses, Seven Corners provides trip protection insurance against cancellations, lost baggage or flight delay. The company offers travel packages for students studying abroad. Multi-trip packages provide extended protection for multiple vacations. Seven Corners also offers policies for non-citizens visiting the United States for an extended period.
Seven Corners expects that its increased marketing support will compel brokers to promote the travel insurance products to the same customers they provide auto, home, property and casualty protection. “We’re sure that there are many brokers who have customers that aren’t aware that travel insurance is something they offer,” said Jung.