(Image credit: Miguel Ángel Sanz.)
Severe weather struck much of the continental U.S. and Canada last week in the form of snow and ice storms. These caused more than 11,000 flight cancellations in 1 week, and over 30,000 delays1 leading to thousands of traveler claims, and huge claims processing costs for travel insurers. Blink Parametric, a Cork, Ireland-based InsurTech that uses parametric technology coupled with insurance, reports that it protected over 60,000 U.S. and Canadian travelers during the holiday week through simplifying and expedite claims processing for travel insurers.
Travelers insured with one of Blink Parametric’s travel insurance partners simply register their flights, and from there the flight and itinerary is automatically monitored in real-time in order to provide digital assistance should an eligible delay or cancellation occur to their scheduled flight (outward, connecting or return). The insurance pay-out or airport lounge pass is made automatically, and a range of additional options can be provided, such as hotel accommodation or flight re-booking based on the journey status of the traveler.
Operational Burden for Insurers Processing Claims
Aside from an influx of travel and luggage delay claims as a result of the storm, and the compensation that will have to be paid out as a result, many traditional travel insurance companies are facing a huge overhead and operational burden in processing claims—even those which ultimately might not be accepted must still be assessed and processed, notes a statement from Blink. “This is a major turning point for the travel insurance industry and is the ultimate proof point that a major shift in how travel and luggage delay claims are paid is now critically important for the long-term future of the sector,” the statement asserts.
“We are seeing continued and increased demand from travel insurers worldwide that are looking to modernize and improve their customer claims experience on high volume, low value claims while mitigating claims handling costs,” comments Carl Carter, Chief Commercial Officer, Blink Parametric.
Blink Parametric works with travel insurers across the globe to improve customer experience and manage costs and claims in real-time, where there is a clear pay-out requirement, e.g., flight cancellation or delay. Blink says that its experience from working with global insurance partners, is that insurers want to pay claims in a timely manner, but many are hampered by the operational and staffing costs of managing the claims process manually, especially at peak times in, what is the vendor insists is still a very traditional industry.
“These recent winter storms in the US and Canada have really shown the benefit of parametric claims handling to both traveler and travel insurer, as we have been able to deliver lounge passes and claims payments in real-time, exactly when the traveler needed it,” adds Blink Parametric’s Carter. “Our partner travel insurers have also benefited by the ability of our parametric systems to automatically handle claims at scale, especially at peak times of surge like this.”