Co-op enters travel insurance market

Co-op Insurance has entered the Travel Insurance market, seeking to disrupt the sector by offering a new product shaped by its members.

The new travel insurance product offers cashless medical expenses, for all ages and medical conditions, meaning customers will not have to pay out themselves for any medical treatment – a first for the general insurance market.

Highlighting a need for this change, Co-op’s new study reveals more than half (56%) of holidaymakers in the North West who have claimed on their travel insurance, said they had to cover the costs upfront themselves and then claim these costs back at a later date from their insurer.

With the average travel insurance claim now standing at £941, Co-op’s study reveals the effect this has on North West holidaymakers’ pockets. A fifth (15%) had to turn to family members to borrow money in order to pay the claim.

A quarter (25%) had to take money out of their savings and a fifth (15%) ended up in debt as a result of having to pay the claim themselves and then claim this back from their insurer.

Furthermore, the new travel insurance product will offer Co-op customers access to an online medical consultation with a General Medical Council (GMC) registered doctor, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from anywhere in the world.

Customers can use their smart phones or tablets to speak to doctors both prior to jetting off and during their holidays. Users can also receive prescriptions, referrals and fit-for-work notes, avoiding the need to navigate unfamiliar health systems and overcome language barriers.

Co-op’s Travel Insurance can be broken down into the following, three policies; Single Trip, Annual / Multi-trip and Backpacker travel insurance and encompasses three phases of travelling pre, during and post trips.

Mark Summerfield, CEO, Co-op Insurance said: “This is an exciting time for the Co-op as we introduce Travel Insurance to our portfolio of products. Having recognised a gap in the market, we’ve worked with our members across the Co-op, to build a product which is fair, inclusive of all ages and medical conditions.

“Furthermore, we’re the first general insurer to pay medical expenses up front, ensuring that our customers are not left out of pocket at what can already be a stressful time.”

For more information on Co-op Travel insurance visit www.co-opinsurance.co.uk

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