Hedging risk has always been a prudent way forward to cut unforeseen losses. Travel Insurance for domestic and international travel has gradually but firmly entrenched itself in the Indian travel market over the last two decades. Multiple brands and products have entered the market with their plethora of offerings. The last 30 months and the uncertainty created in the travel space have warranted a re-look at the travel risk management aspect. Hence, companies are responding with new products and innovations, now best suited to the current times. TTJ interacted with Dev Karvat, Founder and CEO of Asego, a company with a strong foothold in the travel and health insurance sector, to understand the current dynamics and innovations.
– Gurjit Singh Ahuja
Dev Karvat is no stranger to the Indian Travel insurance space, with almost two decades behind him in this specialised space growing from a staff of 10 to a current team of 450 spread across 47 offices pan India. Over the decades, he has constantly innovated and grown to deliver new-age travel ancillary services to clients with innovation and customer-centricity at the core. Recipient of numerous national and international accolades, his company has served reputed brands across retail, corporate, and e-commerce segments, including Indigo, GoAir, Yatra, FCM, Dnata, and many of their products are underwritten by renowned insurers such as ICICI Lombard, Aditya Birla, Liberty and Cholamandalam MS.
Dev is a young and dynamic visionary and is determined to revolutionize the Indian Insurance sector with his new venture – Asego.
Q. What’s new with Asego, and how is it different from your previous business model?
The COVID-19 pandemic was the first truly global crisis we ever witnessed in our lifetime. With rampant uncertainty related to health, mobility, and the economy, businesses worldwide had a hard time adjusting to its impact. However, the pandemic created positive disruption also, providing a plethora of opportunities spearheaded by technology and innovation. We are glad that Asego is also a part of this great revolution. We are about to launch our all-new tech platform, allowing our partners to issue policies on the go in just three clicks. Furthermore, we have moved to a multiple underwriter model, which will provide our partners with more flexibility and freedom to customise products and services as per their customers’ needs.
Q. Please elaborate on your product offerings and how it has been helping your clients?
Our bouquet of travel assistance services and new-age bundled products have always been customer favorites. Nevertheless, we realiSed that tailoring offerings at a micro-level is the need of the hour. We are now offering an array of relevant standalone products, such as quarantine cancellations, visa refusal, flight delay/interruption covers, gadget protection, etc., pertinent to the current scenario. This will help our partners design customised, relevant travel protection plans for their customers and give them an up-selling edge to increase revenue.
Q. Today’s travellers seek products and services that can help them during unforeseen situations. What’s your plan of action for this?
What differentiates us from other companies is the way we work. During emergencies, we immediately bring together all stakeholders, such as the affected family, the underwriter, the hospital, etc., on the same platform. Everyone is kept apprised of the progress and gravity of the situation. This helps us maintain complete transparency amongst all stakeholders and ensures that assistance is provided with the fastest TAT. Apart from providing cashless claims and reimbursement facilities to the customers in need, we also provide relevant assistance services to travellers, including doctor on call, support during baggage loss and missed flights, advice on COVID-19 protocols in different countries, and other related services.
Q. How different is the travel insurance market when compared to the pre-COVID times?
Awareness and need for the right travel protection have increased multifold. Many countries have made it mandatory to travel with the right insurance coverage, and it is no longer limited to the United States, Canada, and the EU. Also, on analysing customers’ recent buying patterns, we realized that they have now grown highly product sensitive. They now seek more value rather than just going for undervalued and inexpensive ones.
Q. Being a pioneer and visionary in the field of insurance, what’s your message for the travel trade?
The pandemic did affect our travel business radically. Still, it also allowed us to take a step back, reassess ourselves, figure out what was missing, and integrate the lessons learned to come out stronger than ever. Ultimately, I feel that it’s just a matter of perceiving things differently. Because when we change the way, we look at things, the things you look at change!