There's no denying that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the travel industry. One of the changes is the rising popularity of travel insurance, which is now seen as one of the necessities for travel, especially cross-border travel. Indeed, many governments in the world even made travel insurance that covers Covid-19 treatment as one of the requirements to enter their country, other than the usual pre-departure Covid-19 test or vaccination proof.
Thankfully, Klook has predicted it earlier than most, as we have started building our insurance products since early in the pandemic! Led by Priscilla Wong, our Senior Manager in the Insurance Services vertical, we had started to build our insurance business line in 2020 and will expand even further this year thanks to our recent partnership with ZA Tech.
We sat down with Priscilla to learn more about our travel-related insurance business, its future plan, and why this vertical has a very exciting prospect in this new travel world.
Senior Manager, Insurance Services
Insurance is quite a new product line at Klook. What attracted you to join the company?
The fact that it is a new product line at Klook! What could be more exciting than starting something new and being involved in the whole process from conceptualisation. Coming from an insurance company, working at Klook allowed me to be closer to the customer and better understand them, which allows me to design solutions that directly address their needs – which is what Klook is all about.
I was also interested to work in a dynamic startup environment, and during the pandemic, I definitely got to witness just how adaptable our Klook team is.
What are the insurance products that Klook offers right now to our users?
Travel insurance, personal accident insurance, and a cancellation flexibility service are the key products that have gone live in various markets.
Why travel-related insurance could be an important product for Klook users?
Particularly with the current COVID-19 situation, there are many uncertainties and risks as we welcome back travelling. Travel insurance can give you financial protection and assistance should anything unexpected happen; if you test positive and are required to quarantine overseas, if you need to see a doctor, if you lose your belongings, or even worse, your passport. It makes travelling much less stressful so you can have a peaceful holiday. I myself have made quite a few travel insurance claims from my travels!
What is Klook’s vision for the insurance vertical?
We want to help our customers have a happy and safe trip by addressing all types of customer worries in the simplest and most hassle-free way possible. And when we say “all types”, we really do want to push boundaries on what insurance can cover. Planned to go on a cycling tour but it rained the whole day? We want to cover you for that as well!
This also means understanding what protections are relevant to which customers and having it all easily available as they make their activity and travel plans on Klook.
What are the unique opportunities within this travel-related insurance industry?
Of course, the current COVID-19 situation hit the travel industry hard and has brought much attention to the value of having good protection when travelling.
Beyond that, the travel experience is one that has the potential to introduce insurance at a lifestyle and as-needed level whereby insurance can be small, simple, and only applied where relevant to the particular trip or experience. This is a shift away from traditional life or health insurance, and is an exciting space that has yet to reach its full potential.
What has changed in Klook's insurance vertical since our partnership with ZA Tech last year?
We are scaling up even more quickly! The partnership has allowed us to build the necessary infrastructure that we need for the insurance vertical, as it is unique in many aspects compared to our other Klook activities. You can now look forward to many new insurance products coming out this year.
What are the challenges in expanding the travel-related insurance market so far, and what is your strategy to face them?
To be honest, there have been countless. Starting something new means braving the unknown and being the frontline to any obstacles along the journey.
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges has been working our way through the different insurance regulatory requirements in our many markets. Especially as we are breaking new ground with some of our products, it requires a very close and good working relationship with the legal and local teams, as well as the insurers and regulatory authorities.
How do we stand out from all our competitors with so many platforms selling insurance? What do we have that other competitors don't?
For Klook, we already have a strong existing platform and great customer experience where customers can book all their travel activities, accommodations, transport, and more on a single platform. As a complementary service, our insurance offerings join the larger Klook experience, making it easier for customers to plan their trips.
We also offer insurances that are specially tailored for the activities Klook provides- you won’t be able to find these anywhere else!
What are the learnings you've gained since leading Klook's effort to expand our insurance products?
A key learning has been on setting a clear direction for everyone involved. With a budding new product line, there is always so much to do and so many opportunities to explore, but that is where it is crucial to set out our key focus and priorities so that everyone is headed together in the same direction. This is especially important because of the sheer number of people involved; beyond the insurance team itself, we rely heavily on many of our fellow Klookers to get anything off the ground. I have to say, I feel like I’ve talked to almost every team in Klook at this point! And the constant support has been extremely heartening and encouraging.
How has your experience working at Klook been so far?
To sum it up in a word: exhilarating. Everyday presents itself with new ideas, challenges, and advancements. In particular for the insurance team, we are still at that exciting early stage where everyday is full of “firsts”. To be honest, things have happened so fast that I feel like I’m on a roller coaster car and still riding out that big drop which is the highlight of the ride. You feel a rush of excitement all the way down and only when it finally slows down before the next dip, that’s when you really look back and are amazed at what has been accomplished.
Join Priscilla to build insurance services at Klook!
Posted by Klook Careers