The second market in our European feature is France. As with her American and British counterparts, France has the highest proportion of respondents believing that they already have sufficient coverage of travel insurance from their banks and credit card companies.
France has long been considered one of the strongest bancassurance markets in the world, where consumers look towards banks as a one-stop shop to resolve their finance and insurance problems (Read more: Insurance Diversification Benefits French Banks’ Ratings – Fitch Ratings). While life insurance remains a strong contender in this aspect, travel insurance partnerships remain untapped and can be further explored for bancassurance growth in France.
Pertaining to insurance partnerships with travel players, the UK and France markets indicated the highest interest to purchase personal accident insurance plans, which indicates potential to upsell at the point of purchase.
Let us look into the specifics of the French market for the prospects of travel insurance and embedded insurance partnerships in 2022. The consumer research is part of Ancileo’s 2022 Travel Insurance Whitepaper, in which you can find the key highlights gathered from the global research deck in our post here.
Melanie Viadero, Sales Manager, Corporate Mobility of AXA, posited that unique to the EU region, the demand for domestic trips is high compared to pre-COVID levels. Predominantly (72%) Gen-X and -Y respondents are intending to travel internationally.
How does this implicate travel insurance? Consumers are more likely to get travel insurance for international travels (50% of international travelers will opt in), than for domestic travels (Only 44% of domestic travelers will opt in).
But here is a caveat with the French market, as the strategy is not so straightforward and direct to target younger travelers. AXA highlighted that the new generation of younger travelers prefer to purchase their air tickets, hotels, travel insurance separately compared to the older generation who prefer to purchase in packages.
Who do French consumers buy their travel insurance from? There is almost an equal split of travelers with insurer brand loyalty, with competitive pricing clearly as an influencing factor, but there are preferred brands that stood out:
What pushes French consumers to buy travel insurance in 2022? COVID-19 coverage and support are the top motivations for purchase, partially also attributed to the mandate by the French market (extension of stay, quarantine).
Breaking down by consumer types, travelers aged 40 years old and above highly value COVID-19 related benefits and support. For higher managerial workers across all sectors, they prefer a plan with a higher coverage amount. While younger travelers aged between 25-30 years old value the price of the insurance plan the most.
What additional services would incentivise French consumers to purchase travel insurance from you? As with other markets, the top services are related to traveling during COVID-19 times and interestingly, French consumers also value home surveillance when abroad.
French consumers still prefer to purchase directly from insurers, followed by banks and credit cards, and remain open to purchase from travel players although it is by a minimal percentage (9% with airlines, 8% with OTAs, 6% with travel VISA vendors, and 5% with hotels).
By means/medium of purchase, AXA opined that the best conversion rate for travel insurance are from in-path sales. The cost of travel insurance to travelers may have increased significantly since COVID-19, but conversion rates have also increased due to raised awareness about the importance of insurance. By consumer type, frequent domestic travelers (>4 times) in a year are also most influenced by one-click purchase.
Reasons cited by French consumers to purchase/not purchase via in-path means
While a competitive price package is clearly a draw, insurers and travel players can think out of the box for other factors affecting the travel insurance proposition. With AXA, they are working with strong travel brands (i.e. Club Med, Europcar) to look into factors that affect conversion rates optimization, such as booking path, visibility of benefits, COVID-19 highlights, training for sellers (travel agencies, call centers) and brand communication.
Lastly, there are also other product opportunities to tap on the platforms of travel players. Almost half of the respondents surveyed (49%) are open to buying non-travel insurance products from travel players, with the top motivating factors being price discounts and personalized coverage.