Canadian Underwriter

Travel insurance program targets those not buying through brokers

July 23, 2018   by Jason Contant

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Specialized travel insurance provider TuGo has launched an Affiliate Program, a secondary distribution channel to reach travellers who aren’t currently buying products through traditional channels such as brokers.

TuGo’s CEO, Patrick Robinson, told Canadian Underwriter Monday that TuGo’s Affiliate Program (TAP) is designed for Canadian individuals and organizations who are unlicensed to sell travel insurance, but are looking to better serve their online communities by referring customers to TuGo.

“TAP increases TuGo’s distribution to market, but doesn’t take away from our traditional insurance business,” Robinson said. “Specifically, TAP serves travellers online who aren’t currently buying insurance through traditional channels, including brokers. TAP gives travellers choice, being there where they want us to be: on their favourite websites, blogs, newsletters or social media feeds.”

The affiliate cannot provide insurance guidance or advice, but hosts an ad that drives their online followers to a TuGo travel insurance sales portal where travellers can read about travel insurance and buy it if they so choose.

Robinson said having an unlicensed affiliate network will allow TuGo to “widen its net of distribution, and generate greater brand awareness in the market. Again, we are not taking business away from the traditional insurance channel.”

The Insurance Brokers Association of British Columbia could not be immediately reached for comment about affiliate programs and their impact on brokers.

When asked what prompted TuGo to launch the affiliate program, Robinson pointed to the importance of technology. “Buying power is shifting to younger generations, and technology plays a huge role in how people prefer to interact and transact,” he said. “The new generation of travelers have different preferences and requirements, and technology has opened up a world of possibilities for travel and insurance, offering travelers more options and flexibility.”

Affiliates will have access to built-in tracking links, real-time analytics, and professional marketing assets that can be incorporated into their websites, newsletters and social channels. For every travel insurance policy sold through an affiliate’s unique link, they’ll be compensated 10% of the travel insurance policy cost once the policy goes into effect. “So if the policy is $100, the unlicensed affiliate would be compensated $10,” Robinson said.

To be eligible for TAP, applicants must be a Canadian individual or organization and not licensed to sell travel insurance in Canada (excluding Quebec, Manitoba and Nunavut).