Avid Insurance gunning for ‘strong growth’ post-Covid
04 March 2022
Prices are hardening because of Covid according to Avid’s head of personal lines
Specialist MGA, Avid Insurance is targeting “strong growth” by the end of next year following the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions as the travel insurance market gears up.
The MGA distributes personal lines travel insurance products via brokers, and aims to build on its pre-Covid share of the travel insurance market.
Dan Baldwin, head of personal lines at specialist MGA Avid Insurance said: “We have really strong relationships with our specialist travel insurance distribution partners, and we’ve really tried hard during the period when travel was in the doldrums to support them as best, we could.”
He explained that family holidays in Europe and short duration trips are showing first signs of recovery in 2022, whereas for long haul trips Baldwin expects these will return to pre-pandemic levels as confidence returns.
Baldwin added: “Airline capacity is also limited for long haul and transatlantic flights, in line with continuing worries about Covid. Capacity will improve as public confidence improves.”
The MGA is ”highly optimistic” about market prospects for 2022 and 2023.
But he pointed out that customers should also expect to pay more for cover.
Baldwin said: “Prices are hardening because Covid and the resulting high demand for beds has created operational problems in some hospitals. This in turn has increased the costs of overseas medical care.
“Our medical assistance partners are also finding it more difficult to arrange for medical escorts or air ambulances to fly people home due to ongoing testing requirements and entry restrictions, which vary widely across different countries.”
The MGA’s focus over the last two years has been working with its partners, ensuring products are ”fit for purpose” and that customer’s are at the heart of policy decisions.
Avid is sponsoring the Travel Insurance Industry Conference (TIIC) in May and recruited an additional specialist travel underwriter in January.
“Travel is a major pillar of Avid’s overall MGA proposition,” he said.
On the flip side, Baldwin admitted that the pandemic has brought with it some valuable travel insurance lessons.
He continued: “We have done a lot of work to try to develop and transition our product offerings to deliver coverage we believe is appropriate for the post pandemic market.
“We have also invested in automating our reporting and analytics to deliver best in class, accurate MI to our partners and our capacity providers.”
Meanwhile, improvements to cover included the option to extend policies if customers are unable to return home because of pandemic-related travel disruption or border closures
Lastly Baldwin added: “Travel insurance is a complex product with a lot of different covers, although cancellation and medical expenses covers remain key in the Covid era.”
He admitted that Avid needs to continue improving its policies and customer information at the point of sale to ensure clarity on risks covered.