Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) has topped a survey of Australia’s best value international travel insurance products for an unprecedented fourth year running.
The New Zealand company was one of just two travel insurers to receive an award for “outstanding value” in a survey of 174 international comprehensive travel insurance policies by research house CANSTAR.
SCTI is the only travel insurer to have received the award in all four of the years the survey has been conducted - its first award coming in 2009 after just six months operation in the Australian market. The specialist online travel insurer has been providing policies to New Zealanders since 1982.
The annual Australian CANSTAR survey compares policies to award value ratings (from one to five stars) based on a balance of price and 60 policy features.
This year SCTI’s five-star rated Travel Care policy was praised for having “sharp” premium pricing, particularly for family policies covering Brazil, France, the UK and South Africa, and for providing the top policy cover for single travellers in several areas.
SCTI CEO Craig Morrison said, “Few people would have a really detailed understanding of what cover is needed when travelling overseas, and therefore it can be difficult to accurately compare policies. These awards provide independent reassurance at a glance that our policy offers quality cover for an excellent price.”
Morrison said in addition to value for money policies, SCTI was focused on providing a simple and quick online purchase process, and excellent service to set it apart in the competitive Australian market.
SCTI’s profile had risen strongly in Australia on the back of a successful television campaign and targeted online marketing. The number of Australian travellers covered by SCTI policies grew by 29% in the last year.
“We believe there is room to grow our market share considerably, and have targeted our marketing at younger, price-sensitive travellers and those heading overseas for just a short break – both areas where historically travel insurance take up has been lower.”
Earlier this year SCTI reduced the minimum number of days that both its Australian and New Zealand TravelCare policies could be issued for from five days to two, meaning policies now start at $15.
Morrison said SCTI’s ability to offer value for money was a result of its commitment to a ‘direct to consumer’ online business model. In New Zealand, 95% of SCTI policy sales are transacted through its website; in Australia, 100%.
“Up until recently there was a gap in the Australian market for direct online insurance, with many Australian travellers buying travel insurance through their travel agent – and paying substantial add-on commission costs.”
“By transacting online, we can create cost efficiencies and pass these savings directly to the consumer. Awards such as CANSTAR are a real boost for building that consumer trust.”