Cover-More CEO expands on ‘on-the-go insurance’ offering

Cover-More Freely

Cover-More chief executive Cara Morton has revealed further details on updates to its world-first “on-the-go insurance” service, Freely, which can now track, in real-time, specific high-risk activities engaged in by its premium holders and provide them with “top-up” insurance recommendations.

Launched by the Zurich-owned travel insurer in late 2022, the Freely app enables users to not only customise an insurance package, at initial purchase, to suit specific travel needs, but also add incidental insurance (for instance, ski or snowboard insurance), on-the-go, to an existing premium.

“If people from Australia go on holidays in Europe, they don’t want to, say, take out ski insurance for the whole two months they’re away. They only really need it for the days they’re [skiing],” Morton said, speaking at FST’s Future of Insurance 2023 conference today.

She revealed that an update to the Freely service, which leverages AI combined with a smartphone’s motion capture and geolocation capabilities, can detect, in real-time, specific high-risk activities that a customer is engaged in, and – via a push notification – immediately send tailored insurance recommendations to cover this activity.

For instance, the app can track whether a user is seated on a motorbike, in a taxi, or on a bus in motion and prompt them with insurance ‘top-up’ recommendations.

“Let’s say you’re in Bali. You jump on a bike – and we know what insurance you’ve taken out – and we can say, ‘Hey, we know you’re not covered for this activity. For – let’s say – two dollars a day or however long you engage in this activity, we can cover you’.”

Morton added: “We’re listening and we’re meeting the exact demands of the end traveller, [making it] really customised and tailored to the end individual.”

“This is the world’s first on-the-go, top-up insurance, and this is what people want.”

Freely was co-created by Belgium-based telematics and ‘motion insights’ developer Sentiance.

The tech developer is perhaps best known for creating ride-hailing service Uber’s ‘Driving Insights’ platform, built to track drivers’ usage and handling of their smartphones and warn them of unsafe or distracting behaviours.

Morton said she recognised the need for a more dynamic and customisable travel insurance offering, and indeed greater clarity in premium offerings, back when she joined Cover-More in 2018 to lead its Global Medical Assistance arm.

“People who rang the assistance [line] were, or their relatives were, often in very serious conditions. They may have been in, say Indonesia or Thailand in situations where they didn’t realise they weren’t covered for the activity they were doing.”

“I thought, ‘We need to do better’. We need to give people every opportunity to take out insurance for the activities that they’re doing and give [customers] the opportunity to understand what they’re covered for and what they’re not.”