Thomas Cook has launched a new travel insurance brand developed for customers to buy and manage their policies on mobile phones.
Roam is the first major product built and developed by Cook’s new in-house ‘Money’ division based in London that is developing a modern financial services arm at the travel firm.
It was soft launched last November since when Cook has been honing the functionality based on real customer experience and feedback.
The policies sold by Roam are provided by Cook’s own in-house insurance firm White Horse, which is based and regulated in the Republic of Ireland.
Roam was rolled out to customers yesterday and while Cook is not planning any major above the line marketing, it will embark on a significant digital campaign overseen by marketing agency Home.
Cook describes Roam as a “pay-as-you-go mobile first insurance policy” that allows users to opt for single or multi trip or annual or open-ended cover, and to add in additional requirements like winter sports or golf as required.
Anth Mooney, managing director of Thomas Cook Money, said: “The product has been designed to live and breathe on the mobile phone.
“Customers can switch in and out different packages and services. Typically people buy travel insurance through aggregators so it’s entirely price driven and it’s often sub-standard cover.
“We have worked with customers as part of the process of developing Roam.
“Everything we do here is agile in short six week sprints and we get a prototype out very quickly so within a few days we can have an early version out with real customers. You can set up a policy with Roam in two to three minutes.
“From a digital point of view you can control the customer experience and conversation far more readily than when you are selling insurance in a traditional retail environment.”
Mooney said he believes with Cook’s distribution and established presence in the market Roam can scale quickly.
The firm already writes one million insurance policies a year making it a major provider of cover.
Cook has a distribution deal with insurance broker InterMundial on the continent and supplies travel insurance through digital banking app Revolut.
Mooney said Cook was looking at a range of retail partners, both in travel and outside of the sector, to broaden the distribution footprint of Roam.
“We will start with one or two retail partners in the UK,” he said. “Retailers are looking for lots of different ways to engage with their customers whether they have a particular travel focus but it’s not their core business. You can sell Roam alongside other travel products.”
Cook’s in-store agents will be trained to offer Roam to customers and walk them through the set-up process.
Once completed all documents are stored in the app so the holidaymaker does not have to remember to take them with them when abroad.
In-app claims have recently been introduced to Roam providing payments within 24 hours.