Chief executive has further plans to offer parametric event cancellation policies to charities too

Student and education sector-centric insurance broker Endsleigh Insurance, part of Howden Group, has plans to launch a new parametric travel cover for students this month (January 2022), in partnership with insurtech Setoo.

The parametric policy aims to support students who are travelling during their university gap year by paying out if pre-booked flights are cancelled.

Alison Meckiffe, Endsleigh’s chief executive, told Insurance Times: “The parameters are around if the flights are cancelled, then [policyholders] are just paid out. It’s not a claim situation, it’s just an immediate pay out as per the policy terms.”

With plans to launch the travel parametric product to the market this month, Meckiffe explained that the timing aims to coincide with the ski season, which typically runs between December and April, to provide cover for “no snow” situations.

“Pennies and pounds mean a lot to students, so if they can ensure that whatever pennies and pounds they spend give them the experience they want, that’s the proposition,” Meckiffe explained.

Students will be able to access the product via the My Endsleigh app, which launched in August 2021 after a speedy four-month development turnaround. Meckiffe described the app as “being an introducer, not a producer”.

She continued: “The relationship is with Endsleigh and then we introduce an awful lot of products – some of which are insurance, some of which aren’t. We are engaged with a lot of insurtech provisions as well.”

Product expansion

Meckiffe is also looking to extend the parametric model to the charities sector, which is another market niche Endsleigh is targeting.

She said: “There’s a huge sensitivity with charities on every pound they spend. If they spend £5,000 on an event, they need to be getting £50,000 back, for example.

“So, what we’re looking at is saying are there weather events or other parameters that might cause an event to be cancelled that we can insure [charities] against?”

‘Relevant’ insurance models

Parametric policies are “very relevant” in today’s insurance market, Meckiffe added.

She explained: “I think it gives a great customer experience because it returns to them the insurance requirement that they’ve essentially chosen.

“From an insurer perspective, it also is good in terms of mitigating risk and there’s zero instance of fraud because either the parameter happens, or it doesn’t. I just think it makes a lot of sense.

“Very few people enjoy the claims experience – it’s quite emotional if you’ve got a claim. It can take a lengthy amount of time, [or] you could be out of pocket. Parametric insurance can really help with that.”

The parametric model can also work to make insurance more accessible for the student demographic, Meckiffe added.

She continued: “That’s really appealing to students because they don’t want to get involved in insurance, they don’t understand it. We’re really engaging for that student audience around insurtech, easy to use, easy to understand types of insurances.”

This is further demonstrated by feedback from Endsleigh’s student panel, which gave the broker the go-ahead to work with Setoo on the parametric travel insurance product.