Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

Travel insurance heavies, pipped at the Post

By Suzy Coulson, Digital Research Assistant, Global Reviews

Travel insurance is a highly volatile industry, as seen in the shift across the market from our Q4 2012 to Q3 2013 Digital Marketing Effectiveness studies. Late last year we noted that there was a significant lack in brand recognition and loyalty in what is an unmistakably crowded marketplace.

This was highlighted again this year, with even fewer people being able to recall a travel insurance provider than they could in the lead up to the festive season. With nearly 40% of study participants unable to recall a travel insurance provider, it is no surprise that there is a distinct lack of loyalty and brand preference across the industry.

Previously we saw a market led by general insurance providers like AAMI and Allianz, and providers who deal exclusively in travel insurance like 1 Cover and Travel Insurance Direct. In this latest wave of research, however, we have seen a different type of provider rise up through the ranks – this time we see a market led by Australia Post.

So what’s made Australia Post the strongest competitor?

While most providers were chosen because of previous use (41%), Australia Post was chosen because of trust in the brand (55%) and for having the best policy options (45%). Having a strong, iconic, Australian brand name has helped to boost Australia Post’s standing within the travel insurance industry.

Only 50% of those who finally preferred Australia Post could initially recall the brand as providing travel insurance. So despite Australia Post being a well-known brand in general, it isn’t necessarily synonymous with travel insurance. Therefore the question is how did Australia Post attract the other 50%? The answer is search.

A search using the term “travel insurance” quickly lead us to the travel insurance page on the Australia Post website. When a well-known and trusted brand like Australia Post appears in the search results, consumers are evidently drawn to that brand over lesser-known brands like Travel Insurance Direct, despite them sitting higher up in the search results.

What happened to the likes of 1 Cover, Cover More and Travel Insurance Direct?

Away from the holiday season marketing activities, we can see how a drop from top-of-mind can impact the way travel insurance providers are chosen. 1 Cover, Cover More and Travel Insurance Direct were previously chosen for their advertised deals, but at this time of year, without those deals being highlighted, more brand driven companies are rising up and taking their share of customers. Without their deals sitting in a prominent place amongst search results, these travel insurance companies are missing out.

Moving into the holidays

As we head into the holiday season, we anticipate another turn in the market as travel insurance providers resume their marketing efforts. It will be interesting to see how Australia Post will fare against competitors once advertising from the insurance industry picks up momentum again. Only time will tell as to whether the solid ranking Australia Post holds at this stage will be able to carry on through to the holidays. Have we moved into a time where trust in a familiar brand name dominates when it comes to choosing a provider? Or will the strictly travel insurance providers regain customer preference once their summer deals hit the market?

Learn more about our Digital Marketing Effectiveness Module

To take a deeper look into the data and the consumer behaviours that shape decisions around travel insurance contact:

Stephen Neate
Senior Commercial Director
T: +61 3 9982 3412
M: +61 409 054 641
E: stephen.neate@globalreviews.com

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