Cover Genius and Icelandair to offer ‘Covid Plus’ insurance
With airline travel still being ‘up in the air’ for most passengers worldwide, Iceland’s national carrier, Icelandair, has taken the initiative and teamed up with New York-based insurtech, Cover Genius, to provide cover for its global passengers.
According to reports, the ‘Covid Plus’ policy will be an embedded form of medical cover that will be available via an integration with the Cover Genius XCover global insurance distribution platform.
Europe will be the first sector to launch the cover, followed swiftly by the Americas and Canada. Cover Genius also says that Icelandair’s worldwide customers will be able to use its claims technology that instantly pays out claims in 90 plus currencies.
Travel insurance tailored for airlines
The move comes following a year of intense disruption and losses for the airline industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hoped that other airlines will follow suit and the actions will help reinvigorate the aviation sector, which according to IATA data, lost more than $84bn in 2020.
The coverage provides the airline’s worldwide customers and their companions with protection in the event that they require medical attention, such as if they catch COVID-19 or a different illness or injury during their travels
An overwhelming 83% of respondents who purchased insurance from merchants at checkout also indicated they were “more likely” to purchase insurance for future transactions if that option was made available at the checkout.
Speaking about the new cover policy and partnership, Birna Ósk Einarsdóttir, CCO Sales and Customer experience of Icelandair, explained, “As a leading international airline, our mission is to offer our passengers the best services both on the ground and in the air. Our integration of Cover Genius’ XCover platform into our booking process means we can now offer our passengers and their travel partners peace of mind during their travel.”
Peter Smith, head of travel partnerships, EMEA at Cover Genius, added, “We are very excited to partner with Icelandair, a leading airline with its hub in Keflavík, Iceland with substantial US bookings, who prioritise their customers’ safety and loyalty through the use of our XCover platform and we look forward to expanding our relationship to restore confidence for [travelers] all over the world."
Akur8’s US$30mn Series B to fuel US and APAC expansion
Still a relatively new company in the sector, Akur8’s progress since it was founded in 2018 has been characterised by cutting-edge tech, strategic growth, and a highly personable approach that clearly demonstrates the youthful innovation of insurtech itself.
The company strives to embody four key values:
- Challenging a status quo that doesn’t benefit customers
- “Disrupt the known, organise the unknown”
- Provide artificial intelligence (AI) tech with a distinctly human edge
- Create solutions that will endure the test of time
At the heart of Akur8’s business is its Transparent AI solution. Capable of empowering actuaries and pricing teams through better, faster decision making, the insurtech touts it as “the only solution that automates rate modeling while keeping full transparency and control.”
Transforming insurance pricing
In just two years, Akur8 has acquired over 30 customers in 10 countries - including high-profile insurers like Munich Re, Tokio Marine Kiln, AXA, and Generali - and established additional offices in London and New York. Now, the company is keen to develop its business in the US’ verdant insurance market and build its presence in APAC.
“The BlackFin team is thrilled to see Akur8 continue to spread its wings and deploy its next generation pricing platform across insurance carriers worldwide,” said Julien Creuzé, Partner. “We have built a great relationship with the Akur8 management team and it’s a pleasure to welcome new investors and continue this journey with them.”
Guillaume Beraud-Sudreau, Co-Founder and Chief Actuary at Akur8, added, “We are humbled by the trust that our clients and investors have placed in Akur8. Building the future of insurance pricing powered by Transparent AI has been our goal since the first day of R&D. Now this vision has become reality and we can’t wait to accelerate our growth to become the global reference in insurance pricing.”
Cover image source: Akur8