AXA suspends new travel cover as site upgraded

Travel cover estimated to account for just 2 to 3% of overall insurance sector

One industry source said with more people moving to annual insurance products, the summer suspension may not be all that remarkable; holiday insurance is no longer necessarily seasonal.

One industry source said with more people moving to annual insurance products, the summer suspension may not be all that remarkable; holiday insurance is no longer necessarily seasonal.

Wed, Aug 13, 2014, 01:00

Axa has withdrawn its travel insurance products over the busy summer period citing ongoing upgrade works on its website’s ecommerce system.

The company said the timing of the suspension – which also affects telephone sales – during a busy time of the year for holidays, was coincidental and regrettable.

A spokeswoman said it was unlikely that the products would be available before the end of the summer. The development does not affect existing policy holders

Upgrades

The enhancements relate to “ecommerce platform upgrades”, the spokeswoman said, but travel insurance products “have been temporarily withdrawn across all sales channels”.

“This work will be completed as quickly as possible, so that we can make these products available again.”

Axa Travel Insurance is a separate entity and is underwritten by Inter Partner Assistance SA Brussels. Travel cover is estimated to account for just 2 to 3 per cent of the overall insurance sector in Ireland. The timing of the move appears significant, given it is the busiest season for holiday- makers, although how exactly that translates into sales draws differing opinions.

Not remarkable

One industry source said with more people moving to annual insurance products, the summer suspension may not be all that remarkable; holiday insurance is no longer necessarily seasonal. He added that upgrading the ecommerce system would be important, as much of transactional business is conducted online.

However, another source said the move was surprising, given the busiest times for selling travel cover is May through to September. Sales are up across the board this year, the source said. Michael Horan, manager of non-life insurance at Insurance Ireland, which represents 95 per cent of the industry, said placing overall sales values on travel plans is not straightforward, as they are often mixed in with other products or sold by companies not based in Ireland.

“The busiest time of the year [is] perhaps the first four months of the year, on the basis that people are tending to book holidays earlier,” he said