Coronavirus case study: Insurance attach rates grow 1200%

The Coronavirus, and its drastic changes on society, has changed how people engage with protection products.

In our latest research from the BrightWrite data analytics team, we’ve plotted how our attach rates have changed across our partner network during the crisis (attach rates aka “conversion rates” are the proportion of users who added optional insurance from Cover Genius to a purchase). While the data is limited to travel, we’ve seen similar trends, though less dramatic, in retail products too. The charts show similarities between countries that have struggled to handle the crushing weight of the crisis, and a very different story for others who have been lauded for their pandemic response. Scroll down to see any of the following compared to the rest of the world (“ROW”):

We recognize that underlying this is a human tragedy, and we wish to thank all our friends and families who are on the frontline combating the scourge, and those of you who have encountered personal and professional challenges with your health and wellbeing.

Italy and France

In the below, travelers headed to or from Italy and France showed consistent behavior in the weeks leading up to mid-February 2020. However, when Italy introduced lockdown measures on 20 February attach rates spiked, moreso when the WHO declared the Coronavirus a pandemic on 11 March. The exponential increase shows a change in consumers’ risk perception and the genuine value that a well crafted protection policy brings.

singapore and south korea

Travelers heading to or from Singapore and South Korea experienced a much different trend in the attach rate for insurance products. From early November 2019, the attach rate grew unevenly but with a definitive upward trend, hitting a peak shortly before 11 March 2020 when the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. It then takes a short dip and starts to increase again, closer towards Singapore’s announcement of lockdown measures, but nowhere near the escalation that can be seen in Europe and North America.

us and canada

Those traveling to or from the US and Canada overall demonstrated a huge swing in favor of travel insurance. From October 2019 to early December it was generally flat, then the attach rate started to grow incrementally and unevenly, generally in-line with the domestic news coverage of the crisis during January and early Feb. Reports on early casualties and emergent clusters in New York led to an almost exponential increase up until the European travel ban and pandemic declaration. The upending of travel plans, surge in cancellations and flood of returning expats helps explain the precipitous drop in attach rate thereafter.

hong kong

The trend in attach rate for insurance products of those traveling to and from Hong Kong is particularly interesting, especially as they have been commended for their response to the Coronavirus. From October 2019, the attach rate gradually decreased due to seasonal factors that also accounted for pre and post-Christmas volatility. There’s notable alarm in late January as their mainland neighbors in Wuhan, in Hubei province, commenced their shutdown, and increasing alarm until a few days after the WHO announcement. One can discern a pattern of sustained and heightened awareness that largely anticipates the major announcements.