According to The Edge Markets, the travel industry could expect a massive loss of RM 3.3 billion in room revenue from January to June 2020.
With Malaysia now lifting the travel ban and allowing interstate travel, the travel industry could see an increase in domestic travel over the next few months. AirAsia has already launched local travel deals that offer unlimited local flights for only RM399.
While it may sound good to be able to travel again, another outbreak could lead Malaysia to a new round of MCO, which means bookings will have to be canceled or delayed again.
This means another phase of potential losses for tour operators who are already having difficulty keeping the business going.
The Malaysian Association of Tour Operators (MATTA) also announced that they are considering potential liability costs of RM 500 million from customers requesting compensation for cancellations or refunds.
Fortunately, there are now insurance plans for tour operators in case the situation worsens.
Senang is an Insurtech platform that works with companies to get the insurance they need when they need it.
We wrote about Senang back in 2019 when they offered maids and cleaners with personal on-demand insurance for just RM1 a day. To date, over 20,000 affordable insurance transactions have been completed through the Senang system.
The team has now discovered that there is a market niche for local inbound travel insurance, especially those that can also be bought by foreigners.
How does Senang travel insurance work?
Getting the right insurance package can be annoying, and depending on the number of guests, you'll need to do a lot of paperwork. But with Senang they want to simplify the process for you.
Just a few steps to get insurance for your guests / Photo credit: Senang
After the first payment of RM250 You will then have access to the Senang platform (for 1 year). You then only have to pay the cost of creating an insurance package for a guest.
example: You are a travel agency and offer a tour package for 2 guests traveling to Melaka. After paying RM250, all you have to do is pay RM35 bring along for every guest RM70 for two guests.
RM35 also contains information on the following topics:
- Evacuation & repatriation
- Baggage delay (only by flight)
- Loss of luggage and personal belongings
- Personal liability
- Golf equipment (theft or damage)
- Accidental death and permanent disability
- Medical expenses (due to an accident only)
What you can get from this travel insurance
As a tour operator, you can register your guests on the platform if they have a Malaysian IC or a valid visa in Malaysia.
When the RM35 is paid, the company can refund its Senang booking fees in the event of a lockdown implementation or a guest contract with COVID-19.
As a company, you can claim up to RM500 or the booking fee value. Please note that booking fees must be non refundable. Alternatively, Senang also offers you the option of changing the insurance data without additional costs.
June 20 – You will receive a booking for 2 guests for a day trip to Melaka on July 12
June 20 – Register the 2 guests on Senang
July 8 – Melaka announced a new blackout period (no exit or entry into the city) from July 9 to July 30
Up to RM500 or the booking value for refunds (per guest) can be claimed by your company on the Senang platform.
As a tour operator, the advantage you get from registering your guests for Senang travel insurance means that you don't have to take the RM500 out of your own pocket, as this is regulated by the Senang team.
Note: Each tour operator must be approved by the insurance company in advance to be eligible for the plan.
The application process can be completed in 3 steps, provided you have the necessary documents / photo credit: Senang
In the event of cancellation based on a contract with COVID-19, the guest must meet the criteria set out on the Senang website.
Once the guest is certified unable to travel, your travel agent can claim the RM500 for a refund to your customer.
Note: For claims above RM500, the customer, also known as a tour operator, bears the additional costs.
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Ezekiel, one of the co-founders of Senang, said that one of the problems that plagued domestic travel was the lack of confidence in the safety of travel and the lack of disposable income.
Ezekiel, one of the co-founders of Senang / Image Credit: Senang
He then gave us an example of a local player in Penang who opted for similar travel insurance: "They took action and it helped them increase their occupancy by 50%."
Ezekiel said that some local travel associations have already taken out travel insurance and initial reactions are encouraging.
Since their travel insurance works for most inbound tourism, all types of travel agencies such as car rental companies, theme park operators and even nature travel agencies can use Senang travel insurance on their platforms.
With their solution, they hope that they can help tour operators act with confidence and not worry about refunds while giving travelers the assurance that they are insured for their travel bookings.
Since it's only RM 35 per guest, it's not a high price to get your business back on its feet.
- Find out more about Senang Here.
- For more information on travel insurance, click Here.
Selected image source: Daria Shevtsova on Pexels