Editor’s Note: This article has been updated on 30/06 to reflect the new collaboration with MITA.
According to The Edge Markets, the travel industry could be looking at a massive loss of RM3.3 billion in room revenues from January to June 2020.
With Malaysia now lifting the travel ban and allowing for interstate travels, the travel industry could see a surge in domestic travels for the next few months. Promotions for local travelling have already started with AirAsia offering unlimited local flights for just RM399.
While being able to travel again sounds nice, another outbreak could set Malaysia into a new round of MCO and this means bookings will again have to be cancelled or delayed.
This spells another period of potential losses for the travel operators, who are already struggling to keep business afloat.
The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) also said that they’re looking at a potential liability cost of RM500 million from customers seeking compensation for cancellations or refunds.
Luckily, there are insurance plans now available for travel businesses should the situation turn dire.
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, as they were offering maids and cleaners with on-demand personal insurance for just RM1 per day. To date, over 20,000 affordable insurance transactions have been issued through the Senang System.
Now the team noticed there’s a gap in the market for inbound local travel insurance, especially ones that can also be bought by foreigners.
How Does Senang’s Travel Insurance Work?
Getting the right insurance package could be annoying and depending on the number of guests, there’s a lot of paperwork that you have to go through. But with Senang, they look to simplify the process for you.
After the initial payment of RM250 which grants you access to Senang’s platform (for 1 year), all you have to do then is pay for the charge of creating an insurance package for a guest.
Example: You’re a travel agent, offering a tour package for 2 guests going to Melaka. After the downpayment of RM250, all you’ll then need is to pay RM35 for each guest, bringing a total of RM70 for two guests.
RM35 also includes coverage on these:
- Evacuation & Repatriation
- Journey Cancellation
- Baggage Delay (by flight only)
- Loss of Baggage and Personal Effects
- Personal Liability
- Golf Equipment (theft or damage)
- Accidental Death & Permanent Disablement
- Medical Expenses (due to accident only)
What You Can Get From This Travel Insurance
As a travel operator, you can register your guests on the platform as long as they have a Malaysian IC or a valid visa in Malaysia.
With the RM35 paid, in the case of a lockdown implementation or a guest contracting COVID-19, the business can reimburse their booking fees from Senang.
As the business, you can claim up to RM500 or the booking fee value. Do note that the booking fees must be non-refundable. Alternatively, Senang also provides the option for you to change the insurance policy dates with no additional cost.
20 June – Receive booking for 2 guests for a day trip to Melaka for 12 July
20 June – Register the 2 guests on Senang
8 July – Melaka announced a new lockdown (no exit or entry into the city) period starting 9 July to 30 July
Up to RM500 or the booking value for refunds (per guest) can be claimed by your business on the Senang Platform.
As a travel operator, the benefit that you can get from signing up your guests for Senang’s travel insurance will mean that you don’t have to fork out that RM500 from your own pocket, as this will be settled by the Senang team.
Note: Each travel operator will need to have prior approval from the insurance company to be eligible for the plan.
But, in the event of a cancellation due to a guest contracting COVID-19, the guest will have to fulfil criteria as detailed on the Senang website.
Once the guest is certified to be unable to travel, then your travel business is eligible to claim the RM500 to refund to your customer.
Note: For claims above RM500, the additional will be borne by the client aka the Travel Operator.
Ezekiel, one of the co-founders of Senang said that one of the issues plaguing domestic travel is the lack of confidence in the safety of travelling and the lack of disposable income.
He then gave us an example of a local player in Penang opting for a similar travel insurance: “They have taken such measures and it helped them boost their occupancy rates by 50%.”
Ezekiel said that a few local tour associations have already signed up for their travel insurance and the early responses are encouraging.
Update as of 30/06: Senang has also partnered up with Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (MITA) to distribute customised domestic inbound tourism insurance to over 1,500 travel agency members.
Because their travel insurance works for most inbound tourism, any types of travel agents such as car rental companies, theme park operators and even nature tour agencies can utilise the Senang Travel Insurance on their platforms.
With their solution, they hope that it can help travel businesses operate with confidence, and not worry about refunds, while giving travellers peace of mind that they’ll be insured for their travel bookings.
Since it’s just RM35 per guest, it’s not a hefty price to pay to help your business get back on its feet.
Featured Image Credit: Daria Shevtsova on Pexels