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New Cover-More CEO prepares for travel recovery

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Cover-More CEO Cara Morton says the travel insurer is set to take an innovative approach to the products and services it offers as domestic and international restrictions ease.

Ms Morton, who was formally appointed to the job last week after acting on an interim basis since June, says changes will include new offerings to individuals, while there are also opportunities to work with hotels, airlines or regions seeking to revive tourism.

“There are other parts of the travel life cycle wanting to get involved to make sure the protection is there,” she told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

Plans for individuals include a leisure travel assistance app that will include both medical assistance and security assistance, which in the past has been more the domain of the corporate market.

Ms Morton says there is a focus on making wordings simpler and ensuring travellers clearly understand the cover, and there are plans to introduce a “travel disrupter” into the market.

“Our business is quite different in the different geographies, but the one commonality at this time has been the requirement to be agile around product development, and that is going to have to continue,” she said.

Cover-More owner Zurich reported earlier this year that sales at Cover-More halved in March compared to a year-earlier, and were at less than 10% of year-ago monthly levels in April, May and June.

Ms Morton says there has been slight improvement, given ongoing border closures in Australia, its biggest market. But there is still local activity and some people are receiving government approvals to travel internationally for work or personal reasons and are taking out cover.

Progress on vaccine development, as reported by Pfizer last week, is also a positive in terms of people feeling comfortable again for future travel, she says.

Ms Morton joined Cover-More two years ago as CEO of Global Medical Assistance. Previously she held executive positions at QBE and was also with Accenture.

Zurich Regional CEO Asia Pacific Jack Howell says Ms Morton has moved to make Cover-More stronger and more sustainable since becoming interim CEO during challenging times.