Universal Assistance was at the new edition of FIT 2022 not only as a brand, but with the strength of being the event's official traveler assistance. For the company, being part of the fair is taking care of the sector and accompanying it, as one accompanies the family. To be able to be in this moment where tourism returns, with a very important reactivation, is to be part of the joy of the thousands of people involved in the industry. Diego Barón, Marketing Director of Universal Assistance spoke with us about the present, future and news of the company:
The worst moment of the pandemic passed and the restrictions were eased. How did it affect sales?
Our product is much more important today than how the consumer saw it in the pre-pandemic. It was always important, but the pandemic was key for the customer to understand and put the product ahead of others. Today we say that our product is essential, there is no traveler who today is not acquiring or finding out what coverage is the best for this or that destination, sometimes because it is mandatory and others because of a matter of conscience. I think that the best word that defines our category is essential, and we are already seeing a recovery of the business to pre-pandemic numbers, although the travel industry is still a bit behind compared to 2019 and we are at around 70 percent compared to that year, we are already with business volumes similar to the pre-pandemic period.
Any news you want to tell us about this year?
At the novelty level, we continue to innovate in a product that is already several years old, our mobile application. The pandemic made us much more digital in our lives and when traveling, customers need not only to have travel insurance with support and peace of mind, with a solid company - like us, who are part of the Zurich group and that gives us a back giant-, but also to have a product that is easily accessible, that is why we continue to invest in our mobile app, which is already more than 8 years old since we launched it, and we have incorporated a whole system that allows medical self-management 100% % online, where the client can tell us what the symptoms are and based on that, the system recommends the best way to solve it and indicates which is the closest medical center, or if a doctor will go home, or if it can be solved with medical teleassistance, or if a medical prescription is needed... we have worked hard on this product in which the customer no longer has to call a call center. There are many things that have evolved and that today are important for the client in addition to a company with robust support and coverage, such as having very easy accessibility from digital. This product is available and today about 40 percent of customers use medical self-management, although we also have traditional means in case a passenger prefers to call a call center or traditional means, this will continue to be the case, but there is a tendency for customers to consume products in that digital way.
How do you see the company next year?
We see a really good 2023. We believe that this summer season is going to be very good in terms of passenger volume. There are many delayed trips, people who want to travel for vacations or visit relatives, or make study trips. The way of working in the world has also changed, with many people working remotely, so we believe that the season will be very good, and 2023 is going to be one of the best years in travel since we have operated.