Recently Travel Agent got a chance to speak with executives from Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance regarding AirCare, a new travel insurance product aiming at providing a simple, easy-to-sell offering for travel agents.
Available for purchase up to one hour before departure, AirCare is a fixed-benefit flight-protection coverage that aims to make travel insurance a simpler sell than it has been in the past.
"We developed this product after researching several areas that the traveling public needs help with, and one of our key findings was that consumers want something that's very simple," said John Noel, president of Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection.
AirCare costs $25 per trip and offers a series of fixed-rate benefits in the event of traveling mishaps, such as tarmac delays, lost or stolen luggage, flight delays that cause missed connections and flight delays. AirCare offers a 10 percent commission to travel agents.
The claims process is also focused on simplicity. "These days there's enough technology in play that we can see if your flight has been delayed," said Noel. In that instance, AirCare can deposit money directly to the traveler via PayPal or Electronic Funds Transfer. For claims involving lost or delayed luggage, customers can snap a photo and file a claim via AirCare's mobile app.
In addition to travel protection, AirCare also offers travel assistance benefits through MyAssist, a global-assistance and concierge service. MyAssist allows travelers to receive request assistance through text message, Twitter, live chat or by phone. Additionally, travel agents can contact MyAssist on behalf of clients.
Currently, AirCare is available through sale on bhtp.com website and via an Android and iOS app. When asked whether there were any plans to sell AirCare through other channels, such as GDS, Noel said, "We're looking at a lot of options for that middle layer."
AirCare is available for U.S. domestic flights, and the company plans to expand it internationally in the future. More offerings are planned over the next several months, Noel said, including an annual product.