The date of April 12 will forever be significant for a travel insurance company square mouth.
On this day in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic brought travel around the world to a halt, the travel insurance comparison company hit an all-time high since its inception in 2003, making just 12 sales in one day.
While 12 sales were meager compared to the 500 a day Squaremouth was making on average before the pandemic, it was those 12 buyers who did business that day – and who helped Squaremouth keep their spirits up in these uncertain times.
Cut to April 12, 2022, and Squaremouth is seeing around 1,200 sales a day as travel rebounds from the crisis. As a thank you, Squaremouth announced yesterday – exactly two years after 2020 – that it was offer $1,200 to each of the 12 travelers which helped the company stay afloat.
Of course, withstanding two years of pandemic requires much more than welcoming 12 customers. By finding new customers and creating new products – while keeping a full staff on full pay – Squaremouth has been able to rebound from a 90% drop in activity to sales which are expected to replace pre-pandemic figures from more than 200%.
Megan Moncrief, chief marketing officer of the women-run business, says Squaremouth’s number one priority when the pandemic hit its employees and their livelihoods.
Even though sales were down, Moncrief says the company cut as many costs as it could – including the sale of its future headquarters property – instead of cutting salaries for its then 37-person staff.
Subscribe to our newsletter below
“We knew we would never be able to support our customers or succeed in a post-pandemic world without our full staff,” Moncrief says.
Maintaining financial transparency – including salaries as well as sales figures – was vital to Squaremouth’s operations, she continues.
“Anyone in our company can view our sales. We knew the situation was dire, but we didn’t want an internal panic. We discussed our finances at weekly company meetings and made sure every employee knew where we stood and what we were doing to set aside funds,” she says.
“Ultimately, this transparency during our lowest point motivated us all to work harder, together, in order to achieve one goal: the survival of the company. As a result, we are now a stronger group. closer and more efficient.
Another key to the pandemic was relying heavily on Squaremouth’s technical capabilities to find new revenue streams.
Moncrief says Squaremouth has always operated as a software company rather than an insurance company, which “ultimately allowed us to survive through the pandemic.”
“Squaremouth is built on innovation. Ninety-seven percent of our sales come from our website, without any customer interaction. For this reason, it is essential that our digital experience matches what customers would receive over the phone when speaking with one of our authorized agents,” she says.
“We use the same mindset in terms of product development. We use our data and expertise to create products that meet current and future traveler needs.
Indeed, the needs – and composition – of travelers have changed due to COVID-19. The average age of Squaremouth customers has dropped 10 years from pre-pandemic times, meaning a whole new demographic is buying travel insurance, either because they want to be better prepared or because that their destination requires them to have a police.
We knew we would never be able to support our customers or succeed in a post-pandemic world without our full staff.
Megan Moncrief – Square Mouth
“As the demographic concerns of our customers and travelers have evolved, we have worked with our underwriters to bring new products to market that meet the new and evolving needs of our customers brought about by border closures and destination requirements. . For example, products suitable for domestic travel, pandemic benefits and increased coverage limits for events such as an unscheduled quarantine abroad,” says Moncrief.
“While these were never a priority before 2020, they are now driving travel insurance for today’s consumers,” he continues, adding that the marketing team’s strategy is is also being moved to partnerships, which allows Squaremouth to work with brands to explain the complexities of travel insurance.
Thanks to these efforts, Squaremouth exceeds pre-pandemic sales levels by summer 2021, ending the year 49% over 2019 and more than 200% over 2020. In 2021, it also sold the most high-end in the company’s history.
This year, Squaremouth sales have more than tripled, up 272% from the same period in 2021.
Beyond the 12 customers who remained with the business at its lowest point, CEO Jessica Burns says Squaremouth is seeing unknown customers come to travel insurance because they have “new and very real concerns”. .
“People used to buy travel insurance for ‘what-if’ scenarios. Now they buy it because they’ve been affected before and want to be protected if it happens again.