Andrey Turin: «We develop the culture of travel insurance in Russia»

According to the results of 2013, the number of travellers insured by ERV, ABT partner, surpassed 2 million persons, and the number of insurance events settled amounted to 24 thousand. Andrey Turin, ERV general director, is speaking about the work that has been done to achieve such a remarkable result.

— As we know, various on-line services are very popular now. People prefer to get information and to pay for services without leaving their home or office. How does your company react to trends like that?

— Starting from the beginning of 2013 company management has been engaged in optimizing its services for direct customers as well as for our partners — travel companies and corporate buyers. Great attention was paid to the Internet as well.

Erv site and the online shop were transformed and adjusted for the customer, as well as improved technologically. PayOnline, the leader of electronic payments in Russia, has become our new internet acquiring provider. On ERV`s 7th birthday in Russia its official pages in social networks VKontakte and Facebook were launched, which has considerably broadened our presence in the Internet and provided an additional channel of communication with customers and travel companies.

— Did you introduce any new insurance products last year?

— In June we launched a new unparallelled insurance program in Russia — OPTIMA insurance package. OPTIMA`s main advantages are new risks that cover medical expenses caused by pregnancy complications before 31 weeks, including reimbursement for expenses in case of premature birth and medical care for the newborn, as well as medical help in case of drunkenness. The new program is very popular with travel companies and has a good chance to become the leader in the Russian market. But it is not the only novelty of 2013.

At the end of the year our company together with the world leader in concert and ticket sales CTS Eventim ( and offered a new insurance product, ERV — Event, which covers your expenses in case you cancel an entertainment event). If a customer chooses Event, he can insure himself, his colleagues, relatives or friends against inability to attend any planned event, for example, due to an illness, including the illness of close relatives, the loss or destruction of more than 70% of assets, the move due to the change of the place of work and a number of other cases. Event insurance was worked out by ERV experts in Germany and adapted to our market. This type of insurance is very popular in western countries, so we decided to offer it to Russian customers.

— What important novelties have appeared in the field of ERV`s cooperation with airlines, DMCs and travel agencies, i.e.with companies directly related to the travel industry?

— We started cooperation with airBaltic in 2013. This project has become possible due to the global partnership of ERV group and airBaltic in the world. Now the Russian customer can purchase ERV insurance in the process of ticket booking on airBaltic site and can choose one of two comprehensive insurance packages. This is not the first cooperation project with a large air carrier: travellers have been able to purchase ERV insurance when booking tickets on AirBerlin site since 2008.

— How do you arrange training to teach your partners to work with your insurance product?

— In 2013 ERV took part in more than 15 on-site events that were organized by Late Deals Shop, Last Minute Tours and 1001 Tour, Coral Travel agency. On-site events give you an opportunity to participate in presentations and educational sessions. This lets you meet every agency closer, discuss numerous questions. After presentations agencies have a better understanding of insurance features, and this fact allows you to convey the necessity and the importance of insurance to the customer.

Apart from on-site programs we paid great attention to education. In particular, we arranged more than 30 educational seminars and webinars last year. Distance education lets regional companies keep up with the latest events.

To draw the line, I can say that 2013 was very fruitful. But we are not going to stop at what we have achieved.

Travel Trade Gazette