Most travellers don't see travel insurance as anything more than a pure service provider in case of emergency. Insurtech startups like Faye are setting out to change that and want to offer 360-degree travel service. Munich Re Ventures recently invested in Faye. Reason enough for our //next author Markus Sekulla to have the insurtech's business model explained to him by Elad Schaffer, co-founder of Faye.
Hi Elad, what motivated you to develop a digital travel insurance app??
I was always drawn to the intersection of technology and real-world problems. My first startup was bootstrapped, co-founded with my current co-founder of Faye, Daniel Green. It relied upon real-time data feeds and a distributed network of world experts to help governments and Fortune 500 companies plan for the future. Ultimately we built it into a profitable enterprise.
I decided my next business needed to align with my passion – and that of Daniel's – travel. It’s been an integral part of our upbringings (to the point at which I’d consider us travel nerds) and we’ve always felt travel insurance is inherent to every trip. Faye is where travel, insurance and fintech meet to cater to the real needs of today’s travellers. Our primary market is the the United States.
The Wall Street Journal named Faye as one of the Best Travel Insurance Companies in 2023. Congratulations! Please give us your elevator pitch!
At Faye we’ve created the first 100 percent digital, consumer-centric travel insurance enabling smarter, faster assistance and claims resolutions. Our whole-trip protection, coupled with our proprietary technology, provides 24/7 real-time proactive support anywhere in the world, quick reimbursements and an app where travelers can do it all – from covering their trips to filing claims.
You have been quoted saying that “bringing Faye along is just as obvious as bringing your passport“. Could you explain the specific problem you are solving?
I could go on and on about how we pay approved claims instantly via the Faye Wallet, how we are proactive with real-time flight, safety and trip alerts, or how you can seek any type of travel assistance 24/7 via our app. But frankly, it’s not as much the technological edge or the 100 percent digital experience, as much as having a very different definition as to what travel insurance should be.
Our product is clear and holistic – travelers know what coverage they're purchasing and how they're protected pre-trip and in-trip.
Faye is digital and quick – from getting covered to receiving assistance to filing claims – all of which can be done via the Faye app on iOS or Android. Even reimbursements on claims and common travel inconveniences are immediately made to Faye Wallet, our secure digital debit card that can be added to Apple Wallet or Google Wallet in seconds. Simply tap and pay with reimbursed funds, or transfer them to your bank account.
And above all, Faye is human and person-first with a team of customer experience specialists available 24/7 – working when travelers shouldn’t be to provide proactive trip assistance when it matters most. The aforementioned, coupled with our proprietary technology which proactively monitors trip itineraries and supplies real-time alerts, means Faye assists travelers from takeoff to checkout.
You said: “Travelers' experiences are at the forefront of everything we do.“ But how do you ensure that?
In many ways, and starting with the core philosophy: We want to hear from our customers. We seek engagement, because we believe it helps in educating customers on what they are entitled to (and what might not be covered), which helps foster credibility and loyalty.
We built our product – from the technology to the selection of coverages – with the traveler in mind. At Faye we make it incredibly easy to connect with our support team (real humans) 24/7, even on weekends and holidays, and not just for emergencies. Need help overcoming a flight delay or a missed connection? Unsure how to get a new passport issued when yours was stolen? Just need a restaurant recommendation? No problem – we’ve got you covered. We can be reached via phone, email, whatsapp and our app’s chat as we are committed to acting as travelers’ ultimate concierge and companion to make their trips memorable for the right reasons.
And of course, we make sure that our app is truly helpful to their journey – with real-time flight alerts, destination app recommendations, local COVID-19 requirements and more.
And indeed people have noticed. We’re humbled to receive consistent 5-star reviews on Trustpilot with Fodor’s Travel also naming Faye a must-download travel app. Not to mention, a significant number of our customers have already traveled with Faye multiple times in under a year since we launched.
More information: https://www.withfaye.com/
Text: Markus Sekulla