Travelodge to expand into insurance retail online

Travelodge, the budget hotel chain, is extending its brand into new categories for the first time with the launch of travel insurance products, as part of a new online retail strategy.

Travelodge Travel Insurance is the chain’s first major online product and is being rolled out nationally, following a three-month trial.

The service is being provided by American International Group (AIG) Europe, the Manchester United shirt sponsor, and will be underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company and Landmark Insurance Company.

The company says it will be in line with its “budget approach”, and the insurance prices, which will be available for single trips and annual policies, will undercut most other brands.

Travelodge marketing and sales director Daniel Heale, who joined the company in July, says travel insurance is a natural fit for the business.

Travelodge claims its website is one of the top five travel sites in the country. It launched the first phase of its £1m website redevelopment programme earlier this year and it now allows customer to pre-order food and drink for their stay.

The second phase of changes will see the chain review its design and functionality, and aims to encourage more consumers to book rooms online.

It is also planning to form brand partnerships with online retailers to extend its digital presence.

The new phase will be developed by digital agency Twentysix London, which has been appointed as its strategic and creative digital agency following a three-way pitch against Agency.com and Soup. The account is worth about £1.2m.

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