ACE Group has expanded its approach to mobile app strategy and development through the ACE Travel App, which aims to protect eligible international travelers including employees, volunteers and students that are covered by ACE International Advantage.
“In a growing economy, companies are consistently looking for opportunities for distribution across the globe,” says Tim Benson, SVP of ACE International Advantage. “That pursuit leads people to more and more remote locations.”
Given the market expansion and increased vulnerability of international travelers, ACE designed an app that provides customers with country-specific research, travel alerts, risk management tips, emergency assistance, concierge services and instant message capabilities. Individuals can create itineraries before or during their trips and receive real-time information and alerts on their mobile devices based on GPS data.
“One of the things that we’ve seen over the past four to five years with a number of different events – natural disasters, political uprisings, floods, tsunamis – is there are things that can happen on the global stage that can cause a significant impact to international travelers,” Benson explains.
App development began after ACE evaluated technology previously available to travelers and recognized that the growth of mobile provided an opportunity to differentiate in the marketplace. It began by consulting internal business analysts to draft business requirements and app capabilities, which were then executed and delivered by the ACE IT team.
The content available through the app, which ranges from historical background to business customs, is designed to give users an idea of the risk they encounter by traveling in a specific country. Information comes from contracted third parties in addition to data that the insurer has aggregated over time. Travel alerts are also from third parties and delivered to users within a certain radius of an event based on its severity.
The ACE Travel app is undergoing constant development to improve its offerings. “We work with businesses and understand the various user cases then go through some journey mapping,” says Keith Cooke, VP of Ebusiness at ACE Group. “We’re going to continue to invest in the abilities of the app today.”
While there are security and execution risks in building an externally focused user experience, Cooke explains, ACE spent extensive time collaborating with its business and IT experts to ensure the app’s security and functionality. The insurer plans to continue investigating platforms for companies and schools to give them a better sense of where employees, volunteers or students may be in the event of a dangerous scenario.
Kelly Sheridan is Associate Editor at Dark Reading. She started her career in business tech journalism at Insurance & Technology and most recently reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft and business IT. Sheridan earned her BA at Villanova University. View Full Bio