15 Nov 2019 by Olga Brighton
This month Globelink celebrates it’s 23rd Birthday. Thank you to all the customers who have supported Globelink over those years and come back time after time to purchase Travel Insurance. We recently looked at how Globelink and your travel and insurance needs have changed. Now we bring you an interview with the Director, Christina Sharp and ask what life’s like at the Globelink helm.
Let’s start from the beginning at Globelink… How did you become the owner and Director and why did you choose travel insurance?
— I knew Globelink as one of the few companies offering insurance to EU residents and by their reputation for quality travel insurance and a personal service. In 2013 we got the chance to invest in the business and became Shareholders. By 2016, the founding director retired and I took the plunge and gave up my nice secure, corporate job with a multinational insurance company in the heart of London’s insurance market and took over running Globelink. I chose travel insurance because it’s dynamic and interesting – after all, who doesn’t love a holiday? You also get to see how insurance really helps when there’s a holiday calamity.
Have you had any experience in the travel industry before?
— I’ve spent most of my working life in Travel Insurance, including the first 16 years at the sharp end - in Emergency Medical Assistance, managing first hand every conceivable holiday horror you can imagine.
What were the first issues you faced having taken the director’s chair?
— It’s always a challenge stepping into someone else’s shoes, especially when they’ve been wearing them for 20 years! Luckily for me, we have a great team in place who ensure everything runs like clockwork, so it was easy to settle in. I guess the biggest challenge for me was the transition from working for a huge corporation to owning and managing your own business. This is also a great advantage of course, because if you want something changed, you can make it happen!
What fundamental Globelink values are most important to you?
— In a world where the soul is all too often missing from companies, one of the attractions to Globelink was their commitment to quality and personal service. This remains core to all we do. Our core values include a good helping of flexibility and open-mindedness, because change and adaptability is essential in today’s fast moving world.
What Globelink product changes/improvements have been most significant?
— We’re always listening to customer feedback and looking for ways to improve. There’s too many changes to mention, but my Top 5 are: we improved our insurance benefits - so customers get more for their money; we now offer ‘Already Travelling’ Cover (most companies don’t); we’ve added Collision Damage Waiver Insurance; cover more medical conditions as standard; and improved our website so customers can find information easier and get a quote quicker than ever.
What are Globelinks key milestones?
— Globelink is 23 this year! Take a look at some of the highlights in Globelink History Timeline.
What is the most difficult/memorable challenge for Globelink?
— That’s easy! BREXIT! Whether you are a Leaver or Remainer; Deal or No Deal, the uncertainty of the last 3 years has been tough for businesses like Globelink who provide services EU wide. Despite the unknowns, we’ve been working hard to ensure we safeguard business as usual after BREXIT and have painstakingly made the necessary transitions to ensure we can continue selling Globelink travel insurance to our EU customers.
Where are the majority of your customers from?
— I am proud to say that customers from every EU country buy from Globelink, including locations with smaller populations like Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus, Latvia, Estonia and even the Republic of San Marino. However, our biggest customer base remains the UK, Spain, France and Italy.
People understandably travel with the assumption that nothing will happen to them. Your website states that “It’s not luxury, it’s a must”. Why?
— It’s your choice, but Travel Insurance is comparably so cheap compared to the costs of what might go wrong, that I can’t imagine why anyone would ever travel without it. Globelink has seen Medical Claims in the last 12 months that have exceeded £100,000 – and the customers have been young and healthy, so don’t think it won’t happen to you if you are under 40. Why take the risk? Especially when cover can cost as little as £18.
Globelink gets high scores in Customer Review Ratings. How do you achieve this?
— We feel privileged to have such high ratings and customer feedback keeps us on our toes and helps us get better. Top customer comments include – ‘quick and easy website’; ‘affordable cover’; ‘very friendly and helpful to deal with’. It’s great to hear these comments but we won’t stop there. We’ll keep improving with our customers help and look forward to the next 20 years with Globelink!