Q&A with Pluto

We spoke to our newest charity partner Pluto, a mobile-focused travel insurance start-up, about establishing their brand and why sustainable tourism matters to them and their customers.

Why did you choose to support the Travel Foundation?

We wanted to find a partner who shared a similar mission to ours, but approached it from a different angle. After some research we came across the Travel Foundation and jumped on the phone with them to chat about working together, it was immediately clear we had very similar missions, and were going about achieving them in different, yet complimentary ways.

How are you supporting the Travel Foundation?

With every policy Pluto sells, we donate £1 to the Travel Foundation. In the future, we’d love to get more hands on, applying the skills and experience from the Pluto team to help with the projects that the Travel Foundation are investing in.

What is different about Pluto insurance?

We provide travel insurance for people who don’t like insurance and that’s tailored to the needs of each individual customer, so they never have to pay for something they don’t need. We make insurance easy to understand, with everything explained in plain English, so you always know what you’re buying and what you’re covered for. And we make insurance hassle-free, so customers can do everything straight from their phone, including making claims.

Pluto Insure Team

Pluto founders (left to right): Harry Williams, James Birch and Alex Rainey.

You say your purpose is to “make the bad bits about travel better”, so what would you say are “the bad bits”?

We recently did some research in this space and found the biggest issues were wide ranging. The most cited issues included: organising trips, getting to the airport, the airport experience, flight delays, lost baggage, complicated and expensive car hire, expensive currency exchange, falling ill or getting an injury abroad.

One of the reasons our current focus is on a great quality travel insurance product is because it solves a fair few of these issues. Good quality travel cover can help you out with issues like flight delays, lost baggage and falling ill abroad.

Beyond the customer challenges, there’s also the negative impact that travelling has on the environment, local cultures and societies. These issues, combined with our purpose, is what led us to work with the Travel Foundation.

Who is Pluto insurance aimed at?

Broadly speaking, with 40% of millennials not buying insurance when travelling abroad, that’s our target audience. However, that’s such a huge audience with big variations in attitudes, behaviours and desires, so we’re targeting a smaller subset of that audience in the short-term. This includes people who travel frequently, enjoy trying new technology, want to form relationships with brands who stand for something and value a well crafted customer experience.

How important is it for your customers that you have partnered with a sustainable tourism charity?

For our target audience of millennials, you hear frequently how they’re more likely to engage and form relationships with brands who stand for something beyond commercial success. Although this is encouraging, it’s not the primary driver for supporting sustainable tourism.

At Pluto, we believe that if we’re in the privileged position of using our business to give back, and make a difference with causes that we’re truly passionate about, then it’s the right thing to do. Ultimately, supporting sustainable tourism is not something we choose to make a song and dance about, we see giving back to society as a hygiene factor – good business practice.

What are your plans for the future of the business?

Although our focus is currently on selling insurance, we’re building a travel brand, not an insurance brand. We have plans to broaden our impact, guided by the purpose of making the bad bits about travelling better. This will involve a more holistic travel offering that helps people prepare for upcoming trips, provides peace of mind whilst they’re away, and cares for them if something goes wrong.

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