Press Releases

No Layoffs, No Pay Cuts: How One Female-Led Travel Company’s Decisions Led to Exponential Post-Pandemic Growth

No Layoffs, No Pay Cuts: How One Female-Led Travel Company’s Decisions Led to Exponential Post-Pandemic Growth

Last Updated:

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. March 29, 2022 — At the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth.com, watched sales dwindle as border closures and travel bans halted travelers worldwide. By April 2020, sales were down 90%. That same month, their executive team pledged to keep all staff at full pay during a monthly company Zoom.

“We have always operated on complete transparency,” said Squaremouth CEO, Jessica Burns.

At the Florida-based insurtech company, everyone knows each other’s salaries, and everyone has a vote in company decisions, from hours of operation to new hires. Throughout 2020, everyone was also learning how much the company had left in the bank.

“Sales weren’t coming in, and refunds were going out from canceled trips,” added Burns. “But it was important to us that everyone saw what steps we were taking to reserve funds, and knew their salaries weren’t on the chopping block.”

Instead, the company focused on helping their current customers navigate through the changing travel climate, while preparing for what the new world of travel might look like.

Just as the pandemic changed most aspects of travel, it changed who bought travel insurance. Squaremouth’s Marketing department found ways to reach new demographics, create new products, and get in front of a new customer base.

“Navigating the pandemic from a marketing perspective can be challenging, it is such a sensitive topic,” said Squaremouth CMO, Megan Moncrief. “We have always approached our marketing from a ‘downselling’ standpoint. So for us, this was no different. In most cases, we actually led with why you shouldn’t buy travel insurance.”

Today, Squaremouth is an outlier of their industry, with sales projected to supersede pre-pandemic numbers by over 200%.

Also an outlier, is the company’s 50% female-led executive team. Having worked their way through the ranks of the multimillion dollar company, the women in leadership positions feel acutely prepared for the shift their industry has experienced.

Squaremouth CEO, Jessica Burns, started in the customer service department. Her intrinsic connection to Squaremouth’s customer base gives her an advantage to handle the current demand.

“These are unfamiliar customers, and they have new and very real concerns,” said Burns. “Before, people bought travel insurance for the ‘what-if’ scenarios. Now, they’re buying it because they’ve already been impacted and want to be protected if it happens again.”

Likewise, CMO Megan Moncrief joined the company as a mid-level marketing manager with no insurance experience.

“We found new revenue streams early on in the pandemic that heavily relied on our technical capabilities. Because we retained our full staff, we were able to devote all of our resources to supporting these new partnerships,” said Moncrief. “We have always operated like a software company rather than an insurance company, and that ultimately allowed us to survive throughout the pandemic”.

Quick Growth Facts:

  • 2020 was the first year Squaremouth experienced a year-over year-deficit since 2006
  • This year, Squaremouth sales have more than tripled from the same period of 2021, up 272%
  • Squaremouth surpassed pre-pandemic levels by Summer 2021, finishing the year up 49% over 2019 and more than 200% compared to 2020
  • In 2021, Squaremouth sold the most premium in the company’s history
  • So far this year, Squaremouth is pacing well above 2021, exceeding year-to-date premium sold by 268%

Quick Squaremouth Facts:

  • Squaremouth is a small business with 44 employees
  • 64% of the employees are female
  • Half of the leadership team is female
  • Squaremouth added miscarriage behreavement leave to their employee benefits
  • 12 weeks of paid parental leave is offered to all salaried employees, to include adoptions
  • Other benefits include unlimited vacation, medical coverage for employees and dependants, and mandatory birthdays off

Notes to editors

Available Topic Expert: Megan Moncrief, Chief Marketing Officer, is available for comment and interview. mmoncrief@squaremouth.com (727) 378-0938

About Squaremouth: Squaremouth.com has insured over 2 million travelers. Using Squaremouth’s intuitive quoting and comparison engine, award-winning support team, and verified customer reviews, travelers can save time and money to find the best travel insurance policy for their trip.