by Karen Galles
Travel consumers’ awareness of travel insurance—and their willingness to purchase it—is on the rise. According to Travel Weekly, the market is expanding and many travel insurance companies experienced year-on-year increases in 2016. For instance, comparison site Squaremouth reported that 18% more travelers were insured in 2016 compared with 2015 and Allianz Global Assistance saw a 15% growth in travel insurance sales.
As long as consumers demand coverage for travel-related losses due to medical issues, trip cancellations, extreme weather and other unexpected events, carriers are going to offer products meeting their needs. Let’s take a closer look at travel insurance and its marketplace today:
Travel Insurance Basics
As with other lines of insurance, benefits, costs and policy terms will vary by carrier and plan. As a general rule, travel coverage is:
- Appropriate for international or domestic travel
- Low-cost when compared to the financial risks being insured against
- Effective before and during most trips
- Able to be purchased up to 24 hours prior to trip departure
A travel insurance policy usually provides coverage if an illness, injury or death causes a trip to be cancelled or cut-short—but there’s more, as many plans provide protection against:
- Emergency medical expenses and/or evacuation
- Reimbursement for lost, damaged or stolen luggage
- Job loss during the time of trip
- Severe weather causing canceled flights or hotel damage
- Bankruptcy of travel provider leads to trip cancellation
Visit Travelinsurance.com to learn more about travel insurance and how it works.
Travel Insurance: Why Now?
Most people around the world haven’t missed headlines about the Zika virus and terror attacks, which are just two events impacting global travel. These things have brought to travelers’ attention the importance of making informed travel decisions and protecting their investments, especially when traveling abroad. They’re taking additional precautions like purchasing travel insurance.
If you’re serving business travelers, turn to 3 Duty of Care Best Practices for Today’s Corporate Travel Managers for insights into helping to keep employees safe in far-and-away locations.
The US Travel Insurance Association urges consumers to “know what your policy covers” before heading out of town or if they have any concerns about the potential impact of global events on their booked trip components. Policyholders are cautioned against making assumptions about their coverage and what is or isn’t covered, especially when it comes to allowable reasons for trip cancellation. Fear of travel, for example, isn’t necessarily a covered reason for canceling a trip, even though it may be a very “legitimate” excuse today.
It’s usually in a traveler’s best interest to put safety and security first when planning trips. In light of the world’s uncertain travel environment, TravelInsurance.com reached into customer data to find out where US travelers are booked to visit in 2017. The consumers planning lengthier, longer-haul, more expensive trips—the types that are idea for travel insurance—are visiting:
- Australia and New Zealand, remaining more than 30 days
- Thailand, staying an average of 27 days
- India, with an average trip duration of 24 days
For trips lasting just less than 10 days, on the other hand, Caribbean and Mexico are leading destinations; Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas are popular for those traveling just under seven days.
You may enjoy uncovering Current Insights into Today’s Affluent Travelers.
The Role of Technology
Finally, technology has made travel insurance easier to research and purchase—for the same reasons so many consumers are taking their other travel purchases online. Comparison websites like Travelinsurance.com and Insuremytrip.com, plus travel insurance companies like AIG and HTH Travel Insurance, allow trip planners to buy travel insurance plans and access various travel resources and services 24/7. And, naturally, many of them offer user-friendly apps that are easy for customers to access while they’re away from home.
For more on travel technology, read Is Travel Part of the Tech Industry? and Making Cyber Security a Priority for All Customers.