What sets InsureMyTrip apart from other travel insurance companies?
InsureMyTrip is a travel insurance comparison site that allows travellers to choose the right coverage for a specific trip. Travel Insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all: InsureMyTrip offers options and suggestions on a trip-by-trip basis.
Anyone who purchases a travel insurance policy through InsureMyTrip has access to our Anytime Advocates Program. Our advocates can help customers with claims assistance and dispute resolution. This saves travellers time and money because we will contact the travel insurance provider directly if there is an issue with the claims process.
We are also committed to educating travellers about travel insurance. On InsureMyTrip.com you will find destination pages. These pages offer advice and information about travelling to popular vacations locations. We also help travellers make the best possible travel decisions through our technology and helpful tools.
InsureMyTrip offers a Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) eligibility tool – for a traveller to quickly determine if their trip qualifies for CFAR. Travellers can also find travel insurance policies that address their Covid-19 concerns with our Covid-19 Recommendation tool (which filters policies based on Covid-19 coverage). InsureMyTrip’s Visa Requirement and Travel Restrictions tool makes it easy for travellers to know what is required when visiting a certain country.
Travel insurance is going through a lot of changes due to Covid – are there any adjustments you welcome and that you hope will stick around?
We saw travel insurance providers had to adapt their coverage to the pandemic. This was not just a localised outbreak, but rather a worldwide lockdown unlike anything before. With that, travel insurance providers had to navigate their way through uncharted territory to figure out what would and would not be covered.
Most landed on covering Covid-19 as any other illness, such as the flu, allowing cancellation or interruption of a trip if there is a physician’s diagnosis and recommendation not to travel. Also, some providers added or further clarified their definition of a ‘covered’ quarantine, since this is now a major concern for many people travelling during the pandemic.
We also saw companies respond to certain requirements, such as needing a specific coverage limit for quarantine accommodations in order to enter. Several companies did update their ‘travel delay’ benefit limit to accommodate the US$2,000-plus requirement. Although some countries are relaxing specific requirements for entry, you will most likely have to still quarantine if you have a confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis during your trip and this benefit could help reimburse additional accommodation expenses you may face.
Providers also worked with many customers to allow policies to be transferred to new trips in the future when Covid-19 shut down much of the world. Some have offered transfers as far as two years in the future.
What about some of the difficulties? How have you been overcoming challenges related to the pandemic?
Since the beginning of the pandemic, more travellers have become aware of or interested in travel insurance. Many of these travellers have not purchased travel insurance in the past, so educating these new customers has become a priority for InsureMyTrip. Things are ever-changing with the pandemic. Countries are adding or relaxing Covid-19 entry requirements almost daily. This can be confusing for travellers. That is where InsureMyTrip’s Visa Requirement and Travel Restrictions tool comes in. This automatically updates when a country changes its requirements and restrictions.
Travel insurance companies have also had to adapt to the pandemic. InsureMyTrip offers more ways for travellers to find the coverage that can help to reimburse money lost, due to covered issues related to the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) and Quarantine Coverage were not widely known or considered. InsureMyTrip has taken the time to educate the public about these coverage options. CFAR offers the most flexibility for travellers to cancel a trip because of fear of travel. This benefit is time-sensitive and there are some eligibility requirements, but if those are met, reimbursement can be up to 50–75 per cent of the insured, pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs if the trip is cancelled at least two days prior to departure.
Travellers have also become increasingly concerned about quarantining while on vacation, and the added costs. InsureMyTrip has worked to educate these travellers about travel delay benefits that may help with the costs of additional accommodations if quarantined while on vacation.
Why do you think comparison sites like yours are important? What role do they play in the travel insurance market?
As I’ve already said, travel insurance is not one-size-fits-all. Travellers have different needs and wants when it comes to travel insurance. Comparison sites like InsureMyTrip offer options for them to find the right insurance for their wants and needs.
We know that many travel suppliers offer the option to check a box for coverage at the point of sale, but there can be some shortcomings to this. First, this may only cover the portion of your trip that you are booking at that time. Coverage may not be as comprehensive as other third-party offerings. Some may only reimburse in future travel credits rather than reimburse your money back.
With InsureMyTrip, you can insure your full pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost and the entire duration of your trip. Also, customers have access to InsureMyTrip’s Anytime Advocates who can assist in the event their claim is denied and need help understanding why, or in starting the appeals process.
How has the market changed in the two decades that have followed InsureMyTrip's inception?
We’ve seen more providers join the market over the years. After 9/11, providers added wording for terrorism into their policies. Also, as travel has evolved, we’ve seen different types of plans and coverage. For example, with the rise in popularity of vacation rentals, we have seen policies being developed with specific coverage. This may include coverage if the rental is damaged, and a fee is assessed by the owner.
As world events occur, we see concerns shift, some of which may be covered, and others not. For those incidents where coverage may not be available, such as cancellation due to fear of travel, CFAR (as explained above) can provide travellers with the greatest flexibility to cancel their plans and recoup most of their expenses. We have seen an uptick in customers looking for this benefit in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many want the flexibility to be able to cancel their plans and not lose all their money if their destination becomes a Covid hotspot or goes into a lockdown. We have seen Covid-19 in general cause a heightened awareness of the need for travel insurance.
In terms of destinations, are there any particular trends you are noticing about where your customers are going?
We see many people, me included, wanting to get away to warmer locations or those that don’t have strict Covid restrictions. Travel data from InsureMyTrip finds six out of the top-10 destinations for travellers in March 2022 were to the tropical climates of Mexico, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean, and Hawaii.
Travellers have been home for much of the past two years, and many are now ready to get back out there.