According to the US-based travel insurance comparison site, US travellers are booking trips much further in advance than they were last year, and the same trend has been noted in the purchase of policies. Squaremouth’s data shows that travellers who are purchasing travel insurance with cancellation provisions are buying nearly five months in advance of their actual departure date, a rise of 48 per cent compared with 2019. Additionally, they are only travelling for an average of 13 days, significantly shorter than last year, and spending 23 per cent more on international trips and 21 per cent more on domestic journeys.
Looking specifically at those who are purchasing emergency medical coverage, such travellers are taking trips of over a month on average, 62-per-cent longer than in 2019; additionally, they are purchasing policies on average 55 days before departure, compared with an average of 26 days last year.
Previous data from Squaremouth found that, in the US at least, domestic trips have sharply risen, while the number of people booking international journeys has fallen significantly. And alongside Squaremouth’s May insights, which revealed that one-third of all policies that had at that point been purchased for travel this summer included cancel for any reason benefits, with the percentage of travellers choosing to purchase this kind of policy having increased by 680 per cent year-on-year, these figures highlight a shift in priorities for customers.
It may seem distasteful to look for silver linings in the current crisis, but if the pandemic does drive travellers being more careful and responsible when booking trips, the benefits for both industry and consumer are obvious. Many have said that whatever ‘normality’ is restored when the crisis passes will look strikingly different to what was considered ‘normal’ before – perhaps there may be some unexpected improvements.
We can but hope ...