This year’s demand, coupled with short staffed airlines and winter storms grounding flights, created the perfect storm for major travel issues.
According to data from US travel insurance provider Squaremouth, despite more planned travel, fewer travellers purchased travel insurance this season. Information showed that travel insurance sales over the holiday season dropped by 45 per cent in 2022 year-over-year. The drop is directly related to the Covid-19 Omicron variant that surged over the 2021 holiday season, said the insurer, with travellers concerned about getting sick before or during their trip.
Furthermore, Squaremouth’s data showed that this season, travellers showed different concerns compared to years past, with a focus on airline-related disruptions over illness. Travellers are seeking different benefits from their travel insurance, with Covid no longer the focus. Instead, searches for Baggage Delay benefits increased by 120 per cent, while missed connection benefit searches went up by 174 per cent. Extreme weather events are obviously still a worry for many travellers – timely given the current bad snowstorms covering much of the US – hurricane and weather coverage searches increased by 32 per cent. Furthermore, there were 60 per cent more searches for plans with 24-hour assistance.