As travel begins to restart after lockdown in most countries, Starr’s travel insurance data shows significant changes in consumer behavior. For example, Americans are more interested in domestic travel, reflecting a global trend characterised by border restrictions.
At the same time, Starr Insurance Companies has seen a year-over-year increase of 528 per cent in the purchase of US travel policies, which is consistent with the company’s experience in other parts of the world. In China, families are planning short-distance car trips, mirroring what Starr is seeing in the US. People all over the world seem eager to get out and travel, often opting for outdoor adventures, after months of isolating at home.
This trend is resulting in an uptake of purchasing travel insurance. Younger people aged 35 and under, in particular, are purchasing more travel insurance policies, with sales to that group up 14 per cent from last year. Many of these younger customers are purchasing travel insurance for the first time, with social media coverage increasingly portraying insurance as a must-have.
Cancel for any reason coverage has also seen an uptake in sales. In response to the pandemic, the travel industry has responded with greater flexibility, offering refunds and vouchers for those unable to take their trips, but travellers’ are also now purchasing insurance that will allow them to cancel trips in case of Covid-19-related issues.
The demand for travel insurance goes beyond trip cancellation, however, with medical cover being a potentially large expense that travellers are looking to protect. An illness during a trip could run up expenses of up to six figures, especially if medical evacuation is needed. Resultantly, many insurers are now offering medical cover for Covid-19.
Michael Grossman, Director of Leisure Travel for Starr Insurance Companies, commented: “In spite of the caution we are seeing currently, Americans are eager to get out and travel. Customers are booking, and insuring, cruises for the end of 2020 and 2021 and overseas trips starting in 2021. The overall travel industry will meet consumer demand as it grows and deliver ‘trip of a lifetime’ experiences to their customers.”