US figures show protection increased in 2016

Travel insurance

In 2016, more Americans opted to protect their trips, according to travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth, which reported an 18-per-cent increase in the number of insured travellers from the previous year. “Over the past year, we saw the impact of concerns about terrorism and Zika virus on traveller behaviour, but we did not see Americans stop travelling,” said Squaremouth spokesperson Rachael Taft. “More Americans sought travel insurance for their trips in 2016, and many chose to visit destinations closer to home.”

Information from Squaremouth showed that Canada overtook France and the UK to become the fourth-most-popular destination in 2016, and travel to Cuba was up by 148 per cent. The top three destinations for US travellers remain the US itself, Mexico and Italy. The threat of infection from the Zika virus did have some effect on travel patterns, with the number of people travelling to Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic and Aruba all decreasing.

Travellers were also worried about terrorism affecting their travel plans, with the number of people searching for terrorism insurance doubling in 2016 compared to 2015. Adverse weather is an ongoing concern, with Squaremouth noting a 70-per-cent increase in customers seeking inclement weather coverage. There was also an 11-per-cent increase in the number of travellers adding on the Cancel for Any Reason upgrade to their existing policies.