Americans are increasingly interested in the coverage and peace of mind offered by travel protection, according to the recently released 2014-2016 Travel Protection Market Study conducted for the US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA). In 2016, Americans spent nearly $2.8 billion on all types of travel protection; this amount represents an increase of 19.1 per cent from 2014. Coverage and protection includes annual products and per-trip travel protection, with benefits ranging from trip cancellation and interruption, lost luggage, emergency medical, medical evacuation and various other benefits and programs from UStiA member companies.
“Our members observe a growing awareness of the types of things that can disrupt travel-extreme weather, natural disasters, and airline delays to name a few. This, I think, combined with consumers' desire to protect their travel investment, is driving the increase in plans purchased and people covered,” said Megan Freedman, UStiA's executive director.
In 2016, approximately 42.6 million people were protected by more than 32.3 million plans provided by UStiA members. Consumers purchased these plans through distribution channels such as travel suppliers, travel agents, travel insurance providers, internet aggregators, and brokers. The number of people covered has increased by 23.7% from 2014, while the number of plans sold increased by 28.5 per cent.
Programs that include trip cancellation/interruption benefits account for more than 87 per cent of the travel protection products purchased in 2016. Programs focusing on medical and medical evacuation benefits account for 7.8 per cent of the programs sold.