As 2022 Nears, Travel Insurance Sales Jump Amid the Pandemic
by Fernando Acevedo
As the pandemic ends its second year, travel insurance sales are seeing a significant rise as more people favor security while abroad.
New Thinking for Post-Pandemic Times
According to travel insurance company Squaremouth, policy sales rose by 84% relative to 2019. Company CMO for PropertyCasualty360.com Megan Moncrief believes that this is a result of new thinking brought on by the international health emergency.
“The pandemic has forced travelers to prepare differently for trips, to include coordinating negative tests prior to their departure, navigating vaccination mandates, and following border openings and closures.”
More factors leave the possibility of more things going wrong. This can include a sudden infection and subsequent positive test, as well as quarantine requirements. For those without travel insurance for pre-existing conditions, medical costs can be devastating and treatment is not guaranteed.
Similarly, travelers are dependent on ever-changing rules and regulations which may alter plans or result in spending more to meet requirements. One example is how long passengers can wait to get tested before a trip, which can vary between 24 to 72 hours.
Moncrief believes that these factors add a new dimension for travelers, which includes coverage for any situation. “Investing in travel insurance may be the final step to make sure they have planned for the best but are prepared for the worst,” Moncrief said.
Insurance Policies Surge as New Year Approaches
Squaremouth also reported that international travel is increasing as vaccines become more available and travelers feel more confident. Before 2020, the company sold 90% of its policies to individuals traveling across borders.
But when the pandemic hit sales fell by 40% as a result of strict foreign regulations and country closures. Many were unable to travel to their destination and had to cancel trips or give up planning altogether. But as the world enters a slightly more stable phase, insurance policies for foreign travel are up by 80%.
What is also interesting are the demographics of travel insurance. Previously, baby boomers bought more than half of all travel policies. That number, though, has dropped to about 25% since many people from this generation have halted their travels completely.
Now, millennials and Gen X are buying half of all policies, with each generation representing about 25%. Moncrief suggests that this may be due to younger people wanting some security in case anything goes wrong.
“Travel isn’t as simple as it used to be,” she says. “For this reason, younger demographics may be more interested in protecting their investments, whether a domestic trip or a long-awaited vacation they’ve been planning and saving for throughout the past year or more.”
Traveling with Pre-Existing Conditions
It is well known that individuals with pre-existing conditions are more scrutinized by insurance companies when applying for policies. In fact, many general policies don’t cover specific conditions, leaving many vulnerable in their travels.
In 2014 the U.S. government formalized a safeguard for these types of situations with the Affordable Care Act. According to the new law, insurers cannot charge higher based on an individual’s health, unless of course they are smokers.
Some policies also cover pre-existing conditions that are not covered in a standard policy. These are often called specialist policies since they are designed according to each situation.
Whether it’s a specialist policy, or just standard travel insurance, it’s important to consider the consequences of a fast changing world. The pandemic is by no means over, and getting a policy for a trip can provide some assurance amidst the uncertainty.