Travel restrictions present a new reality for the modern traveler who now has to contemplate new and changing requirements. Because of this, travel insurance sales are at an all-time high compared to 2019 which offers security against the backdrop of uncertainty.
New Factors Add to Trip Planning
Squaremouth, a travel insurance company, reported that sales grew 84% when compared to 2019. The company compares 94 insurance policies from 22 providers and ranks them based on reviews. According to Megan Moncrief, the CMO for PropertyCasualty360.com, this rise in sales speaks to how travelers are preparing for the future:
“Squaremouth sold more travel insurance policies in the third quarter of 2021 than any other three-month space since the company was founded in 2003,” she said in the interview.
“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.”
This means there are many new variables to consider, and more things that can go wrong. For example, a test may come out positive, or a country may enact new policies that alter travel plans.
Particularly, a destination may see an upsurge of Covid-19 cases which may make travelers rethink their trips. In this situation, it’s helpful to have insurance which may cover the cost of hotel stays or flights that are not otherwise covered.
Moncrief understands this and says that including this kind of protection is becoming a natural part of the planning process. “Investing in travel insurance may be the final step to make sure they have planned for the best but are prepared for the worst.”
Insurance Policies Sell as Travel Increases
In its report, Squaremouth also stated that international travel is quickly rising as many countries see an end to the pandemic. Previous to the pandemic, the company saw about 90% of policy sales for international travel.
It suffered major losses, about a 40% decrease while many governments closed their borders to protect their own citizens. However, this past summer customers bought plans for foreign trips, bringing demand up by 80%.
One interesting change concerns not only how people buy insurance, but who is buying it. Before the pandemic, baby boomers and the silent generation (preceding baby boomers) accounted for greater than half of all policies. However, data shows that these generations are not resuming their previous travel levels and now make up only 25% of policy sales.
This leaves millenials and Gen X as the new largest demographics buying travel insurance. Each generation represents more than 25% of all sales, according to Squaremouth.
“Today, there are still questions over the reliability of travel, especially in terms of border closures or vaccines and negative test requirements.” Moncrief says. “Travel isn’t as simple as it used to be. 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.”
Travel Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions
One of the most complicated topics concerning any health insurance policy is pre-existing conditions. This means that depending on the state of the policy holder’s health, companies can charge more since they are seen as more of a risk.
Some governments have protections in place for such policies, including the Affordable Care Act passed in 2014 in the U.S. This act states that insurers cannot determine pricing for their plans based on the health of the individual, with one exception: smoking.
However, not all companies offer travel insurance for pre-existing conditions, and in many cases a specialist policy will be required. This is due to the fact that these conditions are generally not covered in a standard policy.
Pre-existing conditions include serious diseases such as cancer or diabetes, but also things like high blood pressure and cholesterol, and respiratory problems. Medical exams are sometimes necessary depending on the provider, but this allows a custom policy that will suit each individual’s needs.
While it is more difficult to get travel insurance for previous health conditions, it is still a good idea. Uncertainties around each country’s policies, as well as the changing pandemic situation in different parts of the world calls for better protections with a good policy.