Travel insurance has long been available to cover trip-related risks such as medical expenses, cancellations and lost luggage. However, a new survey suggests more consumers are seeing the value than in previous years and want to protect themselves from perceived risks.
Travel insurance provider Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection surveyed 7,292 travelers about their 2019 travel experiences and their plans for 2020 as part of its annual State of Travel Insurance survey. It found that a growing number of consumers are aware of the risks involved with travel and are looking for ways to protect themselves from the potential financial cost.
Nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) said they would be buying travel insurance more frequently in 2020 than they did in 2019. That percentage was up considerably from last year, when only 14% said they would be buying more travel insurance in the future.
Millennials taking travel precautions
Millennials — those between the ages of 23 and 38 in 2019, according to the Pew Research Center — appear to be particularly keen on protecting their trips with travel insurance. Among millennial respondents, 71% said they planned to buy more travel insurance next year than they bought this year. Nearly half of millennials (46%) said they were most afraid of the risks of epidemics and terrorism occurring while traveling.
One reason millennials may be interested in protecting their trips could be because many are spending a lot of money on travel. In fact, 85% of millennials with children said they spent more than $5,000 on travel in 2019. Over half (58%) of millennials with children said they spent more than $10,000 this year.
Millennials were also 10 times more likely than older travelers to be worried about encountering problems related to traveling with their pets.
Travelers cite trip-related fears
Travelers of all ages gave a number of reasons for buying travel insurance. Some cited fears about having to cancel their trips or having a family member need medical attention while traveling. A sizable percentage of travelers may be putting themselves at a higher risk of a medical emergency, as 69% admitted they planned to do something dangerous while on vacation so they could post it on social media.
The top threats to travel cited by respondents across all age groups were:
- International terrorism
- Disease outbreaks
- Safety concerns at the destination
Respondents also expressed some concerns that ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft were less safe during travel than other forms of transportation such as walking, bicycling and forms of mass transit.
Travel can be expensive. If you’re going to spend your hard-earned money to take trips, it’s a good idea to protect your investment from unexpected setbacks. Travel insurance enables you to do that. However, make sure you do your research so you can find the travel insurance policy that’s right for you. Also, have an idea of the average cost of travel insurance so you know what to expect.