Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, how travelers are planning—and protecting—their trips has dramatically changed. According to a recent AAA Travel survey, more than half (55%) of American adults are planning a vacation of at least one overnight stay before the end of next year. Even better? Those travelers are increasingly turning to travel insurance to protect their vacation investments.
One-third (31%) of U.S. travelers say they are more likely to purchase travel insurance for their trips planned between now and the end of 2022, specifically due to the pandemic.
"Travel insurance is relatively inexpensive for the large amount of peace of mind it affords, and that's more valuable than ever in light of the pandemic," said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. "Americans have seen how important travel insurance is to protect their vacation investment and are prioritizing this purchase at the start, now more than ever."
The ability to cancel a trip and get a refund is by far the most frequently cited benefit of travel insurance, with 69% of travelers saying this is most important to them when considering travel insurance for an upcoming trip. While travel insurance policies have historically not covered epidemics or pandemics, in response to shifting consumer expectations, some providers have started to introduce plans that cover some losses due to COVID-19 or other epidemic diseases.
As more people return to travel, they're beginning to see the value of protecting that investment and are looking for policies that protect against common covered reasons for trip cancellations and interruptions, as well as other travel-related incidents including change fees, delays or lost/damaged luggage, to name a few.
It's important to note that some international destinations may require visitors to carry travel insurance, to help cover any unexpected medical costs that may be incurred while visiting. Travelers are becoming more aware that a knowledgeable travel professional can help navigate these and other evolving travel requirements.
The survey also found that 60% of Americans see the benefit of working with a travel advisor to plan their upcoming trips. Travelers' top benefits of working with a travel advisor reflect the important role they play in today's more complex travel environment, including:
- To save time when researching or planning a vacation (40%).
- For help with complicated new travel restrictions/requirements (34%).
- To find the best deals (33%).
Courtesy of Groups Today.