More Americans to Consider Travel Insurance
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on Americans’ travel plans. How they plan—and protect—those trips have also 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, and those travelers are increasingly turning to travel insurance to protect their vacation investments.
One-third (31 percent) 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.
The ability to cancel a trip and get a refund is by far the most frequently cited benefit of travel insurance, with 69 percent of travelers saying this is most important to them when considering travel insurance for an upcoming trip. AAA advises these travelers to look into travel insurance policies that include a “cancel at any time” component, which could offer more flexibility and protection in the event a traveler needs to cancel their 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. AAA recommends travelers consult the expertise of a knowledgeable travel agent to help plan their trips and evaluate the various travel insurance options available on the market.
Recent AAA Travel bookings have increased 11 percent over 2019 levels, and interest in travel insurance has increased in turn. AAA’s travel insurance sales have increased more than double digits year-over-year, as members return to travel and see the value of protecting that investment. Choosing the right policy is important, and increasingly travelers want 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.
Also, 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. A knowledgeable travel agent can help travelers navigate these and other evolving travel requirements.
The AAA Travel survey also found that six in 10 Americans see the benefit of working with a travel agent 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 percent)
- For help with complicated new travel restrictions/requirements (34 percent)
- To find the best deals (33 percent)
AAA Travel agents are available to help members evaluate travel insurance offerings and plan their vacations when they are ready. For more information and to get started, visit AAA.com/Travel.