The current trajectory of COVID in the U.S has brought the nation to a standstill, placing travelers in an unenviable position.
Last week, the Center for Disease Control urged US travelers to stay home for Thanksgiving. However, as pandemic fatigue matured and many yearned for time with their loved ones, travelers were ultimately left undeterred by the CDC’s announcement and rising COVID figures.
In an attempt to carry on with their holiday plans, while mitigating the perceived risks, many travelers are looking to travel insurance coverage as a means to safeguard their trips and health.
More Americans Are Likely To Purchase Travel Insurance Amid Pandemic
A study conducted by Generali Global Assistance (GGA) surveyed 1,138 US travelers, between October 26 and November 05, regarding their upcoming travel plans and preferences.
According to the study, 60% of US travelers surveyed indicated that they were more likely to purchase travel insurance now opposed to their willingness before the pandemic.
The study also found that nearly half of US travelers are likely to purchase insurance coverage for their trips in 2020.
Survey participants indicated that price was the most important factor when purchasing travel insurance, with plan coverage being second and online reviews coming in at third.
Travel Insurance Trends For Thanksgiving
Insurance comparison website, Squaremouth, recently released data pertaining to US travel for Thanksgiving, compiling data from all travel insurance policies booked for the holiday from March – November of this year.
The data revealed that 40% of all Thanksgiving travelers are specifically searching for coronavirus coverage, making it the top concern for 2020 Thanksgiving travel, replacing concerns such as weather and financial default from recent years.
In addition, data revealed that younger travelers are beginning to place more value on travel insurance, as travelers under the age of 34 now account for 45% of all insured travelers, an increase from 37% a year earlier.
In contrast to popular belief of travel expenses decreasing in 2020, the data also revealed that the average trip cost increased across the board for top destinations, both internationally and domestic.
The study also reported that the majority of the remaining trips for the year will be within the US, as domestic trips increased by 170%, while international travels decreased by 26%.
Top Concerns For Travelers
An earlier study from Squaremouth provided data to indicate that, since the pandemic began, a third of travelers seeking travel insurance wanted the coverage to include protection for COVID.
This is further evidenced as the top travel insurance providers have shifted to those providing these coverages.
The study found that trip cancellation, emergency medical, and medical evacuation coverage are the protections that travelers are prioritizing.
Seven Corners Inc., Trawick International, Tin Leg, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection and Travelex Insurance Services were ranked by Squaremouth as the top 5 travel insurance providers, as they made up 70% of policy sales.
Travel Insurance Mandatory For Some International Destinations
A number of countries have already set up measures that require travel insurance or COVID insurance as a precondition to entry.
Recently, Jamaica announced a new program in which travelers would have to pay a compulsory fee for mandatory insurance, irrespective of whether or not they have already purchased a personal travel insurance policy.
Seeking to capitalize on consumer trends and inclinations, the Dominican Republic revealed a new plan to offer free medical insurance to visitors in an effort to entice travelers and promote tourism.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories