Charlotte, North Carolina – The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on Americans’ travel plans. New data shows that an increasing number of travelers are turning to travel insurance to protect their vacation investments and their health during their trip.
According to a recent AAA Travel survey, a third (31%) of American travelers say they are more likely to purchase travel insurance for their trips planned by the end of 2022, especially because of the pandemic.
“Travel insurance is relatively inexpensive for the great peace of mind it offers, and it’s more valuable than ever in light of the pandemic,” said Debbie Haas, vice president of travel, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Americans have seen how valuable travel insurance can be in protecting their vacation investment and their health, and are prioritizing this purchase more than ever.”
AAA’s travel insurance sales have grown by more than double digits year over year as members return to travel and see the value in protecting this investment. Choosing the right policy is important, and more travelers want policies that protect against common reasons for trip cancellation and interruption, as well as other travel-related incidents, including change fees, delays or lost / damaged baggage, to name a few.
- The most popular benefit of travel insurance: The ability to cancel a trip and get a refund is by far the most frequently cited benefit of travel insurance. Sixty-nine percent of travelers say it’s most important to them when considering travel insurance for an upcoming trip. Since policies vary, AAA advises these travelers to consider travel insurance policies that include a flexible cancellation component, which could offer more options and protection in the event a traveler needs to cancel. his trip.
- Suppliers adjust their plans to meet consumer expectations: While travel insurance policies have historically not covered epidemics or pandemics, in response to changing consumer expectations, some providers have started to introduce plans that cover some losses due to COVID-19 or other epidemic diseases. AAA offers policies that provide assistance and financial benefits if travelers contract COVID before or during their insured vacation. AAA recommends that travelers consult the expertise of a knowledgeable travel agent to help them plan their trips and evaluate the various travel insurance options available in the market.
- The importance of a travel counselor: In addition, it is important to note that some international destinations may require visitors to purchase travel insurance, to help cover any unforeseen medical expenses that may be incurred during the visit. A knowledgeable travel agent can help travelers navigate these and other ever-changing travel demands.
The AAA Travel survey also found that six in 10 Americans (60%) see the benefit of working with a travel agent to plan their next trips. The main benefits for travelers of working with a travel counselor 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 new restrictions / complicated travel requirements (34%)
- To find the best deals (33%)
“Travel insurance options vary widely, but a knowledgeable travel agent can help you navigate these complexities,” Haas continued. “A trusted travel advisor is your advocate before and during your trip. Partnering with a travel counselor to review your travel insurance options offers another level of protection, allowing you to focus on creating unforgettable vacation memories. Our research shows that discussing travel insurance with our travel counselors increases traveler satisfaction. It is more beneficial to purchase travel insurance when booking a trip, but coverage can also be added later before the trip.
AAA travel agents are available to help members evaluate travel insurance offers and plan their vacations when they are ready. For more information and to get started, visit AAA.com/Travel.