Nearly one-quarter of Americans (23%) said their travel plans were impacted by medical conditions, natural disasters, including severe weather; or mechanical or carrier-caused problems, according to a recent survey conducted for the US Travel Insurance Association.
In fact, the number of Americans saying their travels had been impacted grew from 17%-or one in six travelers - in 2012-2013, to nearly one out of four in 2013-2014, an increase of 35%.
Survey respondents were asked whether they had to cancel or interrupt their travel plans, or whether their trip was delayed from spring 2013 – fall 2014, for one or more of the following reasons which are generally covered by travel insurance:
- Medical conditions such as illness or injury;
- Severe weather like storms, hurricanes and blizzards;
- Delays of 3 or more hours due to mechanical and other problems experienced by an airline or cruise line.
More than one-third (36%) of those whose travel plans were impacted purchased travel insurance, reflecting a 63% increase from last year’s survey, when 22% reported having travel insurance. Of impacted travelers with insurance, 98% reported satisfaction with their travel insurance, a notable increase from 2013, when 85% said they were satisfied.
Households with children, and 18—34 year olds continued to be the largest single demographic groups among impacted travelers who purchased travel insurance. And both groups grew. Among people whose travels had been affected 56% (vs. 30% last year) of 18 – 34 year olds, and 50% (vs. 33% last year) of households with children purchased travel insurance.
Most are Likely to Buy Insurance for Exotic Destinations
The survey revealed that Americans are most likely to purchase travel insurance for trips to more exotic destinations and for cruises (24% and 21% respectively). Road trips plus weekend getaways (5% each) and ski trips (3%) proved the least likely for purchasing travel insurance.
These are findings from an Ipsos poll of 1,005 U.S. Adults ages 18+ conducted on behalf of USTIA. Data was collected from December 2-4, 2014 and is considered accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points of the entire U.S. population.
Evaluate your Needs
According to UStiA, the survey confirms that more Americans are realizing the benefits of purchasing travel insurance. Depending on the policy, travel insurance can:
- help reimburse nonrefundable travel payments if travelers have to cancel, interrupt or delay their trip because of illness.
- help cover medical treatment as well as medical evacuation, for injuries and illness during a trip, plus provide assistance in accessing appropriate medical facilities.
- help reimburse medical expenses due to illness or injury while traveling.
- help reimburse accommodations and/or incidental expenses when travel is delayed or interrupted for reasons such as illness/injury or severe weather, or when baggage is delayed or lost.
- assist in locating accommodations, provide legal and medical referrals, help track lost baggage, and more.