Following the COVID-19 global shut down, travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth.com found that 95% of policies purchased for trips in 2021 include trip-cancellation coverage.
The data is based on travel insurance policies purchased through the site from 12 March to 10 December this year. On the site, travellers can specifically search for policies that include trip cancellation or emergency medical coverage for contracting COVID-19.
“Trip cancellation has always been the primary driver of travel insurance purchases. We have seen this number range from 80-90% of our sales, but never this high,” said Squaremouth CMO Megan Moncrief.
The company looked at purchases since the onset of the pandemic. This spike is said to reflect the consumer mind set as US residents still show a great deal of apprehension in both the safety and likelihood of travel.
The most drastic increase comes in ‘cancel for any reason’ purchases, with over a 200% increase in purchases for trips next year, compared to a typical travel year.
While this upgrade raises the price of a policy by 40%, it offers travellers the most lenient cancellation coverage – providing up to 75% reimbursement for any reason not otherwise covered by their policy.
This upgrade has grown in popularity due to the limitations of standard trip cancellation coverage for COVID-related travel cancellations.
Aside from the general uncertainty around travel, the comparison site experts attribute additional factors to the high number of cancellation sales, including changes to who is travelling and where they are going.
The average age of the travel insurance consumer has dropped to their mid-20s, compared to 50-60s in normal years. At the same time, domestic travel continues to far out-pace international trips due to widespread border closure.