The year 2015 presented a lot of challenges travelers could never anticipate prior to departure. Throughout the year, world travelers were first-hand witnesses to devastating earthquakes, random acts of terrorism, and deliberate aircraft accidents. As a result, travel insurance policies have also changed, reacting to the demand of the traveling public as they look for assistance.
Before traveling, it is important to understand what travel insurance will cover, what it will not cover, and how it will change in 2016.Travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth.com has tracked the numerous changes in travel insurance, compiling an analysis of the state of travel insurance in 2016.
Here are three trends every traveler should know before purchasing a travel insurance plan.
More travelers are heading to Cuba due to new regulations
With the opening of diplomatic relationships to Cuba at the beginning of 2015, more American travelers have visited the embargoed nation than ever before. However, before a visitor can enter Cuba, they are required to provide proof of travel insurance or purchase a travel insurance policy upon arrival. As a result, travel insurance sales for trips to Cuba surged by over 168 percent, with more travelers searching for coverage as they travel.
Cuba is one of many nations that require proof of travel insurance prior to arrival. Although the requirements for proof differ from nation to nation, it helps to have documented proof o active plan prior to departure. Other popular destinations for insured travelers included Mexico, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom.
Trip cancellation benefits remained in high demand
The terrorist attacks of 2015 left many travelers on high alert as they planned their trips in the coming year. Between the two attacks on Paris and the bombing of a Russian MetroJet commercial airliner, travelers became more alert of terrorist threats, and how it may ultimately affect their plans.
Instead of canceling their adventures altogether, travelers instead sought to purchase travel insurance that covered acts of terrorism.
"Following the attacks in Paris, we found that travelers were more interested in purchasing terrorism coverage options for a future trip than they were in canceling the trip altogether,” Jessica Harvey, customer service director for Squaremouth, explains.
According to data collected by the travel insurance comparison site, more than half of travelers searching for travel insurance after the November Paris attacks sought coverage for terrorism, with an overall rise in insurance plan sales. Although some travel insurance policies will cover acts of terrorism, travelers may only be covered in certain situations. Before purchasing a policy, be sure to understand if – and when – incidents of terrorism are covered.
Travelers aged 50 and above are more seriously consider travel insurance
Although all travelers should consider purchasing a travel insurance plan prior to departure, the message has clearly hit home for those travelers between 50 and 69. According to Squaremouth, 40 percent of all policies sold went to those among individuals in this group who are also traveling for longer periods of time with more expensive itineraries.
Those between 50 and 69 traveled for an average of 17 days, with travelers often spending over $2,400 on their trip.
“While major events in 2015 have caused changes in the way people travel, they haven’t changed the demand to travel,” Squaremouth CEO Chris Harvey said. “Despite increasing concerns over security, we’ve seen that people are taking action to be more prepared rather than avoiding travel altogether.”
Although the world is rapidly changing, travel insurance is still offers an increased level of protection for international travelers. By understanding how the industry is changing and what travel insurance will offer coverage for, modern adventurers can make choose the plan that is right for them, offering the optimal amount of assistance a long way from home.