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Memorial Day is on the horizon, the unofficial start of summer. Many Americans are looking to shake off the pandemic cabin fever and take a proper summer vacation.
About two-thirds of Americans believe receiving a Covid-19 vaccine will make them feel safe enough to travel again, according to a recent survey of 3,500 U.S. customers of Allianz Partners, a travel insurance company.
Business Travelers May Lead the Charge
According to a global survey by Chubb, 84% of business travelers say they cannot wait to resume travel again for work. Most fear they’re less effective at their jobs when they can’t travel and meet face-to-face.
Nonetheless, 87% of business travelers have concerns about getting Covid and are considering travel insurance as a solution. More than four out of five business travelers (81%) say they’ll pay more attention to travel insurance coverage because of the pandemic, according to the Chubb survey.
And 86% say that having travel insurance makes them feel more comfortable during a business or leisure trip. Also, 68% say they’ll be more likely to buy travel insurance if it covers Covid.
There are, in fact, many options for pandemic travel insurance plans that will cover Covid-related trip cancellation and also travel medical expenses.
Still Best to Prepare for the Unexpected
The pandemic has brought more awareness to the need for the best travel insurance. While getting vaccinated can help you feel good about booking your next trip, it can’t prevent travel headaches like flight cancellations, lost luggage or injuries such as a sprained ankle.
Almost half of Americans faced fees or extra costs while traveling that could have been avoided with travel insurance, according to a recent survey by battleface, a travel insurance company for travelers visiting or working internationally. The most common charges include:
- Cancellation fees (19%)
- Fees for changing travel dates (19%)
- Fees for changing travel times (14%)
- Costs associated with baggage loss or delay (10%)
Battleface’s survey found that Americans’ top priority is getting coverage for:
- Trip cancellation or delays (44%)
- Coverage for medical expenses other than Covid-19 (32%)
- Coverage for personal accidents (31%)
- Delay or loss of luggage (30%)
- Being returned home in the event of an emergency (26%)
“As travel resumes and airlines and hotels bring back cancellation or change fees, it’s more crucial than ever to have travel insurance,” said Sasha Gainullin, CEO of battleface, in a statement. “If 2020 taught us anything, it is that plans can change and that the unexpected does happen.”
Bucket List Trips
Millennials and high-income travelers are eager to check off a bucket list trip in 2021, according to the State of Travel Insurance 2021 report by Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection.
And a recent survey by World Nomads, a travel insurance company, found that travelers looking to go big and far in 2021 are looking at international destinations such as Europe and the United Kingdom (16%), Asia (7%), and Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific (2.5%). Nearly half (49%) of travelers are booking trips one to two weeks long.
Travel Insurance Must-Haves
If you’re booking an overseas vacation, travel medical insurance is essential. This coverage pays medical expenses if you get sick or injured while on your trip. Your U.S. health plan or Medicare plan likely won’t cover you outside the country.
Another coverage to consider is emergency medical evacuation insurance. This pays to get you to the nearest adequate medical facility or even back to the U.S., depending on your condition.
Trip cancellation insurance reimburses the prepaid and non-refundable costs for your trip if you’re unable to travel due to an unforeseen circumstance. “Unforeseen circumstances” typically include serious injuries, natural disasters, death of you or a traveling companion, severe weather that makes a travel service unable to operate.
“Trip cancellation has always been the primary driver of travel insurance purchases,” says Megan Moncrief, a spokesperson for Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison website. Ninety-five percent of travel insurance policies for trips in 2021 include trip cancellation coverage, according to Squaremouth.
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