Doris Hoffmann is aiming for a river cruise in 2023. And like so many travelers, she plans to purchase reliable travel insurance.
But which one?
On a $3,000 cruise, the policies will cost her between $200 and $250, which she thinks is reasonable. She narrowed the choices down to the policies of Allianz and Trawick.
“I was hoping to get some information on the companies and their claims payment history before making a decision,” says Hoffmann, a nurse from Winter Springs, Florida.
Luckily for Hoffmann, both companies have excellent customer reviews and pay claims quickly.
In many ways, Hoffmann is a typical travel insurance customer. She is aware of the potential dangers but is also careful to choose a travel insurance company for her purchase. And there’s the added uncertainty for 2023, as a possible recession, more geopolitical issues and the continuation of the pandemic add to travelers’ worries.
“Consumers have heightened awareness and understanding of travel insurance due to the pandemic,” said Beth Godlin, president of Aon Affinity Travel Practice. “And alongside that, there is a focus on protecting their financial investment in travel as well as their health, safety and security.”
How is 2023 different for travel insurance?
In part one of this series, I asked you if you need insurance next year (short answer: you probably do). But what are some of the trends shaping travel insurance in 2023? What are some of the things potential travel insurance customers need to know? I asked the experts.
“Travel is changing,” says Christina Tunnah, Managing Director of Marketing and Brands at World Nomads. “Prices are rising, reflecting both increased demand as well as supply constraints and inflationary pressures in the wider economy. And that means travelers need to ensure they have the right level of coverage before leaving home.”
A recent survey of American travelers showed that the intention to travel over the next 12 months is on the rise. Last June, 67% of travelers said they were ready to travel. But by September, it had risen to 74%.
“In 2023, the travel industry continues to rebound,” says Megan Prescott, chief product officer at AXA Partners US. “There is no doubt that the travel landscape has changed, including an increased interest by travelers in protecting their travel investments. Benefits of travel delays are increasingly sought after as travelers experience higher frequency flight cancellations and delays. This trend will likely continue until the airline industry has fully recovered, which could be until 2024.”
So what does this mean for travel insurance in 2023? Here’s what the experts said:
More people will need travel insurance
“Travel is getting more and more expensive,” says Laura Heidt, insurance office manager at Brownell Travel. “So the investment is higher and they want to protect their investment.” It’s happened where insurance is a must for trips costing more than $3,000. The average price of a domestic round-trip airfare hit $397 in the last available quarter, the highest level in eight years.
Due to higher prices and increased uncertainty, more and more people are buying travel insurance. According to Joe Cronin, president of International Citizens Insurance, only about 35% of U.S. travelers purchased travel insurance before COVID, and only for major trips. “Now about 80% of Americans protect their travel and health with travel insurance.”
Melissa Downham, luxury travel consultant and founder of Roaming Travel Co., says travel insurance was once an afterthought. Now it’s one of the first things she discusses with her clients.
“Since 2020, my travel insurance inquiries have gone from about 10% of customers to probably 90% of customers,” she says.
It will be easier to understand your travel insurance policy in 2023
A promising development this year: it’s become easier to know what’s in your travel insurance policy. This is the assessment of John Rose, risk and security manager at ALTOUR. “Major insurers such as AIG and Chubb have done a fantastic job explaining coverage,” he says. “Travel counselors and customers better understand policy wording.”
So if you get travel insurance in 2023, expect to be a little less confused by the police. But it will still be a dense read.
Here are the Insuretechs – and their parametric benefits
New insurancetech companies are also changing the industry. Companies like Battleface, which offer more customization options and provide their own 24/7 emergency travel and medical assistance service, are making travel insurance more responsive and user-friendly.
“New insurtechs have emerged with faster claims resolution processes,” says Elad Schaffer, CEO of Faye Travel Insurance. Innovations include real-time refunds straight to your phone and a digital wallet that lets you buy food and other necessities in the event of a long flight delay.
These instant refunds are called parametric benefits.
Angela Borden, product strategist at Seven Corners, says these benefits will be significant next year. “For 2023, we are planning an increase in parametric benefits, which provide a real-time claims solution for travelers by checking for triggering events as they occur and then paying out the specified benefit amount,” he explains. -she.
Travel insurance packages are “in”
Unprecedented flight delays this summer have made bundled travel insurance products more popular, according to Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP). He has seen sales of products like ExactCare Extra soar since the start of the summer. “The prediction of continued flightmares through 2023 will further illuminate the pros and cons of flights,” said Carol Mueller, vice president of BHTP.
But she says travelers should take the time to consider each benefit before purchasing a bundled insurance product. “Always speak directly to your travel agent or travel insurance provider about your concerns about covered reasons for cancellation or what is covered while traveling,” she says.
Travel insurance may not be enough in 2023
One of the most important changes that experts anticipate is that more and more travelers are not exclusively dependent on travel insurance.
“We have seen a growing popularity of consumers purchasing travel insurance for the full benefits of trip cancellation plans and then purchasing a separate membership for emergency medical evacuation, which is not considered insurance,” explains Stan Sandberg, co-founder of the travel insurance site. AssuranceVoyage.com.
Sandberg says travelers also buy medical evacuation subscriptions from Medjet Assist or Covac Global, which he says are a cost-effective way to have a specialist air ambulance service available to get you home in the event of an emergency. hospitalization while travelling. Sandberg is part of the trend. He enrolled his family of four in the annual MedjetHorizon plan, which also offers travel security and crisis response services.
“Traveler preferences have shifted travel protection for emergency medical services and evacuation from ‘optional’ to ‘mandatory,'” said Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue.
These are not the only popular add-ons. Travelers also purchase international legal assistance through companies like Legaroo. Or they can purchase a safety membership through a company like FocusPoint International’s CAP Travel Safety and Medical Assistance Plan.
The basics still apply for next year
Even with all the changes, the fundamentals still apply. (I’ve outlined them in my free guide to buying travel insurance.) “Travelers should keep in mind that travel insurance products vary,” says Rajeev Shrivastava, CEO of VisitorsCoverage.com.
And what are the basics? Compare policies before you buy. Read the policy carefully. Select the policy that suits your needs. “And be sure to consult a licensed travel insurance adjuster if you have any questions,” adds Shrivastava.
More changes are coming
Like the travel industry itself, travel insurance has its surprises. Whether it’s an innovative insuretech company or new policy limits due to a pandemic, you never know what to expect.
“We’ve seen a slew of updates and changes to plan benefits and eligibility,” says Pallavi Sadekar, operations manager at VisitorGuard.com.
For example, a popular visitor travel insurance plan has just updated its coverage eligibility and renewal requirements for 2023. Going forward, a traveler is no longer eligible for new coverage if a stay in the destination country has exceeded 365 days.
“It’s not uncommon for travel insurers to introduce new coverages and new types of plans,” says Chris Carnicelli, CEO of Generali Global Assistance. “Especially in recent years.”
Experts predict that most surprises will be positive for 2023. But this two-part series will help you navigate some of the more unpleasant ones.
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