TAMPA, Fla. - Travel is starting to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels, and folks planning to jet set are looking for additional peace of mind. A growing number of people are turning to travel insurance to protect their trip investment and health while away.
"The level of awareness and interest in travel insurance is at an all-time high right now," said Steven Benna, Marketing Manager at Squaremouth.com.
SquareMouth is a travel insurance comparison website based in St. Petersburg. Benna says this August the site reported twice as many sales than in August of 2019.
"There's so much more uncertainty and concern for travelers right now than there's ever been," he said. "So it's just a way that travelers know they can protect their trip costs and their investment in their trip, and then also just have some protection for medical emergencies."
Travelers are increasingly interested in COVID-19 protections, and policies that give them flexibility and money back if they need to cancel for any reason. A recent AAA survey found 69% of travelers say this is the most important reason to purchase travel insurance.
"People are just nervous because the travel landscape is changing constantly. Destinations are changing requirements about how you enter and quarantine and all of that, and then also a lot of destinations are now requiring travel insurance because of the pandemic," explained Seven Corners Product Marketing Strategist, Angela Borden.
The demographics of the people buying travel insurance has also shifted. Baby boomers and older travelers no longer make up the bulk of policy purchases.
"We're seeing millennials, those 25 to 40-year-olds now they are traveling more frequently, and we've seen a retraction in older folks," Borden said.
A standard, comprehensive travel insurance plan can set you back between 5% and 10% of the total trip cost. Adding on ‘cancel for any reason’ coverage pushes the rates even higher.
Still, experts say this uptick in demand is likely here to stay.
"I think what we'll see is we'll see an increase on both sides, an increase in the number of people that buy travel insurance overall, as well as an increase in people that buy that additional cancel for any reason coverage," said Suzanne Morrow, Vice President of Business Development at InsureMyTrip.
Before you head out on your next big trip, officials recommend comparing travel insurance quotes from different providers to see if any fit your needs.