Pro Advice For Buying Travel Insurance In 2023

Doris Hoffmann is determined to visit the river in 2023. And like most travelers, plan to pack reliable travel insurance.

But which one?

For a $3,000 trip, policies will cost between $200 and $250, which doesn’t make sense. He narrowed the choice down to policies from Allianz and Trawick.

“I was hoping to get some information about the companies and their history of paying claims before I made a decision,” said Hoffman, a nurse from Winter Springs, Fla.

Fortunately for Hoffman, both companies have good customer reviews and pay their claims quickly.

In many ways, Hoffman is a typical travel insurance customer. You are aware of the potential risks but you are also careful in choosing a travel insurance company to buy. And there are more uncertainties in 2023, as the possible recession, the country’s problems and the continuation of the epidemic add to the problems of travelers.

“Consumers have a greater awareness and understanding of travel insurance because of this pandemic,” said Beth Godlin, president of Aon Affinity Travel Practice. “And, along with that, there’s an increased focus on protecting their travel investment and their health, safety and security.”

What’s different in 2023 about travel insurance?

In part one of this series, I asked 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 things travel insurance customers need to know? I asked the experts.

“Travel is changing,” said Christina Tunnah, general manager of marketing and products at World Nomads. “Prices are rising, reflecting both rising demand and supply constraints, as well as inflationary pressures on the economy in general. And this means travelers need to ensure they have the right level of cover before they leave home.”

A recent survey of American travelers showed that the intention to travel within the next 12 months is increasing. Last June, 67% of travelers said they were ready to travel. But in September, it increased to 74%.

“As we enter 2023, the travel industry continues to be strong,” said Megan Prescott, product manager at AXA Partners US “There is no doubt that the travel landscape has changed, including increased interest from travelers in protecting their travel investments. The benefits of travel delays. in high demand as travelers experience a high frequency of flight cancellations and delays. This trend is likely to continue until the airline industry fully recovers, possibly after 2024.”

So what does that mean for travel insurance in 2023? Here’s what the experts say:

Most people will need travel insurance

“Travel is very expensive,” said Laura Heidt, insurance desk manager at Brownell Travel. “So the investment is high, and they are interested in protecting their investment.” Reached when the insurance you must have for trips costing more than $3,000. The average price of a round-trip airline ticket reached $397 in the latest available quarter, the highest level in eight years.

Due to higher rates and more uncertainty, many people buy travel insurance. According to Joe Cronin, president of International Citizens Insurance, only about 35% of American travelers purchased pre-COVID travel insurance, and then only for major trips. “Now, nearly 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 used to be an afterthought. Now, it’s one of the first things he discusses with his clients.

“Since 2020, my inquiries about travel insurance have gone from about 10 customers to almost 90% of customers,” he said.

It will be easier to understand your travel insurance in 2023

One promising development this year: It’s become easier to know what’s in your travel insurance. That’s the assessment of John Rose, chief risk and security officer at ALTOUR. “Top insurers like AIG and Chubb have done a great job of explaining how they operate,” he says. “Travel advisors and clients understand the policy wording very effectively.”

So if you’re shopping for travel insurance in 2023, expect to be a little confused about the policy. But it will still be a dense read.

Here are insuretechs – and their parametric benefits

New insuretech companies are changing the industry, too. Companies like battleface, which offers many customization options and offers its own 24/7 emergency travel service and medical assistance, make travel insurance responsive and easy to use.

“New insurtechs have arrived on the scene with faster claims settlement processes,” said Elad Schaffer, CEO of Faye Travel Insurance. Innovations include real-time cashback on your phone and a digital wallet that allows you to buy food and other necessities in the event of a long flight delay.

These instantaneous returns are called parametric returns.

Angela Borden, product strategist at Seven Corners, says these benefits will be huge next year. “In 2023, we expect to see an increase in parametric benefits, which provide a real-time solution to claims for travelers by verifying events that start as soon as they occur and pay the amount of the specified benefit,” he explains.

Travel insurance packages are “in”

This summer’s unprecedented flight delays have made bulk travel insurance products more popular, according to Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP). It has seen sales of products such as ExactCare Extra increase since the start of the summer. “The forecast of “flight dreams” continuing through 2023 will further clarify the benefits of flight disruption,” said Carol Mueller, BHTP vice president.

But he says travelers should take the time to review all the benefits before buying a bulk insurance product. “Always talk to your travel agent or travel insurance provider directly about your concerns about covered reasons for cancellation or what’s covered while you’re on the trip,” he says.

Travel insurance may not be enough in 2023

One of the biggest changes expected by experts is that more travelers are relying on travel insurance alone.

“We’ve seen a growing number of consumers buying travel insurance to get the full benefits of travel cancellation plans and purchasing a separate membership for emergency medical coverage, which is not considered insurance,” explains Stan Sandberg, founder of the travel insurance site. TravelInsurance.com.

Sandberg says travelers also buy a medical evacuation membership with Medjet Assist or Covac Global, which he says is a cost-effective way to have a dedicated air ambulance service available to get you home if you’re hospitalized while traveling. Sandberg is part of the trend. He enrolled his family of four in the annual MedjetHorizon program, which provides travel safety and emergency response services.

“Traveller preferences have taken the protection of emergency medical services travel and gone from ‘optional’ to ‘mandatory,'” said Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue.

Those aren’t the only popular additions. Travelers also purchase international legal assistance through companies such as Legaroo. Or they can purchase a security membership through a company like FocusPoint International’s CAP Travel Medical and Security Assistance Plan.

The basics still apply next year

Despite all the changes, the basics still apply. (I’ve covered this in my free guide to buying travel insurance.) “Travelers should always remember that travel insurance products vary,” says Rajeev Shrivastava, CEO of VisitorsCoverage.com.

And what are the basics? Compare policies before buying. Read the policy carefully. Choose the policy that suits your needs. “Also be sure to consult a licensed travel insurance professional 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 insurance company innovating or new policy limits due to the pandemic, you never know what to expect.

“We’ve seen a lot of updates and changes to the benefits and eligibility structure,” said Pallavi Sadekar, chief operating officer at VisitorGuard.com.

For example, one popular travel insurance plan recently updated its eligibility and renewal policies for 2023 coverage. Moving forward the visitor is no longer eligible for a new offer if the stay in the destination country exceeds 365 days.

“It’s not unusual for travel insurance companies to introduce new features and types of plans,” said Chris Carnicelli, CEO of Generali Global Assistance. “Especially in recent years.”

Experts predict that many surprises will happen in 2023. But this two-part series will help you navigate the unpleasant ones.

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