Despite an expected increase in travel, consumers are simplifying plans and remain concerned about disruptions ahead of the spring break travel season
No matter where they are going, consumers are already thinking about how they will get to their travel destinations. Taking a road trip by car is the most likely mode of transport (30% already have plans to do so and 60% say they are likely to). Flying is still popular, with almost a quarter of people (22%) planning to travel by plane (with an additional 46% saying they are likely to fly). Additionally, cruises may have a resurgence—while only 6% of consumers have already planned a cruise, almost a third (29%) say they are likely to take a cruise in 2024.
However, while consumer travel is expected to recover or even surpass pre-pandemic levels, half (51%) of consumers are still concerned about a resurgence of Covid-19 affecting their travel plans. Other top travel concerns this year include:
- Weather-related delays or cancellations (54%)
- Technology issues (38%)
- Unruly fellow travelers (37%)
- Employee strikes (25%)
“It’s encouraging to see another potentially strong year for travel as consumers continue to bounce back from the pandemic era. However, recent years have taught us that the next disruption may be around the corner and we need to plan for the unexpected,” said
Gaps in understanding the benefits and value of travel insurance
While consumers are concerned about travel disruptions, most say they typically do not invest in travel insurance policies to protect against these risks. Nearly two-thirds (64%) say they rarely or never buy travel insurance, with the biggest reason being that they don’t believe it’s necessary (47%).
The reality is that travel insurance offers several layers of protection, especially in this increasingly uncertain world. The main benefits of travel insurance include:
- Covers medical emergencies abroad: Half (50%) of consumers believe their health insurance provider would cover any health care needs that arise during international travel. If a traveler is injured or ill overseas, the medical costs and other related fees will likely not be covered by their health insurance.
- Low cost investments: Many consumers overestimate the cost of travel insurance, with almost a third (30%) believing it costs more than 15% of the total cost of travel. The average cost of travel insurance is actually 5-6% of the total cost of the trip.
- Covers many major travel concerns: Many survey respondents mistakenly believe that travel insurance will not cover their main travel concerns, including injury or illness (51%) and trip interruption (40%). Most travel insurance policies cover these interruptions.
- Provides comprehensive coverage: Around two in five consumers (41%) mistakenly believe their travel credit card offers the same amount of protection as travel insurance, which is not always the case.
“While credit cards can offer travel protection, they don’t always fully cover an individual if something goes wrong — especially if they get sick or injured while traveling,” added Rizvi. “When traveling in this age of uncertainty, consumers should consider increasing their coverage by purchasing a separate policy that protects against unforeseen interruptions. It’s a relatively small price to pay compared to the total cost of travel.”
Consumers more likely to buy travel insurance for higher-risk trips in 2024
Although many consumers have typically given up on travel insurance, they may look to invest in it in 2024 as they travel in an era of unprecedented challenges. Consumers report that they will be more likely to purchase travel insurance when:
- Traveling to another country (68%)
- Taking an expensive trip (65%)
- Traveling to an area during a bad weather season (58%)
- Travel during outbreak (55%)
Most consumers have also shown an interest in purchasing multi-trip travel insurance, with 74% saying they will consider purchasing a travel insurance plan that covers all of their trips for 2024.
Nationwide offers a range of travel insurance including cruise plans, single trip plans and multi-trip plans. These offers ensure travelers can embark on their adventures with confidence, knowing they are financially protected against unforeseen circumstances. To find out more information on Nationwide’s travel insurance offers, visit this website. Consumers interested in getting a Nationwide travel insurance quote for their next trip can visit travel.nationwide.com.
Additionally, to learn more about the findings of this survey, see this article or the full survey results (PDF).
Edelman Data and Intelligence (DXI) conducted a nationally representative online survey of n=1,000 US adult consumers on behalf of Nationwide from
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