Generali Global Assistance’s Travel Insurance division, formerly CSA Travel Protection, has released its findings on travel and insurance trends – compiled from the company’s proprietary data on insured travel – from the 2017 season.
For the year, the average cost of a trip that travelers insured was $1,883 – a precipitous drop of 19 percent compared to 2016. As a result, the average premium also declined to $139 per trip. The average number of people on each plan remained unchanged at 1.75, as did the average trip length which held steady at 9 days per insured trip. The average days between trip purchase and departure dropped slightly from 88 in 2016 to 81 last year.
In a written release, Chris Carnicelli, CEO, Generali Global Assistance said, “As travel insurance and its myriad benefits become better understood, people are choosing to insure trips at a lower price point than they did in the past. This is encouraging to see as we, and the industry at large, have placed greater emphasis on transparency to clear up misconceptions that surround travel insurance.”
The vacation rental space by contrast was little changed last year in terms of trip cost and duration as “Vacation rentals tend to be a high repeat business and therefore fluctuate very little in terms of average trip cost as families tend to rent the same property for their vacations year in, year out,” said Carnicelli. In 2017, total average trip cost increased 4 percent - in-line with average rental fee increases – and average duration remain unchanged at six days. Unlike general travel, vacation rental travelers were more concerned with purchasing insurance earlier with the average number of days between departure and purchase rising from 86 to 89. “The vacation rental industry is in the midst of tremendous growth and competition for properties is fierce. We expect vacationers to continue to book their rentals further and further out to ensure they get the properties they want,” Carnicelli added.
In 2017, insured cruise trips decreased by 13 percent compared to 2016, while insured air travel trips rose by 27 percent. The top three airlines consumers booked insured travel on were Delta, United, and American and the top three most booked cruise lines were Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Celebrity. The top five destinations for travelers in 2017 remained unchanged from 2016 – Alaska and Asia swapped spots, Australia moved up one slot, South America dropped out of the top ten and Hawaii edged in.
Carnicelli continued, “This past year was seemingly dominated by natural disasters, and man-made events, like the Outer Banks power outage, that disrupted travel. On average we saw claims on medical, evacuation, and repatriation services rise by 78 percent last year compared to 2016. As these types of events continue to become more commonplace, travelers will continue to show more interest in protecting their trip investments.”