Travel Agents, Suppliers Lead in Travel Insurance Sales

travel insuranceTravel agencies and suppliers continue to lead in travel insurance sales, accounting for more than half (55%) of all premium volume, according to a recently-released survey conducted for the U.S. Travel Insurance Association. The UStiA survey also revealed that sales by agencies and suppliers grew by 11 percent from 2010 – 2012. 

While travel agency and supplier sales remain strong, other outlets are steadily gaining ground, as Americans are buying their travel insurance from a wider array of sources, UStiA says.  Online travel agencies and airlines, for instance, accounted for another 25 percent of travel insurance sold. Internet aggregators, direct to consumer, sales from brokers and others accounted for 12 percent, UStiA reports. 

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29 million people covered by travel insurance policies: Approximately 21 million actual travel insurance policies were sold by UStiA member companies, providing coverage for some 29 million people in 2012. The number of people covered increased nearly 11 percent, but the number of policies sold grew by 2 percent from 2010, and dipped slightly by .7 percent in 2011.  Meanwhile, the number of people per policy increased by nearly 9 percent over 2010 (1.26 per policy in 2010 vs. 1.37 in 2012). 

Trip cancellation/interruption the most popular: Policies that included trip cancellation/interruption benefits increased 15 percent from 2010 and continued to be the most popular overall, accounting for over 94 percent of total travel insurance premiums.  Of those policies, 80 percent were purchased as a package.

Meanwhile, sales of travel medical and medical evacuation plans continued steady, comprising over 6 percent of total travel insurance premiums.  

Overall sales grow by 14 Percent:The 2010-2012 Travel Insurance Market Survey revealed that Americans spent nearly $1.9 billion on all types of travel insurance in 2012, representing a sales growth of 14 percent. 

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All told, UStiA reports more than 148 million U.S. travelers were covered by various types of travel insurance and related services in 2012.  Included in this number are emergency transport programs, assistance plans, and other services provided by UStiA member companies through credit cards, annual membership programs, affinity groups and individual or group travel insurance.  

The 2010-2012 Travel Insurance Market Survey was conducted for UStiA by Avalon Actuarial Consulting, an independent Actuarial and Benefit Consulting Firm. The survey was designed to gather and disseminate market information to UStiA association members and the general public. It follows the Travel Insurance Benchmark Survey of 2004, and bi-annual follow-up surveys conducted in 2006, 2008, and 2010. 

UStiA membership is estimated to represent more than 90 percent of the travel insurance market in the U.S. The association promotes fairness, integrity and a commitment to excellence in the travel insurance industry and its mission is to educate the public on the value of travel insurance while maintaining high industry standards. 

The UStiA is a non-profit association of insurance carriers and allied businesses involved in the development, administration and marketing of travel insurance and assistance.


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