Young people have become more risk-averse when it comes to international travel, with one travel insurer seeing a significant increase in policies sold to the demographic.
Allianz Partners said it had seen a 53% increase in policies sold to 18-30 year-olds, and a 98% increase in policies sold to 31-40 year-olds for the June to September quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2019.
In a survey conducted on behalf of the insurer, 41% of 18-34 year-olds said they were “significantly more likely” to purchase travel insurance for an overseas trip since the pandemic. The sample size of the survey was 500 New Zealanders aged 18 years and over.
Auckland student Janice Jiang, 20, decided to purchase travel insurance for an upcoming cruise holiday in Australia with her friends.
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Earlier this year, she went to Melbourne without travel insurance. But after some of her companions caught Covid-19 while over there, she saw the benefits of being covered – even just for a trans-Tasman trip.
“Some people had travel insurance and they were fine in terms of extending accommodation or changing a flight back, but the people who didn’t had to [pay for it] themselves,” she said.
With Covid cases on cruise ships making headlines, travel insurance for her next trip seemed like a no-brainer.
“I was like, in case I get Covid I would like some reassurance that I’d be okay in terms of getting home, or that if I get really sick that I’ll be taken care of over there.”
Jiang said she had previously thought of insurance as something that was “scary and expensive”.
“But when I did actually look at the plans I was surprised at the price. I personally didn’t think it was a huge cost in terms of what it could provide if anything went wrong.”
Allianz Partners supplied indicative cost ranges for their comprehensive travel insurance, for a 25-year-old with no pre-existing medical conditions. The figures were based on a seven-day trip with a $100 excess, but there were many variables that could result in a cheaper or more expensive premium.
For a trip Australia, the cost was in the range of $35 to $40. For the UK, it was $80 to $90. And for the US, it was $135 to $155.
Allianz Partners’ New Zealand chief sales officer David Wallace said there was now a heightened awareness of things that could go wrong when you travel, from catching Covid and having to isolate to dealing with lost luggage.
The cost of travel had also increased, which meant any disruption could have a greater impact on the wallet than what it might have previously.
Wallace said the key thing was to make sure you get your insurance at the same time you book your trip.
“Many people believe travel insurance looks after you whilst you’re on your trip, but as we’ve seen, many people’s trips have to be delayed because of illness or injury prior to that trip, so it’s important they get their insurance upfront and protect that investment they’re making.”
And if travel insurance was out of someone’s budget, “then potentially there isn’t a budget to be travelling at all.”