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42% of US travelers intend to switch to an alternative channel for travel insurance

NEW YORK — A recent US travel insurance survey shows that 42% of US travelers plan to switch from their current travel insurance channel due to dissatisfaction with coverage and claims experiences. In fact, an overwhelming majority of US travelers (61%), would prefer to purchase travel insurance directly from their travel provider or agent for their next trip, a significant growth from the 35% who purchased this way in the past 18 months. This is according to a survey, conducted by Momentive.ai, and commissioned by Cover Genius that observed 6,000 US travelers to better understand sentiments regarding travel insurance, their preferred channels for obtaining it, and their experience when making a claim. 

In comparing recent purchases versus future purchase preferences for travel insurance, 69% of people who purchased protection from their travel provider would do so again, whereas 44% of travelers who previously purchased protection from an online insurer said they’d switch to another source of protection next time.  For those who got insurance through their credit card, 45% indicated a preference to switch to another source. 

Findings show that while 34% of US travelers got travel insurance to protect themselves from pandemic-related issues since March 2020, more than a quarter (27%) of these US travelers had pandemic-related claims rejected. 

Since the start of COVID-19, our network of travel partners have seen a 647% increase in attach rates, showcasing the accelerated need for protection,” said Dave Brune, President of the Americas for Cover Genius. “In today’s environment, the nation’s leading digital and digitally-enabled companies — whether airlines, OTAs, cruise lines or even banks and fintechs — need to lean on insurtechs for tailored protection suitable for their customers, rather than relying on traditional insurers and legacy systems to administer protection to their customers in their time of need.”

When asked to rate their claims experience, customers scored an NPS of -26 for all sources of travel insurance (travel provider/agent, online insurer or credit card). Cover Genius’ post-claims NPS stands at +65, the highest independently monitored score for any insurance company worldwide.

The results also showed that claims sourced from travel providers or agencies were the shortest to process (11 days) and achieved the highest post-claim NPS, while credit cards were 50% slower and the least satisfactory (16 days and -32 NPS). 

The study also showed a correlation between NPS and resolution time for claims, suggesting that claims backed by faster payments, clearer policy wordings, online status updates, online filing and avoidance of data re-entry can all increase satisfaction rates.

As customers expect a digital-first experience, now is the time for major American brands to step up and protect their customers with embedded, hyper-relevant products that reduce friction and are fit for a future where customers increasingly want their protection to come from their favorite brands,” said Brune. 

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