As various countries, states, and travel companies gradually reopen for business to cash in on the summer travel season, COVID-19-related concerns continue to impact consumer purchasing trends.
Squaremouth.com, a website that compares travel insurance, recently conducted research that reflects how customer behaviour in the United States has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and how these impressions will affect travel this summer.
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The data obtained through this study is based on travel insurance policies purchased through the website between April 1 and May 10, 2020, for travel throughout June, July, or August 2020.
“Statistics reflect year-over-year changes unless otherwise noted,” an official press release on the company’s website explains.
According to the data, summer travel plans have significantly dropped due to the pandemic, with a substantial decrease of 90% in the purchase of travel insurance policies for summer holidays, shedding light on just how much travel has suffered.
The pandemic remains the primary concern for travellers booking future trips, and 36% of customers specifically sought out policies that featured medical and cancellation coverage should they be infected with the virus or are required to quarantine while travelling.
As well, even though they usually cost 40% more than typical travel insurance policies, there has also been a surge in the sales of “cancel for any reason policies” as they are the “best option” for coronavirus-related cancellation coverage, the release explains.
According to the data, one-third of all policies purchased for summer travel include this “cancel for any reason” coverage.
“Travelers purchasing pricey Cancel for Any Reason coverage increased over 680% compared to last summer,” the release details.
As well, unlike other years, domestic destinations seem to be a preferred option for travel this summer for many people, with 48% of all planned trips being to domestic locations, an increase from 15% in 2019.
Even if they are travelling internationally, US citizens and residents are still sticking close to home, with Canada and Mexico being the top international destinations for summer travel, according to the data.
Consumer confidence is shaky due to the current global condition resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, and it will likely take time for customers to feel comfortable travelling again. Those who are willing to travel naturally want to ensure that they have the best insurance protection possible should they be placed in any adverse position.
Even as certain governmental and travel restrictions are being lifted, some consumers may think that summer travel is still too soon to feel confident in venturing out into the world again.