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Demand for travel insurance policies increased in FY21-22 compared to pre-covid levels in FY19-20, as per a survey by ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

The survey, conducted on consumers from the Indian markets, analysed the impact of the pandemic on travellers' attitudes and expectations and found that travellers are now more receptive to purchasing travel insurance to mitigate potential financial losses. ICICI Lombard settled 3,378 travel insurance claims, almost 1.37 times higher than last year. 

One-third of respondents claimed to have purchased ICICI Lombard travel insurance after the pandemic, the insurer claimed. The survey was conducted with 786 domestic and international travellers.

“Our research indicates that the outbreak has raised awareness of the importance of travel insurance. Before the pandemic, only 50% of international travellers purchased travel insurance, but after the pandemic, that number has risen to 76%. Customers are increasingly cautious and seek adequate medical cover, including COVID-19 cover for overseas trips. The bulk of travel purchases always took place digitally, with the numbers now only increasing. Once perceived to be not so important, travel insurance is now a necessity. With ‘revenge travel ’now back in vogue, we see a huge opportunity and are delighted to note that one-third of respondents chose ICICI Lombard as the preferred partner of choice," said Sanjeev Mantri, executive director, ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

Even though rules and restrictions are always changing, some countries have made it mandatory for tourists to have travel insurance, either by making it part of the visa or entrance fee or by requiring proof that includes Covid-19 coverage. Travel insurance has become a vacation staple now.

Key findings of the survey report:

• Awareness of availing of travel insurance policy on international trips pre-pandemic was 76%, and post-pandemic increased to 90%

• While during pre-pandemic 50% availed travel insurance during international trips, there is a rise in availing travel insurance to 76% during post-pandemic

• Of those who are planning to travel abroad in future, 94% will be taking travel insurance for their trip

• Post pandemic trips to US/ Canada (1.6x) and Europe (1.4x) has increased while it is almost similar for Asia and Australia

• Post pandemic people travelling for business (1.2x) and medical (2x) reasons increased while dropped for education/ holiday trips

• In the past 12 months surge has been observed in the trips abroad which are mainly contributed by younger age group (25-35 years)

• Trip durations have been shorter post-pandemic (10-12 days) than pre-pandemic (2 weeks).

• Medical expenses for covid will continue to remain a larger reason for taking travel insurance in future besides covering emergency hotel extensions (52% )

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