Young people have become more risk-averse when it comes to international travel, with one travel insurance company seeing a significant increase in the number of 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 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 buy travel insurance for an overseas trip since the pandemic. The sample size of the survey was 500 New Zealanders aged 18 and over.
Auckland student Janice Jiang, 20, decided to buy 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 she was there, she saw the benefits of being covered – even just for a trans-Tasman trip.
“Some people had travel insurance and they were fine when it came to extending their stay or switching back, but those who didn’t had to [pay for it] herself, she said.
With Covid cases on cruise ships making headlines, travel insurance for her next trip seemed like a no-brainer.
“I thought, in case I get Covid, I’d like to have some reassurance that I’d be fine to get home, or that if I got really sick, I’d be taken care of over there.”
Jiang said she had previously thought of insurance as something “scary and expensive”.
“But when I actually looked at the plans, I was surprised at the price. I personally didn’t think it was a big cost compared to what it could bring if something went wrong.”
Allianz Partners provided indicative cost ranges for its 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 profit of $100, but there were many variables that could result in a cheaper or more expensive prize.
For a trip to Australia, the cost was in the $35 to $40 range. For the UK it was $80 to $90. And for the US it was $135 to $155.
Allianz Partners’ New Zealand sales manager David Wallace said there was now an increased awareness of things that can go wrong when travelling, from catching Covid and having to self-isolate to dealing with lost luggage.
Travel costs had also increased, meaning any disruption could have a bigger impact on the wallet than it might have previously.
Wallace said the most important thing was to make sure you get your insurance at the same time you book your trip.
“Many people think that travel insurance takes care of you while you’re on your trip, but as we’ve seen, many people’s trips have to be delayed due to illness or injury before that trip, so it’s important that they get their insurance in advance and protect the investment they make.”
And if travel insurance was out of someone’s budget, “then it’s potentially not a budget to travel at all.”