COVID-driven uncertainty causes surging demand for travel cover

Insurance market to become more "dynamic" in the future

COVID-driven uncertainty causes surging demand for travel cover

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Demand for travel insurance products has doubled from pre-pandemic times, according to a study by India’s Go Digit General Insurance.

The study, which was based on the company’s internal data, sought to determine how travel insurance has evolved since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The insurer analysed figures across all its travel insurance products between April 2019 and March 2022, and it found that it sold more than 1.28 million policies in FY21-22, more than 100% higher than the pre-COVID year of FY19-20.

In the first four months of 2022, Digit sold 75% of the total number of travel policies it sold throughout FY21. This was attributed to increased awareness and lingering fear of another COVID-19 wave. The insurer also said this is a sign that more Indians are now taking the required insurance cover while travelling.

All-risk cancellation, flight cancellation by the operator, booking amendment, and flight delay by the operator were the top causes for travel claims. Compared to FY20-21, FY21-22 saw 3.5 times more claims due to flight delay. The reverse was true for flight cancellation claims, where the number was 3.5x higher in FY20-21. 

The greatest number of travel policies were bought on the Mumbai-Delhi route for the entire study period of April 2019 to March 2022.

“Before COVID-19, travel insurance was not looked at seriously, especially by domestic travellers,” said Vivek Chaturvedi, head of direct sales and chief marketing officer, Digit Insurance. “However, more Indians are now buying travel insurance to ensure unforeseen hiccups don’t disrupt their itineraries. The category has also evolved over the last few years, with some insurers now offering innovative and need-based products. In the coming years, travel products are set to become more dynamic, opening up the segment further.” 

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