It’s been said many times: “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel” – yet there remain travellers who are leaving it to chance, and David Wallace (pictured) of Allianz Partners New Zealand sees it as cause for concern. Here the chief sales officer talks about the main considerations that have recently been driving Kiwis to either take out travel insurance or not.
A new study by Allianz Partners NZ found that 22% of New Zealanders do not intend to be insured when they go on their next trip. For 38% of the poll respondents, travel insurance is too expensive, while 16% see the risk of something going wrong as too low.
Speaking with Insurance Business while he himself was travelling, Wallace said: “While it’s really positive to see the number of Kiwis that will take out travel insurance, it’s really concerning that people are still chancing it when it comes to going on trips without insurance, be that a short trip (duration) or potentially just hopping the Tasman to Australia. Many of those same risks still apply.”
The biggest hurdle, according to Wallace, has to do with the issue of affordability.
“The number one reason for not taking insurance is still the price,” he said. “Yet – when compared to the cost of the airfare, the accommodation, and everything you’re doing on your trip – it’s a very small price to pay for the comfort of knowing that someone is there to support you when and if something goes wrong.”
So, what could go wrong? According to the survey, which was conducted by Kantar for the travel insurance and assistance provider, there are concerns that are leaving New Zealanders anxious despite travel being a priority for 87% of those polled.
Research findings seen by Insurance Business include the following travel concerns: flight cancellations or delays (44%); missing luggage (34%); getting sick or catching COVID-19 (31%); personal safety when travelling (26%); and being a victim of pickpockets or theft (21%).
“I think the interesting thing is how big some of the numbers are around some of the travellers’ concerns,” Wallace said. “We’ve had a bit of an influx of COVID recently, so it’s understandable that sickness and COVID is still lingering about.
“The big bit for me was actually around personal safety and theft/pickpockets... That’s probably something we don’t talk about a huge amount when it comes to the risk of travel. We talk about lost bags and delays, but some of those other concerns are really interesting.”
These concerns, according to Allianz Partners NZ, have altered travel behaviours – from travellers arriving at the airport a little bit sooner, to only taking carry-on luggage to ensure it doesn’t get lost. In terms of coverage, 43% of those surveyed said they are more likely to purchase travel insurance now than before the pandemic, with 77% looking to buy a policy for their next trip.
“Sadly, everybody knows somebody who’s had a bad travel experience,” Wallace, who believes it’s about being prepared and taking precaution, told Insurance Business. He noted that when you look at it from that perspective, the cost of insurance “all of a sudden seems really minimal” in relation to the protection it gives.
“We have different policies that have different levels of coverage,” Wallace said. “Generally, the comprehensive policy is the one that’s going to cover all of those concerns in terms of the medical access, cancellations, delays, and lost luggage and the like.
“So, while there are options available at a lower price, people do actually want the full cover. They generally go for the comprehensive one that’s going to give them that greater peace of mind.”
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