Thomas Cook India and SOTC Travel’s recent survey reveals significant customer requirement for travel insurance for both international and domestic destinations. The survey covered over 1000 consumers spread across India’s top metros and prime cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangaluru, Kolkata, Pune, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Chennai, Hyderabad, Surat, Indore, Bhopal, Patna, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Nagpur, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Mysuru, Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam, Guwahati, etc. While the pandemic created increased need for travel insurance, the continued demand reflects the growing maturity of the Indian market.

The data analysis has revealed valuable insights on customer requirements related to travel insurance:

Strong requirement: 86 per cent respondents showcased travel insurance as a necessity in the post pandemic era as compared to 75 per cent respondents highlighting health and safety as the primary concern from the First Holiday Readiness Travel Report (May 2020); while 80 per cent are keen on availing travel insurance for themselves/their family even if it was not mandatory during their travel or while obtaining visas.

Covid 19 coverage: Covid 19 related coverage including hospitalisation, treatment, quarantine is essential for 69 per cent of the respondents while planning their travel.

Insurance preference: Significant share of insurance preference is for international destinations (60 per cent) while 38 per cent respondents are interested in taking travel insurance for both domestic and international destinations; from less than 1 per cent pre pandemic to approx 20 per cent currently for domestic destinations.

Crucial factors while selecting travel insurance:

Features – insurance coverage features such as cancellation, delay, pre-existing medical conditions, Covid-19 cover, hotel quarantine, emergency hotel extensions continue to be a top priority for over 50 per cent of the respondents while considering travel insurance.

Coverage costs – expenses play a major role while considering travel insurance as 20 per cent indicated that the insurance pricing should be reasonable.

Sum insured – it is essential too as highlighted by 7 per cent of the respondents.

Insurance company – the name of the insurance company or reputation in the market is considered important by 18 per cent.

Abraham Alapatt, President and Group Head – Marketing, Service Quality, Value Added Services and Innovation, Thomas Cook India and SOTC Travel said, “The pandemic changed several norms in the travel industry with health and protection gaining importance. The fact that customers continue to see value in comprehensive travel insurance is to my mind, less an indicator of continuing concerns about the pandemic and more to do with a more mature customer mindset. This is more akin to customers in mature economies, where travel insurance is seen as a “must have” and not just a “good to have”. Given India’s rapidly maturing economy – our customers understandably, are seeing value (beyond the pandemic) in comprehensive travel insurance to ensure their safety and security while travelling.”