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- Personal Finance Insider conducted a 2023 winter travel insurance survey of 971 US adults in December through Momentive AI Audience.
- It found most travelers who bought travel insurance were concerned about their travel provider or their health.
- It also found most travelers would be willing to pay for insurance in the future.
Personal Finance Insider conducted a 2023 winter travel insurance survey of 971 US adults in December through Momentive AI Audience.
About 80% of those surveyed traveled for non-business reasons in the past year. Those travelers were most likely to travel internationally, by airplane (24%), or across state lines, by car (24%) or by airplane (18%). About 15% of respondents had traveled within their own state, by car. Of travelers surveyed, most (56%) paid $1,000 or less for their trip, while the vast majority (77%) paid $2,000 or less for their trip.
Read Personal Finance Insider’s guide to the best travel insurance companies »
Among those travelers:
- The largest group of insured travelers (35%) bought insurance primarily because they feared issues like delayed flights or moved reservations, while about 29% were worried about a health emergency
- When researching travel insurance options, many buyers (28%) used suggestions and recommendations from family and friends
- The majority of insured travelers (55%) purchased their policy through a travel provider
- Of travelers who did not purchase insurance, 35% said their primary reason was because they’d never needed it on previous travels, and 19% said they didn’t think their trip was expensive enough to insure
- Most people surveyed (68%) say they would be willing to pay some amount for travel insurance in the future
Why people buy travel insurance
Roughly 38% of surveyed travelers purchased insurance for their trip. About 13% of overall respondents purchased cancellation insurance, and 11% purchased cancel for any reason insurance (CFAR). Another 14% said they purchased travel insurance, but were unsure what kind. The average cost of travel insurance varies by trip cost, destination, and age, but typically falls between $80 and $160 for a $2,000 trip.
The largest group of travelers (35%) who bought insurance did so primarily because they were concerned about the travel provider they booked with, and feared issues like delayed flights or moved reservations. About 29% were worried about having a potential health issue, and about 18% found the value or overall price to be appealing. About 11% said they always buy travel insurance out of habit, and just 5% said a friend had recommended it.
However, the largest percentage (28%) of travelers who purchased insurance researched their options by asking a friend or family member, followed by a review site, blog, or social media influencer (24%). Another 22% of respondents researched their options through a travel agent, and about 19% said they didn’t do research at all.
Where travelers purchase their policies
The majority of insured travelers (55%) purchased a policy through a travel provider such as a booking engine like Expedia, or through an airline, a cruise provider, a tour group, or similar. The next most common place to purchase insurance was a travel agent (17%), followed by an insurance marketplace (13%).
Of those who responded to the survey, about 18% had purchased travel insurance and made a claim, while 24% had not made a claim on their coverage. Of those who made a claim, about half were satisfied with the outcome, and half were not.
When asked if they use any travel insurance features from their credit card — like trip delay coverage, baggage delay coverage, or rental car coverage — 33% of overall respondents said they did. However, more than a third of respondents whose credit cards carry these features said they still purchased separate travel insurance. Another 33% didn’t know whether their cards come with this type of coverage.
Many travelers still don’t see the need for insurance
About 62% of travelers surveyed did not purchase travel insurance; of those travelers, 35% said their primary reason to forgo insurance was because they’d traveled before and never needed it. About 19% said they didn’t think their trip was expensive enough for insurance, and about 14% said they were trying to save money. About 13% said travel insurance never occurred to them. Only about 5% said they get travel insurance elsewhere, like through a credit card.
Travelers whose trips went as planned were largely happy with their decision not to purchase travel insurance: Over 70% said they didn’t regret their decision to pass on a policy because nothing went wrong on their trip. Another 24% said they don’t regret their choice simply because they never thought about travel insurance. About 6% of respondents felt differently: Nearly 4% wish they had purchased insurance because it would have given them peace of mind, and 2% regret their choice because something went wrong on their trip.
Most travelers would be willing to pay for insurance in the future
This holiday season, thousands of travelers experienced cancellations and delays and were even stranded at airports when Southwest airlines canceled 60% of its flying schedule, leaving travelers with little recourse.
About 68% of travelers surveyed by Insider — both those who had and hadn’t purchased travel insurance in the past year — said they’d be willing to pay for travel insurance in the future to protect a weeklong, non-business trip. Most (49%) were willing to pay up to $150 for coverage, and some (13%) were willing to pay up to $250. Only about 5% were willing to pay more than $250, and about 32% were not willing to pay at all.
As we continue to see travel delays and disruptions, travel insurance will become more important and will be viewed as a necessity and not just an expense. The cost of travel insurance is small relative to the trip costs you can protect.
If you would like to speak to Senior Reporter Jennifer Streaks to discuss these findings, email firstname.lastname@example.org.