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More Americans protecting vacation investments with travel insurance

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Tue, Jul 31st 2018 11:00 am
AAA data reveals travelers increasingly consider insurance as more take expensive, international vacations
By AAA of Western and Central New York
As international travel grows in popularity, Americans are choosing to protect their vacation investments by purchasing travel insurance. According to a recent AAA Travel survey, nearly 4 in 10 Americans (38 percent) are likely to purchase travel insurance for future international trips. For those travelers, trip cancellation protection is the most valuable benefit with nine in 10 (88 percent) of those likely to purchase insurance saying that getting their money back, if they cancel a trip, is their top priority.
"More than 30 million family travelers will visit an international destination this year, 9 percent more than just two years ago," said Carol DiOrio, vice president of travel at AAA Western and Central New York. "There are just too many unknowns, like family emergencies and natural disasters, which can throw an unexpected wrench into a planned vacation. Travelers are increasingly not taking chances and they're choosing to invest in the value and peace of mind that travel insurance can provide, for international as well as domestic and cruise vacations."
After the cost of their trip (70 percent), the leading influencers for travelers deciding whether to purchase travel insurance are: personal or family health concerns (69 percent); how far in advance the trip is booked (61 percent); and recommendations to purchase insurance by friends or family (57 percent).
In addition to the information collected in the survey, AAA Travel data reflects an increase in demand for travel insurance and members choosing to protect their more expensive vacations. AAA's domestic and international travel insurance sales have increased more than 20 percent year-to-date, with 13 percent more members overall opting to purchase travel insurance last year compared to 2016. In 2017, AAA members insured trips that were approximately 18 percent more expensive than the previous year, according to AAA's 30-year travel insurance partner Allianz Global Assistance.
"The relatively small upfront cost of travel insurance can pay back dividends in the event of sudden and unforeseen circumstances before or during a vacation. As policies and coverage options vary, travelers should consult a knowledgeable travel agent to explore their travel insurance options," DiOrio said.
AAA encourages travelers to keep in mind these advantages of travel insurance to protect their investment in domestic and international trips, as well as cruise vacations. After all, life is unpredictable and some trips need to be cancelled.
Consider these scenarios:
•You landed, your bags didn't. Airlines mishandled more than 22 million bags in 2017. Travel insurance can provide coverage to replace needed items if luggage is delayed, damaged or stolen.
•Sick happens. Insurance may help cover medical expenses while traveling, internationally and in the U.S. Many hospitals outside of the country require cash payments before providing treatment.
•Health insurance. Most health insurance policies don't cover international travel. Travel insurance can help cover medical expenses and costly medical evacuation back to the U.S. in emergencies.
•Flight delays and cancellations. Airlines may not cover all the costs associated with a delayed or cancelled flight. Travel insurance can help reimburse expenses such as rebooking fees, meals and accommodations.
•Economic uncertainties. The loss of a job or other income may mean having to postpone a trip planned in advance. Travel insurance can help travelers recoup their costs when funds are tight.
AAA's travel insurance research findings are the result of a telephone survey (landline and cell phone) consisting of 1,003 adults living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted June 21-24. This study has an average statistical error of ±4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for all U.S. adults.
As upstate New York's largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 870,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.

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