In a report released this week, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP) is predicting a rise of nearly 5% in travel insurance sales in 2017, to $2.2 billion.
“The State of Travel Insurance 2017” found that “consumers and travel agencies indicated they would be buying/selling more travel insurance in 2017.” The increase this year follows on a 2016 where sales grew nearly 13%.
BHTP president Dean Sivley told TMR that “the sheer volume of trips” is driving the increase in travel insurance sales, with a smaller percentage of the increase due to the increased cost of traveling, or overall cost of a trip.
Nearly 100 travel agencies responded to the BHTP survey, and 81% of them said they expect consumers to take more trips in 2017 than in 2016, while 61% expect travelers to purchase more travel insurance.
BHTP said “travel advisors are currently the best marketers of travel insurance, but that may not be the case for long.” Sivley noted that little hard data about sales market share exist right now, but it doesn’t appear aggregators are taking travel insurance sales away from agents. Instead, travel insurance aggregators like Squaremouth are helping expand the travel insurance market and raise its overall visibility to consumers.
Sivley also said that in April BHTP will launch a new set of products under the ExactCare brand: ExactCare Value, an “affordably priced comprehensive protection with 24/7/365 worldwide travel assistance,” and ExactCare Extra, a hybrid product combining traditional trip-interruption/cancellation and emergency-medical benefits with the fixed flight-related benefits popularized by BHTP’s AirCare insurance product.
BHTP also is working on an adventure travel product, Adrenaline Care, which it hopes to release by the end of the year, Sivley said.