SINGAPORE: The General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) has revealed that the demand for travel insurance has experienced a significant surge during the first nine months of this year. Analysts attribute this spike to a combination of factors, including a rise in international leisure travel and heightened awareness of self-protection in the post-pandemic era.

The demand for travel insurance appears to have reached new heights, with industry respondents indicating a remarkable 50 per cent year-on-year increase in inquiries during the peak tourist season at the end of this year. Customers now opt for travel insurance policies offering broader coverage, showcasing a growing emphasis on comprehensive protection.

There is a noticeable uptick in the demand for travel insurance covering Asian destinations and the already prevalent interest in coverage for European trips. This shift in preference suggests an evolving pattern in travel behaviour and an increasing recognition of the importance of insurance coverage across various regions.

Some travel agencies also reported a notable shift in purchasing patterns, with more travellers opting for year-round travel insurance instead of the conventional approach of securing coverage for single trips. The cost of these comprehensive year-round policies can range upwards of $400, reflecting a willingness among consumers to invest in heightened security for their travel plans.

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Industry insiders suggest that the shift towards year-round coverage is driven by growing concerns about potential issues such as lost baggage and medical emergencies, which aligns with the changing landscape of travel-related risks.

While operators continue to provide COVID-related protection, coverage remains available for individuals who need to alter or cancel travel plans due to a COVID-19 diagnosis before departure or during an ongoing trip. Coverage for those diagnosed with COVID-19 after returning to Singapore is excluded under such policies.

As the travel landscape continues to transform, the surge in travel insurance premiums highlights the growing recognition among consumers of the importance of safeguarding their journeys against an array of potential risks. The industry is likely to witness further adjustments in coverage offerings and pricing structures to meet travellers’ evolving needs and expectations in the post-pandemic era.