SOURCE: US Travel Insurance Association

November 12, 2007 11:30 ET

Americans Spend More Than $1.3 Billion on Travel Insurance

UStiA Survey Reveals 20% Growth Since 2004

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 12, 2007) - Americans traveling on leisure trips spent more than $1.3 billion on travel insurance in 2006, representing a growth of 20% over 2004, according to the 2007 Travel Insurance Market Survey conducted by the US Travel Insurance Association.

The survey revealed that in 2006 more than 67 million people were covered by a variety of travel-related insurance and emergency assistance services from UStiA member companies, an increase of 18% over 2004. Of these, one-third -- or 23 million Americans -- purchased a per trip policy, representing a 20% increase.

Comprehensive Policies Lead

Per trip package policies including trip cancellation/interruption coverage were by far the most popular, accounting for 77% of total sales. Travel medical and medical evacuation policies, while representing a relatively small fraction of the market (4%), posted the highest gains (almost 34%).

Five-fold Growth Among Leisure Travelers

"Utilizing industry and government statistics we estimate that approximately half of Americans who took a cruise, tour or international leisure air trip in 2005 purchased a per trip insurance policy," notes Brad Finkle, UStiA president. He adds that the Caribbean, Europe and the U. S. ranked respectively as the most popular destinations for people who bought travel insurance.

"Prior to 9/11 only 8 to 10% of these travelers purchased travel insurance. That number has grown five-fold as Americans realize the benefits of covering their travels against the unexpected," says Finkle, who attributes the continued growth of travel insurance sales to several factors. "Stricter airline security regulations have led to increased flight delays and lost baggage, natural catastrophes such as hurricanes and tsunamis have disrupted travel arrangements for thousands, and increasing numbers of travelers are finding that their medical insurance may not cover them overseas or in case of medical need or evacuation. People are turning to travel insurance in order to protect their vacation investment and to ensure peace of mind," he adds.

About UStiA

UStiA estimates that its membership represents over 90% of the travel insurance market in the U.S. The association promotes fairness, integrity and a commitment to excellence in the travel insurance industry. For more information on UStiA and travel insurance visit www.ustia.org