Travel insurance mitigates risk.Insured air travel trips increased by 43% in 2018. Bad weather andother factors are making insurance a good investment for travelers.(Photo: Shutterstock)

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With the frigid temperatures covering much of thecountry, a trip to warm locale just might be in order. Travel,whether for business or pleasure, has grown in popularity andGenerali Global Assistance's Travel Insurance division recentlyshared insights on the trends it observed in 2018.

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Travelers spent approximately 5% more on the cost of an averagetrip, coming in at $1,976.83 last year. For those who wanted toinsure their trips against the unexpected, the average premiumremained the same as in 2017 – $139 per trip. Travelers spent anaverage of nine days on their trips, which has remained the samefor the last three years.

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Multiple factors can affect a planned trip, andconsumers are seeing the benefits to protecting their travel withinsurance. “Natural disasters continued to dominate headlines in2018, disrupting travel on a global scale,” saidChris Carnicelli, CEO of Generali Global Assistance in a pressrelease. “As these types of events proliferate, consumers willcontinue to look for ways to help protect their valuable travelinvestments.”

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When it comes to vacations, travelers saw slight increases inthe cost of vacation home rentals, which rose 1.4% over 2017 to$1,878. The average vacation lasted six days.

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For those with a little more time and cash, cruises were aprimary choice, rising in popularity by 1,211% in 2018. Insuredtrips by air rose 43% and the average vacation insurance premiumincreased 1.5% to $80.16.

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What were the top travel destinations? Based on the number ofbookings compiled by Generali Global Assistance theywere:  the U.S., Europe, Alaska, Mexico, Italy, Bermuda,the Caribbean, Bahamas, Asia and Hawaii.

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“The significant rise in both insured cruise and air travel isencouraging, as it is an indication that consumers are gaining afuller understanding of the need to insure their trips,” addedCarnicelli. “We will continue to work diligently to educateconsumers to not only explain the benefits of travel insurance, buthow it works. There are still misconceptions about travel insurancein general and through greater transparency, we are striving toclear those up.”

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Patricia L. Harman

Patricia L. Harman is the editor-in-chief of Claims magazine, a contributing editor to PropertyCasualty360.com, and chairs the annual America's Claims Event (ACE), which focuses on providing claims professionals with cutting-edge education and networking opportunities. She covers auto, property & casualty, workers' compensation, fraud, risk and cybersecurity, and is a frequent speaker at insurance industry events. Contact her at [email protected]