The State of Travel Insurance Sector in India

In today’s world, travel has turned out to be of great consequence. Be it for personal, academic, or business reasons, individuals are highly exposed to travel-related eventualities. With traveling comes travel-related risks and these can be neutralized by buying a travel insurance policy. A travel policy is formulated to look after all the travel-related needs of an individual. It offers coverage against various medical, as well as, non-medical events like emergency hospitalization, passport loss, loss of tickets, trip curtailment, trip interruption, trip cancellation, baggage delay, baggage loss etc.

A travel plan offers the much-needed mental peace and ensures that the insured can unwind and have a fun-filled trip. People are aware of the various benefits offered by a travel plan, and so, they look forward to buying travel insurance to have a secure trip.

Perspective of Travelers towards Travel Insurance

As per the research conducted by Thomas Cook India, a majority of Indian travelers buy overseas travel insurance when they travel to a foreign country. It means that there is a wide scope for travel insurance in India. An exceptional growth has been noticed in the domestic travel market as well. Recent estimates suggest that 30 million Indians travel domestically every year, and some of them seek the best domestic travel insurance in India to avail the assured coverage for all travel-related hassles. Earlier, only 20 percent Indian travelers used to purchase international travel insurance. Recently, there has been a phenomenal transformation in travelers’ attitude in regards to travel insurance. In 2015, Indian travel insurance sector recorded a double-digit growth in domestic as well as international travel insurance.

An Analysis of Travel Insurance Sector in India

The main objective of a travel insurance plan is to offer a trouble-free travel experience to the travelers by minimizing travel-associated risks. The travel insurance sector is fueled by the growth of the tourism industry.

Growth in tourism is the key factor that propels the travel insurance market. As per UN World Tourism Organization data for the year 2016, international tourist arrivals recorded a worldwide growth of 3.9 percent, hitting the total of 1,235 million. Additionally, when compared to 2015, approx. 46 million more tourists (overnight visitors) traveled across the globe in 2016.

In India, the size of the travel insurance sector was more than USD 70 Million in 2016. The Indian travel insurance market is still in its initial state. It represents less than 1 percent of the total travel insurance industry across the globe. The Indian travel insurance market is expected to grow at the rate of 10 to 15 percent annually.

Travel Insurance and Inclusion Expansion

Keeping the problems and unfavorable circumstances that might occur while traveling, a few insurance providers now offer around-the-clock medical assistance across the globe and protection against natural and man-made perils such as terrorism, emergency evacuation. There are certain travel inconvenience benefits which are formulated to financially guard the insurance buyers from unexpected emergencies.

Not just that, the insurance buyers can be covered against political risk and catastrophe evacuation, loss of personal belongings, emergency hotel extension, and loss of baggage. Also, there is a provision for compassionate visit and return of minor children.

Some of the latest additions include automotive assistance, medical concierge services, lifestyle services for dependents back home.

Prospects of Indian Travel Insurance

Presently, the penetration of travel insurance in India is 3.9 percent. It is quite small. However, looking at the rate travelers segment is growing, a golden opportunity for growth for insurance providers and travel companies is certainly there. The increasing awareness regarding the importance of travel insurance amongst Indians, India has the potential to become one of the top travel insurance markets across the globe in the next decade.

As per estimates from UN World Travel Organization, currently 20 million Indians globe trot every year. By 2020, this number is expected to go up to 50 million. This surge of international travelers is all set to make the travel insurance market flourish in the near future.

The growth of the tourism sector of India suggests that there is a difficult task in front of travel insurance providers who will leave no stone unturned in order to improve the safety and security of their insurance buyers in every possible way. The growth of Indian insurance industry depends majorly on the awareness level of potential travelers. Only the blended efforts of all insurance providers can accomplish this mammoth task of increasing the penetration of travel insurance among travelers.

Now that online aggregators are there to simplify the insurance buying process, it has become easier to buy the best domestic travel insurance in India. Insurance buyers are a click away from getting protection against travel-related risks. Web aggregators have made it easier to compare various insurance plans so that insurance buyers can buy the best plan that fulfills their insurance expectations.

In a Nutshell

The Indian travel industry has become one of the factors that are driving the economic growth. With every passing year, the Indian travel insurance market is gaining momentum. Now, insurance companies are offering tailor-made travel plans in order to fulfill the individualistic insurance needs of the travelers.

Before you zero down on a travel plan, make sure you look around and compare various plans before going for the plan that offers you best coverage at best insurance premium.

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