Around two years ago in 2020, the global pandemic COVID-19 severely disrupted our daily living and working life, our favourite fun travel holidays and adventures came to a halt as countries started to shut down their borders in the initial stages. The world travel and tourism industry were very badly hit, the route to recovery was slow and very difficult for many of us. In 2022, we are finally starting to see the world opening up their economies and borders, time to restart tourism and travel again.

I know many of us can’t wait to travel out for our favourite destinations again. As we start to get ready our luggages, make travel plans for our wanderlust destinations that we want to visit again. There are both excitement, anxiety, caution, as well as other travel preparations such as finding and purchasing travel insurance. I believe most countries opening up to leisure travelers and tourists would require a valid travel insurance plan with COVID-19 coverage. How is the world preparing to open up, welcome back travelers and tourists, as well as its own citizens preparing to travel out and visit other countries?

How about the situation in Singapore? We can see an increased in numbers making travel plans and enquiries. This report – Singapore Travel Insurance Consumer Research 2022 share some great insights into our travel and tourism industries/situation here in Singapore.

A recent survey was commissioned by MSIG in collaboration with Ancileo, to better understand consumers’ attitudes towards the purchasing of travel insurance. The survey polled 400 Singaporeans aged 18 to 69 on their sentiments for post-pandemic travel.

Here are some key highlights/findings from the Singapore Travel Insurance Consumer Research 2022

  • Of those surveyed, 3 in 5 respondents (60%) have expressed a high desire for leisure travel this year, with 36% indicating that they plan to travel to countries outside of Asia.
  • For respondents with plans to travel, 82% of them says they will purchase travel insurance for their vacation.
  • Amongst those who do not plan to travel, 86% indicate that they will purchase travel insurance if they have to travel for essential reasons. This sentiment is similar across all age groups.
  • As one might expect, COVID-19 coverage (21%) came out tops when respondents were asked to rank the reasons that they buy travel insurance. Emergency and medical coverage came in second (19%), followed by trip cancellation coverage (16%).
  • Interestingly, COVID-19 benefits are not the deciding factor for respondents. When it comes to choosing their travel insurance plan, pricing is listed as the most important factor amongst respondents (20%), followed by ease of online claims service (16%) and COVID-19 benefits (15%). In particular, ease of online claims service held significant importance for travellers between the ages of 35 to 44 years old who are married with young children.
  • Amongst other key findings, the survey found that Gen Z travellers aged between 18 to 24 tend to value personalisation of plans much more to suit their adventure-style trips while globetrotters tend to place higher priority on trip cancellation coverage as sudden rise in COVID-19 cases could lead to flight and accommodation cancellations.

Other findings that came out of the survey:

  • Consumers appreciate value-added services as part of their travel insurance plan. High on the list is the arrangement of services for COVID-19 formalities (39%), airport lounge access in case of flight delay (12%) and 24×7 telemedicine (9%). Arrangement of services will include advisory and hotline support for emergencies.
  • 46% of consumers still prefer to buy travel insurance directly from insurers.
  • 36% are open to purchasing travel insurance from travel players, with competitive pricing as the biggest motivation.
  • 35% of respondents are open to purchasing in-path travel insurance.
  • Only 15% of travellers that belong to an airline members’ program indicate that the biggest enticing factor for them to purchase in-path travel insurance is when the insurance plan comes with loyalty miles, with the majority still preferring price discount over loyalty miles perks.

Steven Leong , Senior Vice President, Retail Distribution, MSIG Singapore said, “The survey supports our understanding that consumers’ outlook for travel is brightening and there are pockets of opportunities to engage customers from different segments. It is important as insurers we keep innovating to meet the unique and diverse needs of our customers in the new travel normal. The results of the survey will better position us to provide such solutions to tap into changing traveller demands.”

“With travel beginning to take off again, one of our key focus this year is to also expand the availability of our travel insurance to more consumers through the power of collaboration,” he added.

MSIG Travel Insurance Annual Plan

To keep travel insurance affordable and accessible, MSIG has extended automatic COVID-19 coverage at no extra cost to its TravelEasy policyholders. From now till 30 April 2022, customers who purchase its Annual Trip plan will be offered a free Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.

* Information and picture courtesy of MSIG Insurance (Singapore) and Media Outreach *

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