ST. PETE BEACH, FL June 30, 2008-A survey highlighting the use of travel insurance comparison web sites confirms Americans are increasingly comfortable sourcing and buying travel insurance policies online, an independent observer says.
Fifty-three percent of Americans in a new survey by the online community TripAdvisor say they verify quotes on travel insurance comparison web sites.
Chris Harvey, CEO of Squaremouth, America’s fastest growing travel insurance comparison web site, called the poll, which questioned 3,700 travelers worldwide and was released in mid-June, “significant and comprehensive.”
The results seem to mirror Squaremouth’s own internal data, which reveal a growing awareness by consumers that they can use vast research and comparison information available online to source the best travel insurance opportunities, Harvey said.
Sixty percent of Americans polled by TripAdvisor had bought insurance before and 35 percent intend to buy it within the year, giving “peace of mind” as the key reason for insuring a trip, according to the press release.
But consumers who opt not to comparison shop online could wind up paying more, for less than the insurance coverage they need, Harvey warned.
“Customers regularly ask Squaremouth if they should buy insurance directly from a tour operator or travel agent, but we don’t recommend it,” he said.
Tour operators usually sell policies designed expressly for them, while travel agents may represent only one or two carriers. These agents reap a high commission for every sale, which can inflate prices and result in fewer benefits than are available on the open market.
Squaremouth, in contrast, lets travelers compare policies side by side, and instantly buy from a broad range of options for trip insurance.
The TripAdvisor poll revealed 66 percent of travelers buy travel insurance at the same time as they book a trip, however Harvey said customers should know they have ample time to shop around.
Buy a policy within 14 to 21 days of putting down an initial deposit to guarantee coverage of a pre-existing medical condition. Otherwise, insurance can usually be purchased right up to the departure date.
“Customers don’t need to feel pressured by the tour operator or cruise line pushing their own insurance,” he said.
Squaremouth is America’s fastest growing travel insurance comparison site, helping customers instantly quote, compare and buy policies from every major carrier. Squaremouth has web sites in the US and UK, and an extensive network of partner sites worldwide. The company is headquartered in St Pete Beach, FL., with offices in Fort Wayne, IN. Visit Squaremouth.com or Squaremouth.co.uk.
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