Lengthy Passport Delays Continue As Demand For International Travel Soars

Lengthy Passport Delays Continue As Demand For International Travel Soars

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. June 12, 2023 — A recent surge in passport applications has led to significantly extended waiting periods for applicants. New data from Squaremouth.com, the leading US travel insurance marketplace, confirms these delays come at a time of growing demand for international travel, and offers advice for concerned travelers. 

In May, 2023, 89.4% of insurance policies sold through on Squaremouth.com were for international destinations, the most of any month this year. Squaremouth also reports the cost of international travel continues to rise, increasing the financial impact should a trip be affected by passport delays.

How Travel Insurance Can Protect Against Passport Delays

Most Trip Cancellation policies won’t cover travelers that are forced to cancel a trip if their passport hasn’t arrived in time. However, coverage can be available for those booking trips now, and concerned with the ongoing passport delays.

Many policies, almost half of plans found on Squaremouth, offer an optional Cancel For Any Reason (“CFAR”) upgrade, which can provide reimbursement for issues not covered under a standard plan, including any passport issue. CFAR policies average roughly $599 this year.

International Demand Grows Despite Passport Chaos

In 2023, travelers are planning their international trips less than 19 weeks in advance. The latest reports from the U.S Department of State reveal travelers applying for a passport are having to wait more roughly 13 weeks to receive their book in the mail. 

With wait times likely to increase with demand, travelers heading abroad should confirm their passports are valid for their travel dates, and take immediate action if they are set to expire. Keep in mind that some destinations may require your passport to be valid at least six months beyond the trip dates.

Notable Stats

  • The percentage of international trips and the cost of travel has increased each month this year as we approach a busy summer travel season, with May having an average trip cost of roughly $6,750
  • So far in 2023, just 5% of policies sold on Squaremouth have included the Cancel for Any Reason benefit
  • CFAR premiums cost roughly 9% of total insured trip costs, which average $6,727 this year

Methodology: Squaremouth Analytics compared sales data from thousands of international travel insurance and Cancel For Any Reason policies purchased between January 1 and May 25, 2023.

Notes to editors

Available Topic Expert: James Clark, is available for comment and interview. jclark@squaremouth.com

About Squaremouth: Squaremouth.com has insured over 3 million travelers. Using Squaremouth’s intuitive quoting and comparison engine, award-winning support team, and verified customer reviews, travelers can save time and money to find the best travel insurance policy for their trip.