Squaremouth.com Leaderboard 2009: Travel Insurance Became Cheaper, Benefits Slimmed Down in Tough Economy, CEO Says.

Published by January 26, 2010

ST PETE BEACH, FL February 10th, 2010 – Sales data compiled by Squaremouth.com, America’s fastest-growing website for travel insurance, show travel insurance was more of a bargain than ever in 2009. Americans sought value during an economic downturn by buying cheaper policies that came with fewer benefits than in the past.

“The American traveler is obviously cost-conscious right now,” said Chris Harvey, CEO. “There was pressure on carriers to keep the price of travel insurance premiums down last year, this meant customers paid a little less but got fewer benefits for their money.”

Travelex, Travel Insured International and CSA Travel Protection, respectively, ranked as the best-selling insurers on Squaremouth’s sales leaderboard for 2009.

Travelex, rising from second place in 2008 to claim the top ranking for the number of policies sold in 2009, successfully launched cheaper, slimmed-down policies during the year.

At the same time, the average travel insurance premium dipped slightly from $199 in 2008 to $187, and most of the industry reported that sales remained flat overall.

“Insurance companies were trying to capture that cost-conscious traveler however they could, to get the mix of cost-versus-benefits right,” said Harvey.

Travel Insured International slipped from first to second place in 2009 in number of policies sold although they retained first place in overall premium; Travel Guard took fifth place in sales, for a much-improved showing compared to 2008.

While some companies improved their products, many others tweaked their existing offerings, eliminating some bells and whistles or making previously existing benefits optional upgrades instead.

“The trend toward purchasing policies with fewer benefits suggests Americans vacationed more in the U.S. — where they would have been covered for most medical expenses through domestic health insurance — rather than going abroad,” Harvey said.

Another example of a company making strides through the economic downturn was iTravelInsured, which zoomed from twelfth to ninth place on Squaremouth’s leaderboard for 2009. iTravelInsured’s unique “cancellation-only” policy had it’s best year.

“If you don’t plan to fly, you don’t need baggage loss or delay benefits,” said the CEO, “but you may still want peace of mind of knowing you can get money back if you need to call the vacation off.”

Squaremouth itself had a banner year, doubling sales compared to 2008. “Even if fewer Americans were traveling, those who did became more discerning about travel insurance and who they wish to buy from,” he added.

Squaremouth 2009 Travel Insurance Leaderboard – % of market by policies sold

1 – Travelex – 20.29%
2 – Travel Insured International – 19.50%
3 – CSA Travel Protection – 12.00%
4 – TravelSafe – 8.49%
5 – Travel Guard – 8.19%
6 – Seven Corners Inc – 8.14%
7 – HCC Medical Insurance Services – 6.18%
8 – HTH Worldwide – 3.93%
9 – iTravelInsured – 3.60%
10 – MEDEX Insurance Services, Inc. – 2.33%

***Note: All figures relate to Squaremouth’s sales performance for the 2009 fiscal year.

About Squaremouth
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.

About our Zero Complaint Guarantee
The cornerstone of our commitment to customers is Squaremouth’s guarantee to remove any company from our website if there is a customer complaint that cannot be resolved to our satisfaction. Squaremouth offers the broadest selection of insurance with an emphasis on quality and follow-up care in companies featured. We also factor in independent evaluation from the insurance industry watchdog AM Best.

Squaremouth offers products from the following travel insurance carriers:
Air Ambulance CardCSA, Global Alert Admin, Global Rescue, Global Underwriters, HCC, HTH Worldwide, IMGITravelInsured, Medex, Medjet Assist, MH Ross, On Call International, Seven Corners, Travel Guard, Travel Insurance Services, Travel Insured, Travelers Liberty, Travelex, TravelSafe and USA Assist.

Chris Harvey
Toll-free (800) 240-0369
Direct (727) 490-5802
U.S. travel insurance – http://www.squaremouth.com
U.K. travel insurance – http://www.squaremouth.co.uk
International Medical Insurance – http://www.squaremouth.com/international-medical-insurance