Travel insurers need to do more to connect with the ‘last minute millennials’


More than one-third of young British travellers still buy their travel insurance the day they go on holiday.

This is a key finding of new research by the UK’s leading specialist travel insurer, tifgroup. 

This is despite the recent collapse of travel companies, and high-profile media coverage of young people facing huge medical bills after accidents and illness while abroad.

The uncertainty surrounding foreign travel has also increased with Brexit still unresolved. 

An analysis of more than two million policies by tifgroup has highlighted major differences between age groups:

  • Half of all travellers buy their insurance a week or just before they travel;
  • Older people, unsurprisingly, tend to buy their travel insurance well in advance, with more than one-third of over 65’s buying their policy at least six months before they travel;
  • Millennials, on the other hand, are more likely to buy travel insurance at the last minute or forget to buy it all. 35% of those under-35 buy their travel insurance on the day; and
  • Research suggests that up to 40% of all young people travel without any insurance at all for their trips.

tifgroup has led the way by setting up and operating Travel Insurance Explained an independent consumer awareness initiative to help customers understand all things travel insurance related.

But Richard Smith, managing director of tifgroup, says younger people are hard to reach and insurers need to look seriously at new ways to reach them. 

Smith said: “I think the whole industry is waking up to the fact that the traditional products and sales channels just don’t cut through to the younger generation. Two key elements of this are trust and understanding.

“That’s why we’re looking at simplifying the products and the way we deliver them. It’s about making the products easier to understand and more suited to the type of trips they take. We know the type of activities they want to take part in abroad so they should be automatically included in their policies. 

“This will help them trust us and give them a better understanding of what they’re buying. Shaking up the distribution to pay-as-you-go and subscription models is also likely to resonate with this age group as it is something they’re already used to. 

“Too many young people are caught up in horrendous situations either because they don’t understand the cover they are buying or because they travel without insurance at all.”

Will Thew, head of underwriting audit at tifgroup said: “It’s an old message but one that is more important than ever. Often, we find that young people simply forget to buy their insurance until the day they travel.  Our research shows young people in the 26-35-year-old age group are particularly prone to accidents and tend to be more vulnerable to sickness. Booking the right insurance before they travel is a small, but wise investment that really pays off when things go wrong.”