Results of the survey of inhabitants conducted in July by BTA Baltic Insurance Company (hereinafter - BTA) indicate that, when going on a trip, only approximately a part or 47% of the surveyed travellers regularly acquire the travel insurance policy. At the same time the surveyed inhabitants have admitted that they mostly acquire the travel insurance policy, when going for a more distant and longer trips, in its turn, when travelling to the neighbouring countries - Lithuania and Estonia - or going on shorter trips, only 15% of the surveyed travellers regularly acquire the travel insurance policy.
BTA experience shows that June and July is the most active travelling period of the inhabitants of Latvia. Still, during the recent years even more inhabitants choose to go for a trip right at the end of the summer and beginning of the autumn, in order to slightly prolong the summer and enjoy leisure. Results of the survey of inhabitants conducted by BTA indicate that only 47% of the surveyed travellers, who regularly go for trips, choose to protect themselves from the potential financial consequences by acquiring the travel insurance policy. At the same time observations of BTA indicate that even bigger number of inhabitants travel by cars in shorter leisure trips to the neighbouring countries - Lithuania and Estonia. When going on such trips, inhabitants acquire the travel insurance policy significantly more rarely.
“Majority of inhabitants, when travelling to the neighbouring countries, consider that the travel insurance policy is not necessary for such close trips. This is a statement made by 46% of participants of the BTA survey. Third part (34%) of respondents of the BTA survey admits that during such trips they rely on the fact that nothing will happen with them during the trip. Big part (40%) of inhabitants wrongly think that the European Health Insurance Card (hereinafter - EHIC) will protect them from non-planned financial expenses abroad of Latvia in the case of sudden illnesses or injuries. BTA experience shows that accidents in the neighbouring countries happen often and also the amounts of money that the travellers have to spend are huge. For example, one customer suffered in a road traffic accident in Poland and BTA disbursed indemnity in the amount of 2676 euros for the received medical help. Besides, it should be reminded that the EHIC card covers only payment of the guaranteed emergency or necessary medical services determined in the country, but does not cover patient contributions and transportation costs, which may consist of significant amounts both, in the neighbouring as well as elsewhere in Europe. For example, this year BTA indemnified expenses to the customer, who had the EHIC card, for medical evacuation from Greece in the amount of more than 23 thousand euros. When travelling by a car, inhabitants definitely have to make sure before the trip, whether the acquired CASCO insurance policy will operate also abroad from the territory of Latvia. During the validity period of the CASCO policy in case of need it is possible to supplement the coverage of the policy with additional territory of validity”, admits Ivo Danče, Director of BTA Baltic Risk Underwriting Department.
The fact that travellers, who acquire the travel insurance policy, do it in a timely manner is to be assessed in a positive manner. Results of the BTA survey show that the biggest part or 38% of the surveyed travellers acquire the travel insurance policies at least two weeks prior to the trip, 37% - on the day, when tickets are purchased and a hotel is booked for the trip. Timely acquisition of the travel insurance policy - at least five days prior to the start of the trip - is significant in order to protect yourself from expenses, which might arise, when it would appear necessary to cancel the planned trip due to unforeseen circumstances.
“Cancellation of trip is not unusual. BTA receives tens of insurance indemnity claims each month regarding events, when customers had to cancel their trip due to death or serious illness of some family member. Similarly, BTA has experienced a case, when the customer was forced to cancel the planned trip, because a car was stolen, by which it was planned to go on a trip. The customer has acquired the travel insurance policy in a timely manner with appropriate coverage and BTA indemnified losses to him in the amount of 450 euros for the booked and paid staying in hotel, where it was planned to stay. Currently inhabitants, who plan to travel, show even more active interest on the possibility to insure themselves also against the losses caused as a result of terrorist act. Upon following the geopolitical situation, in May of the current year BTA supplemented certain travel insurance programmes, providing to indemnify travellers for medical expenses, repatriation expenses, medical evacuation and other losses related to health and luggage of the traveller, which may arise as a result of terrorist act, as well as indemnity for losses for cancellation or termination of the planned trip, if a terrorist act has taken place in the destination of the planned trip within the territory of Europe shortly before the start of the trip or during the trip,” tells I.Danče.
Although travellers acquire the insurance policy in a timely manner in majority of cases, still a comparatively big part of travellers acquire it on the last minute or even, when the border of Latvia is already crossed. In accordance with the survey conducted by BTA, almost the fifth part or 19% of travellers have acquired the policy one day prior to the trip or on the first day of the trip. Also the statistics of BTA regarding acquisition of the travel insurance policy via SMS message on the mobile phone show that even more travellers remember about the acquisition of the travel insurance policy at the last minute, when the border of Latvia is crossed and a reminder about the possibility to get insured is received. During the period of active travelling of this year - in May, June and July, the number of BTA travel insurance policies purchased via SMS message on mobile phones has increased by 16% in comparison with the relevant time period of the previous year. In total already 1607 travellers have acquired BTA travel insurance policies via SMS message this year.
TOP reasons for the acquisition of the travel insurance policy
In accordance with the results of the survey conducted by BTA, inhabitants of Latvia admit that, upon choosing the travel insurance, at first, it is important for them that it includes coverage of medical expenses in the case of sudden illnesses and injuries. The second most significant thing the travellers want to insure is luggage, but coverage of repatriation expenses take the third position. It is important for the smaller part in percentage, but still significant number of travellers - each third traveller - to include also protection against cancellation of the trip in the insurance policy. In its turn, it is important for each fourth of the surveyed traveller that the travel insurance policy includes also insurance protection in the case of a terrorist act.
The most conscientious travellers - inhabitants in the age between 40 and 49 years
Acquisition habits of travel insurance policies depend both, from the age of persons as well as the income level. According to the results of the survey conducted by BTA, older people are more conscientious and more try to protect themselves from possible financial losses, which may arise during the trip. The bigger proportion of travellers in percentage, who acquire travel insurance policy, are right in the age between 40 and 49 years, namely, 64% of them have indicated in the survey that they regularly acquire the travel insurance policy. A little bit smaller proportion of conscientious travellers are among those travellers, who are in the age category between 50 and 74 years - 53% of them regularly acquire the travel insurance policy. In accordance with the results of BTA survey, the lowest proportion of conscientious travellers (25%) is in the category of inhabitants in the age between 18 and 25 years.
BTA survey of inhabitants was conducted online during the time period from 11 July until 19 July 2016. In total 714 respondents were surveyed across the whole Latvia in the age between 18 and 74 years.
BTA is one of the largest insurance indemnity disbursers in Baltic. Last year BTA group companies disbursed in average 398 thousand euros per each business day or approximately 50 thousand euros per each business hour.
Public Relations Manager
AAS BTA Baltic Insurance Company
Phone 67025661, mobile phone 27828796