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Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Travel Insurance market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

The UK market for travel insurance is mature and, in volume terms, large. There is high and stable demand for products, with around half of the adult population taking a trip abroad each year and the majority of these travelling with insurance. However, it is a challenging environment for underwriters, with rising claims costs squeezing margins and ongoing contractual and competitive pressures suppressing real premium growth.


Mintel’s research shows that although most people appreciate the need for insurance, there remains a core minority who continue to risk travelling abroad without cover. Mintel’s consumer survey identifies the key demographics of these two groups, and further segments those who bought cover specifically for their last trip abroad and those who already had annual cover in place. In addition, the survey reveals the popularity of channels used to help with policy selection (eg price comparison sites, specialist advisers) and the most influential factors determining choice (eg price, cover limits, ease of applying)

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Sarah Hitchcock, a leading analyst in the Financial Services sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Mintel’s research shows that, when it comes to choosing a travel policy, a much greater proportion of people are swayed by price than important product features such as cover limits and excess levels. Moreover, many consumers assume that their policy will cover all eventualities, including an airline going bust and accidents caused by excessive alcohol consumption. It follows, therefore, that changing consumer perceptions and improving understanding of the product need to remain key objectives for providers Sarah Hitchcock
Senior Financial Services Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • A market keeping pace with, but not outgrowing, inflation
              • Figure 1: Forecast of gross written travel insurance premiums – Fan chart, 2014-24
            • Uncertain short-term outlook
              • Annual travel premiums have risen significantly over the past five years …
                • … fuelled by the rising cost of claims
                  • Over 70 million overseas trips made by UK residents annually
                    • Regulator proposes new signposting rule for people with medical conditions
                      • Companies and brands
                        • Largest underwriters include tifgroup, DLG and MAPFRE
                          • Significant others
                            • Tesco Bank and John Lewis Finance withdraw from the market
                              • Behind the scenes, providers continue to innovate
                                • The consumer
                                  • Almost two fifths of UK adults are affected by a medical condition, either directly or indirectly
                                    • Just over half of all UK adults went abroad in 2019
                                      • Figure 2: How long ago last went abroad, by health status, November 2019
                                    • 64% bought a policy especially for their last trip, while 18% already had cover in place
                                      • Those affected by a medical condition are more likely to seek advice from a specialist adviser
                                        • Figure 3: Sources used to help find travel insurance policy, by health status, November 2019
                                      • Price is the main factor determining product selection
                                        • Figure 4: Factors influencing policy selection, November 2019
                                      • Many people are ignorant of common policy exclusions
                                        • Figure 5: Awareness of common travel policy stipulations or exclusions, November 2019
                                      • Many travellers take a paper copy of their travel policy with them
                                        • Figure 6: Preparations for a holiday or trip abroad, November 2019
                                      • Most don’t check healthcare provision at their destination before they leave
                                        • What we think
                                        • Issues and Insights

                                          • FCA’s new signposting rule will boost the profile of specialist providers
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • Opportunity to grow interest in, and take-up of, supplier failure cover
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Market is valued at £803 million in 2019
                                                        • Average annual premium rises …
                                                          • ... reflecting higher claims costs
                                                            • UK residents make over 70 million trips abroad each year
                                                              • Regulator intervenes to improve access to travel insurance
                                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                • Travel insurance market recovers in 2019
                                                                  • Figure 7: Total value of travel insurance policies sold, by gross written premium, 2014-19
                                                                • Performance varies on an individual provider basis
                                                                  • Five-year forecast: steady growth ahead
                                                                    • Figure 8: Forecast of gross written travel insurance premiums – Fan chart, 2014-24
                                                                    • Figure 9: Forecast of gross written travel insurance premiums, 2019-24
                                                                  • Forecast methodology
                                                                  • Market Segmentation

                                                                    • Multi-trip policies continue to grow share of sales …
                                                                      • … but there was reduced demand for both policy types in 2018
                                                                        • Figure 10: Segmentation of travel insurance market, by policy type – ABI members only, 2014-18
                                                                      • Average annual multi-trip premium has risen year-on-year since 2015
                                                                        • Figure 11: Average travel insurance premium, by policy type, 2014-18
                                                                      • Premiums increase with age, correlating with a rising claims bill
                                                                        • Figure 12: Average travel insurance premium, by age, 2018
                                                                        • Figure 13: Average travel insurance premium, average claim value and claims frequency, by age, 2018
                                                                    • Claims Costs Incurred

                                                                      • Average travel claim has soared in value over the past five years
                                                                        • Figure 14: Total volume and value of travel insurance claims incurred (ABI members only), 2014-18
                                                                      • Rising medical inflation fuels growth
                                                                        • Figure 15: Volume and value of medical expenses claims incurred on travel insurance policies (ABI members only), 2014-18
                                                                      • Medical expenses account for the largest proportion of claims costs
                                                                        • Figure 16: Proportional distribution of travel insurance claims costs, by type of claim, 2018
                                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                                      • Number of overseas holidays continues to rise, but business and other trips fall
                                                                        • Figure 17: Number of overseas visits by UK residents, by purpose of visit, 2014-19
                                                                      • UK holidaymakers continue to favour European destinations
                                                                        • Figure 18: Number of overseas visits by UK residents, by region of visit, 2014-19
                                                                      • Nearly two thirds of holidays are arranged independently
                                                                        • 3% of holidays are for longer durations of 28+ nights
                                                                          • Figure 19: Proportional distribution of holiday visits abroad, by length of stay, 2018
                                                                        • Sustained demand for holidays …
                                                                          • Figure 20: Holidays taken in the past 12 months (and destination) and holidays planned to be taken in the next 12 months, November 2019
                                                                          • Figure 21: Expectations about taking more, less or the same number of holidays abroad over the coming year compared to the last, November 2019
                                                                        • … although many are cautious of booking a holiday due to worries about supplier failure
                                                                        • Regulatory and Legislative Changes

                                                                          • Future of EHIC scheme post-2020 still to be decided
                                                                            • Regulator proposes a new rule to help people with pre-existing conditions
                                                                            • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                              • Largest suppliers
                                                                                • Significant others
                                                                                  • Two retail brands exit the market
                                                                                    • New digital entrants drive innovation
                                                                                      • Only a handful of providers invest significant amounts in above-the-line advertising
                                                                                      • Underwriter Market Share

                                                                                        • tifgroup is the largest underwriter …
                                                                                          • … followed by Direct Line Group
                                                                                            • Figure 22: Largest travel insurance underwriters’ gross written premium, 2017-19
                                                                                          • MAPFRE grew travel premiums by almost a third in 2019
                                                                                            • Significant others
                                                                                            • Strategic Developments and Innovation

                                                                                              • Market manoeuvrings
                                                                                                • Recent contract movements in the affinity sector
                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Leading travel insurance providers and their affinity partners, January 2020
                                                                                                • John Lewis and Tesco Bank withdraw from the market
                                                                                                  • Allianz becomes second-largest general insurer after completing two acquisitions
                                                                                                    • Markerstudy’s acquisition of CIS General Insurance still to complete
                                                                                                      • Launch activity and innovation
                                                                                                        • Leading providers continue to work on improving the customer journey
                                                                                                          • Pluto and Cuvva: digital start-ups targeting Millennials
                                                                                                            • AXA launches online tool for consumers with pre-existing medical conditions
                                                                                                              • Bennetts launches worldwide travel policy for bikers
                                                                                                              • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                • Specialist providers are the biggest investors in above-the-line advertising
                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Top six travel insurance advertisers (above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising only), 2017-19
                                                                                                                • Major insurance brands tend to concentrate advertising on other areas
                                                                                                                  • TV accounted for nearly a third of total adspend in 2019
                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Proportional distribution of travel insurance adspend (above-the-line, online display and direct mail only), by media type, 2017-19
                                                                                                                  • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                    • Nearly two fifths of UK adults are affected by a medical condition, either directly or indirectly
                                                                                                                      • An estimated 24 million UK adults went abroad in 2019
                                                                                                                        • Most bought a policy especially for their last trip
                                                                                                                          • Roughly one in five people affected by a medical condition obtained cover via a specialist adviser
                                                                                                                            • Gaps in consumer knowledge around common policy exclusions
                                                                                                                              • Pre-travel preparations show reliance on traditional paper documents
                                                                                                                              • Prevalence of Pre-existing Medical Conditions

                                                                                                                                • One in five have experienced difficulty getting travel insurance due to a medical condition
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Proportion of UK adults with a medical condition or health issue that makes it expensive/difficult to get travel insurance or makes it difficult to travel abroad, November 2019
                                                                                                                                • Pre-existing medical issues are not just an issue for over 55s
                                                                                                                                • Insurance Cover for Last Trip Abroad

                                                                                                                                  • 71% have travelled abroad within the past three years
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 27: How long ago last went abroad, November 2019
                                                                                                                                  • Strong correlation between overseas travel and household income
                                                                                                                                    • Medical issues do not make people any less likely to go abroad on holiday
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: How long ago last went abroad, by health status, November 2019
                                                                                                                                    • No improvement in the proportion of uninsured travellers
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Proportion who bought travel insurance for their last trip abroad, by health status, November 2019
                                                                                                                                    • Product penetration is higher among those affected by a medical condition
                                                                                                                                      • Almost one in five already had cover in place
                                                                                                                                      • Channels Used to Select Policy and Influencing Factors

                                                                                                                                        • Around half used a price comparison site
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Sources used to help find travel insurance policy, by type of policy, November 2019
                                                                                                                                        • A fifth sought advice or recommendations prior to purchase
                                                                                                                                          • Those with a pre-existing medical condition are more likely to seek advice
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Sources used to help find travel insurance policy, by health status, November 2019
                                                                                                                                          • Price is the primary consideration
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Factors influencing policy selection, by type of policy bought, November 2019
                                                                                                                                          • Price comparison website users are more likely to be swayed by Defaqto star ratings
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Factors influencing policy selection, by sources used, November 2019
                                                                                                                                          • Getting cover is more of a focus for those with medical issues
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Factors influencing policy selection, by health status, November 2019
                                                                                                                                        • Awareness of Common Policy Stipulations and Exclusions

                                                                                                                                          • Gaps in consumer knowledge are evident
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Awareness of common travel policy stipulations or exclusions, November 2019
                                                                                                                                          • A third are unaware about exemptions for alcohol-related incidents
                                                                                                                                            • Adults who bought an annual policy in the past year are the most informed
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Awareness of common travel policy stipulations or exclusions among those who’ve been abroad in past year, by cover status, November 2019
                                                                                                                                          • Insurance-related Travel Preparations

                                                                                                                                            • 56% of adults take a paper copy of their travel policy when they go abroad
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Preparations for a holiday or trip abroad, November 2019
                                                                                                                                            • Age determines behaviour
                                                                                                                                              • Those with a medical condition are more likely to research healthcare provision
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Preparations for a holiday or trip abroad, by health status, November 2019
                                                                                                                                              • Only 30% review their travel policy documents in preparation for a trip abroad
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Preparations for a holiday or trip abroad, by cover status, November 2019
                                                                                                                                            • Appendix: Data Sources and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                • Key sources
                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix: Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                    • Total market sales forecast – best- and worst-case scenarios
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Forecast of travel insurance premiums – best- and worst-case scenarios, 2019-24
                                                                                                                                                    • Forecast methodology

                                                                                                                                                    About the report

                                                                                                                                                    This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer

                                                                                                                                                      What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                                                                                    • The Competitors

                                                                                                                                                      Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                                                                                    • The Market

                                                                                                                                                      Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                                                                                    • The Innovations

                                                                                                                                                      New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                                                                                    • The Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                      Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                                                                                    • The Trends

                                                                                                                                                      What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                    Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

                                                                                                                                                    Description