Souqalmal, the biggest personal finance comparison website in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, in its most recent survey reveals that over 50% of UAE-based travelers have never bought a travel insurance plan before jetting off on vacation, while 26% said they only purchased a cover occasionally.
This statistic comes in as a surprise considering that most travelers worry that something may go wrong on their holiday. Among the most common travel-related concerns raised by the survey respondents, are flight delays and cancellations (42%), medical emergencies (33%), and lost or stolen baggage (25%).
In fact, one in ten of UAE travelers have actually had a travel-related accident in the past, based on findings from the survey.
Souqalmal.com Founder & CEO, Ambareen Musa reasons why travelers should not be taking chances, “Acquiring a travel insurance policy shouldn’t be looked at as ‘optional’. With travel insurance policies starting from as low as AED 20 ($5.45), it’s a small price to pay for getting covered against all kinds of travel risks and accidents, from poolside slips to stolen belongings and canceled trips. Adequate coverage can save you thousands of dirhams in financial consequences of travel mishaps.”
Saara, an expat living in the UAE, recounts how travel insurance came to her rescue last year, “My annual vacation ended on a very tragic note last August. Just two days into starting our road trip across Europe, we received the terrible news of my father passing away back in the UAE. Naturally, we had to cut our two-week long holiday short and return home immediately. That also meant losing the non-refundable hotel and flight expenses for the remainder of our trip. But thanks to the travel insurance policy we had bought earlier, not only were we compensated for these expenses, the extra cost of our flight back home was also partially covered by the insurer. All in all, it saved us from losing close to AED 8,000 ($2,180).”
When it comes to travel insurance, the benefits far outweigh the nominal cost. Saara’s case highlights the ‘Trip Cancellation & Curtailment’ benefit, one of many that come with a travel insurance policy.
At a premium of around AED 100 ($27.24), your travel insurance policy could get you an emergency medical expense cover and personal liability cover worth $1 Million each, while the trip cancellation & curtailment benefit could average at $5,000. These benefits along with other standard ones like travel delays, loss of baggage or travel documents, and legal expenses, as well as optional add-ons like winter sports cover, golf cover and terrorism extension, help ensure that all aspects of your trip are covered.
Apart from revealing consumer attitude towards travel insurance, the survey also provides insights into travel insurance purchase trends among UAE travelers.
The results highlight the popularity of online channels as the preferred way to buy travel insurance. Over 63% of the respondents said they prefer purchasing travel insurance online. And close to 30% said they were most likely to look for a travel insurance plan on a comparison site.
Musa adds, “Our customers buying car insurance have expressed a growing interest in buying additional insurance products online. In fact, travel insurance emerged as the most sought-after product among our users. And we are super excited to now be able to offer it online.”
Under the newly launched travel insurance vertical, Souqalmal.com offers its users instant quotes and allows them to compare premiums and benefits across multiple plans, pay securely, and have their policies processed and delivered within 20 minutes. Also on offer is a free travel voucher worth AED 250 ($68.12) from Cleartrip, on all travel insurance purchases made through the comparison site.