There’s already some contention around the discriminatory nature of vaccines when it comes to international travel; might the cost of travel insurance also factor into that?
As we emerge further into 2021, moving closer to the much-lauded proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, yet more people are expressing their willingness to use digital health passports to help speed up the facilitation of international travel. Travellers from France, Spain, Germany, India, the UAE, Russia, Singapore, the UK and the US are all keen to use digital health passports, a study from Amadeus and Censuswide says. While AllCear’s recent travel report identifies that the majority of Brits support the introduction of vaccine passports.
Of course, it’s not all smooth sailing. While digital health passports that include information on negative Covid tests, immunity and Covid vaccination will allow a wide pool of individuals to begin travelling again, vaccine passports are slightly more controversial, allowing only those that have been inoculated against Covid to jet off overseas – and as many note, these leave room for discriminatory travel practices, as younger generations and other groups of people, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, who are not yet able to be vaccinated, would not be permitted to travel if these are mandated.
Unvaccinated travellers to be penalised with hiked insurance premiums?
To add further controversy to the debate, a recent article published by UK news outlet The Independent has thrown up the possibility of ramped up travel insurance costs for those who have not been inoculated against Covid.
The article, titled ‘Vaccine passports to ramp up cost of travel insurance’, details that unvaccinated travellers could face higher travel insurance premiums for their trips. In the article, Martyn James from the insurance dispute company Resolver suggested that insurers should lower premiums for those who can prove they have been inoculated rather than raising the cost for those who haven’t.
However, covering the same topic, the Express noted that insurance premiums have steadily risen over the pandemic – the news outlet noted that comparethemarket.com cited that policies now cost up to 60-per-cent more.
The prospect of increased travel insurance costs for unvaccinated travellers, in addition to these individuals’ likely limited travel pool of destinations (and travel options), could create some serious contention among this group of travellers (which will most likely be the younger generations). And, while surveys had for some time found this demographic to be the least likely to buy travel insurance, that has been changing in recent years (as reported by ITIJ here and here). While mitigating against travel risk is inherently part of the travel insurance underwriting process, inflating premiums now, when confidence in travel is at an all-time low, could have a serious impact on the uptake of travel insurance.
That being said, travellers have conveyed that they would be keen to pay more to ensure their safety and peace of mind when travelling. We welcome our industry readers to provide comment on the likelihood of increased premiums for non-vaccinated travellers, and what the repercussions, positive or negative, might be.