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SureSave research shows there’s no substitute for travel agent advice

July 30, 2014 Corporate No Comments Email Email

Research conducted by SureSave, involving more than 1,000 Australian-based travellers, has shown a year-on-year increase in the number of Australians who trust travel agent’s safety advice in 2014.

“We’re very pleased to report that 81 percent of travellers who purchased their holiday from a travel agent in the last twelve months viewed their consultant as a trusted source of travel and safety advice, an increase of 3 percent on the survey we conducted last year,” said Talbot Henry, National Sales Director, at SureSave.

When asked how they found out about the travel insurance policy they later purchased, 30 percent of respondents said they consulted a travel agent, 20 percent said they chose the same insurance provider they had used for a previous trip, and 16 percent searched online.

“This shows that travellers are actively seeking out reliable travel safety advice from travel agents, including important information about travel insurance, and demonstrates that brand loyalty is a key factor in determining which policy customers choose,” said Henry.

Henry said the survey also highlights the need for agent’s advice around travel insurance.

“It’s encouraging that Australians increasingly value the experience of a travel agent, especially given that the survey found that two-thirds (66 percent) of travellers admit to not fully reading their Product Disclosure Statement (PDS),” said Henry.

58 percent of respondents “skimmed over” the PDS, while 8 percent admitted they did not read it at all. 34 percent of those surveyed thoroughly read their PDS prior to their most recent overseas holiday, an increase of four percent since 2013.

“The PDS is an important document that lays out all the terms of an insurance policy. Travellers legally have to read the document prior to purchasing a policy, so it is critical everyone not only takes out travel insurance before they travel but reads their PDS first. This is especially the case with ‘free’ policies provided by credit card companies, which can include additional conditions and restrictions.”

Henry stresses that there is no substitute for an experienced travel agent when it comes to the detail.

“Although we found that although more Australians are reading their PDS in 2014, there are still a few areas of travel insurance that can seem confusing. One of the many benefits of booking a trip with a travel agent is that they are there to answer any questions you might have about travel insurance. I’d highly recommend that anyone who is unclear about any aspect of their travel insurance coverage consults a travel agent prior to purchasing,” said Henry.

Gen Y (18-29 year olds) were the least likely to read the PDS, with just 24 percent saying they read it thoroughly. They were also the most likely to skim read it (54 percent).  Women were also 3 percent more likely than men to thoroughly read the PDS.

How well do you know travel insurance?

  • 53 percent said they understood luggage and personal effects coverage, while 78 percent correctly identified that sunglasses left in an aircraft seat pocket would not be covered.
  • 47 percent said they understood cancellation coverage, however only 38 percent knew that connecting flights missed due to flight delays are not covered.
  • Only 3 percent said they understood personal liability coverage, but 45 percent correctly identified that a traveller would be covered if they accidentally skied into someone and was sued.

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