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Travelling light, travelling smart – the shift to digital storage

October 3, 2017 Insurance No Comments Email Email

SureSave, one of the leading providers of travel assistance and insurance in the agency channel, has found that Australian travellers are increasingly favouring electronic devices as a convenient way of keeping a copy of their Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) with them at all times.  Now, for the first time, the most popular method of carrying a PDS, is storing it on a smartphone, surpassing a physical copy.   

These findings are from the 2017 Travel Insurance Index*, which monitors Australian travellers’ insights on booking travel, insurance and the role of travel agents.

Matt Endycott, Head of Agency Sales at SureSave, commented on the research,“We’re passionate about providing travel agents and their customers with solutions and innovations which meet the evolving needs of Australian travellers.  Our latest research supports our assumptions regarding predicted changes in travellers’ behaviours, and also reveals a shift over the past two years to a stronger reliance on electronic devices to store policy information.”

Smartphones are now the most popular way to carry and access a PDS

SureSave’s findings reveal that, although 27% of travellers still carry a hard copy of the PDS with them when travelling internationally, 30% now opt to carry an electronic copy, which is an increase of 18.4% since 2015.  For those who travel with an electronic PDS, when asked which device they are most likely to access it from, 70% used a smart phone, 19% a tablet, 10% a laptop, and 1% other.

For those who carry an electronic copy of the PDS, the following main reasons were cited:

  • It’s easier and lighter to carry when travelling (42%)
  • It’s more convenient for me to have important documents saved on my device(s) (37%)
  • I feel that it’s safer to have an electronic copy on me (12%)
  • I can read it at a time that is convenient for me (8%)
  • Other (1%)

Millennials lead the charge for electronic storage 

Interestingly, travellers in their 30’s are the most likely to go digital, with 40% of them carrying an electronic version of the PDS, compared to only 17% opting for a hard copy.  Close behind were travellers aged 18-29, with 35% preferring to carry an electronic copy over a hard copy (22%).

40-something travellers were the biggest culprits when it came to forgoing the PDS completely, with 27% of respondents aged 40-49 stating they didn’t carry anything at all. 

“We understand that travellers’ behaviours and lifestyles are forever changing.  We can certainly see that traveller preference for the electronic PDS is trending upwards in line with a general increase on smartphone reliance.  Alongside this spike in preference for the convenience of digital access, we’re also seeing a gradual shift in traveller habits.  Now, only 20% of travellers decide not to carry the PDS at all – an improvement from 24.2% in 2015.  It’s certainly never been easier for travellers to pack light, yet have their policy details on hand should they need it, added Endycott.”

*SureSave’s 2017 Travel Insurance Index is the company’s sixth consecutive annual independent research project.  The SureSave Travel Insurance Index is an annual, independently commissioned piece of research, involving 1,000 respondents in Australia.

For more information on SureSave, please visit https://www.suresave.com.au/.

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