A hard summer for travelers and their insurers – Economics

Vacationers stand in queues of several hundred meters. Pieces of luggage never reach their destination: at some airports chaotic conditions are more the rule than the exception. Travel insurers feel the same. Because the chaos at the airport is accompanied by increasing numbers of crowns.

Allianz Travel and Ergo travel insurances inform about growing claims, especially in the case of cancellation of travel, health and luggage insurance. Flights that are canceled or seriously delayed do not constitute insurance loss within the EU. As passengers can get compensation, request a refund or book another flight. However, the airlines, not the insurers, are responsible for this.

However, for example, Allianz’s travel cancellation insurance applies if the passenger must be quarantined prior to the commencement of the journey. “Due to Covid-19 and its indirect consequences, we are seeing both travel and claims sales increase,” says a spokeswoman. Ergo travel insurance also reports more damages. “Unfortunately, this year we have seen a very significant increase in reports of damage caused by the Crown,” says a spokesman. Many customers are dropping off their travels on short notice because they have contracted with Covid-19. That’s why Ergo has raised the price of additional protection against Covid-19.

Allianz Travel has not yet raised contributions, but it does not rule out such a step. “If we identify any permanent changes to the damage and risk situation, we will adapt our products accordingly.” Even when travelers arrive at their leisure destination after waiting hours, they often have no luggage. Allianz Travel’s losses are also growing in this area. While more customers in this segment also mean more sales, the insurer is dealing with a much greater number of cases. A similar development can be seen in Ergo travel health insurance. However, both insurers are reluctant to comment on specific claims data.

If you do not want to go on the tour carefully, you will not usually receive a refund

Not only should travelers protect themselves from airport chaos and corona waves, consumer ombudsmen advise. Travel cancellation insurance, travel cancellation policy and travel health insurance are highly recommended, says Madlen Müller, insurance specialist at the Saxony consumer advisory center. Customers should insure themselves as soon as possible against possible cancellation or end of vacation. This is especially true for expensive journeys.

Consumers should definitely purchase travel health insurance. It includes services that are not covered by insurance companies and private health insurers under regular tariffs abroad. This applies in particular to trips outside the EU. For Covid-19, the offers regarding the cancellation policy vary widely. Protection often only applies when the consumer himself is sick and therefore unable to travel.

If he is to isolate himself only because he has had contact with infected people, it is usually not insured. The same is true where rest areas are considered high risk areas. “The fear of possible infection cannot be insured,” emphasizes Michael Wortberg of the Rhineland-Palatinate consumer center. Nevertheless, he advises to protect himself in the present situation. His colleague Müller recommends checking your luggage insurance carefully. Valuables such as laptops are often excluded.

Müller and Wortberg advise against comprehensive packaging. Insurers often hide benefits that are actually unnecessary. “Most of the time, they involve other policies that consumers don’t even need, but have to pay a lot for,” says Wortberg. My colleague Müller sees it similarly. “It is better to bet on appropriate individual solutions that meet the individual needs of the consumer.”

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