Younger Travelers Are More Safety Conscious Than Ever

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection’s 2019 State of Travel Insurance research reveals the generational gap in travel insurance buying patterns and general travel preferences

STEVENS POINT, Wis.--()--According to Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection’s (BHTP) annual State of Travel Insurance research report released today, younger travelers (ages 25 to 44) have reported the greatest increase in travel insurance buying intent for the second year in a row, and subsequently indicate they are very safety conscious. The report stated that 33 percent of Millennials with children said they plan to purchase more travel insurance in 2019; for Boomers, 29 percent of travelers ages 55 to 74 said they plan to buy less travel insurance in 2019.

“Now in our fourth year of conducting the State of Travel Insurance research, we are seeing a trend that not just Millennials but more specifically Millennials with children are showing the most notable increase in travel insurance purchase intent,” said Dean Sivley, president of Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection. “Millennials with children are also reporting that they travel to the most places and have indicated they are doing so even if risk, real or perceived, is involved.”

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection’s State of Travel Insurance research is the only one of its kind that takes an in-depth look at not only travel insurance buying patterns and preferences among multiple travel demographics, but also the influence of risk, perceived or real, in preferred travel destinations.

Travelers’ safety concerns play a large role in the destinations they are choosing and their likelihood to purchase travel insurance. Millennials with children, the segment that travels the most, are most concerned about threats that could impact their family, such as disease outbreaks (47 percent of Millennials with children cite this as a travel fear compared to 38 percent of Millennials without children). While both younger and older travelers perceive destination safety and terrorism as major concerns, 41 percent of younger travelers see global politics as a major travel threat, while only 12 percent of older travelers do.

Other interesting points from the research include:

  • Younger travelers cite tech-driven and customizable travel insurance as most important. 43 percent of younger travelers said they would buy more travel insurance if they were able to customize their travel insurance compared to 21 percent of older travelers.
  • 38 percent of younger travelers said they wish their travel insurance was as technologically advanced as the rest of their travel experience, compared to 16 percent of older travelers.
  • Older respondents, historically the largest travel insurance buying segment, are twice as likely as Millennials to say they plan to buy less travel insurance in 2019 compared to 2018.
  • Travelers consider Ireland to be the safest destination, and Colombia the least safe. Interestingly, three hurricane-ravaged destinations – the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico – made the top 25 safest destinations.
  • Adventure travel continues to be one of the most popular and fastest-growing travel types. River cruises – where there is a strong likelihood of repeat business – have made inroads among younger travelers, as almost twice as many Millennials take river cruises compared to all travelers.
  • Younger travelers are much more likely than older travelers to be mindful of travel issues, with Millennials pointing to long-term concerns such as climate change and vanishing destinations.

BHTP’s State of Travel Insurance research has been conducted each fall since 2015 using independent national panels surveying thousands of consumers on future expectations in travel insurance and travel habits. The survey provides insights on not only travel insurance purchase trends, but also 2019 travel expectations. BHTP’s State of Travel Insurance 2019 is available for download at

About the State of Travel Insurance

The State of Travel Insurance includes responses from 2,617 travelers and 800 travel professionals about their travel habits, their travel business, their experiences in 2018 and/or their expectations for 2019. While the confidence level is considerably greater for the consumer survey (±2.52%) than the travel-professionals survey (±4.52%), the confidence levels in both surveys are sufficient to draw large-scale conclusions from the results.

The survey research for the study was conducted by Polymath Research + Marketing. Sources consulted in preparing this report included Department of Commerce data augmented by travel-trend reports from the Global Business Travel Association, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, AARP, IATA, Cruise Lines International Association, BCD Travel, Deloitte, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and MMGY Global’s “Portrait of American Travelers.” Data from these sources were used to create detailed models of trip costs to various regions; to extrapolate out the Commerce Department statistics; and to make projections on percentage of covered trips, traveler ages, and travel-insurance cost as a percentage of trip cost. These projections were used to calculate total 2019 travel-insurance sales, and then those figures were compared against last year’s figures to chart percentage change.

About Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection is the trade name for the travel protection products and services of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, part of the National Indemnity group of insurance companies. Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company provides underwriting and claims administration services for some of the largest distributors of travel insurance in the United States. Created under the Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection trade name is the ExactCare® line of travel insurance, AirCare® flight and other travel-related protections. The AirCare® and ExactCare® products are provided by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company or National Liability & Fire Insurance Company. Visit for more information.

About Polymath Research + Marketing

Polymath Research + Marketing is a full-service market-research and marketing agency that specializes in crafting custom research and content to help organizations reach their business and marketing goals. PRM currently services firms in the insurance, travel, sports, and manufacturing industries, and provides research and content support to several top agencies. To learn more visit


Carol Mueller, Vice President
Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection


Carol Mueller, Vice President
Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection