ABTA is repeating its call to Government to review regulations around the sale of travel insurance and encouraging its members to review guidance on travel insurance, after research showed that the number of holidaymakers travelling uninsured is on the rise.
The association's research shows that in one year alone, the number of holidaymakers travelling uninsured has increased from one in five (20%) in 2011 to one in four (25%) in 2012.
In a new survey conducted among members, the FSA’s decision in 2007 to regulate the sale of travel insurance was described by respondents as ‘ill advised’, ‘flimsy’ and ‘draconian’. The survey also highlighted the view that travel professionals are often best placed to advise on the sale of insurance as they have an understanding of the customer and what the holiday will include, for example whether adventure sports cover is required. Many members also expressed concern that the public is not sufficiently aware of the limitations of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and insurance schemes offered by banks and credit cards.
To encourage more consumers to take out travel insurance, ABTA is also launching a new consumer campaign in partnership with the Foreign Office. Part of the on-going ‘Know Before You Go’ initiative, the campaign will explain why travel insurance is necessary and will include new research looking at attitudes to travel insurance and public understanding of the implications of travelling without it.
The association's chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “The concern ABTA and many of our members have is that the regulations are too burdensome, which means fewer travel businesses are selling insurance, and ultimately that means fewer holidaymakers are taking out the appropriate insurance. The Government must do all that it can to make it easy for people to buy the right type of cover for their needs and that starts by cutting red tape; we will continue to make our members’ views clear to Government. In the meantime, it is very important that members familiarise themselves with their rights and responsibilities in informing customers about travel insurance.”
For more information visit www.abta.com/travelinsurance