Tough new rules to stop travel agents misleadingly selling insurance to holidaymakers have come in to force. Travel insurance advisers must now give holidaymakers 'best advice' about insurance that meets their requirements.
Everyone selling travel insurance must have clearance to do so from the Financial Services Authority or only offer products as an introducer or agent for a licensed firm, which gives travellers some key benefits that they did not previously have:
Firms offering travel insurance must have the right resources and staff who are competent to give travel insurance advice
Customers will receive clear, concise and consistent information about an insurance firm's services and products so they can make informed choices
If things go wrong, customers can complain to the FSA
The new FSA rules should tighten up procedures and stop travel agents making commission from selling unsuitable travel insurance products.
The travel agents' association, ABTA, has warned that more people may travel uninsured because the cost and complexity of keeping to the new regulations will mean fewer companies will offer travel insurance. But this is debatable, as there are hundreds of travel insurance providers offering thousands of different policies.
Travel insurance: News update: January 2009