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BIBA travel insurance to include financial failure protection

 The British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s (BIBA) travel insurance policy ‘BIBA Protect’ has been extended to protect independent travellers against the financial risk of airlines and end suppliers going into liquidation.25-01-2010
The policy provides protection for travellers who are not protected by the Government’s ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licencing) arrangement, which only covers those who have booked a holiday through an ATOL tour operator.
It is estimated that at least 50% of trips from the UK fall outside of the Government’s ATOL arrangement* and therefore BIBA has incorporated this cover into its insurance policy, sold exclusively by BIBA brokers, to recognise the changing purchasing habits of travellers and to protect customers from the effects of the recession.
Examples of trips which fall outside of the ATOL arrangement are direct bookings with airlines or trips which have been constructed and paid for separately by the traveller. The need for financial failure cover was highlighted with the recent Sky Europe collapse, an airline that marketed directly to consumers and sold its flights online.
In addition to this, more than 50 other airlines have gone bankrupt during the last 12 months as carriers continue to cut costs and tackle the drop in demand.
Steve Foulsham, BIBA Technical Services Manager, said:
“In situations such as Sky Europe, BIBA policyholders would have been able to claim their lost monies on their travel insurance, so that they could continue with their arrangements. If the clients were overseas then the policy would have covered their increased cost to return home.
“Financial failure could be a real issue. Traditionally, bookings through a travel agent provide protection but many people now want to book their holiday online. Up until now, if you booked your flight online and the airline went into liquidation, you could have been in trouble. Consumers with a BIBA policy can now enjoy their holiday with peace of mind."
The policy does not stop at airline protection, it extends to cover the financial failing of all end suppliers of the trips including hotels, car hire companies, villa owners, excursion providers and theme parks.
The ‘BIBA Protect’ policy is available only through BIBA members. Travellers can find a BIBA broker at or on 0870 950 1790.

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