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.
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 provided by Tokio Marine Europe Insurance Limited which has entered into a partnership with International Passenger Protection Limited to provide the new extended coverage for financial failure. This new cover applies to policies sold after the 5 October 2009. The ‘BIBA Protect’ policy is available only through BIBA members. Travellers can find a BIBA broker at www.biba.org.uk or on 0870 950 1790.
*Source: International Passenger Protection Limited (October 2009)
Notes to editors
1. For further information please contact:
BIBA press office:
Leighann Burtrand, Communications Manager
020 7397 0223
2 . About British Insurance Brokers' Association
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is the UK’s leading general insurance organisation representing the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers.
BIBA membership includes 1700 regulated firms. Insurance brokers and intermediaries distribute nearly two-thirds of all UK general insurance. In 2007, insurance brokers and intermediaries generated £1.5 billion of invisible earnings and they introduce £22 billion of premium income into London’s insurance market each year.
BIBA is the voice of the industry, advising members, the regulators, the Government, consumer bodies and other stakeholders on key insurance issues. BIBA provides unique schemes and facilities, technical advice, guidance on regulation and business support and is helping to raise, and maintain, industry standards. BIBA works closely with the Chartered Insurance Institute to provide training to those working in the industry and actively participates in helping the industry and its customers deal with some of the major issues of the day.
BIBA members provide professional advice to businesses and consumers, playing a key role in identification, measurement, management, control and transfer of risk. They negotiate appropriate insurance protection tailored to individual needs and operate to a very high standard of customer service with the aim of ensuring peace of mind, security, financial protection and the professional advice required.
To find your nearest BIBA broker visit the ‘Find A Broker' section of the BIBA website, www.biba.org.uk or call BIBA’s consumer helpline on 0870 950 1790
3. About Tokio Marine Europe
Founded in 1879, The Tokio Marine and Fire Insurance Company Limited is recognised as Japan's oldest and largest commercial property, casualty and marine insurer. Following a merger with Nichido Fire in 2004, Tokio Marine and Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Limited was formed. Find out more by visiting http://www.tokiomarine-nichido.co.jp/en/index.html
Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Limited, as well as all of its subsidiaries throughout the world unanimously benefit from ratings that testify to its high level of financial security. Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Limited and Tokio Marine Europe Insurance Limited are rated AA for financial strength by Standard and Poor’s, (correct as at 1 October 2009).
Tokio Marine Europe Insurance Limited was established as the controlling company for the European operations for Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Limited.
Tokio Marine Europe Insurance Limited underwrites commercial property, casualty, marine and personal accident and travel insurance and our principal activity is to provide reliable, effective protection with innovative solutions throughout Europe. Tokio Marine Europe Insurance Limited is committed to delivering a high standard of professional service and customer satisfaction. Client confidence is gained through our expertise, financial strength and security, which is reinforced by the support and strong position of our parent Company. Find out more by visiting http://www.tokiomarine.co.uk
4. About IPP
* IPP is the largest and main supplier of Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI) in the world and cover for other parts of the holiday in the UK and world-wide operating in over 30 countries.
* IPP operates as an underwriting agency an behalf of A rated insurers and re-insurers whose combined net worth exceeds EUR 100 Billion
* IPP was formed in 1990 and also includes corporate cover, agency default insurance and tour operator regulation cover.
* ProtectMyHoliday.com is the direct sell financial protection website of International Passenger Protection Limited.