Insurance guidelines have been unveiled by the World Travel & Tourism Council in an effort to rebuild global consumer confidence to help encourage the return of travelling.

The new guidelines aim to promote consistent standards with an increased focus on health and safety.

Highlights of recommendations revealed today include:

  • All organisations to provide risk management plans, including how they aim to combat Covid-19, to insurers
  • Organisations to make sure their plans are thorough, practical, and simple to follow
  • All staff to be informed of protective measures being taken, which include insurance products that will cover them
  • Insurers to ensure audits identify and plug gaps in and source the right partners and providers to ensure appropriate coverage
  • Insurers to create blanket insurance and crisis management coverage to give comfort to customers
  • Ensure there is enhanced awareness of the terms and conditions, restrictions, and coverage limits of insurance products/policies
  • Insurers to provide a minimum base of mandatory coverage for risks posed by COVID-19
  • Educate travellers who are unfamiliar with the risk they could be exposed to and what coverage to look for

WTTC president and chief executive Gloria Guevara said: “Insurance is vital for travellers to have peace of mind and confidence to travel and it is now more important than ever to create confidence for consumers travelling in the ‘new normal’ of Covid-19.

“We have worked closely with key players across the travel insurance industry to make recommendations to ensure individual travellers, groups and organisations can feel safe and confident enough to travel, sure in the knowledge they have the protection they need.

“The measures outlined in our insurance guidelines should help guide travel insurers to create products which contain every contingency needed offer reassurance to enable travel to recommence to those countries which have relaxed their border controls and travel restrictions.”

Robin Ingle, chief executive of MSH Ingle International, Travel Navigator and Novus Health, said: “The survival and growth of travel and tourism is important in many ways, particularly for the global economy and for promoting cross-cultural understanding transcending borders.

“The Covid-19 global pandemic has made governments, travellers, and the travel and tourism industry across the world experience how deeply integrated and interdependent we are on each other.

“Insurance protects and supports the operations of these stakeholders and thus plays a key part in the successful transition of the industry into the ‘new normal’.

“WTTC and its insurance, risk management and travel assistance members have worked closely to develop guidelines and an FAQ to address insurance-related issues and considerations.

“These guidelines will be an evolving document, and we will be on hand to answer questions to help guide and assist the industry toward a successful restart.”

Beth Godlin, president of Aon Affinity Travel Practice, added: “The benefits that travel insurance and assistance products offer have always been an important part of the travel experience.

“The current global pandemic has directly affected companies in this industry who in turn have developed ways that these products can support the industry and travelers as we return to travel.”