Britain’s largest travel insurance provider, Travel Insurance Facilities, has stopped offering customers new policies.
The Times first reported the move by Travel Insurance Facilities, known as Tifgroup, adding: “The suspension of its brands will cut the number of policies available to holidaymakers, particularly on price comparison websites, just as millions are set to travel abroad.”
It said Tifgroup operates dozens of brands, including HolidaySafe, Alpha, Flexicover and Insurancewith.
Tifgroup told Travel Weekly: “The insurer, URV, for which tifgroup administers claims handling and other related services, has temporarily paused new sales of insurance policies to consumers. URV is currently in the process of evaluating options for the future, including re-entering the UK market following completion of regulatory framework changes, as well as the possibility of permanently leaving the UK market.
“We would like to reassure tifgroup’s existing UK customers that they will be unaffected by this. All URV and White Horse policies already purchased will have their insurance policy terms and conditions met, and these policies will be serviced and administered in the normal way.
“It is clear to tifgroup that there is a real need in the UK market for travel insurance policies and related services particularly aimed at helping consumers with medical conditions find suitable insurance at affordable prices, allowing them to travel. Tifgroup hopes to be able to continue to offer travel insurance, as it has done in the past and particularly to these consumers, as soon as possible.”
Hugh King, business development director at insurer provider battleface, noted how the news had come shortly after the Leaving Lockdown conference had discussed the ongoing challenges in travel.
“In less than 24 hours after the travel industry’s first face-to-face conference [run by Travel Weekly sister brand Travolution] we have seen a major travel insurance company withdraw from the market,” he said.
“As many people said during the course of the day, we are still in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis when it comes to the travel industry and this is why when it comes to working on recovery, you need to be looking for partners that are going to provide you with products that are reliable and moving in line with the changing travel landscape.
“As was outlined in the discussions, the next few months are likely to be treacherous before the known pent-up demand really kicks in.”