Travel Weekly says

Trust us to sell right insurance

Richard SiddleWITH reduced commissions and more sales going direct, the extras market has been growing in significance for agents.

Selling travel insurance, in particular, has become a tried and trusted part of an agent’s armoury in getting customers to trade up as well as being a good hook to tie them into an agent’s business.

It is highly damning, therefore, to see Holiday Which? claim that travel agents cannot be trusted to sell travel insurance.

A Which? investigation that analysed 3,000 travel insurance quotes found that all travel agents visited failed to follow basic procedures to ensure they were selling the right insurance policy.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Travel Weekly has discovered that a significant number of agencies could be in breach of ABTA’s code of conduct when it comes to selling insurance and some face disciplinary proceedings.

This is doubly bad news when you consider the Government could remove the exemption that prevents travel agents having to comply with potentially expensive regulation under the Financial Services Authority.

If a customer can’t trust their local travel agent to sell them something as simple as travel insurance, then what faith will they have in the quality of holidays on offer?

It is vital everyone in the sector does what is expected of them. Losing the FSA exemption would be a hammer blow to the sector.

Travel Weekly is therefore launching a new initiative urging travel agents and their staff to “Do The Right Thing” and ensure that everyone empowered to sell travel insurance is doing so correctly.

As if by Magic…

INCREASING consolidation in the sector will see many popular travel brands disappear.

Customers who have travelled for years with a trusted name will suddenly find it no longer exists in the guise they remember. I found myself in that position last week with the news Thomson is to axe Magic of Italy.

Some 11 years ago the friendly people behind the original brand helped send me away on what was a lovely honeymoon. So on a personal note, thanks to all those at Magic then and now. I’m sorry to see you go.

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