Tour operators risk “a big hole” in their excursions-liability cover if how they operate in resort does not match the wording of their terms and conditions.


Leading industry insurer Vantage warned of the shortfall in cover ahead of a seminar in London on Thursday that will outline the dangers. Vantage underwriter Gary Armstrong said: “Tour operators could find themselves with a very big hole in their cover and a big hole in their bottom line.”


Armstrong told Travel Weekly: “Companies may have their terms and conditions in order, but their conduct in resort may mean they are seen to be the provider of an excursion. The problem is companies are not telling their insurer what they are doing, meaning there is a potentially a gap in cover.”


He said: “If we see a potential hole we can offer to fill it, and for only a nominal fee. But we need to know what people are doing.” Vantage professor of travel law David Grant warned earlier this month: “Insurers are seeing a steady stream of claims from people hurt on excursions.”


Problems arise when the wording in a company’s terms and conditions differs from what a rep says when selling an excursion at a welcome meeting in resort. Grant said: “What leaflets say in resort or what a rep says can often conflict.”


Armstrong’s Vantage colleague Alan Lumsden will join Grant and Alex Padfield, managing director of law firm Hextalls, to address the seminar on Thursday, when they will explain the implications of the latest case law on excursions.


The half-day seminar is aimed at non-lawyers and is free to attend. It is on September 15, at 14.00, in the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London WC1. To book a place at the seminar go to the Vantage website.