Insurance is a vital part of tourism. It provided peace of mind and risk mitigation to consumers, suppliers, and organisations across the travel and tourism sector.
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled its Insurance Guidelines to rebuild global consumer confidence, which could in turn help encourage the return of travelling.
The guidelines are designed to drive the return of safe, healthy and responsible travel and ensure the insurance sector can offer feasible solutions for travellers in the “new normal” of the Covid-19 world.
These new guidelines were compiled based on input from leading companies, many of which have partnered with trusted experts in public health and governments to support safe, healthy, and responsible travels. The guidelines aim to promote consistent standards across all relevant functions with an increased focus on health and safety.
They provide practical insights so that the tourism in the private sector can equip themselves with the knowledge of risks, what insurance coverage they need to look for, and how to attain appropriate coverage for their needs.
“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,” Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said. “These measures should guide travel insurers to create products that contain every contingency needed. This will offer reassurance and re-enable travel to those countries which have relaxed their travel restrictions.”
Detailed discussions took place with key stakeholders and organisations to ensure alignment and practical implementation, and to set clear expectations of what travellers may experience.
“The benefits that Travel Insurance and Assistance products offer have always been an important part of the travel experience,” stated Beth Godlin, President of Aon Affinity Travel Practice, and member of the WTTC Task Force. “The current global pandemic has directly affected companies in the insurance industry who in turn have developed ways in which these products can support the industry and travelers as we return to travel,”
WTTC divided the new guidance into four pillars including operational and staff preparedness; ensuring a safe experience; rebuilding trust and confidence; innovation; and implementing enabling policies.
Highlights of the recommendations 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.