New insurance guidelines to support the reopening of tourism sector

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled its Insurance Guidelines to rebuild global consumer confidence to help encourage the return of travelling.

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, in line with what travellers need and expect.

“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,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and CEO.

“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.”

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.