WTTC unveils new Insurance Guidelines for the Travel & Tourism sector

LONDON, U.K. — The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is highlighting the importance of insurance during this uncertain time by unveiling its own guidelines designed to drive the return of safe and responsible travel.

Compiled based on input from leading companies, many of which have partnered with trusted experts in public health and governments, the new guidelines aim to provide the Travel & Tourism private sector with the knowledge of risks, what insurance coverage they need to look for, and how to attain appropriate coverage for their needs.

“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 & CEO. “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.”

The guidelines will be an evolving document and have been divided into four pillars: operational and staff preparedness; ensuring a safe experience; rebuilding trust and confidence; innovation; and implementing enabling policies.

Highlights of recommendations include:

  • All organizations to provide risk management plans, including how they aim to combat COVID-19, to insurers
  • Organizations 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

Travelweek recently reported that Ontario Blue Cross and Quebec Blue Cross, as well as direct-to-consumer insurance provider Medipac are now including coverage for COVID-19. You can read the story here, as well as a follow-up article here that includes reactions from Allianz, Manulife and the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA).

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