WTTC unveils insurance guidelines for travellers in ‘new normal’ of COVID-19 world

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled its Insurance Guidelines to rebuild global consumer confidence to 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 is fit for purpose to operate for travellers in the ‘new normal’ of the COVID-19 world.

Insurance is a vital part of the travel experience, providing peace of mind and risk mitigation to consumers, suppliers, and organisations across the travel and tourism sector.

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.

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

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 recommendations launched on 28 July 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.

WTTC recently unveiled its Safe Travels protocols for hospitality, outdoor retail, airports, airlines, tour operators, convention centres, meetings and events, which were widely endorsed and supported by top CEOs and business leaders globally.

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