Statutory regulation would bring added protection to consumers, says insurer

AXA has welcomed the Treasury's announcement that the government intends to give the FSA responsibility for regulating the sale of travel insurance sold along with a holiday.

The insurer said it had pressed for this change arguing it would strengthen the standard of training, documentation and complaints handling within the travel industry.

It added that FSA regulation would give consumers the added protection of a fully regulated environment including automatic access to the Financial Ombudsman Service, which they do not have under the current scheme run by the Association of British Travel Agents.

Anthony Middle, general manager, corporate partnerships at AXA, said, “We believe that the insurance industry, and AXA in particular, has the capability to support travel companies who wish to be able to offer travel insurance to their customers as part of a comprehensive package.

“We already work with Thomas Cook, one of our major business partners, on a fully regulated basis.

"It is an appointed representative of AXA, which means that AXA takes on the responsibility of monitoring and controlling the sale of travel insurance as well as the training and competency of Thomas Cook’s employees involved in insurance sales.”