Biba has called on the government to ensure the introduction of regulation for travel agents goes ahead as scheduled.

In its response to the Treasury’s Travel Insurance Review, Biba applauded the government’s decision to bring in FSA regulation.

But Graeme Trudgill, Biba technical services manager, said that many Biba members had expressed concern over the timetable.“A lot of our members think it should be sooner. It’s the best thing for consumers if it’s done right now.”

Under the proposed timetable, regulation will not come into full effect until 2010.

Trudgill added: “The timetable that the Treasury has set out must be adhered to.”

He said the red tape involved meant it was highly unlikely that the regulatory process could be expedited.

Trudgill dismissed claims made by the Association of British Travel Agents that regulation would lead to a decline in the number of consumers purchasing travel insurance, claiming instead that sales would increase over the long term.

Research recently commissioned by Biba has shown that unregulated travel insurance is bad for consumers.

At present, travel agents earn up to 60% commission for selling insurance.

Biba estimates that regulation will add 28p to the standard travel policy.

In the response, Biba also echoed its concerns that terrorism cover remains excluded from 50% of standard travel policies.