I have just read the two articles by John Bibby and David Turner in connection with travel insurance regulation (Viewpoint, insurancetimes.co.uk).

While I heartily agree with David Turner's comments about the government side-stepping the issue and creating, ultimately, a two-tier system of regulation, I can also see that John Bibby's more pragmatic approach is closer to the truth.

It is probably fair to say that consumer apathy has won the day. The government is clearly concerned that, as the travel trade still represents the largest distribution channel for travel insurance, making things difficult for it to sell insurance would undoubtedly mean that fewer people bought it.

As these uninsured individuals would end up on the steps of local British consulates, it means the problem would ultimately have been brought back to the government's door.

If distribution of travel insurance moves away from the travel trade - as we have seen over recent years - maybe by 2007 we will see regulation imposed. By then, it may not impact upon the take-up of the product quite as much as it does now.

Simon Powell
Development manager, corporate and travel
Mondial Assistance (UK)

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