Travel agents who sell travel insurance have got away with no regulation for far too long. The news that Biba is taking its campaign to the Treasury, backed by the results of a public survey, is therefore to be strongly welcomed.
The fact that this situation, FSA regulation of insurers - no regulation of travel agents, creates an unfair market is secondary. The primary issue here is consumer protection and confidence. Staff need to be trained properly to sell travel insurance and explain its terms and conditions. Without this specialist training, a certain amount of mis-selling is inevitable. It scarcely needs to be repeated that any mis-selling is a failure for the industry which can have severely damaging effects on all our reputations.
Because we are regulated by the FSA, my firm's staff have to be constantly assessed and are examined against the Treating Customers Fairly guidelines. Other insurers are assessed likewise. How travel agents can resist the FSA regime, considering the benefits it will bring, is beyond me. If they have nothing to hide, why don t they agree to the FSA's regulations now?