Travel Risk Professionals Start Up Businesses

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Do you know what level of insurance is right for your business? Starting your own business is daunting enough without having to navigate the confusing world of insurance. We believe in building partnerships with start ups in order to help them make sure they have the right level of protection in place for their new business.

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Do you know what level of insurance is right for your business? Starting your own business is daunting enough without having to navigate the confusing world of insurance. We believe in building partnerships with start ups in order to help them make sure they have the right level of protection in place for their new business.

Getting started

Tour Operator & Travel Agent Start Ups

We have insured hundreds of start up travel companies over the years  and many of them have gone on to become very successful in their chosen fields. One the of most important things from our perspective as specialist liability insurance providers to this sector is providing education to start ups on what can be a bewildering array of insurance risks and exposures.

A typical ‘brief’ conversation on this can take up to an hour so this is intended to give you a flavour for the things you need to consider as a start up. We hope you will find this of interest and use and hopefully this will lead you to ask more questions as you consider the risk exposures and how best to protect yourself. Please feel free to contact our team if you have any questions.

The following is not an exhaustive list of the things you need to be considering but does cover many of the main areas.

Regardless of whatever may or may not happen with Brexit, you need to be fully aware of the current EU Regulations. It is fairly safe to assume that whether we leave or remain the EU, similar if not identical legislation will continue to apply to you going forward. The regulations cover a wide range of areas from financial protection, to insurance and your obligations under force majeure events. Please do take the time to read them through carefully as they are the bedrock upon which your business will operate.

It is likely that you will have a requirement to protect your customers’ deposits and payments from the effects of the financial failure of your enterprise. There are a variety of ways in which this can be achieved, including bonds, trust accounts or Insurance policies. We can certainly assist in looking into insurance quotations for financial failure insurance and you may also have a requirement for bonding depending on certain trade association memberships such as ABTA. Please feel free to contact us to discuss any requirements you may have.

Each Travel Company is individual and unique in the way it operates; what it offers for sale and its clientele. This leads to differing insurance requirements. Some may be compulsory and others will be essential. Potentially you might require a number of insurance policies in place so it is important that you seek advice on what suits you best so you can make an informed decision on the best forms of insurance protection to consider purchasing. Insurance is an important aspect to get right and you will need to budget for this carefully. Please however note that there is never a one-size fits all pricing strategy as every risk is judged on it’s own merits so please do seek advice from specialists.

Not only is this good practice, but it also helps to mitigate the potential for claims happening and the severity when they do occur. A good risk management programme can also result in lower rates. We have a strong focus on risk management and are more than happy to offer advice on important steps to consider. As a start up, if you get your risk management programme right from the beginning, it can save you a very costly exercise later on, as it’s generally much easier to adapt and expand existing plans as you grow. You will evolve as a company over the years and your risk management programme will evolve with you. It is important to have dedicated people in your organisation responsible for this so that they fully understand what is required and how plans are implemented. We are cognisant that risk management can appear a time consuming and expensive exercise from the outside but it really can be done cost effectively if done correctly. This can also be outsourced to specialist companies. We have prepared a handy guide to risk management which is a great resource for new companies. Please feel free to contact us if you require any additional advice. We cannot draw up you risk management plan but we can point you in the direction of what you need to include. Checking the insurance arrangements of your suppliers is, by way of example, a very important part of any risk management programme.

These are essential. You will all have suppliers and of course you will all have customers. The booking conditions will form the basis of your contractual and legal relationship with your customers so it is vital that these are drawn up correctly. Please consider using an experienced travel industry law firm for this as they will be fully up to speed with the current regulations and what you need to have in there, particularly with regards to law and jurisdiction for example. We can recommend several companies who can assist you in this regard. Supplier contracts are also vital as they underpin the business relationship with your partners. This is particularly important when it comes to ensuring that your suppliers are contractually liable for their actions

You can have the most comprehensive risk management programme in place and have the most robust contracts with your suppliers and customers, but the nature of the travel sector is that no matter how well prepared you are, crisis events and claims will happen. Whether this is through a vehicle accident, boat sinking or a terrorist event, you need to be prepared. How you respond to a crisis event will make or break the business’s reputation. We offer a unique and bespoke liability crisis response service which will provide you with access to a range  of specialists from Crisis Coordinators and translators, through to trauma counsellors, PR specialists and kidnap negotiators. This is no substitute for crisis planning however and we recommend you build your own in-house team. Such a team would need to encompass senior management, finance, operations and PR as a minimum. Regular crisis testing should be carried out to ensure everyone knows their role. It is always tricky to balance managing a crisis and continuing to trade and handle next of kin/press, so we always recommend that when building your crisis plans you consult with specialists. Please contact us for further advice if required.

What insurance do you need?

Tour Operators & Travel Agents

Knowing what insurance will protect your business is crucial when embarking on your journey as a new business owner. There are many myths surrounding what insurance you do and don’t need in the Travel and Tour Operator industry which means that you can easily find yourself without the correct protection in place.

There are different levels of insurance available, and the right ones for you will depend on the size of your business and the activities you undertake. The below will give you an idea of what to speak to your broker about to fully understand whether or not your business needs them. It’s a good idea to explore the different options at each policy renewal as your requirements will change as you grow.

Our long-established bespoke Liability scheme is aimed at UK Tour Operators & Travel Agents. We offer a broad range of cover designed to meet various risk exposures faced by the Travel Industry.

In many cases Financial Failure Insurance is a regulatory requirement designed to protect you and your clients in the event their payments are placed at risk.

Effective and appropriate crisis response can be the making or breaking of your brand. We recognise that crisis can take many forms but every event will happen when least expected and will have the potential to be devastating.

With great reliability on and continuing developments in technology, the need for cyber insurance protection is as important as ever. Regardless of the size of your business, the threat of a cyber attack has become a very common possibility.

A very important form of insurance which aims to provide protection for individual Company Directors & Officers, who may find themselves with the misfortune of having to handle and defend claims made against them personally.

We can offer office insurance as an extension to our tour operator liability policy which reduces admin by only having one policy.

Our long-established bespoke Liability scheme is aimed at UK Tour Operators & Travel Agents. We offer a broad range of cover designed to meet various risk exposures faced by the Travel Industry.

In many cases Financial Failure Insurance is a regulatory requirement designed to protect you and your clients in the event their payments are placed at risk.

Effective and appropriate crisis response can be the making or breaking of your brand. We recognise that crisis can take many forms but every event will happen when least expected and will have the potential to be devastating.

With great reliability on and continuing developments in technology, the need for cyber insurance protection is as important as ever. Regardless of the size of your business, the threat of a cyber attack has become a very common possibility.

A very important form of insurance which aims to provide protection for individual Company Directors & Officers, who may find themselves with the misfortune of having to handle and defend claims made against them personally.

We can offer office insurance as an extension to our tour operator liability policy which reduces admin by only having one policy.

Your Travel Risk Professionals Team

Industry Leading Expertise

Alan Pattison

Travel Risk Professionals Managing Director

T: 0203 705 3014

Alan has over 20 years’ experience insuring tour operators from start-ups through to household names. Invested in educating businesses within the travel and tour industry, Alan regularly speaks on the lecture circuit and is a member of the Institute of Travel & Tourism.

Harry Morris

Travel and Tourism Account Handler

T: 020 3786 3046

Harry provides support with the day to day needs of our tour operator and travel agent clients within our liability scheme. He manages a range of insurance policies on behalf of our clients from Liability through to Financial Failure.

Heidi Schlechter

Commercial Account Handler

T: 01406 423 565

With more than 10 years experience in the Travel and Tour insurance sector, Heidi is responsible for handling enquiries along with processing renewals and new business quotations for the team.

Emma Rutter

Travel and Tourism Underwriter

T: 0203 705 3037

Emma has over 10 years’ experience in the Lloyd’s market and is responsible for handling & preparing the quotations for some of our largest customers. Working alongside the MD, Emma is also responsible for managing the technical operation of our in-house liability scheme.

Alan Pattison

Travel Risk Professionals Managing Director

Alan has over 20 years’ experience insuring tour operators from start-ups through to household names. Invested in educating businesses within the travel and tour industry, Alan regularly speaks on the lecture circuit and is a member of the Institute of Travel & Tourism.

Harry Morris

Travel and Tourism Account Handler

Harry provides support with the day to day needs of our tour operator and travel agent clients within our liability scheme. He manages a range of insurance policies on behalf of our clients from Liability through to Financial Failure.

Heidi Schlechter

Commercial Account Handler

With more than 10 years experience in the Travel and Tour insurance sector, Heidi is responsible for handling enquiries along with processing renewals and new business quotations for the team.

Emma Rutter

Travel and Tourism Underwriter

Emma has over 10 years’ experience in the Lloyd’s market and is responsible for handling & preparing the quotations for some of our largest customers. Working alongside the MD, Emma is also responsible for managing the technical operation of our in-house liability scheme.

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Download your free Risk Management Guide

A strong risk management strategy can have a huge impact on the price of your insurance as it reduces the likelihood of a claim. We believe in educating our clients in how to do this and so have put together a free Risk Management Guide available for you to download for free.

Download your free Risk Management Guide

A strong risk management strategy can have a huge impact on the price of your insurance as it reduces the likelihood of a claim. We believe in educating our clients in how to do this and so have put together a free Risk Management Guide available for you to download for free.

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Frequently asked questions

Is an online office insurance policy suitable liability protection for my business as a tour operator?

No – As a tour operator or travel agent you are exposed to a unique set of liability risks which are not generally covered by online or standard office insurance policies. Please seek specialist insurance advice on the suitability of your planned insurance arrangements, as the liability risk can be very costly.

I have a Tour Operator Liability policy. Does this cover for me for force majeure events?
Typically no. a Tour operator liability policy is generally intended to respond to claims made against you which arise out of the unintentionally negligent acts of you or your suppliers. You may still have an obligation to pay out refunds or compensation in a force majeure event, but this would typically fall under what is termed ‘ Travel Disruption Insurance’

How do I protect myself against the effects of one of my suppliers going bust?
This can only be protected against under a supplier failure or scheduled airline failure policy.

We transport passengers in our own company vehicles. Are we covered?
You have to make sure that your motor insurance or fleet policy covers you for this. In the same way if you operate marine craft, you would need to have a marine policy in force to pick up claims for any injury caused whilst in board a boat or in a vehicle owned or operated by you or your staff.

I have received charge backs as a result of a fraudulent credit card being used to pay for a flight. Can I claim under my liability insurance?
No – this would be viewed as a commercial risk outside of liability insurance

If my computer systems have been hacked, what insurance would I need to help me respond?
This would be a specialist Cyber & Privacy Insurance policy

Does the Tour Operator Liability policy cover claims made against me as Director personally?
No – the tour operator liability policy is designed to respond to claims made against the company. To provide legal defence costs cover in the event a claim is made against you personally