Holidaymakers hit by poor insurance-selling tactics

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The Independent Travel

Holidaymakers have fallen foul of poor insurance-selling tactics by travel agents, according to a poll today.

A number of tourists have been wrongly told that they could not book their break unless they took out insurance offered at the time by their travel agent.

This incorrect procedure has affected 5 per cent of those who bought insurance from travel agents over the last 12 months, a YouGov survey published today by Sainsbury's Travel Insurance showed.

Also, 16 per cent of those buying insurance from a travel agent in the last 12 months were not asked about any pre-existing medical conditions, while 17 per cent were not given full details of exactly what they were covered for.

The findings come a day before the introduction of new rules that will mean travel agents will need to be regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) or become introducers or representatives of an FSA-regulated company in order to sell travel insurance.

Sainsbury's Travel Insurance manager Sam Marrs said: "The survey findings are alarming but it will be much more difficult for rogue travel agents to do this once they are regulated by the FSA.

"Our research shows that up to 8.14 million people could have bought insurance from travel agents over the past 12 months and the new regulation will provide consumers with valuable, much-needed protection."