Advantage Travel Centres will offer supplier failure insurance to non-Advantage members who require a Flight-Plus licence following changes to the Atol scheme at the end of April.
The financial services arm of the travel agency consortium, Advantage Financial Services, will make the insurance available from March 1.
Advantage has provided supplier failure insurance to members who sell holidays comprising separate flights and accommodation for several years.
Under changes to the Atol scheme from April 30 these holidays will be designated Flight-Plus bookings and require the cover of an Atol licence. The consortium's move to extend the insurance will allow a wider number of agents to protect themselves from the consequences of supplier failure.
Advantage director of financial services David Sharp said: “When the new legislation comes into play there will be a large number of new Atol Flight Plus licencees who will be acting as principal agents for the first time. They will assume responsibility and liability for their customers, not only for their own possible failure but also for the failure of their suppliers.
"Our supplier failure insurance protects them as principal agents against losses incurred by a third-party failure, by providing funds to refund or replace the failed travel element."
Advantage said its Complete Supplier Failure Cover (SFC) offers cover against failures by all declared suppliers including scheduled airlines. The cover includes refunds of a failed travel element to passengers yet to depart, flight-only costs for the repatriation of passengers as a result of supplier failure and costs associated with replacing a failed element or cancelled package prior to departure.
Sharp warned: "The Atol reforms may leave some agents vulnerable to financial failure should their suppliers fall prey to the difficult economic climate. Advantage Financial Services has been providing a dedicated insurance brokering service for over 10 years and our supplier failure cover can offer peace of mind to independent agents and protect them against financial loss."
Full details of the Atol reforms are available on the CAA website at www.atol.org.uk/reform
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