When a travel agent recommends a break to a person and makes the arrangements accordingly, they are providing a specialist level of service which involves a high level of responsibility. With such responsibility comes a level of risk which has increased due to the more litigious nature of today’s society. A straightforward mistake can result in the disruption of someone’s holiday plans and even upheaval in their lives which can impact on work and family commitments. Travel agent professional indemnity insurance is designed to protect an agent in the event that they face a legal claim relating to a mistake or negligent act.
Anyone who has suffered a financial loss as a result of a holiday which has been disrupted due to a mistake made in the planning or arranging of it may be minded to make a legal claim. Defending such a claim in court, even successfully, is an expensive proposition and could even put some firms into serious financial difficulty, unless they have the appropriate cover. Professional indemnity insurance will pay the legal bills to help fight such a claim, up to pre-agreed limits. Many policies will even cover the cost of compensation awarded to a claimant by a court, again up to a certain limit. This may sound quite in-depth and extensive, but it is important to remember that a travel agent is seen as an expert in their field and as such is open to a potential claim if an error is made. Professional indemnity is not only taken out by the likes of doctors and psychiatric practitioners, but also by the likes of PR professionals, graphic designers and training consultants.
A policy will often not just guard against straightforward but costly errors, but will usually also protect a travel agent should they lose or damage important business documents, unintentionally infringe copyright or commit unintentional defamation, libel or slander. Should a client seek compensation due to the dishonest actions of an employee of a firm, ie should a worker steal from a member of the public, the compensation which could be sought for this will often be paid out by the policy.
Time lines are also important when it comes to insurance which relates to legal risk. Should an agency take out a policy and then face a claim which relates to something which happened before the cover started, what then? Many policies will provide what is known as ‘retroactive’ cover which is useful for just such an eventuality. Most policyholders opt for travel agent professional indemnity insurance which lasts for a period after they retire or cease trading so they have further protection in the event a claim arrives which relates to an historic event.