Travel Insurance - Waiver/Indemnity

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Barquentine | 09:41 Wed 21st Oct 2009 | Law
7 Answers
I have just booked a holiday to the Maldives. The tour operator sent some papers through. On one of these has the line: 'Please note that it may be a legal requirement on your part to have adequate travel insurance in force'.
I know that car insurance and buildings insurance are the only legally required forms of insurance for private individuals.
Does anyone know if there is also a legal requirement to take out travel insurance? If so - which legislation covers this?
I have never taken travel insurance out before - simply from 100% cynicism about the insurance industry & I prefer to take the risk. Nothing has gone wrong in over 20 years. I suppose my luck is about to run out now!


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there is no legal requirement for travel insurance, or indeed buildings insurance(private home) for that matter.
Some travel companies will request it, more than likely so that in case of emergency they know you are covered. Thomson ask for details of your insurers, you dont have to use theirs though.

Its not a legal requirement but i suppose that they could decline the holiday if they felt the need.

Travel insurance is always a good idea to have, always ensure that you have enough to cover repatriation to the UK should the need arise. Unless of course youre loaded and could afford such payments.
The tour operator could indeed make it a condition of booking that one has adequate travel insurance. And decline or cancel the booking if not - you'll have to scrutinise the small print, though it looks like a frightener to persuade people to buy some.
Yes, it's to protect the travel company or the airline from problems and complaints. I expect our embassies abroad are keen on it too, for the same reasons. EasyJet are very keen on you buying theirs every trip, which is extra profit for them, so if your travel operator is offering their own you might think it wise to shop around!.

It's conceivable that a particular foreign country requires travel insurance of all tourists brought in by operators, but it seems very unlikely. The USA patently doesn't and they are very keen on refusing entry to anyone, it always seems ..

It's surely unwise to travel abroad, particularly to somewhere like the Maldives, without at least health insurance which provides for local care and repatriation , if necessary. You may have such cover anyway, if you have paid using certain cards ( my American Express card provides it, for example) but check first on what, if any, cover that is ! Adequate cover for an ordinary holiday can't cost much.
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Thanks very much for these answers. All very helpful and informative. Maybe I will get basic travel insurance on this occasion.
This tour operator also wants me to sign an indemnity indeminifying the tour operator and its agent from any losses should any cover I take out independently 'prove inadequate'. I don't see why I should indemnify them. Anyone have any views on that point? Thanks again.
why wouldnt you indemnify them?
Sounds as though the operator has been caught out before ! They've paid out for expenses and costs, in good faith, on the basis of an assurance that the traveller was insured, only to find that the policy didn't cover the full amount, or not at all, under that head of expenses and costs. Just make sure you have a policy which covers all eventualities, will pay enough under each heading, and doesn't have unduly restrictive conditions on e.g cost or nature of repatriation at the traveller's request. After all, if the insurance wasn't adequate you'd end up having to pay someone for the non-covered expense.

That done, you needn't worry about the indemnity.

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