Travel insurance regulation to come in 2009

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New regulations governing travel insurance sold alongside holiday packages will come into effect from January 2009, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has said.

FSA spokesperson Robin Gordon-Walker says that insurance is only a side line for most travel agents - and so its not yet known how many agents will fall under regulation.

Around 20 million people per year buy travel insurance, the FSA says - with many buying it as a package alongside their holiday. But these packages are not yet regulated, unlike insurance that is sold individually.

"The regulation of it will be pretty similar to what we do with the … ordinary travel insurance," Mr Gordon-Walker.

"It's going to come in January 2009 … We'll consult on our rules to changes to our regulatory approach … It's an 18 month process from now really."

He went on to say that the treasury was implementing the regulations so as to give the industry as a whole more confidence.

"Generally speaking, consumers in the wider sense tend to have more confidence in a regulated area than in the non-regulated area," he added.

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