Tour Organiser's Liability

RE: TOUR ORGANISER'S LIABILITY


What is it?
All businesses may attract legal liability, arising from common, statute and contract law.

Tour Organisers are no different to any other business in that respect but, following the provisions of EC Directive No 90/314/EEC, the liability of Tour Organisers within the EC has been extended and spec defined.

Article 5 of the Directive deals with liability and sets the minimum standard that will apply with the EC. Hence member states may, if they wish, increase Tour Organisers’ responsibilities and liabilities when passing their own enabling legislation
The UK enabling legislation is called the Package Travel, Package Holiday and Package Tour Regulations 1995.

What is a “Tour Organiser”?
A Tour Organiser is the provider of a ‘package’ (or arrangement) comprising a combination of at least two of the following components:

  • transport;

  • accommodation;

  • other tourist services not ancillary to transport or accommodation and accounting for a significant proportion of the       package.

The Tour Organisers’ Liability.
The Tour Organiser will be liable for the “proper performance” of the whole package, even if the failure or improper performance is due to the fault of a supplier of one or more of the services provided.

Hence, if a customer is injured at a Game Lodge, he needs only prove that the hotelier was liable for the injury in order to succeed in a claim against the organiser. Thus, the organiser can be legally liable for incidents where there is no “fault” on the part of the organiser.

In theory, subrogation rights exist against the supplier at fault. However, in addition to operational difficulties in pursuing these rights which result from time differences, language differences, distance and lack of insurance by the suppliers in some cases, to name but a few, one must bear in mind the differences in law between the country of the organiser (where the judgment is likely to be made) and the location of the supplier (where the subrogation action is likely to be held), as well as the differences in award levels even if the subrogation action is successful.

Points to remember:

  • The liability defined is a statutory obligation and cannot be avoided any anyone who falls within the definition of “Tour Organiser”.

  • The law relates to any holiday sold within the EC, irrespective of destination. A holiday sold in the U.K. for travel to Southern Africa is affected in the same way as if the destination was Spain or France.

  • The liability extends to claims arising from Bodily Injury and or Third Party Property Damage, as well as other “complaints”. (It is well established in the U.K. law for claimants to be awarded damages for distress and suffering and disappointment for breach of a holiday contract).

  • Awards for serious bodily injury can be very expensive and certain problems, such as food poisoning, can affect a large number of clients - motor vehicle accidents included.

What about the Insurance?
SATIB Insurance Brokers offer liability insurance cover for Tour Organisers under General Public and Products Liability (GPL) and for Passenger Liability (PAX), both of which are secured within a specialist underwriting facility, the key features of which are as follows :

  • Each Insured is rated individually to reflect the risk of their business to the facility, taking into account the size of the business, the territories visited, the activities undertaken, the client profile and, of course, the relevant claims experience.

  • Because it is a facility, each Insured will benefit from the rates reflecting the size of the overall pool of business, as well as a very wide policy coverage.

  • The standard wording includes cover specifically imposed by the Directive and Travel Trade Association.

  • The standard wording includes cover SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA TERRITORIAL LIMITS and WORLDWIDE JURISDICTION (although individual quotations may include different terms if required).

  • As every Insured is individually rated the terms and conditions of the standard wording can be adapted as may be appropriate.

  • The policy excess can be individually negotiated to suit the business.

  • The claims and potential claims received by any Insured are dealt with in an efficient way by people who understand your business as well as insurance. They are keen to work with you, offering help and advice at any stage, even for claims that may fall within the policy excess.

What can you do?
As a prudent business person, most Tour Organisers are already aware of the need to manage the risks to the business, to “take reasonable precautions”, to make sure that the business can survive the unexpected.

For more information, contact Dieter Prinsloo on: T 0861 SATIB 4U (72842 48) | E dprinsloo@satib.co.za


Kind Regards,

Dieter Prinsloo
Director