New tourist insurance rules for Egyptian agencies

Bassem Abo Alabass, Thursday 9 Jan 2014

Travel agencies will be have to enter new insurance scheme in a move to improve trust in Egypt's tourist sector

Bus accident
File photo: Aftermath of bus crash that killed 8 US tourists in December 2011 near Abu Simbel, Aswan (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt’s financial watchdog has approved new insurance rules for travel agencies in a bid to improve trust following a spate of accidents involving tourists in recent years.

Sobhi Shehata, the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority's media spokesman, told Ahram Online on Tuesday the scheme would come into effect after it is ratified by the tourism minister, who will also set the minimum value of the insurance policies.

Travel agencies in Egypt suggest $50,000 should be the minimum limit of each policy, Shehata said.

“Egypt has witnessed so many road accidents. This insurance policy will reassure tourists that their damages will be covered if something bad happens,” he added.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 12,000 people die in road accidents every year in Egypt, placing it among the ten worst countries in the world for road safety.

Shehata said the scheme would also benefit the insurance sector.

Public and private insurance companies in Egypt registered net profits of LE180.6 million in 2011/12, according to EFSA website.

“I know travel agencies in Egypt are currently suffering due to the political turmoil,” Ehab Abdel-Al, the general secretary of the Egyptian Chamber of Travel Agencies, told Ahram Online.

“We are just finalising the insurance procedures so they are ready for implementation, which will be delayed until agencies have recovered,” he explained.

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