In the world of travel, the terms SAFI (Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance) and SFI (Supplier Failure Insurance) are quite prominent but are often used interchangeably, yet they represent very distinct forms of financial protection that travel businesses may take into consideration as separate entities. Understanding the differences between SAFI and SFI is crucial for travel businesses to assess their relevance and determine the most appropriate coverage for them.
What is the Difference Between SAFI and SFI?
- Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI): SAFI provides financial protection for travellers in the event of a scheduled airline’s insolvency or cessation of operations. It covers costs associated with flight tickets purchased directly from airlines that usually aren’t financially protected by the ATOL scheme or the Package Travel Regulations, offering reimbursement or alternative travel arrangements to affected passengers.
- Supplier Failure Insurance (SFI): SFI offers financial protection to travellers in cases where travel suppliers such as hotels, tour operators, or car rental companies declare insolvency or fail to deliver contracted services. It reimburses travellers for prepaid expenses related to accommodation, tours, or other services affected by the failure of a supplier.
It is important to note that SAFI and SFI are not the only forms of financial protection accepted by the relevant regulations. Bonding and travel trust accounts like that run by Protected Trust Services (PTS) are also accepted financial protection under the Package Travel Regulations and may be more relevant to the needs of your travel business depending on the types of holidays you sell and whether or not these include the purchase of flights directly from the airline or arrangements made directly with suppliers.
How Could SAFI and SFI Be Relevant to Your Travel Business?
- Risk Management: Both SAFI and SFI could serve as risk management tools for travel businesses, mitigating financial risks associated with supplier insolvency or airline failures. Travel businesses often incorporate these insurance options into their operations in order to safeguard their clients’ investments and reputation.
- Consumer Confidence: Offering SAFI or SFI coverage, like other forms of financial protection, could enhance consumer confidence in your travel business, reassuring clients that their bookings have protection against unforeseen circumstances.
- Legal Compliance: Depending on your business model and regulatory requirements, offering SAFI and SFI coverage may be necessary for legal compliance. Some legislation, such as the Package Travel Regulations, mandate financial protection for travellers in the form of bonding, insurance, or a trust account, and failure to provide adequate coverage can result in legal consequences and reputational damage.
Assessing the specific needs and risk factors of your travel business can help determine whether SAFI, SFI or a combination of both are relevant to the future of your travel business as a financial protection option.
SAFI and SFI play integral roles in the financial protection landscape of the travel industry for many businesses and are currently two of the most prevalent options for financial protection.
By understanding the differences between SAFI and SFI and assessing their relevance to your travel business, you can make informed decisions about whether incorporating these insurance options into your operations is something you would like to consider. These options can be considered in tandem with other regulation-compliant financial protection options like the travel trust account offered by PTS, specifically designed and curated to provide simple and transparent support for experienced UK travel businesses.
So, if you would like to learn about how your consumers’ monies are protected with Protected Trust Services (PTS) and how we support excellent travel businesses, check out our pages. Or you can contact the lovely PTS team by calling 0207 190 9988 or emailing us at email@example.com.