UPDATE: Virgin, Jetstar and Tigerair all quit pre-selecting travel insurance

Peter Terlato 2 December 2016

travel insurance

Less to worry about when booking flights online.

In a move which will undoubtedly please customers and satisfies Australia's consumer watchdog, many Aussie airlines have stopped the pre-selection of travel insurance through online booking platforms.

Following discussions with the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), passengers booking flights online will no longer be forced to de-select travel insurance if they don't wish to buy it.

Customers now have the option to select whether or not they wish to take out a travel insurance policy.

The ACCC has been engaging with domestic airlines in order to establish this practice across the board. There were concerns the opt-out model meant a number of customers were buying up unwanted extras.

Virgin Australia was first to voluntarily change its booking system, removing pre-selected travel insurance.

Soon after, budget carrier Jetstar agreed to de-select travel insurance, seat selection and charity donations. Tigerair also jumped on board, scrapping pre-selected travel insurance and checked baggage.

The consumer watchdog says it will continue to work with other airlines to cease these types of pre-selection practices, including baggage allowance, seat selection and travel insurance.

“We’re certainly hopeful that they will make changes voluntarily in the short term, to the benefit of their customers, or the ACCC will explore other options,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

Qantas Airways does not pre-select optional extras for passengers using its online booking platform.

After New Zealand's Commerce Commission (NZCC) called for all national businesses to end opt out pricing tactics, Qantas' subsidiary Jetstar ceased these practices for Kiwi customers from May 2016.

Air New Zealand also agreed to stop pre-selective booking processes, as did AirAsia New Zealand.

Wondering which travel insurance policy is right for you? Get quotes and compare a variety of providers.

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