Singaporean airlines remove auto-inclusion of travel cover

Move follows consumer outrage, as group argues failure to opt-out of travel cover is not express consent

Singaporean airlines remove auto-inclusion of travel cover

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Jetstar Asia has followed fellow airlines Scoot and Singapore Airlines (SIA) in removing its auto-inclusion of travel insurance with online flight bookings.

Beginning October 2019, Jetstar will implement an “opt-neutral” approach for insurance, where the customer will select whether they accept or reject travel insurance being bundled with their flight ticket, according to the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE).

This follows criticism from the consumer group earlier this year, according to a report by the Straits Times. Scoot adopted an “opt-in” feature for travel insurance in February, followed by SIA in May.

According to CASE, with the rapid growth of e-commerce in recent years, consumers often run into challenges when transacting online, such as pre-ticked checkboxes, which include supposedly optional add-ons added on to a consumer’s purchases without express consent.

“In CASE’s view, failure to opt out of travel insurance should not be regarded as express consent as it is possible for some consumers to overlook that this option had been selected,” the group said, citing the European Union’s example, which prohibits companies from pre-ticking boxes for add-ons that would incur extra payments during online transactions.

“[CASE] strongly encourages all businesses to engage in ethical marketing by ensuring that their consumers consciously agree to the purchase of goods and services by taking clear affirmative action,” it said, while advising customers to look out for pre-selected options when shopping online.

“They should also remember to thoroughly check through their online bookings or shopping carts for extra charges before making any payment.”

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