One thing to remember when selling safaris, from an insurance perspective, is the ‘transactional path’, cautions Andre du Toit, Executive Head of the New Business Development team at SATIB Insurance Brokers.
The process is complex – money is paid to agents then onward to the DMC, a ground handler, a lodge, and possibly even a sub-contracted activity provider to complete the travellers’ experience.
“The bottom line is that everybody in that transactional path has a duty of care, and in the event of a claim or unfortunate incident, there is no doubt that the traveller’s attorneys will attach every business in that transactional path because they have all had a role to play,” says Du Toit. “They all have a duty of care to ensure that the sub-contracted party below them has the required insurances in place and the necessary experience to deliver the marketed promise and do so safely.”
It is thus important that all parties in the chain have appropriate liability policies in place to protect them in the event of a claim.
“A court of law may well find that there is no negligence for certain members of that transactional path, but in saying that, the legal defence costs can run into tens of millions of rands, so don’t underestimate the type and/or structure of liability cover that is needed to protect the tour operator when selling safaris,” says Du Toit.