American Express gets spaced out on travel insurance

07 June 2005
American Express is getting ahead of its competitors in considering the implications for travel insurance of the projected boom in space travel.

If Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic launches successfully in spring 2008, American Express is predicting an explosion in intergalactic travel in the not-so-distant future.

"This will be the biggest change and challenge to the travel and insurance industries since the Wright Brothers' first flight in 1903," said Joanne Field at American Express Insurance Services.

"American Express is one of many global brands that may now have to think galactically on behalf of our customers of the future."

According to the insurer, the areas of travel insurance that will need revision concern medical, cancellation or curtailment and luggage.

"Space travel - at least in its initial stages - with flights being return trips of just a few hours will have little call for luggage protection," Ms Field commented.

"Perhaps even medical may be discounted as any potential space tourist will have had to pass a full physical just before launch.

"Surprisingly then, it is in the area of cancellation or curtailment of the holiday that insurance may have to undergo the most significant area of change."

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