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Just need a little clarity for future reference.

This is regarding when I need to have insurance/bonding in place. Am I legally required to have insurance/bonding in place from the moment I;

  • start looking for customers
  • from when I take my first deposits
  • take the full bookings
  • by the time the tours starts

The reason I ask is as a start up with limited funds, non-refundable deposits for example taken well in advance of a tour start date would help pay for the insurance before the tour starts.



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Hi Alex,

- You need liability insurance before you take anyone on holiday.

- If you are using a trust account for your financial protection, then you won't be able to use the deposit money anyway. 

- If you are obtaining an ATOL and all your bookings will include flights, then your protection is provided that way and you could use the deposit money. You don't need to have liability insurance in place to apply for the ATOL, but they may want to see it before issuing the license.

- If you are using some other method to provide financial protection, such as an insurance policy, then you could use the deposit money. However, the company issuing the insurance may well want to see your liability insurance certificate before they confirm the policy. Worth checking a couple to see - eg. IPP / Travel Vault

- You'll probably need to prove to someone along the way that you won't have to rely on client monies to pay the insurance and other costs - i.e. that you have some more financial backing behind the company and it won't just rely on instant profits. 

Suggest contacting Matt Purser at the Travel Vault and seeing if they can help (he also runs a consultancy helping with these kinds of issues)

Good luck, Ralph

No, ATOL not required for balloon flights. 




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