Jetstar will join Singapore Airlines and Scoot to remove travel insurance pre-selection next October after the Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE) engaged the three airlines to be more transparent in their ticket pricing and booking process.
CASE had earlier this year reached out to the airlines separately about selling insurance with flight bookings through an “opt-out” approach, where the add-on product is automatically included in the purchase until the consumer unchecks a box.
In a statement released this week, the association said: “With the growth of e-commerce in the past decade, we have noticed several challenges that consumers encounter when shopping online. For example, encountering pre-ticked boxes that adds options to their purchases without their express consent.
“Any additional goods or services, whether paid or free, should only be included if the consumer has given 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.”
From October next year, Jetstar will implement an “opt-neutral” approach for travel insurance, in which consumers will need to consciously select to either accept or reject travel insurance while making flight bookings.
Scoot and SIA have already replaced “opt-out” insurance with an “opt-in” feature starting February and May this year respectively.
“Businesses should clearly present all information relevant to a sales transaction upfront to the consumer,” CASE reiterated, while “strongly encouraging” all businesses to engage in ethical marketing by ensuring that their consumers consciously agree to the purchase of goods and services by taking clear action.
Under Singapore law, businesses are not prohibited from using pre-ticked boxes to seek express consent for additional payments from consumers. However, there are measures in place to protect consumers from pre-ticked boxes in certain jurisdictions overseas such as the European Union.