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MOSCOW, January 30 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s insurance company Ingosstrakh received more than 150 customers of the cash-strapped Lanta Tur Voyage tour operator on Monday, January 30, to accept their requests for compensation.
“Today our company started accepting documents from tourists whose vacations were spoiled by the dishonest tour operator,” Rosgosstrakh spokesman Vladimir Kleimenov told Itar-Tass.
The insurance company’s offices in Novosibirsk, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and other major cities are also receiving complaints.
“Over the weekend we posted on our website a list of documents that the tourists affected by the tour operator’s unfair activities need to submit,” Kleimenov said.
He could not say whether Lanta Tur Voyage’s insurance coverage of 100 million roubles will be enough to pay compensation to all tourists.
Up to date, Lanta Tur Voyage has so far not submitted any documents specifying the number of tours sold and tourists involved.
He confirmed that Ingosstrakh would perform all of its obligations if it gets such a request from the tour operator.
Lanta Tur Voyage’s insurance coverage will most likely be distributed among its customers proportionately to their expenses, an tourism industry official said.
“Lanta Tur Voyage was insured by Ingosstrakh for 100 million roubles. It is hard to understand now what decision the insurance company will make on the payment of compensation to those affected, but it is most likely that the insurance coverage will be distributed among the company’s customers proportionately to their expenses,” Nadezhda Yefremova, head of the Law Department of the Association of Russian Tour Operators (ATOR), told Itar-Tass earlier.
She believes that “the case will not go to court because the insurance company is not dodging its obligations. But we want to ask Ingosstrakh not to delay the payment of compensation to the affected Russian tourists,” she said.
In order to get compensation, Lanta Tur Voyage customers have to prepare a set of documents and submit them to the insurance company. It should include, among others, the tourist service agreement with the agency and payment documents confirming the expenses.
Federal Agency for Tourism spokesman Oleg Moseyev told Itar-Tass that about 3,000 people can be affected by the suspension of Lanta Tur Voyage’s operations.
He said that the Lanta Tur Voyage situation differs from that with Capital Tour several years ago. “There is a serious insurance company that will try to fufill all of its obligations to the customers. We hope that the insurance coverage will be enough to meet the customers’ claims,” Moseyev said.