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Consumer Info

The Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund – Always travel with TICO

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The Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund is governed by Ontario Regulation 26/05 made under the Travel Industry Act, 2002. The Fund is totally financed by registered travel agents and travel wholesalers in Ontario and is administered by the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO), whose Board of Directors determine whether a claim or a part of one, meets the requirements of the Regulation. The Board is comprised of individuals appointed by the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies - Ontario, the Canadian Association of Tour Operators, the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors, the Ontario Motor Coach Association, the Ontario Government and individuals elected by registered travel agents and wholesalers.

Subject to the Regulation, the Fund provides reimbursement of monies paid to an Ontario registered travel agent for travel services that are not provided due to the bankruptcy or insolvency of an Ontario registrant or an end supplier airline or cruise line, where a reimbursement has not otherwise been provided. As long as the consumer has dealt through a registered Ontario travel retailer, a claim may be filed against the Compensation Fund for the non-provision of travel services.

Effective July 1, 2010, claims may be filed against the Compensation Fund to provide the reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred (transportation, accommodation and meals) to complete a trip where the travel services have not been provided as the result of the closure of a TICO registered travel retailer or a TICO registered travel wholesaler.  Provided that the consumer purchased their original travel services from an Ontario registered travel retailer, trip completion claims may be eligible when the consumer's travel services commenced prior to the failure of the TICO registrant and the consumer is in destination and unable to receive the travel services purchased to complete their travel plans. 

You can request a claim form to be sent to you by e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Criteria - Standard Claim

A Standard Claim is a claim for travel services that were paid for but not provided as a result of the failure of an Ontario registered travel agency, an Ontario registered travel wholesaler (tour operator) or an airline or cruise line. 

  1. You must have purchased your travel services from an Ontario registered travel agency. Whether your travel purchase was in person, over the telephone and/or over the Internet, always ensure the company you purchase your travel services from is registered with TICO.
  2. You have not received the travel services purchased due to the bankruptcy or insolvency of either:
  • An Ontario registered travel retailer (travel agency)
  • An Ontario registered travel wholesaler (tour operator)
  • An airline
  • A cruise line

*Please note - the claim filing deadline for a Standard Claim is six months from the date of the failure.

Useful Information about Standard Claims:

What is the eligible claim amount based on for a Standard Claim?

The Compensation Fund only reimburses the amount paid for the original travel services purchased from an Ontario registered travel retailer and not provided due to the bankruptcy or insolvency of either a registered Ontario travel retailer or a registered Ontario travel wholesaler or due to the failure of an airline or cruise line. The Compensation Fund does not reimburse consumers for the cost of the replacement (new) travel services purchased.

What is NOT covered for a Standard Claim?

To be eligible, a claim on the Fund must relate to the non-provision of travel services purchased from an Ontario registered travel retailer and not provided due to the bankruptcy or insolvency of either a registered Ontario travel retailer or a registered Ontario travel wholesaler or due to the failure of an airline or cruise line.

The following is a list of some of the areas that are not covered by the Compensation Fund:

  • A claim based on the cost, value or quality of the travel services or alternate travel services.
  • Insurance premiums
  • Payments for travel services, which are not received due to the failure of an out-of-province travel wholesaler (tour operator) or out-of-province travel agency.
  • Counselling fees paid to a travel agency.
  • Travel services received as a prize, award or goodwill gesture.
  • Travel services that were available to be received but that were not received because of an act or failure to act on the part of the customer or of another person for whom the travel services were purchased.
  • Travel services that were obtained with a voucher, certificate, coupon or similar document that the consumer did not pay for.
  • Travel services that the consumer did not pay for with cash, or by cheque, credit card or other similar payment method. (i.e. air miles and/or points are not eligible for reimbursement).
  • Consequential or indirect damages incurred as a result of the failure to provide the travel services.

Claim Filing Deadline

Standard claims must be filed within 6 months after the relevant TICO registered travel retailer, TICO registered travel wholesaler or airline or cruise line becomes bankrupt or insolvent or ceases to carry on business. 

Maximum Legislated Claim Amount

Payments out of the Fund are limited to a maximum of $5,000 per person.

Appeal Process

In the event that the Board of Directors denies a claim, claimants are advised that they have the right to appeal the Board’s decision and request a hearing before the Licence Appeal Tribunal. You will be notified in writing of the Board’s decision. Section 71 of Ontario Regulation 26/05 entitles you to a hearing by the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) with respect to the ineligible amount. Instructions on how to file an appeal with LAT is provided to claimants with TICO’s written notice of the Board’s decision. There is a $100.00 fee payable to the Minister of Finance that must accompany your notice of appeal.

 

Criteria - Trip Completion Claim:

A Trip Completion Claim is a claim for reasonable expenses incurred to complete a trip where a customer or another person has begun a trip that cannot be completed because travel services have not been provided as the result of the failure of an Ontario registered travel agency or an Ontario registered travel wholesaler (tour operator). 

  1. You must have purchased your travel services from an Ontario registered travel agency. Whether your travel purchase was in person, over the telephone and/or over the Internet, always ensure the company you purchase your travel services from is registered with TICO.
  2. You have not received the travel services purchased due to the bankruptcy or insolvency of either:
  • An Ontario registered travel retailer (travel agency)
  • An Ontario registered travel wholesaler (tour operator)

**Trip Completion Claims are not eligible when the non-provision of travel services is due to the closure/failure of an airline or cruise line.

  1. You have commenced your travel prior to the closure/failure of the Ontario registered travel retailer or travel wholesaler and were unable to receive the travel services purchased to complete your travel plans and have incurred reasonable expenses in destination (transportation, accommodation and meals) to complete your trip.

*Please note - the claim filing deadline for a Trip Completion Claim is three months from the date of the failure.

Useful Information about Trip Completion Claims:

Trip Completion Claims Against the Compensation Fund

The provisions under Ontario Regulation 26/05 which regulate payments from Ontario's Travel Industry Compensation Fund has always included the ability to allow the repatriation of consumers, however, the authority to make such payments was at the discretion of the Statutory Director under the Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002.  

Effective July 1, 2010, claims may be filed against the Compensation Fund to provide reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred (transportation, accommodation and meals) to complete a trip where the travel services have not been provided as the result of the closure of a TICO registered travel retailer or a TICO registered travel wholesaler.  Provided that the consumer purchased their original travel services from an Ontario registered travel retailer, trip completion claims may be eligible when the consumer's travel services commenced prior to the failure of the TICO registrant and the consumer is in destination and unable to receive the travel services purchased to complete their travel plans.  It should be noted that an individual is not eligible to be reimbursed if he or she was notified that the Statutory Director has made alternate travel arrangements to repatriate him or her  (pursuant to Section 69 of the Regulation) and the individual did not take advantage of those travel services arranged though it was possible to do so.

Reimbursement of Consumer for Trip Completion:

Section 57.1 of the Regulation allows a consumer to make a claim on the Compensation Fund for reasonable expenses incurred to complete a trip where travel services have not been provided as the result of the failure of a TICO registered travel retailer or travel wholesaler.

In order to be eligible for compensation from the Compensation Fund, the customer must have booked through a registered Ontario travel agent and paid money to or through the travel agent.

  • The customer must make a demand for payment from the registered travel agent and wholesaler, from any other person who received the customer’s money or from any other person who may be legally obligated to reimburse or compensate the customer, including an insurance company.
  • In order to be eligible for compensation from the Compensation Fund, the customer must not have been reimbursed by any other party.
  • TICO will require claimants to provide proof that they have not been reimbursed by other parties prior to allowing the claim.

What is covered for a Trip Completion Claim?

A consumer may only claim for the following reasonable expenses related to trip completion:

  • The cost of airfare, car hires or other transportation required in order to bring the customer or other person to the final destination.  The individual may also be returned home if it is preferable and does not exceed the cost to bring the person to the final destination.
  • The cost of necessary accommodation and meals for the customer or other person before the trip can be completed.
  • Costs related to obtaining access to money or making financing arrangements to enable one to pay for the above costs.  For example, this could include costs of wire transfers or costs of phone calls and faxes to arrange for funds to be sent.

What is NOT covered for a Trip Completion Claim?

An individual must make every reasonable effort to obtain services comparable to those originally purchased.  Expenses may not be covered if there has been unreasonable upgrading of services.

  • An individual must make every reasonable effort to travel as close to the originally scheduled travel date as possible.  Consumers who chose to extend their vacation for an extra week, for example, would not be entitled to reimbursement for accommodation and meal expenses.
  • An individual is not entitled to be reimbursed if the travel services were not provided because an end supplier became bankrupt or insolvent or ceased to carry on business.  An individual is only entitled to reimbursement under this section if the services were not provided because a TICO registrant failed.
  • An individual is not eligible to be reimbursed if he or she was notified that the Director had made alternate arrangements for him or her to travel pursuant to Section 69 of the Regulation and he or she did not take advantage of those arrangements though it was possible to do so.

A claimant is not entitled to be reimbursed for the following:

  • payments for travel services that were provided or for which alternate travel services were made available;
  • payments for travel services that were available, but were not received because of an act or a failure to act on the part of the customer or of another person for whom the travel services were purchased;
  • counseling fees paid to a travel agent;
  • amounts for travel services that were to be received as a prize, award or goodwill gesture;
  • amounts for travel services that the customer obtained with a voucher, certificate, coupon or similar document that the customer did not pay for;
  • amounts for travel services that the customer did not pay for with cash or by a cheque, credit card or other similar payment method;
  • insurance premiums;
  • expenses based on the cost, value or quality or the travel services or alternate travel services;
  • expenses in connection with travel services that were provided under sections 68 or 69; and
  • amounts for consequential or indirect damages incurred as a result of the failure to provide the services.

Claim Filing Deadline

Trip Completion claims must be filed within 3 months after the relevant TICO registered travel retailer or TICO registered travel wholesaler becomes bankrupt or insolvent or ceases to carry on business. 

Maximum Legislated Claim Amount

Payments from the Compensation Fund are limited to the legislated maximum of $5,000 per person.

Appeal Process

In the event that the Board of Directors denies a claim, claimants are advised that they have the right to appeal the Board’s decision and request a hearing before the Licence Appeal Tribunal. You will be notified in writing of the Board’s decision. Section 71 of Ontario Regulation 26/05 entitles you to a hearing by the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) with respect to the ineligible amount. Instructions on how to file an appeal with LAT is provided to claimants with TICO’s written notice of the Board’s decision.  There is a $100.00 fee payable to the Minister of Finance that must accompany your notice of appeal.

 

How to File a Claim Against Ontario's Travel Compensation Fund

Follow these steps to file a claim against the Compensation Fund:

Step 1: Request or Download a Claim Form.

To apply for a reimbursement through the Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund, call, write or email your request for a claim form to:

The Travel Industry Council of Ontario
2700 Matheson Blvd. E.
Suite 402, West Tower
Mississauga, Ontario
L4W 4V9
Tel: (905) 624-6241
Fax: (905) 624-8631
Toll free: 1-888-451-TICO (8426)


You can request a claim form to be sent to you by e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

** Please note: Downloadable claim forms will only be available for event specific failures where claims are expected against the Compensation Fund.

Step 2: Submit your claim to TICO BEFORE the claim filing deadline.

There is a time limit to submit your claim.

There are two types of claims that may be filed against the Compensation Fund, a Standard Claim or a Trip Completion Claim.  Please note, there are different claim filing deadlines depending on the type of claim you must file.  Please read the following to establish whether you have a Standard Claim or a Trip Completion Expense Claim to determine what the applicable claim filing deadline date is:

A Standard Claim is a claim for travel services that were paid for but not provided as a result of the failure of an Ontario registered travel agency, an Ontario registered travel wholesaler (tour operator) or an airline or cruise line.

The claim filing deadline for a Standard Claim is 6 months from the date of the failure/closure of the registered Ontario travel retailer, travel wholesaler or airline or cruise line.  The claim filing deadline will be stated on the claim form.

A Trip Completion Claim is a claim for reasonable expenses incurred to complete a trip where a customer or another person has begun a trip that cannot be completed because travel services have not been provided as the result of the failure of an Ontario registered travel agency or an Ontario registered travel wholesaler (tour operator).   

The claim filing deadline for a Trip Completion Claim is 3 months from the date of the failure/closure of the registered Ontario travel retailer, travel wholesaler.  The claim filing deadline will be stated on the claim form.

IF YOU ARE UNCERTAIN AS TO WHICH FILING DEADLINE IS APPLICABLE TO YOUR CLAIM, WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU CONTACT TICO UPON RECEIPT OF YOUR CLAIM FORM TO ESTABLISH YOUR CLAIM FILING DEADLINE TO AVOID LATE FILING.  

CLAIMS RECEIVED AT TICO BEYOND THE APPLICABLE FILING DEADLINE DATE WILL NOT BE VALID.

Therefore, it is important to submit your claim immediately.   Should you not be able to obtain all the required supporting documentation in order to substantiate your claim in a timely manner, please submit your claim with as much supporting information as possible and send the additional documentation when it is obtained to avoid late filing.

Step 3: Establish Who Should be the Claimant and Complete the Claim Form.

The individual who made payment to the Ontario registered travel agency for the travel services that were not provided, should complete the claim form. In some instances, it is necessary for more than one person to complete a claim form as one person may have paid the deposit and another person may have paid the balance owing for the trip. Please complete all the questions contained within the claim form and provide a signature where requested. Include all the documents required on the list of supporting documentation to be submitted with your claim form.

Step 4: If you paid for your travel services by credit card, you must first contact your credit card company and request a chargeback (credit refund) for the travel services not provided.

Consumers are required to have exhausted all other possible remedies for reimbursement as part of TICO’s claims process. You will be required to prove you have not received a reimbursement from any other party (i.e. credit card company or insurance company) that may be liable to do so.

Consumers who paid by credit card for the travel services not provided are required to contact their credit card company to dispute the charge(s) for the travel services not provided and request a chargeback (credit / reversal of the charge on their account). If, for some reason, your credit card company refuses to provide you with a credit refund, you will be required to obtain a letter from the credit card company stating that a credit refund will not be provided. The letter from the credit card company will be required to be submitted with your claim against the Compensation Fund.

If you purchased travel insurance, you must also contact your insurance company:

If you purchased travel insurance, contact your insurance company to request a reimbursement. If no refund is provided, a letter from the insurance company confirming that a refund will not be forthcoming is required to be submitted with your claim against the Compensation Fund.

Step 5: Compile all the ORIGINAL supporting documentation required for your claim.

The following list of ORIGINAL supporting documentation is required to be submitted with your claim:

  1. Receipt and/or invoice issued to you by the Ontario registered travel agency for the purchase of travel services that were not provided.
  2. Proof of payment for the travel services purchased from the Ontario registered travel agency. This may include a cash receipt, cashed cheque and/or your credit card statement.
  3. If paid by credit card, all claimants are required to dispute the charge with the applicable credit card company and request a chargeback (credit refund). If the credit card company refuses to provide a credit refund, a letter from the credit card company confirming that they will not process a refund for the specific charge(s) must be submitted as supporting documentation with your claim form.
  4. If you purchased travel insurance, all claimants are required to request a refund from the applicable insurance company. If the insurance coverage does not provide for a refund, written proof of refusal must be obtained from the insurance company and included as supporting documentation with your claim form.
  5. The invoice issued to your travel agent by the travel wholesaler (tour operator), airline or cruise line (whichever is applicable) – your travel agent must supply this information.
  6. If applicable, the travel agency’s payment to the travel wholesaler (tour operator), airline or cruise line for the travel services you purchased and did not receive. (Your travel agent must supply this information)
  7. All unused tickets, vouchers or other travel documentation.
  8. If replacement (new) travel services purchased, a copy of your receipt/invoice and proof of payment for the replacement travel services must be submitted with your claim form.

Step 6: TICO's Claims Process - What happens next

Once a claim form is received at TICO, TICO’s claims staff will process your claim. Claims are processed in the order of receipt to ensure equitable treatment. If further information and/or documentation is required, TICO claims staff will contact you in writing with a further request for information. Once a claim contains all the required documentation, the claim will be presented to the TICO Board of Directors for its consideration.

Step 7: Presentation of Claim to TICO's Board of Directors

Once a claim has been processed, it will be presented to the TICO Board of Directors for its consideration.  The Board must ensure that each claim is eligible based on the provisions found under Ontario Regulation 26/05.  The Board of Directors will determine whether a claim or a part of one, meets the requirements of the Regulation.  Once the Board has made its decision, the claimant will be sent written notification informing them of the Board's decision regarding their claim and, if applicable, information regarding their right of appeal to the License Appeal Tribunal (LAT).

Should you have any questions or require assistance completing your claim form, please feel free to contact TICO at 1-888-451-TICO (8426) or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Useful Information About Claims Against The Compensation Fund

I purchased my travel services using points  or air miles. Are they eligible for reimbursement from the Compensation Fund?

No. Any travel services that were not paid for with cash or by cheque, credit card or other similar payment method are not eligible for reimbursement from the Compensation Fund.

I was provided with a credit voucher by a travel agency, tour operator, an airline or cruise line prior to it ceasing operations, for use at a later date. Can I file a claim for the credit amount?

No. As a general rule, credits are provided to consumers for a variety of reasons ranging from cancellation of travel services to dissatisfaction of travel services received or due to some other customer service issue.  Credit vouchers have no cash value and are not eligible for reimbursement. The current legislation states that a customer is not entitled to be reimbursed for consequential or indirect damages incurred as a result of the failure to provide the travel services.

I purchased my tickets online directly with the airline and the airline is now bankrupt. Can I file a claim?

No. Any travel services purchased directly with an airline are not eligible for reimbursement from the Compensation Fund.  To receive protection from the Travel Compensation Fund, the travel services must have been purchased from a registered Ontario travel agency.

My travel agent purchased my travel services through a travel company not registered in Ontario.  Will the Compensation Fund reimburse me in the event that the unregistered (out-of-province) travel company ceases operations and I do not get my travel services?

No. The Compensation Fund only covers the non-provision of travel services as a result of the bankruptcy or insolvency of an Ontario registered travel retailer, travel wholesaler or an airline or cruise line.  It does not cover claims due to the failure of an unregistered travel company or end supplier (i.e. car rental company, hotel) other than an airline or cruise line.

I was dissatisfied with the services I received in destination. Do I have an eligible claim against the Compensation Fund?

No. Claims that are based on the cost, value or quality of the travel services or alternate travel services that were provided are not eligible for reimbursement from the Compensation Fund.

Can I claim against the Compensation Fund for the non-provision of travel services due to weather, a strike, mechanical problems or force majeure?

There is no provision under Ontario Regulation 26/05 to allow a claim against the Compensation Fund when the travel services are not provided due to weather, a strike, mechanical problems or force majeure.  The Compensation Fund can only reimburse consumers who have purchased their travel services from an Ontario registered travel agency and who have not received the travel services due to the bankruptcy or insolvency of an Ontario registered travel retailer, travel wholesaler or due to the cessation of an airline or cruise line.

I live outside of the province of Ontario. Can I still obtain the protection of the Compensation Fund when I purchase my travel services from an Ontario registered travel agency?

Yes.  There is no residency requirement to have an eligible claim against the Compensation Fund.  No matter where a person resides, if they purchase their travel services from an Ontario registered travel retailer, they will benefit from the consumer protection provisions found under the Act and Regulation.

Who should complete the claim form?

The individual who made payment to the Ontario registered travel agency for the travel services that were not provided, should complete the claim form.  In some instances, it is necessary for more than one person to complete a claim form as one person may have paid the deposit and another person may have paid the balance owing for the trip.

Are there any costs involved in filing a claim against the Compensation Fund?

There is no fee to file a claim against the Compensation Fund; however, TICO’s claim form includes an affidavit that requires an oath to be sworn or an affirmation to be made before a Commissioner of Oaths, Notary Public or a Lawyer.  Depending on who you get to complete your affidavit, you may be required to pay a fee for this service.  Should you not have access to someone who can provide this service for you, you may consider contacting your local City Hall to enquire whether they have a Commissioner of Oaths that may be available to complete your affidavit.  Alternatively, by appointment only, you may attend TICO’s office to have your affidavit commissioned free of charge.

What other provinces in Canada have similar Compensation Funds?

Both Quebec and British Columbia have their own Travel Compensation Funds. The criteria to claim will vary based on the legislation in those provinces.