Travel Insurance Woes & Tips

Travel Insurance Woes & Tips
Started by Msej449 in Ski Chatter - 36 Replies
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May-2012
Msej449
Travel Insurance Woes

Some of you may recall that in February I had my rucksack stolen on the train into Geneva Airport. Key items taken were an SLR camera, video camera, mobile 'phone and clothing. These were covered by a combination of my Ecclesiastical Home Contents and a major brand Travel Insurance. Whilst Ecclesiastical have been brilliant – operating over email and accepting scanned documents – my other insurer (with only 1/3rd the value in liability) has been a nightmare - insisting on paper-based forms, letters, and an endless cycle of requests for clarification and the same information multiple times.

Many of you will be renewing your travel insurance over the summer, so here is some advice based on my (continuing) battle with my travel insurer:

You may have a Big Name insurance retailer, but the travel claim is likely to be handled by one man, an aged PC and four underpaid teenagers in a dingy office. The sole target of the claims handler is to stretch out the claims process to the point where you give up.

* Buy travel insurance from a retailer who is underwritten by a major insurer who does their own claims handling. No subcontracted claims management.

Even the best insurance companies only have a 5-day turn-around policy. You submit something – they wait 5 days to reply – they ask for clarification – you reply – they wait 5 days …. and so on. Any and every inconsistency and omission will be dragged out. Moreover, your policy will have a maximum claim total – if a few items hit this ceiling anyway, then don't cloud it with trivia that just gives them an excuse to prevaricate.

* Only claim for Big Ticket items that you have full receipts and documentation for. Forget about stolen/lost gloves, pyjamas, plug adapters etc.

* You need documentation for everything. And even then it may not be acceptable. In particular you must have

Police Report + Full Inventory of Stolen Items.
Airline Report + Full inventory of Damaged/lost goods.
Proof of Travel
Original Invoices/Charges (how many of you have the original invoices handy for everything? Really?)

* Try and determine up-front just what is acceptable documentation. This will save endless cycles of submission/clarification.

* Think how you will handle the old "We have no proof of ever having received this …" – If at all possible retain original receipts.

* Proof of Travel – Clarify just what constitutes 'Proof of Travel'. An easyJet Boarding Pass? A web invoice? A BA Check-in Confirmation email?

* Communicate by letter: So that you have documentary evidence - You'll never win the "But when I 'phoned, you told me that ..." argument ...

So far, the most ludicrous query was when they asked how old my pyjamas were, so they could adjust the replacement £18 purchase price for wear-and-tear (when the other items mean that I've hit their £1,500 liability ceiling). This sort of thing is par for the course, sadly .......
May-2012
Bandit
You have my sympathy and full understanding. I too have been there and experienced the "dumbest Insurance Claim requests ever" from a Claims Handling Agent.
Great tips, and I do hope that you do not ever consider giving up your claim, it should have been paid out long ago.

Hang in there
May-2012
Ian Wickham
Ditto Bandits Comments, give um hell my son
May-2012
AllyG
That does sound like a real nightmare! Poor you

I certainly don't keep receipts for things like pyjamas

Cameras, computers, ski boots etc. yes.

I would just like to add that if you have your passport nicked it's awfully complicated to get another one. My daughter had hers stolen and in order to get another one she had to provide things like her birth certificate, both parents full names, date and place of birth of parents, passport numbers of both parents, date of marriage of parents (as well as the usual i.d. stuff for herself). And I rather think (although I'm not sure) that if we hadn't both been born in the U.K. there were questions about grandparents as well. And she's over 18 - it wasn't because she was a child, it was to make sure she really was British and entitled to a British passport.

I hope you get your claim settled soon, and receive all your money back
May-2012
Bandit
AllyG wrote:That does sound like a real nightmare! Poor you

I certainly don't keep receipts for things like pyjamas

Cameras, computers, ski boots etc. yes.

I would just like to add that if you have your passport nicked it's awfully complicated to get another one. My daughter had hers stolen and in order to get another one she had to provide things like her birth certificate, both parents full names, date and place of birth of parents, passport numbers of both parents, date of marriage of parents (as well as the usual i.d. stuff for herself). And I rather think (although I'm not sure) that if we hadn't both been born in the U.K. there were questions about grandparents as well. And she's over 18 - it wasn't because she was a child, it was to make sure she really was British and entitled to a British passport.

I hope you get your claim settled soon, and receive all your money back


Msej449 lost his Passport in the same robbery and detailed his Emergency Passport experience with the British Consulate in Berne here....

http://www.j2ski.com/ski-chat-forum/posts/list/12049.page

May-2012
Snapzzz
Can you please name the insurer as we need to know who to avoid.
May-2012
Bandit
Snapzzz wrote:Can you please name the insurer as we need to know who to avoid.


He needs to get his payout 1st
May-2012
Brooksy
Snapzzz wrote:Can you please name the insurer as we need to know who to avoid.


I think you will find most are the same when dealing with a claim, a better question would be has anyone found a company that was easy to deal with & would recommend them. Its sad that the person who sold the insurance does not deal with the claim as that would BE interesting.

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