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    • ericthelobster
    • By ericthelobster 13th Dec 17, 1:15 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    ericthelobster
    Regarding Martin's exhortation to "Always buy travel insurance early" in today's MSE email...

    I don't think this is necessarily the no-brainer that MSE would have us believe actually. Personally, I've just booked a short holiday abroad next spring, for which I will definitely be wanting medical insurance. I deliberately haven't bought it yet though, and won't be doing so until the week I travel.

    Reason being that by far the most likely reason for my trip to be cancelled is that my mum is in her mid-eighties and although she is presently well, realistically she could get ill and/or die at any time, meaning that I'd not travel. And equally realistically, you can be sure that under those circumstances any insurancer would scream "Bzzt... pre-existing condition!" (it will inevitably be one of the several typical 'elderly person' conditions that she currently has that would bring about her illness or death).

    All that would happen if I buy insurance now, is that I'd lose the cost of the premium in addition to any unrecoverable holiday costs. So I'm not going to...
    • AlwaysHere
    • By AlwaysHere 13th Dec 17, 4:00 PM
    • 99 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    AlwaysHere
    Regarding Martin's exhortation to "Always buy travel insurance early" in today's MSE email...

    I don't think this is necessarily the no-brainer that MSE would have us believe actually. Personally, I've just booked a short holiday abroad next spring, for which I will definitely be wanting medical insurance. I deliberately haven't bought it yet though, and won't be doing so until the week I travel.

    Reason being that by far the most likely reason for my trip to be cancelled is that my mum is in her mid-eighties and although she is presently well, realistically she could get ill and/or die at any time, meaning that I'd not travel. And equally realistically, you can be sure that under those circumstances any insurancer would scream "Bzzt... pre-existing condition!" (it will inevitably be one of the several typical 'elderly person' conditions that she currently has that would bring about her illness or death).

    All that would happen if I buy insurance now, is that I'd lose the cost of the premium in addition to any unrecoverable holiday costs. So I'm not going to...
    Originally posted by ericthelobster
    This is nonsense. Pre-existing conditions apply to you, not your family members unless they are covered by your insurance.
    • ericthelobster
    • By ericthelobster 14th Dec 17, 1:20 AM
    • 108 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    ericthelobster
    This is nonsense. Pre-existing conditions apply to you, not your family members unless they are covered by your insurance.
    Originally posted by AlwaysHere
    If you're claiming for cancellation on the basis of a close family member being ill or dying, then you'd better believe that the pre-existing conditions rule will applies to that family member, just as if they were named on the policy. Why wouldn't it, if you think about it?

    As it happens I've been burned by this myself several years ago; I was on holiday in the USA having booked and insured it many months previously. My Dad was 100% fine at that time, but while we were away my Dad was hospitalised for a heart valve op, became extremely ill with pneumonia and I had to return home urgently. I later put in an insurance claim for the missed days of holiday and the extra transatlantic flight, but the claim was denied on the basis of my Dad having been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation 30 years previously - that is an electrical condition in the heart which had been completely controlled, and medically completely unrelated to the heart valve problem. However, the insurers saw the word 'heart' and denied the claim. I've uploaded their reply here if you're interested.

    I ended up going to the Ombudsman over it - not even because of the pre-existing conditions issue, but because of the incorrect medical interpretation of it - and the end was offered an ex gratia payment of 50% of the claim, which I grudgingly accepted

    So no thank you, I'll not be buying my travel insurance any time soon.
    • koru
    • By koru 14th Dec 17, 9:27 AM
    • 1,306 Posts
    • 664 Thanks
    koru
    This is nonsense. Pre-existing conditions apply to you, not your family members unless they are covered by your insurance.
    Originally posted by AlwaysHere
    Cancellation cover often does not cover cancellation due to death or sickness of family members who are not insured under the policy. Where this is covered, however, there is usually some sort of exclusion for cancellation, when the death or sickness is related to something that existed when the policy was bought.
    eg, LV's policy says
    If a relative, colleague, travelling companion or someone you’re going to stay with, who is not insured on this policy:
    !!!8722; has a medical condition that is unstable, or
    !!!8722; has a medical condition that is likely to deteriorate, or
    !!!8722; is having any investigations or tests
    when you take out or renew your policy or before you book a trip; you won’t be covered for any claims that are related to that person’s health.
    Perhaps there are some policies that do not exclude this, however.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 14th Dec 17, 11:24 AM
    • 1,306 Posts
    • 664 Thanks
    koru
    Regarding Martin's exhortation to "Always buy travel insurance early" in today's MSE email...

    I don't think this is necessarily the no-brainer that MSE would have us believe actually. Personally, I've just booked a short holiday abroad next spring, for which I will definitely be wanting medical insurance. I deliberately haven't bought it yet though, and won't be doing so until the week I travel.

    Reason being that by far the most likely reason for my trip to be cancelled is that my mum is in her mid-eighties and although she is presently well, realistically she could get ill and/or die at any time, meaning that I'd not travel. And equally realistically, you can be sure that under those circumstances any insurancer would scream "Bzzt... pre-existing condition!" (it will inevitably be one of the several typical 'elderly person' conditions that she currently has that would bring about her illness or death).

    All that would happen if I buy insurance now, is that I'd lose the cost of the premium in addition to any unrecoverable holiday costs. So I'm not going to...
    Originally posted by ericthelobster
    I agree, on the whole. Martin's statement is far too sweeping. It depends on how much you would lose if you cancel. Martin's example was someone who claimed £1800 for cancellation of three pre-booked holidays, but some of us don't have three holidays per year.

    For someone whose accommodation and flights are refundable or who only paid, say, £80 for some cheap RyanAir tickets, then any cancellation claim would be small (or zero) and perhaps below their excess. I reckon that many people will have little or nothing to gain from buying insurance early. It might be better in such cases to delay buying insurance until just before departure, in case you do have to cancel for whatever reason, then at least you haven't wasted money on an insurance policy you won't use.

    Perhaps what Martin should have said is that one should always buy insurance early IF one has paid a lot in advance and it is not refundable. I think this would be true, even for someone with an elderly parent like you.

    You are concerned that if your mum falls ill, then you would cancel the holiday to stay and be with her and as this would probably not be covered under travel insurance, you would have wasted the premium. A typical premium is what, £50? So, you are saying it is better not to buy the policy in advance and only spend the £50 close to departure if your mum is still OK. If your mum does indeed fall ill, at least you haven't wasted an extra £50.

    However, by doing this you are losing the ability to claim for cancellation due to any other reason that is covered by the policy. Even if you judge this to be less likely than your mum falling ill, I think you need to balance this against the potential amount of the cancellation claim. I have no clue, but if, for instance, you have spent £1000 on flights or accommodation that is not refundable then that's a potential loss that is 20 times bigger than the £50 premium (ignoring excesses).

    In that case, it would only make sense to delay buying the insurance if you judge that you having to cancel for a reason that is not covered by your policy (such as your healthy (but elderly) mum suddenly falling ill from a pre-existing condition) is 20 times more likely to happen than you having to cancel for any of the reasons that would be covered under the policy. I'd be surprised if this was true, though it is hard to judge.

    I'm not saying you have made the wrong decision. Perhaps your ratio of possible losses is much lower than 20:1. Perhaps it is much more likely that you will have to cancel because your mum falls ill than for a reason that would allow a claim under the policy. I'm just saying that it depends.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 14th Dec 17, 12:09 PM
    • 1,306 Posts
    • 664 Thanks
    koru
    In that case, it would only make sense to delay buying the insurance if you judge that you having to cancel for a reason that is not covered by your policy (such as your healthy (but elderly) mum suddenly falling ill from a pre-existing condition) is 20 times more likely to happen than you having to cancel for any of the reasons that would be covered under the policy. I'd be surprised if this was true, though it is hard to judge.
    Originally posted by koru
    The more I think about this, the more intrigued I get. I'm now wondering if insurers include cancellation cover in policies as a sly way of making extra profit, by exploiting our ignorance of the relative likelihood of various causes of cancellation.

    If you think it through properly, cancellation cover is really an optional extra. If you don't want it, just buy the policy the day before you start your trip. There isn't usually an explicit extra premium for cancellation cover, but it does have a cost. That's because if you want to have the cancellation cover, you do need to buy the policy early. And that means you are running the risk that you cancel your trip for reasons that are not covered by the policy, in which case you forfeit the premium even though you never use the policy. (Or even if you can claim, the payout, net of excess, is less than the premium.)

    So, I'm wondering if insurers include cancellation cover in order to tempt us into buying insurance when we book our travel or accommodation, knowing that this means they get more premiums than if we all waited until the departure date? That is, they know some people will inevitably cancel their trip for reasons that cannot be claimed for under the policy, and that if those people had not already bought cover for their trip then, having cancelled their trip, they wouldn't ever buy a policy.

    Perhaps the extra 'windfall' premiums on policies for cancelled trips exceed the cancellation claims paid out? I doubt it, to be honest, but only an actuary would know for sure.

    Many policies only cover cancellations for a narrow range of causes, such as jury duty, redundancy, major damage to your home, and one of your travel party falling ill from a non-pre existing condition. I wonder how common this is, compared with other causes of cancellation, such as pre-existing conditions, illness or death of people not travelling with you, divorce, airlines cancelling flights (eg, RyanAir)?

    (I'm largely talking about single trip policies. With annual policies, you probably renew once a year so the concept of buying cover early does not apply.)
    Last edited by koru; 15-12-2017 at 10:19 AM.
    koru
    • adindas
    • By adindas 14th Dec 17, 12:20 PM
    • 3,655 Posts
    • 2,077 Thanks
    adindas
    I have an insurance which will end in February 2018 and will RENEW" the insurance policy before the current policy is expire.

    If I buy the holiday package in December 2017 and might renew the policy before February 2018.

    Will I be covered by the insurance if for instance there is a cancellation beyond my control, the travel agent went bust, etc. in July 2018 (say) ?

    IS section 75 still needed in case a comprehensive travel coverage is already in place ??

    Thanks
    • ericthelobster
    • By ericthelobster 14th Dec 17, 7:53 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    ericthelobster
    I'm not saying you have made the wrong decision. Perhaps your ratio of possible losses is much lower than 20:1. Perhaps it is much more likely that you will have to cancel because your mum falls ill than for a reason that would allow a claim under the policy. I'm just saying that it depends.
    Originally posted by koru
    Oh yes totally, I get that. For example, my current outlay on the trip is about £100 deposit, with no more to pay until a few weeks before departure (at which point I'll review the situation obviously).

    It's very hard to estimate that 'ratio' though isn't it? All I can say is that having been lucky enough to have taken an awful lot of holidays over my lifetime (and I'm late 50s now), I can only ever recall having to cancel two - one being the instance with my dad's illness I mentioned upthread, and the other being a few years back when the UK pulled the plug on flights to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, due to the terrorism risk. On that occasion we'd booked our accommodation direct with a hotel out there, and needless to say, when we were forced into cancelling it, our travel insurers didn't want want to know!

    Hence my healthy scepticism of travel insurance
    • koru
    • By koru 15th Dec 17, 10:16 AM
    • 1,306 Posts
    • 664 Thanks
    koru
    Will I be covered by the insurance if for instance there is a cancellation beyond my control, the travel agent went bust, etc. in July 2018 (say) ?
    Originally posted by adindas
    Are you asking whether cancellation cover under an annual policy applies to a holiday that was booked before the current policy was bought? Unless the policy has some weird wording, it almost certainly does.

    As for whether it covers a specific cause of cancellation, read the policy.

    IS section 75 still needed in case a comprehensive travel coverage is already in place ??
    Originally posted by adindas
    If the travel coverage is so comprehensive that it covers any cause of loss, then no. But I doubt there's a travel policy that is sufficiently comprehensive.
    koru
    • adindas
    • By adindas 15th Dec 17, 3:41 PM
    • 3,655 Posts
    • 2,077 Thanks
    adindas
    Are you asking whether cancellation cover under an annual policy applies to a holiday that was booked before the current policy was bought? Unless the policy has some weird wording, it almost certainly does.
    .
    Originally posted by koru
    Sorry I have not been clear in this case.

    I currently have one year insurance which cover until end of February 2018 (renewable)

    I want to buy a holiday package / Flight this month December 2017

    I will renew this insurance (the same insurance) on February 2018.

    If the company where I bought my holiday package/insurance in December 2017 is going bust in the July for instance (e.g after the expire date of the old insurance but the renewal has started) do I have a claim for loss with the insurance company ??

    If the travel coverage is so comprehensive that it covers any cause of loss, then no. But I doubt there's a travel policy that is sufficiently comprehensive.
    Originally posted by koru
    Is there any common case / example where a claim is not covered by Travel insurance but covered by section 75 ?
    Last edited by adindas; 15-12-2017 at 4:35 PM.
    • koru
    • By koru 16th Dec 17, 11:04 AM
    • 1,306 Posts
    • 664 Thanks
    koru
    Sorry I have not been clear in this case.

    I currently have one year insurance which cover until end of February 2018 (renewable)

    I want to buy a holiday package / Flight this month December 2017

    I will renew this insurance (the same insurance) on February 2018.

    If the company where I bought my holiday package/insurance in December 2017 is going bust in the July for instance (e.g after the expire date of the old insurance but the renewal has started) do I have a claim for loss with the insurance company ??
    Originally posted by adindas
    What matters is whether you have cover when the loss happens.

    Is there any common case / example where a claim is not covered by Travel insurance but covered by section 75 ?
    Originally posted by adindas
    Failure of companies providing transport or accommodation isn't covered by many policies.
    koru
    • catwoman73
    • By catwoman73 17th Dec 17, 8:21 AM
    • 437 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    catwoman73
    is there any common case / example where a claim is not covered by Travel insurance but covered by section 75

    I've just been in that exact situation. Was due to fly out a couple of days after Monarch went bust. Managed to get replacement flights on the same days from the same airport which cost about £200 more than the original flight due to booking almost straight away on that Monday morning. Very fortunuate considering how much the other flights went up and how fast they sold out over the next couple of days. I saw return flights for two to Europe in October for £2k or more when normally it would be about a tenth of that.

    Had travel insurance with scheduled airline failure cover so I thought that I would be able to claim the extra cost from them, but it turned out it only covered the flight home if the airline went bust after you had flown out, not covered if you hadn't travelled yet. And it also only covered costs that could not be recovered from elsewhere. Given that almost everyone books on a credit or debit card these days so are entitled to chargeback or S75 protection, the number of claims that the insurers will have to pay out will be a small fraction.

    In the end I got a chargeback for the original cost of the Monarch flights and am now getting the extra £200 (consequential losses) as a S75 refund but I've had to go back and forth to my credit card to do this, as they've not really explained what they were doing throughout.
    • pantaiema
    • By pantaiema 20th Dec 17, 8:19 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    pantaiema
    For the OP the Nationwide travel insurance does not cover Bankruptcy/liquidation of any tour operator. It is mentioned on Part 14 General Exclusion:

    https://www.nationwide.co.uk/~/media/MainSite/documents/products/current-accounts/flexaccount/p1214-travel-cover-policy-document.pdf

    Part 14 General Exclusion:
    "Bankruptcy/liquidation of any tour operator, travel agent or transportation company except where cover under Part F - Optional Travel Disruption Cover exists."
    • timboy
    • By timboy 2nd Jan 18, 3:00 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    timboy
    long holiday insurance required
    The site mentions that any trip over 2 months requires 'Backpacker Insurance'. I am going for 71 days to the US. Consulting the Travels supermarket site, if I input my travel dates, several quotes pop up. Am I to assume all these companies are not viewed as MSE worthy?
    • koru
    • By koru 3rd Jan 18, 10:29 AM
    • 1,306 Posts
    • 664 Thanks
    koru
    The site mentions that any trip over 2 months requires 'Backpacker Insurance'. I am going for 71 days to the US. Consulting the Travels supermarket site, if I input my travel dates, several quotes pop up. Am I to assume all these companies are not viewed as MSE worthy?
    Originally posted by timboy
    I think MSE is just stating the general position. You appear to have found some exceptions.
    koru
    • cancunia
    • By cancunia 15th Jan 18, 6:45 PM
    • 92 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    cancunia
    Not sure if this is the right place to post, so redirects welcome.

    Has anyone experience of AXA Travel Insurance, specifically via the Halifax Ultimate Rewards account? All I can find on Tustpilot are 1* reviews about AXA and most of them about AXA trying to wriggle out of claims.

    Thanks
    • atmartins
    • By atmartins 31st Jan 18, 10:13 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    atmartins
    Further to this subject, NOT an academic point, but an example of Sod's Law at work!

    We have an annual travel policy that expires on 31 October each year.
    In June 2017 we booked a holiday with long-haul flight abroad on 20 November 2017.
    As Victor_Delta above rightly said, "Just renew on 31/10 or take out a single trip policy by then."

    On 30 October 2017 I was sitting at the computer about to renew the annual policy or take out a single trip policy, depending on the relative costs, when the phone rang: my travel partner had been ambulanced to hospital with severe chest pains.
    Given the unknown situation, my plan to get travel insurance for the holiday evaporated.

    Long story short, my partner was kept in hospital for a week of tests & angiogram that revealed no heart attack, no angina; diagnosis "non-cardiac chest pain" posing no risk to the long flight & holiday.

    The next day I declared all this to my annual travel insurer who renewed the policy at no extra cost.

    BUT it was a close run thing; the hospital did not diagnose until after the travel insurance had expired; what would have been the position if the hospital had said "Cardiac event, do not travel"?

    If we hadn't been able to travel on 20 November, would the policy that expired on 31 October 2017 have covered our significant costs?
    • koru
    • By koru 1st Feb 18, 6:15 PM
    • 1,306 Posts
    • 664 Thanks
    koru
    If we hadn't been able to travel on 20 November, would the policy that expired on 31 October 2017 have covered our significant costs?
    Originally posted by atmartins
    I doubt it, if you hadn't actually cancelled before the expiry. But it depends on the policy wording.
    koru
    • brookhouse
    • By brookhouse 10th Feb 18, 7:02 PM
    • 49 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    brookhouse
    Forces Pension Society - travel insurance offer
    I've been advised to look at the Forces Pension Society travel insurance offer.
    I qualify to join the society (at £38 per annum), but wonder if the insurance is competitively priced?

    I can't get a quote without being a member.

    Anyone know what the premium might be for an annual two adult, two teenage children worldwide policy?

    Also how do people rate AXA if a claim is necessary?
    • koru
    • By koru 13th Feb 18, 2:49 PM
    • 1,306 Posts
    • 664 Thanks
    koru
    I've been advised to look at the Forces Pension Society travel insurance offer.
    I qualify to join the society (at £38 per annum), but wonder if the insurance is competitively priced?

    I can't get a quote without being a member.

    Anyone know what the premium might be for an annual two adult, two teenage children worldwide policy?

    Also how do people rate AXA if a claim is necessary?
    Originally posted by brookhouse
    I don't know, but as there is no exclusion of medical conditions, it would be worth paying a bit more than most policies, unless none of you have pre-existings.
    koru
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