Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • monday blues
    • By monday blues 11th Jul 17, 12:18 PM
    • 168Posts
    • 48Thanks
    monday blues
    Travel Insurance Not Paying Out
    • #1
    • 11th Jul 17, 12:18 PM
    Travel Insurance Not Paying Out 11th Jul 17 at 12:18 PM


    I hope someone can help me. As a family we booked a BA holiday to USA in August 2016 for departure June 2017 (flight and car package).The final balance of which was to be paid on 17 May.


    Unfortunately just before the final balance was due, my husband’s father became unwell and had to go for endoscopy/colonoscopy. They didn’t do the colonoscopy in the end as they found stomach cancer on the endoscopy and told my father in law there and then....


    I subsequently phoned BA to find out what would happen and that the balance was due, and they put the payment date back a week to give us more time to establish what was going to happen with FIL. I phoned the insurance company Alpha Insurance as well and in a distressed state, asked if we were covered and what options were if we had to cancel etc.The girl took the policy number and confirmed to me that “we were covered as we had worldwide cover, which included non travelling family member”.She told me that we could go on holiday and use curtailment cover to travel home early if necessary, or we could cancel.She said she would email me over cancellation forms which were easy to complete, just fill out and send back to us if need to cancel.


    Over the course of the next week, we debated and spoke to BA repeatedly to find out what they could do in the circumstances, given that we had only limited info about FIL at this point, were still waiting on a consultation with a consultant, but nurse had said it “didn’t look good” and that “they were very concerned about him”. (he is terminally ill with a prognosis initially of weeks, cancer has spread to his spine, but originally told nothing can do for him, he later was offered chemo as an inpatient for 96 hours which he has had... he doesn't seem to be improving) BA were so helpful but because the departure date was 21 June, they could only extend the payment date to 24 May at the latest.They said however that they could cancel the booking and would transfer all monies we had paid over to a new booking for a later date, i.e. school holiday time in October, or Easter 2018.... they also said if we opted for October and couldn’t travel that they would then extend to say easter/summer 2018 for us.They also offered if we did want to go on holiday but not so far away, that they would let us use the money paid and re-book a European holiday instead (again not losing any money).This European option wasn’t really a possibility as far as we were concerned though as outlook didn’t look good for a june departure, and if we were to go anywhere it would need to be with quick return times, and BA only fly out of London so would need to go Glasgow London to Spain etc., thus increasing travelling time.But their options were all appreciated.


    Mulling over the options and very distressed about the whole situation (our daughter was packed and had saved up for a whole year for USA spending money, and her case was packed), we eventually thrashed the options out and husband thought that cancelling sounded easier than getting the family’s hopes up about travelling in October and then it possibly might not happen. So... with heavy hearts, and a very distressed phone call to BA on 24 May I instructed them to cancel the holiday and that we would re-book with them at a later date.....


    I filled out the travel insurance forms, emailed tem to say that is what we decided to do, and then discovered that a medical certificate was required from patient’s GP. We hadn’t told FIL about cancelling the holiday as didn’t want to upset him, but had to at this point.Submitted the forms by email and posted but didn’t hear anything back for over 2 weeks.Then an email with a word.doc attachment which said “sorry this is not the outcome you would have hoped for, but you have an excess to pay x 3 people in your party which is more than what you are claiming for” so basically saying nothing to pay out as excess is more.Excess had never been discussed during my call for advice, and while I now am not so distressed, I can appreciate there would be an excess, at no point was it discussed or made aware to refer to policy document, and not on the sheet at time of taking the policy does it say excess multiplied by number of people in your party.It is hidden on another sheet in small print.


    I have emailed my disgust back to the insurance company and have phoned to make a complaint. But they have responded in writing to say that non-verbal admission is not enough for them to pay out as I should read the small print.My argument is that I done my best, took travel insurance, phoned for advice, took information given to me on board, made a decision based on what I was told at a very distressing time, and had I known this, I would never have cancelled the holiday as had been given other options by BA, who, on the contrary were most customer focused and helpful.However, because Alpha didn’t act on the insurance quicker, the departure date has lapsed now and even if BA wanted to help now, they couldn’t as it is like a historic booking now.....


    I am so angry, feel we have been let down, and misguided, and feel a bit swindled too to apply an excess per person (two adults and one child in a family policy), that I don’t know what to do. I want to fight them all the way.I’ve printed off all email communication and also the BA emails which were banded about before we made the decision to cancel, and have contacted the Ombudsman who said they only get involved 8 weeks after complaint raised to give the company time to resolve.So I’ve filled out the forms and will attach as much documentation as I can.However, just want to know what folk think, whether any experience of this in the past, and any advice on where to go/what to do next?I was thinking of emailing Martin Lewis but it looks like he doesn’t accept emails.... The local newspaper has a Judge page where they investigate people being treated unfairly (I might write there).... any other suggestions?


    To reiterate however we only cancelled as it sounded easiest option with us not knowing the full prognosis of FIL and time he has left etc.


    We are out of pocket £700 (which isn’t the full holiday price luckily but still money we can ill afford to lose)... Help if you can !!
    Regards, Monday blues

    Last edited by monday blues; 11-07-2017 at 12:21 PM.
    LBM Aug 08. £35,000 Snowball DFW 05/2014
    A payment a day (from 7th Aug). Vertbaudet £64.38 14/8 paid off in full BAL ZERO
    Next debt to tackle - M&S CC - £553.62 20/8 pd £13.29 Now £540.33
Page 1
    • k3lvc
    • By k3lvc 11th Jul 17, 2:38 PM
    • 1,829 Posts
    • 2,864 Thanks
    k3lvc
    • #2
    • 11th Jul 17, 2:38 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Jul 17, 2:38 PM
    I'm suspecting no answers as there's probably not much that anyone can say that'll be what you want to hear

    Assuming the excess on the policies was advised as part of the documentation when you took them out then there's no need for the company to remind you of these when discussing claiming.

    With this information in late May I suspect you may not have cancelled the holiday but as we're now 6wks later and after the departure date then there'll be no retrospective negotiation with BA to reinstate

    Hopefully throughout this your family have got to spend some more time with FIL - as for the money I thnik you'll have to put this down to experience and know which questions to ask next time before making such a decision
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 11th Jul 17, 3:29 PM
    • 18,418 Posts
    • 14,132 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #3
    • 11th Jul 17, 3:29 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Jul 17, 3:29 PM
    We don't know exactly which policy with Alpha you took out, but their Single Trip Insurance information says:

    "Premiums are based on the amount that you want to contribute to a claim (the policy excess) - the higher the chosen excess, the lower the premium you have to pay. You can choose £250, £150, £100, £60, £50 or £0 for excesses, from our appropriately titled Alpha250, Alpha150, Alpha100 etc. policies."

    Given that you say you are £700 out of pocket it would be my guess that it was the Alpha250 policy - presumably this is the one with the lowest cost, which is great if you don't need to claim, but obviously if you do make a claim it's only worth doing so if the value of the claim is quite high. It's a balancing act that you need to consider before deciding which policy is best suited to you.

    http://www.alphatravelinsurance.co.uk/single-trip-travel-insurance/
    • rs65
    • By rs65 11th Jul 17, 8:34 PM
    • 5,222 Posts
    • 2,476 Thanks
    rs65
    • #4
    • 11th Jul 17, 8:34 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Jul 17, 8:34 PM
    I can appreciate there would be an excess, at no point was it discussed or made aware to refer to policy document, and not on the sheet at time of taking the policy does it say excess multiplied by number of people in your party. It is hidden on another sheet in small print.
    Originally posted by monday blues
    Its at the top of page 2 with a Be Aware warning next to it. You clearly chose the £250 option.

    At best I think you may get a goodwill gesture.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,022Posts Today

8,717Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Shana tova umetuka - a sweet Jewish New Year to all celebrating. I won't be online the rest of t'week, as I take the time to be with family

  • Dear Steve. Please note doing a poll to ask people's opinion does not in itself imply an opinion! https://t.co/UGvWlMURxy

  • Luciana is on the advisory board of @mmhpi (we have MPs from most parties) https://t.co/n99NAxGAAQ

  • Follow Martin