We'd like to remind Forumites to please avoid political debate on the Forum. This is to keep it a safe and useful space for MoneySaving discussions. Threads that are - or become - political in nature may be removed in line with the Forum’s rules. Thank you for your understanding.

ANY CHANCE OF A REFUND ON TRAVEL INSURANCE?

Options
Hello, I am new here so please be kind!

Hubby and ! booked a cruise holiday (35 days) across the pond as far as New Orleans, including various other exciting destinations. We If you uuuuuuuuuuuuuutook our travel insurance (over £1500 single trip) at the time of booking and paying the cruise deposit. We were told the cost was high due to travel including the USA and our medical histories. We paid the final balance in November. Six weeks later the cruise company changed the itinerary removing all the USA territories (i.e all the interesting places) due to "insurmountable difficulties with new entry regulations into the USA as a result of COVID" which meant that with a typical one or two-nights in port ,complying with the rules would not give time for anyone to go ashore. They clearly regarded the change as significant enough to offer a full refund to anyone wishing to cancel - compared to their normal terms of a refund of only 20% at that late stage.

We've had this refund, and refunds of other costs that we pre-paid but we were stunned to find there was no refund available on the insurance. True, the small print agrees with this but we think it is grossly unfair to be paying out £1,500+ for a trip we are no longer going on the trip and therefore there is no risk of us making any claims for what must be the highest portion of the cost - e,g, medical treatment, repatriation etc.

They say we can transfer the premium paid to a later cruise but we haven't got any plans for that - and there is a short time limit to transfer the insurance. 

Has anyone got any advice? I can see the reasoning for not refunding the whole amount because some minor risks have been covered already. We know of at least ten others booked on this cruise who have cancelled and they have all had substantial refunds of their insurance. The firm we used is a major player in Cruise Insurance for older people with medical histories (though most people of our age have exactly the same medical histories!).

If you insure a car for 12 months and sell it after six you would get a refund of part of the premiums. What makes travel insurance different? Could we consider making a claim on our credit card?

Meg



«13

Comments

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 35,242 Forumite
    First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper First Post
    Options
    It's standard that you don't get a refund if you cancel the insurance, unless the policy allows for it. You've already had cover from the moment you bought the policy. 

    You can't claim on your credit card as there's been no breach of contract.

  • rigolith
    rigolith Posts: 2,615 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Options
    If they have offered to put it towards another insurance product you would do well to get that in writing, as it's probably the best you can hope for.
  • GRANDMAMEG
    Options
    I see that, thanks, but surely it's all about risk - the greatest occurring only if we actually sail, and if we HAD gone ahead surely there should have been a reduction in premium of the extra they included for travel in the USA. 
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 35,242 Forumite
    First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper First Post
    edited 2 February 2022 at 4:37PM
    Options
    The greatest risk is very often pre-holiday, rather than the short period of actual holiday. Pre-holiday allows far more time, often many months, for people to need to cancel the entire holiday, rather than the average lost suitcase claim.
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 15,344 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Options
    We know of at least ten others booked on this cruise who have cancelled and they have all had substantial refunds of their insurance. 

    How do you know this?
    Do their circumstances differ from your own?

    Hello, I am new here so please be kind!

    Hubby and ! booked a cruise holiday (35 days) across the pond as far as New Orleans, including various other exciting destinations. We If you uuuuuuuuuuuuuutook our travel insurance (over £1500 single trip) at the time of booking and paying the cruise deposit. We were told the cost was high due to travel including the USA and our medical histories. We paid the final balance in November. Six weeks later the cruise company changed the itinerary removing all the USA territories (i.e all the interesting places) due to "insurmountable difficulties with new entry regulations into the USA as a result of COVID" which meant that with a typical one or two-nights in port ,complying with the rules would not give time for anyone to go ashore. They clearly regarded the change as significant enough to offer a full refund to anyone wishing to cancel - compared to their normal terms of a refund of only 20% at that late stage.

    We've had this refund, and refunds of other costs that we pre-paid but we were stunned to find there was no refund available on the insurance. True, the small print agrees with this but we think it is grossly unfair to be paying out £1,500+ for a trip we are no longer going on the trip and therefore there is no risk of us making any claims for what must be the highest portion of the cost - e,g, medical treatment, repatriation etc.

    They say we can transfer the premium paid to a later cruise but we haven't got any plans for that - and there is a short time limit to transfer the insurance. 

    Has anyone got any advice? I can see the reasoning for not refunding the whole amount because some minor risks have been covered already. We know of at least ten others booked on this cruise who have cancelled and they have all had substantial refunds of their insurance. The firm we used is a major player in Cruise Insurance for older people with medical histories (though most people of our age have exactly the same medical histories!).

    If you insure a car for 12 months and sell it after six you would get a refund of part of the premiums. What makes travel insurance different? Could we consider making a claim on our credit card?

    Meg




  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 19,700 Forumite
    First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped! First Post Name Dropper
    Options
    But presumably there people used a different company to you. 

    Each company make thier own terms and conditions. Something to check before you book.
  • GRANDMAMEG
    Options
    zx81, everyone advises that you take out insurance as soon as you book, but I can't see the point. The cruise company only required a deposit at that point with 80% not payable till much later so not a lot to cover months beforehand. Any new illnesses must be notified and the insurer can increase the premium or even refuse to cover you (presumably losing all your premium also) - but even then not a lot to cover if you've not yet paid the final balance. In this case the cruise company repaid the lot anyway.

    I wasn't referring to a lost suitcase claim but rather hospitalisation in the USA and possible repatriation. The former occurs quite often on long cruises undertaken by older people hence the higher premiums but that doesn't alter my astonishment at their stance. 

    I know about the other ten cos we have cruised with them before and kept in touch. They also used key players in the cruise insurance business and the refunds were "ex gratia" but substantial. It seems we picked a greedy firm with no conscience.

    Meg
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 31,958 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    Options
    zx81, everyone advises that you take out insurance as soon as you book, but I can't see the point. The cruise company only required a deposit at that point with 80% not payable till much later so not a lot to cover months beforehand. Any new illnesses must be notified and the insurer can increase the premium or even refuse to cover you (presumably losing all your premium also) - but even then not a lot to cover if you've not yet paid the final balance.
    I don't believe that anyone forces you to insure in that way though, so if that's how you view it, you could have chosen to take the insurance out immediately before sailing?  Having said that, even though you only paid 20% up front you'd generally be contractually liable to pay the full balance, i.e. you're not just insuring what's already left your pocket.

    GRANDMAMEG said:
    It seems we picked a greedy firm with no conscience.
    Seems odd that you've chosen not to share their name then, which would potentially be a useful warning to others....
  • Caz3121
    Caz3121 Posts: 15,588 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Options
    everyone advises that you take out insurance as soon as you book, but I can't see the point. 
    It would be better to say you should have insurance in place from when you could potentially have a financial loss.
    eg you could book something that has the flexibility to cancel for refund/voucher up until x days before departure then you could choose to insure from post that date.
  • GRANDMAMEG
    Options
    Yes, we would normally lose the deposit if we cancelled before the final payment (but on some cruises that is less of a loss than the insurance premium). I would not leave it till the day of sailing, but maybe the date of payment of the balance, but I bet that puts premiums up and leaves less time to find appropriate cover. Most cruise lines then have a sliding scale (time-related) of refunds if you cancel after that final payment which I think is no refund if less than 28 days to go.

    Before I posted my query I looked at a few other posts on here about travel insurance and contributors //have posted some very poor comments about this firm. Words such as "unsympathetic", "obstructive" and "dubious practices" were used, along with "don't touch with a bargepole". Yet it is a very major player. 

    As the replies I have had here thus far seem to think that their (the insurers) stance is reasonable I can hardly name and shame them for doing everything correctly. I do not wish to land in court accused of libel. That is why I have "chosen" not to name them. 

    If you want me to name someone, how about this?

    The circumstances that brought us to cancel our cruise was because it was altered such that it was essentially not the cruise we had booked and paid for. This change was necessitated due to new rules introduced because of Covid. P and O Cruises refunded the whole of the cost, booked shore trips etc which they were not contractually obliged to do.  I also add that we were on board their World Cruise in February 2020 which was severely restricted after Covid hit us in South Australia. They were FANTASTIC in dealing with it, introduced incredible safety measures, not a single case of Covid was found on board and we all got a refund of 1/3 of the trip. No contractual requirement for that. We were still fed handsomely, entertained four seats apart, given free drinks and so on. Disembarkation was a mammoth exercise requiring ingenuity and immense team-working. THAT is what I call good customer relations.

Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 344.6K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.6K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 450.3K Spending & Discounts
  • 236.7K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 610.5K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.8K Life & Family
  • 249.5K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards