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  • FIRST POST
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 27th Nov 18, 5:03 AM
    • 95Posts
    • 25Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    TIF Group - High Court, Martin Lewis likely witness, the Times legal suit vs TIF
    • #1
    • 27th Nov 18, 5:03 AM
    TIF Group - High Court, Martin Lewis likely witness, the Times legal suit vs TIF 27th Nov 18 at 5:03 AM
    Appalling story from Turkey but we see reports from Crete, Vietnam, S America and SE Asia a lot as well.
    TIF Group (Travel Insurance Facilities based in Kings Hill Kent)

    Husband returns to the hospital on day two - turns out he has SEPSIS and his organs start to shut down. Ends up in intensive care (ICU)....the hospital says it will not accept TIF Group insurance (Alpha, Holidaysafe, Covered2Go, Insuracewith etc - see UK1 post) because "THEY OWE TOO MUCH MONEY".

    The bottom line is that wife decided that is was better to pay HERSELF for an air ambulance costing £27k back to the UK rather than the hospital take him off the ventilator delaying the flight and racking up more bills without insurance since the hospital would not talk with TIF because they owe "too much money" they say. This tallies with a recent TripAdvisor report saying no hospital would accept TIF in Turkey.

    WORSE STILL, and it alludes to what is in the FCA dossier the Times referred to, TIF tried to invalidate her out of her policy. They told her, in the middle of this nightmare, that the policy was invalid because it was a "PRE-EXISTING CONDITION".....is that so? Sepsis.....I think you would find he would be dead or are we just stupid policyholders. Astonishing isn't it.

    Similar story in Thailand around the same time. We will ignore TIF trying to move the man to another hospital. The doctor objected saying his heart attack could really kill him. Surprise, surprise...The hospital REFUSED THE POLICY saying they were owed money going back several years. The copy of the letter is out there on the Times Twitter. Threatened with the police for non-payment. TIF were not finished though....tried for FOUR days to make him fly home economy but relented on day four.

    On their arrival back home...sent flowers.

    We are hearing on other sites that the Whistleblower said to the FCA that Thai hospitals wrote to the Britsh Embassy trying to get TIF banned from SE Asia. We have seen unpaid bills from Singapore with one poor fellow being pursued by the hospital despite TIF saying in emails it had been paid....elsewhere in the world too and we read the other day Crete and Vietnam added to the growing global list.

    We also see people moved from a hospital WITH an operating facility to one where TIF was told was full....UNOPERATED ON FOR 13 DAY....ANOTHER 11 days in Malaysia.

    I want to see this dossier I must say. Perhaps people who have had similar experiences should report them to the regulator. That was advice of the CEO of Which I believe on her seeing these reports.
    Last edited by Mark Bedford; 24-04-2019 at 2:16 PM. Reason: added word
Page 8
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 14th Jul 19, 9:46 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    I could not agree more UK1.
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 14th Jul 19, 9:53 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    Alpha travel insurance - another abandonment reported
    This person on TrustPilot https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/alphatravelinsurance.co.uk?languages=en&stars=1 made the following points:

    - mother broke hip on Bosnia - No EHIC card.
    - 50 calls the Alpha (TIF group)
    - another case of Embassy being involved (like the Bake case in Lanzarote)
    - had to go and bring her mother back HERSELF.
    - Embassy could call the hospital but apparently, TIF were unable to make contact she reports

    She ends "The day after we arrived home I received a phone call from Alpha Travel asking if we arrived home okay. This proved to me they had been lying because I had done the hard work in arranging to bring my Mum home and saved them the expense of medical assistance"
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 14th Jul 19, 10:03 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    Portugeuse hospital report TIF group the Financial Conduct Authority
    A Portugeuse hospital has reported TIF to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for fraud.

    This comes on top of the Spanish private hospital association making a statement and press conference incorporating the word fraud as well which happened last week.

    The Portuguese hospital state that TIF guaranteed payments and treatment went ahead only for TIF not to pay. Furthermore, they lied and told policyholders that they had in place documentation with TIF which was a lie, the hospital says, since they had been blacklisted. TIF even tell people to leave the hospital, they say, without paying and quoting unpleasant things against the hospital that previously TIF were happy to have a perople treated there. They gave the go ahead after all and then did not pay. If it was so appauling why did you not move them to another hospital?

    Looks like Richard Smith is going to have some explaining to the FCA to do.
    • uk1
    • By uk1 14th Jul 19, 10:35 AM
    • 1,257 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    Today A NEW ARTICLE has appeared in The Sunday Times with respect to cover of emergency treatment costs in hospitals whilst on holiday.

    Pain in the small print of holiday insurance

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/pain-in-the-small-print-of-holiday-insurance-pvxkhwlvx?shareToken=f9d85e7369f12b476a57f47d0adad 44d

    It highlights that some policies are refusing to pay out on claims where free hospitals aren’t used. The ABI claim that this problem isn’t for ABI insurers and TIF are outside of ABI.

    The article does not cover one issue I suggest is pertinent. That is that consumer legislation for example The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and Consumer Rights Act 2015 and other laws and regulations renders insurers refusal to pay i believe unenforceable under several provisions.

    I believe so for several reasons. Firstly the important exclusion clause must be made prominent and clear at the time of buying the policy and cannot simply be hidden in the terms and conditions for discovery when it is too late. If it isn’t then the clause is probably unenforceable. These days consumers are expected to be reasonable but are not expected to be legal experts and discover small unfair exclusion clauses or fully understand the consequences of all detailed small print. All of the significant details should at least be printed clearly in the “summary” document.

    Secondly and additionally, the clause is potentially unfair for two reasons. Firstly would a reasonable person buy and pay for an expensive travel insurance policy if the insurer only meets claims from hospitals that makes no charges because they are free. I believe not. Nobody buys travel insurance to cover cost free treatment. Secondly, if a policy says that a policyholder MUST obtain prior approval for emergency care there is clearly an obligation for insurers to answer emergency lines promptly and manage emergency scenarios “with a sense of urgency”. Failing to answer the telephone promptly and managing quickly in my view negates any hidden pre-approval requirement clause. Emergency treatment must be provided promptly without too much concern as the the price as long as reasonable care given the individual circumstances is taken. If they do not provide adequate emergency cover then this also in my opinion renders the clause unenforceable under an “unfairness” consideration.

    Uneforceability of unfair clauses has not been covered by any of the newspaper articles or in this thread. I also do not believe that The Ombudsman investigators are it seems adequately legally trained to understand these provisions and the seem to need to be reminded. Court action in these scenarios may be the best option as judges at least do understand the law.

    Happy to discuss this element of uneforceability of unfair consumer exclusion contract terms with genuine and not disruptive debate.
    Last edited by uk1; 14-07-2019 at 11:24 AM.
    • uk1
    • By uk1 16th Jul 19, 10:33 AM
    • 1,257 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    THIS IS A LINK TO A NEW NEWS ITEM RELATED TO CHEAP TRAVEL COVER FOR TRAVELLERS WITH PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS.

    I find it concerning that the FCA are considering ways of helping direct travelers with pre-existing medical conditions to companies offering cheaper cover whilst the issue of TIF companies - many of whom specialise in offering cheap insurance to travelers with PEMCS - who are failing to pay out when claims are made. They are a prominent company that specialise in making it easier for travellers with PEMCs to buy cheaper cover.

    Unless these issues are resolved FIRST then they would appear to be trying to find methods of funneling MORE people who will risk buying from companies offering apparently cheap cover who then do everything possible to avoid paying out.

    https://www.insuranceage.co.uk/regulation/4098371/insurance-cares-fca-reveals-consultation-on-helping-consumers-with-pre-existing-conditions-to-access-travel-insurance


    https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/fca-challenges-industry-improve-access-insurance-people-pre-existing-medical-conditions


    I have contacted the FCA with these concerns and ask that others also do so.
    Last edited by uk1; 16-07-2019 at 11:13 AM.
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 17th Jul 19, 7:54 PM
    • 95 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    I think UK1 makes an excellent point regarding the FCA. Report them if you see fit other MSE readers. please.

    And of course UK1's earlier comments about terms of the contract are also excellent. People belive that there is £10 million in cover, only to find out that they won't pay for emergency treatment even when doctors say it is required. TIF of course say that private hospitals are to blame because they are corrupt. Well a lot of locals seem to use them do they not? And choose to do so.

    UK1 I think you are probably right in the Unfair Contracts and Consumer Act. Furthermore, we hear of TIF stating some quite bizarre facts about hospitals that border on the absurd as an excuse as to why they can't authorize treatment at a private facility.

    MSE readers should be reminded that if you are in certain parts of Europe private may be the only place where you can be treated. The Blake case is a good example and unfortunately, he ended up dying.

    If you are in Asia or S. America you have no right to treatment anywhere. State facilities are NOT free and they often are poorly equipped. What is your £10 million of emergency cover for it you are sent toa £50 per night state entity that might not even be able to treat you?
    • uk1
    • By uk1 17th Jul 19, 9:21 PM
    • 1,257 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    Thanks Mark,

    To be clear, my request isn’t to “report” to the FCA, but to make a representation that there is a very real concern that unless the FCA ensure that the insurance providers that they are currently investigating ie TIF brands are detached from their planned initiative to direct travellers with PEMCs to low cost providers then the FCA will in effect be causing harm to the public and making matters worst. The will in effect be complicit and assisting what has been described as fraud.

    There is an easy link in the covering guidance in the second link above and you can send a short email. An automated acknowledgement is sent immediately. The consequence of this is that if the FCA proceeds and ignores the warnings and people come to harm then the FCA can then be held accountable.
    • Insurance nightmare
    • By Insurance nightmare 19th Jul 19, 11:51 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Insurance nightmare
    Travel Insurance Explained
    ***.travelinsuranceexplained.co.uk/

    "Travel Insurance Explained is an awareness campaign which helps to highlight the differences there are in travel insurance cover and what to look out for when buying a policy."

    Sounds great, right?

    Even the description in google sounds promising:

    "Travel Insurance Explained | Putting Customers First
    ***.travelinsuranceexplained.co.uk/
    Travel Insurance Explained is an independent consumer awareness initiative, set up to help customers understand all things travel insurance related."

    "Independent" I hear you say? But then you scroll down to the bottom of the website...

    "Travel Insurance Explained is a trading name of Travel Insurance Facilities plc who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority..."
    • Insurance nightmare
    • By Insurance nightmare 23rd Jul 19, 2:47 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Insurance nightmare
    And another one
    Another story of TIF refusing to fly someone home (and the medical provider only being paid after threats of legal action). Sounds like this guy is lucky to be alive:

    ***.twitter.com/dmurph61/status/1066997662120062976[/url]

    (Still having to use an asterix instead of a 'w' as I am apparently still a 'new user'.)
    • uk1
    • By uk1 23rd Jul 19, 4:07 PM
    • 1,257 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    No probs.


    https://twitter.com/dmurph61/status/1066997662120062976
    • uk1
    • By uk1 23rd Jul 19, 4:58 PM
    • 1,257 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    ........ further to the above a whole lot of NEW horror stories have been posted over the last few days .....

    “Pathetic and inept service from Travel Claims Facilities”

    “I’ve just been told that my claim has been declined even though I feel to have jumped through hoops to get as much information as possible to this company. “

    “Hopeless responding to my claim.”

    “Can't believe out of £585 insurance claim we got back £15 we both found out we have cancer there are all these surcharges plus the insurance it self would not recommend them “

    “I would give this company zero stars if I could , over 1 month now for a simple claim ,never reply to emails, fob you off on the phone , say someone will contact you and they never do , avoid insurance with the company “

    “Still trying to get my claim sorted. “

    “Absolute joke of a company”

    “Scam Company”

    “NOT WORTH A PENNY OR THE RISK! YOUR RISKING YOUR LIFE PURCHASING FROM THIS COMPANY!!”


    etc etc


    https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.tifgroup.co.uk
    • JoycieB
    • By JoycieB 29th Jul 19, 2:12 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    JoycieB
    Ombudsman has come back with their final decision and ruled in my favour. They noted that, among the many needless delays, one was attributed to having to get more medical information. Given my original complaint was that they refused to speak to the hospital, this didn't quite stand up to much scrutiny.

    Other highlights:

    - Medical team refusing to even look at the case for 5 days
    - Refusal to get sufficient medical information in order to make an informed decision re repatriation
    - An unexplained 4 day delay in even beginning to look for a hospital bed in the UK
    - Using us (new parents to a 3 month early baby in ICU, in a foreign country) as a go-between to avoid contacting the hospital
    - inappropriate and ill-informed opinions from call handlers
    - calling us "unreasonable" and that "the relationship broke down making communication difficult" - literally blaming us for their awful service.

    Obviously they haven't paid yet, and I'm slightly looking forward to a situation where I have to issue a court order (which they pay for) and the press that will follow. They have 24 days, so look forward to an update in August...
    • uk1
    • By uk1 29th Jul 19, 4:34 PM
    • 1,257 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    Hi Joycie,


    Just to share your rejoicing of the result and my hopes that you will get paid out without too much pain. Do update with progress.


    • TLJ201
    • By TLJ201 4th Aug 19, 7:59 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    TLJ201
    JoycieB, that's a great result and the right one.
    Lots of points ring true with my experience too.
    Plenty more bad reviews recently, when will it end.
    • JoycieB
    • By JoycieB 5th Aug 19, 8:20 AM
    • 20 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    JoycieB
    They paid up after I left a review on Trustpilot. Funny that.

    I even emailed them to make sure they had the right account details, as they love that excuse (not that it would've mattered) but they didn't fancy talking to me much.
    • TLJ201
    • By TLJ201 16th Aug 19, 11:03 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    TLJ201
    Thick and fast on Trustpilot recently. When oh when will the people who should act actually act. It really is outrageous - obviously regulation in practise does not mean what it ought to.
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