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  • FIRST POST
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 27th Nov 18, 5:03 AM
    • 104Posts
    • 28Thanks
    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 3
    • kingstreet
    • By kingstreet 24th Apr 19, 4:32 PM
    • 35,509 Posts
    • 19,417 Thanks
    kingstreet
    Keeping to one thread any posts related to a particular provider really helps members to follow what has happened and to see things in "real time" as they develop.

    Having to search for and read multiple threads to try to understand where an issue has reached is pretty difficult.
    I am a mortgage broker. You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a Mortgage Adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice. Please do not send PMs asking for one-to-one-advice, or representation.
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 24th Apr 19, 4:46 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    OK. I did not realise that it would put this part of a thread here....it should have made a change and kept the order. Poor software code...also the date is wrong....the clocks have gone forward MSE.
    • TLJ201
    • By TLJ201 24th Apr 19, 5:43 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    TLJ201
    Thank you for the bump info - I was alerted to the thread because of its title and shared the link. To see that reveal a post from last November along with a title change was confusing to me. The post I commented on was no longer at the too but right at the end of page 2. It's day one on here for me so It's a bit of a learning curve.
    I appreciate your comment.
    • uk1
    • By uk1 24th Apr 19, 6:06 PM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    OK. I did not realise that it would put this part of a thread here....it should have made a change and kept the order. Poor software code...also the date is wrong....the clocks have gone forward MSE.
    Originally posted by Mark Bedford
    Hi Mark,

    I think you're doing a great and important job of ensuring that those considering travel insurance are aware of the experiences of others etc and make a fully informed choice. I suggest that when you see other posters start threads seeking information and guidance about travel insurance and you wish to help, that you simply reply with a short response eg "You might find it helpful to read this thread ......" and a link to this thread rather than respond at any length. It means that all information regarding this insurer is at on this thread. If it hadn't been for you and The Times I would not have been aware of this situation and would not have had a refund and bought from a reputable company. If other posters indulge themselves in any personal attacks on you or use inappropriate language simply report the post rather than respond or justify yourself or argue with them. It is wasted effort.

    All the very best and keep up the good work - if a single person is spared pain or fidning themsleves without insurance then it is wortwhile. Hope your issue reolves soon. Please keep this thread up to date with progress.
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 24th Apr 19, 6:09 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    You have just made an important point TLJ - one that uk1 makes earlier. From a day ago and so on TrustPilot - see below. It is again and again since November and years earlier. It is the reason why the Times is going to court. They did their research. It is also the reason TIF are being invesigated by the GMC and FCA.

    I URGE everyone not to use Alpha Insurance.

    I put my claim in during January as i broke my leg and it is now April 23 and I am getting warning letters saying I am going to have a bad credit score etc if I don't pay as my payment is seriously late.

    This could be detrimental for someone considering a new life in their chosen country.

    The company is an absolute sham and ignore almost all my emails. I did have one email dated 7 March that says they were sorting my claim but over a month later and nothing has been done at all.

    I beg you to spend a little more on your insurance and not just look for the best deal like I did!

    THREE days ago

    AVOID BUYING FROM THIS COMPANY
    I would not even give 1 star I had the option. I had a injury whilst I was in India and apart for me contact the company and spending money from overseas calling charge I got no response and thanks to family members I managed to get back to uk

    From the 17th

    Me and my sister went to Florida and had to put a claim in. They were fine until they had to fax information over to the hospital which they didn’t so we had to pay out of pocket for the estimated bill. The hospital has sent over the total bill to them which they had no response from tif. The hospital has now had to get a debt collectors involved and the insurance still haven’t paid the remainder of the bill. The only time they have had contact with us is when we have to chase them.

    After a month of them saying they will sort it, there is no indication of it being resolved. We are having to go and see a solicitor as we have had a letter and emails from the debt company who want a sum of money that we can’t pay!
    Last edited by Mark Bedford; 24-04-2019 at 6:10 PM. Reason: better
    • uk1
    • By uk1 24th Apr 19, 6:18 PM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    Mark, just a genuinely well-intentioned suggestion. I would simply add a link to the thread on TrustPilot when there are new posts every week or two rather than copy and paste them in entirety. People are perfectly able to read links to the posts there and with all due respect they are in "their own words" rather than repeated by you.

    Best wishes,
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 24th Apr 19, 6:37 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    Excellent idea actually. Should have done that all along. Thank you.
    • TLJ201
    • By TLJ201 24th Apr 19, 10:17 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    TLJ201
    There is a page in Facebook for a 'Tifgroup' it's not a page belonging to the actual Travel Insurance Facilities Group but some other company called TIF.
    The reviews however ARE ALL about tif group the insurer. It reads really bad.
    I'm wondering why would a company as big as Tifgroup take down their Facebook page and Twitter page?
    The reviews on their own 'Googled' page are awful too. How is this acceptable. Surely it's time for the FCA to step in.
    Being new to the forum I am not permitted to post the link.
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 24th Apr 19, 10:51 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    TIF social media shutdown
    TLJ201....TIF took down their group pages for the obvious reason. It was a point Andrew Ellson of the Times made on his Twitter. They did password project their previous pages like Holidsaysafe etc I think although that is now over. The options to leave reviews is removed I believe and it appears cleaned.

    They also made changes to their own site. The absurd marketing "the moral insurance company", deep rivers etc or some nonsense like that. They have also taken down the reference to the 75% cut in their medical costs Twitter reported.

    The FCA are on this TLJ201 and if you want to know what they can do go to the link below. If they think there has been bad behaviour they act. They are a completely different beast to the Financial Ombudsman I think.

    https://www.fca.org.uk/news/news-stories/2019-fines

    But how about this one from a couple of hours ago on TrustPilot (Alpha, Holidaysafe, Fit2travel, TIFgroup (as its brand)).

    Bleeding and hurt after an accident - and ignored by their "Emergency" Medical Helpline
    I am very, very disappointed with my experience with Alpha Travel Insurance. I took out travel insurance with them for a 3 month long solo trip around South East Asia. I was involved in a vehicle accident in Laos, where I also had my phone stolen. I was in a very bad way – bleeding from very deep cuts down the length of my right leg and arm - and loosing a lot of blood.

    My phone had been stolen and so I had no way to easily ring the emergency helpline – and I desperately needed advice on which hospital to get to. General advice online is to not seek hospital care in most places in Laos as they’re frequently unsanitary and working on out-dated information – resulting in infections. Alpha says on their website that the first thing you must do in a medical emergency is call their 24/7 Emergency Helpline and their trained advisors will tell you what to do and advise you which clinics will give you the best treatment.

    I managed to drag myself back to a hostel and use their phone to ring my mum and ask her to phone the helpline and tell me urgently where to go. She rang up and eventually had an answer after being on hold for about forty minutes – and was told that even though I was bleeding and in severe pain that they’d ring her back as they were working with a large volume of calls.

    I was panicking, as I was applying pressure to my wounds but they wouldn't stop bleeding. Luckily I'd bought a First Aid Kit with me so I was just doing my best with what I had - fully expecting a response quickly.

    We waited and waited – my mum not leaving the phone all day. Hours turned into the next day while we stayed up all night (it's 24/7 after all) until we realised even after chasing that we clearly weren’t going to get a response. We gave up and I had to drag my way via public bus to the English Embassy in Vientiane to ask for advice instead. By then, my wounds were festering – and the French clinic I visited told me I should have had stitches but it was too late for them - and I'll now be left with permanent scars.

    I am absolutely disgusted that Alpha considers it acceptable to leave a paying customer who’s begging for advice in that state. Lack of resources is not an excuse. Avoid this company at all costs – the care for their customers is clearly non-existent.

    https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.fit2travel.co.uk
    • uk1
    • By uk1 24th Apr 19, 11:18 PM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    There is a page in Facebook for a 'Tifgroup' it's not a page belonging to the actual Travel Insurance Facilities Group but some other company called TIF.
    The reviews however ARE ALL about tif group the insurer. It reads really bad.
    I'm wondering why would a company as big as Tifgroup take down their Facebook page and Twitter page?
    The reviews on their own 'Googled' page are awful too. How is this acceptable. Surely it's time for the FCA to step in.
    Being new to the forum I am not permitted to post the link.
    Originally posted by TLJ201
    Hi, the problem with regulators is that normally they are set up in order to address some outbreak of unfairness and in the end most regulators are seen to fail. And so governments say "lessons will be learned" and the management and name is changed and so the cycle restarts.

    in a way the great thing about social media is that whilst it can be manipulated for a while in the end "truth will out". " Live by the sword and die by the sword .....". Mark receives some poor and harsh treatment by some. But he isn't posting for them. If you have posted over 20,000 posts with an average of 6 posts here for every day for ten years you will not need Mark's regular reminders. You will understandably be tired of them. But they should appreciate that there are others who haven't. So if you have arrived here today for the first time seeking advice .... a bit like you .... then Mark keeping this awareness maintained means that hopefully in the end TIF will either change their behaviour or they will no longer receive premium income - and at the very least people will be informed about them.

    That to me seems the ethos of this forum and what the person who started this website would want from it.
    Last edited by uk1; 24-04-2019 at 11:21 PM.
    • JoycieB
    • By JoycieB 25th Apr 19, 8:24 AM
    • 27 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    JoycieB
    I think my post got lost in the merge so I'll try again.

    I'm another let down customer of TIF, through their Alpha Travel Insurance brand. While I won't go into my story, I stumbled upon something interesting.

    One day after The Times reported on tifgroup, I was checking up on the tifgroup Trustpilot page, as I'm sure many others did, and every review had gone. I enquired with Trustpilot directly about this, and their response was:

    "Reviews can only be left of companies that offer services to consumers. Tifgroup was closed to new reviews as it does not offer services, the groups under it do."
    On tifgroup's very own Q&A about The TImes article:

    "We welcome all reviews, good or bad, as they help us to work on areas of our business that might need improvement."
    Needless to say I set Trustpilot right about them, and the page returned, but this sort of behaviour is extremely alarming. Like others have said, they have a PR team designed to make it look like they are on top of everything, but their actions as a company paint a different picture.
    • uk1
    • By uk1 25th Apr 19, 10:04 AM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    Joyce .... good work ... well done.

    I have noticed this morning that they were able to get some negative reviews removed.
    • JoycieB
    • By JoycieB 25th Apr 19, 10:19 AM
    • 27 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    JoycieB
    The frequency at which reviews are left is also extremely odd. For a week solid, you'll have 20 5 star reviews per day, often after one bad review. The next few weeks, maybe one or two a day. There's a quite horrific one just been posted yesterday, so will be interesting to see if these 5 star reviews spike again...
    • uk1
    • By uk1 25th Apr 19, 10:33 AM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    The newspaper article had evidence of employees leaving positive feedback. I also noticed that another insurer that had been mentioned in a post some time back for those specifically with cancer is also a TIF group brand. Imagine what it might be like to require help when abroad with a serious condition like that and find yourself at TIF's mercy. Some countries will not allow travellers with hospital debts to leave as has been mentioned.

    https://www.insurancewith.com/

    Our team

    Insurancewith is a trading name of tifgroup which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. tifgroup is a trading name of the Travel Insurance Facilities Group (TIFG), who are experts in travel insurance in their own right.

    We have the benefit of being an in-house brand, meaning that we share offices with our dedicated customer service, claims and emergency assistance teams, streamlining your customer experience and ensuring things run at the highest possible level.
    • ChrisNI
    • By ChrisNI 25th Apr 19, 2:06 PM
    • 59 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    ChrisNI
    Anyone got any recommendations for good companies to buy travel insurance from which aren't part of the TIF group?


    I had previously always used Boots travel insurance but I see they are part of TIFG so keen to avoid them this time around
    • uk1
    • By uk1 25th Apr 19, 2:29 PM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    Anyone got any recommendations for good companies to buy travel insurance from which aren't part of the TIF group?


    I had previously always used Boots travel insurance but I see they are part of TIFG so keen to avoid them this time around
    Originally posted by ChrisNI
    I have bought annual Travel Insurance from Staysure. There seems an absence of adverse comment with only 2% voting it below average out of 56,000 reviews and when you read the reasons they are not a cause for alarm, 82% of tif have rated them below average and their reviews (currently 148) seem to get deleted every few days.

    https://www.staysure.co.uk/

    https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.staysure.co.uk

    Good luck.
    • ChrisNI
    • By ChrisNI 25th Apr 19, 2:40 PM
    • 59 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    ChrisNI
    I have bought annual Travel Insurance from Staysure. There seems an absence of adverse comment with only 2% voting it below average out of 56,000 reviews and when you read the reasons they are not a cause for alarm, 82% of tif have rated them below average and their reviews (currently 148) seem to get deleted every few days.

    https://www.staysure.co.uk/

    https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.staysure.co.uk

    Good luck.
    Originally posted by uk1

    Much appreciated. I've also been looking at LV but will definitely check out StaySure
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 26th Apr 19, 10:50 AM
    • 104 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    FCA breach: Disclosing records and details to policyholder to discredit Times
    It appears from Twitter that TIF Group (boots travel, alpha, insurancewith etc) have been disclosing personal details to a random third party who had a policy with TIF and told them details of the Blake's case to discredit the Times article. Obviously they had read it or was told about it and was rightly concerned.

    It is amazing actually. Reading details from the Blake's file out to a third party. Can you see AXA doing that. No doubt the FCA will be speaking to Richard Smith about this as well.

    https://twitter.com/marshellhouse/status/1121702464481374209
    • JoycieB
    • By JoycieB 26th Apr 19, 11:07 AM
    • 27 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    JoycieB
    Again, drawing on my own experience with them, they attempted to withhold phone call recordings by playing dumb and pretending they had already supplied them, with the ICO agreeing that they had not complied with their data protection obligations. Turns out if you call their emergency line, their 24 hour emergency line, out of UK hours, it goes to a call centre which merely passes on messages. Hardly a 24 hour emergency line.

    From TIF :

    We use an answering service provider called Ansa.com Ltd to provide a call answering service on our behalf in respect of calls made to our Emergency Assistance Facilities team (EAF) (which is a team who provides assistance to policy holders whilst overseas), during certain hours [...] The answering service team only provides an answering service and the call handler would not provide any updates or technical information in relation to a customer’s claim.

    From the ICO:

    "I have considered the information available in relation to this complaint and I am of the view that Travel Insurance Facilities plc (trading as TIFGroup) has not complied with it’s data protection obligations. This is because it did not provide an appropriate response to your SAR as no details of the call made at [REDACTED] on [REDACTED] were provided. "
    • uk1
    • By uk1 26th Apr 19, 11:55 AM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    Good Morning,

    Earlier in the thread I listed some of the brands TIF sell to which disguises that you are buying from TIF. When you search under those individidual brand names on TrustPilot, although I haven't read them all, all of high ratings that I read are from people who found them easy to buy from and that the rates were considered good value whereas nearly all of the negative scores are horror stories from those who have had extremely poor claims experience including life changing experiences. All of the negative posts receive a "contact me" post from exactly the same TIF contacts who manage the social media flak across all brands. The last study I read was that around 2% of people with travel insurance make claims and that puts into some perspective how bad the TIF TrustPilot percentage of negative reviews with all the different brand flavours is.

    These are just some of the brands I found.

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.php?p=75087521&postcount=16

    Michelle's experience is harrowing:

    https://twitter.com/marshellhouse
    Last edited by uk1; 26-04-2019 at 12:02 PM.
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