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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 4
    • ChrisNI
    • By ChrisNI 26th Apr 19, 12:11 PM
    • 59 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    ChrisNI
    Originally posted by uk1

    There is also this page which shows the TIF groups trading/brand names and any agents associated with them

    https://register.fca.org.uk/ShPo_FirmDetailsPage?id=001b000000MfUyuAAF
    • uk1
    • By uk1 26th Apr 19, 12:19 PM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    The list is frightening but what is more concerning is that the list does not include those other insurers who they provide claims handling services to. They give the impression that this is a core of their business. As Mark said, I remember clearly that they claimed to other insurers that they will save 75% of the claims payouts.


    https://www.tifgroup.co.uk/services/cost-containment/
    These cost containment programmes have produced significant benefits:
    • Savings for insurers
    • Medical bills cut by 75% on average
    • Average ‘cost containment’ programme results in 60% saving
    • Better care for policyholders
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 26th Apr 19, 2:36 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    The question is how do they do this? They sell a lot of policies so the "law of large numbers" applies. The probability of an accident is thus fixed around a stable distribution. How do you cut costs 75% on average on that is quite stable. 75% is a MASSIVE number. It's not 5% because they went paperless.
    Last edited by Mark Bedford; 26-04-2019 at 2:39 PM. Reason: better
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 26th Apr 19, 8:01 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    I have checked and they originally said. It was "medical bills cut by 75% on average". There is the FAQ's which is a different section. Medical bills or costs - same basic thing but how do they do this? We know of course but that's a whole different story.
    Last edited by Mark Bedford; 26-04-2019 at 8:01 PM. Reason: better
    • uk1
    • By uk1 26th Apr 19, 11:12 PM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    Every single one of those claims are from travellers in foreign countries who have suddenly needed non-elective emergency medical treatment. The claims they make to reduce those medical bills by 75% should be at the neart of the charges they currently now face.
    • TLJ201
    • By TLJ201 1st May 19, 5:10 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    TLJ201
    There's more every day on this company via their different brand names - the generic replies by the likes of 'Amber' Shelley' etc., are pretty repetitive perhaps to appear helpful. But as there is no way to reply to their reply you never know whether the assistance has been given or not. I suspect it's lip service - They do seem to respond to an online compaint faster than their (apparent 24/7) emergency line responds to a customer in need, which indicates to me that they are there as a social media clean up operation.



    I also see that Unite the union offer Tif group policies to their members as a 'Perk' of the job.


    With such damning reviews from their customers, it's almost beyond laughable how they are allowed to continue trading.
    • uk1
    • By uk1 1st May 19, 5:23 PM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    There's more every day on this company via their different brand names - the generic replies by the likes of 'Amber' Shelley' etc., are pretty repetitive perhaps to appear helpful. But as there is no way to reply to their reply you never know whether the assistance has been given or not. I suspect it's lip service - They do seem to respond to an online compaint faster than their (apparent 24/7) emergency line responds to a customer in need, which indicates to me that they are there as a social media clean up operation.

    I also see that Unite the union offer Tif group policies to their members as a 'Perk' of the job.

    With such damning reviews from their customers, it's almost beyond laughable how they are allowed to continue trading.
    Originally posted by TLJ201
    On the basis of the reviews of customers being fobbed off it seems wholly unrealistic to believe that they would feel any need to respond as promised on their social media replies when not doing so would remain completely unreported.

    Letís be realistic. They rely on the fact that their various personalities under all the different brands and names - some of them names one would normally trust - means that 99% of their total new buying customers would be completely unaware of what they were risking when entering their credit card numbers and hitting enter. It is only when they are in a foreign country in need of emergency assistance do they discover the reality.
    • TLJ201
    • By TLJ201 1st May 19, 5:41 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    TLJ201
    You are of course correct - but as the FCA, Financial Ombudsman and GMC are aware of their operation I find it astonishing that they are allowed to continue. If someone else dies would that not make them (the FCA) partly responsible?

    Also knowing that more holidaymakers are heading for non EU countries this summer how is it possible to allow this when the policies are seemingly useless in Turkey for example. People do not buy policies based on them having to fund huge amounts to hospitals and fight for a refund once they get home. It's simply not acceptable.
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 1st May 19, 5:59 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    Fogg Travel Insurance - unpaid bills by TIF it would suggest
    Review for Fogg Travel Insurance - this was in the YELLOW PAGES no less. It follows on from unpaid hospital bills. It means you have to pay as hospitals won't accept TIF. TIF currently clear Fogg we see from some policies.

    https://www.yell.com/biz/fogg-travel-insurance-services-ltd-mansfield-1593175/

    I would have given 0 stars but had to choose one to write this review. I am with an American (medical) billing company for a provider (physician) who treated a patient with this coverage....that was back in March of this year...still no payment and cannot get a response from anyone at the company. I have dealt with other traveler's insurances in the past and have never had issues in getting claims covered and paid. As a consumer, please think LONG and HARD before choosing this company for your coverage during your overseas trip. They are unethical as they take your payments probably promising your needed expenses (health or otherwise) will be covered, but never actually paying for anything.
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 1st May 19, 6:12 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    Explorer Travel Insurance - another TIF bill and another MASSIVE cost incurred in Cambodia this time
    https://www.uk-insurance-index.co.uk/reviews/explorer-travel-3088.html

    I assume TIF is behind Explorer Travel Insurance - links on FCA register infer that is and so do current policy documents

    Customer Review Comments:
    The Russian hospital (Sen Sok Hospital) in the capital of Cambodia was happy to save her life but I had to pay cash as they said they would not deal with my insurance company as they have owed them large sums of money from previous cases that have come from the same hospital that explorer offer (the Calmette aka killmore i later found out).

    I thought if I have had bad experience, what about the people that rely on an insurance company to support them, as some people are not lucky enough to have access to the finances I do. The Sen Sok was amazing and said I had to move her to Thailand for a further operation on her head as they could offer a better service in such a case.

    Pyathai Hospital in Thailand was also amazing and when she was suitable they told me to fly her home for rehabilitation in an English environment. Now back in the UK I had no choice but to use the NHS service which is ok but understaffed to help her properly.

    I have made many calls to explorer with promises to contact me every day but still nothing. I even offered to waiver the 80K I've spent if they can help me now and try get her into a specialist hospital that specialises in Neurology. Still I have heard nothing. It would also appear they have lost certain correspondence and recorded phone calls I made since November and claim they did not hear from me till December, even though I have proof of correspondence since November. To be honest I'm not surprised they lost the phone conversation in November which considered paying me back the thousands I lost in bribes as I later found out it is illegal to consider such things under English law.

    I'm with my partner every day trying to help her on her recovery still wondering where the service we paid for is! Last thing I need is a legal matter to deal with to try re-cooperate my financial losses. I just want my partner I love to get better with the best treatment. I am willing to sell all our properties and business to get her into a private hospital than can help her. Unfortunately this will take time and time is something that is not on our side in such a case.

    My advise to anyone who uses this company is to have a large stack of cash in the bank for such insurances, as by the time this company comes to any kind of decision a life could be lost. I feel for some of the other cases I have reviewed that were not as lucky as I was to be able to borrow large sums of money.
    • JoycieB
    • By JoycieB 2nd May 19, 8:53 AM
    • 27 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    JoycieB
    Explorer are underwritten by URV. I'm assuming that when a hospital fails to retrieve money from TIF, they are also aware that URV are the underwriters and thus put both of them on a blacklist.

    Explorer Travel Insurance's policies are underwritten by Union Reiseversicherung AG, UK. Union Reiseversicherung AG is authorised by BaFin (Germany) and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA Firm Reference Number 220965).
    • JoycieB
    • By JoycieB 2nd May 19, 12:16 PM
    • 27 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    JoycieB
    On the subject of URV, I found an interesting article about FOS uphold rates on complaints. Our friends URV (i.e. TIF) are third in the table of complaints upheld by the ombudsman. 42% of customers who have complained to FOS about TIF have had their complaints upheld.

    If you google "four-in-ten-travel-insurance-complaints-upheld" it'll be the first article.

    Keep in mind that not everyone is able to complain effectively and coherently, especially in the time after having to deal with TIF. Also keep in mind the tactics available to TIF in dealing with the FOS. In my case, evidence of phone calls to myself was given as evidence of contact with the treating hospital, and this was accepted by the ombudsman, who now has a complaint put in against her. This lead to the FOS siding with TIF, before I intervened and put them straight. My complaint was upheld and TIF rejected this opinion.
    • TLJ201
    • By TLJ201 2nd May 19, 7:11 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    TLJ201
    "Kent Police told to stand down by FCA "
    From Twitter,
    'Been told that Kent Police called the FCA months ago. The FCA told them to stand down as they were leading the investigation. Well done the FCA though D grade for L&C . Tweeted by @tifgroup1 earlier today. There's all sorts on @tifgroup1 - if you're on Twitter it's worth a look (and a retweet)
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 2nd May 19, 7:56 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    It appears the FCA are on this.....to all those except those in denial or those that believe the FCA not interested the FCA must be seeing what we all see.

    Furthermore, you can imagine the powers they have. They are not fools and the writing is all but on the wall for TIF. If they are fining Carephonewarehouse tens and tens of millions for selling insurance that was not needed without any allegation of fraud or malice you can imagine what might be in store for TIGF's management. That is the obvious and rational conclusion without being the FCA themselves.

    In TIF's case we see reports of unpaid bills, transcripts of the most extreme of extremes, threats, tales of what appears to be pre-medicated neglect all over the world..... god knows what else the FCA will find. If it's on good old MSE you can imagine what they have.

    It's only an uninformed view but is it a question of when and not if?
    Last edited by Mark Bedford; 02-05-2019 at 9:41 PM. Reason: better
    • uk1
    • By uk1 2nd May 19, 9:25 PM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    The bewildering question them persists. Why is there seemingly no action available or being used to suspend the organisation, or at leasy interim oversight management put in pending a fuller investigation? Why are there people currently buying "cover" or just about to have a problem to find themselves in very serious medical situations overseas?

    https://www.fca.org.uk/about/enforcement
    Last edited by uk1; 02-05-2019 at 9:36 PM.
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 2nd May 19, 9:53 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    This is indeed one of the lessons - interim oversight is an excellent idea. Perhaps you should Tweet the FCA and ask uk1.

    I personally believe, rightly or wrongly, the FCA is positioning to strike soon. They are not fools and the L&C debacle is a huge deal for them. As a senior guy at the FCA would you want to go into the summer insurance season? That assumes they think TIF has done anything wrong which only they can decide of course.

    I have noted the reviews on TrustPilot have slowed markedly. It's total guesswork and not concrete evidence whatsoever but they may be in there already. I don't know what powers they specifically have but they have lot. Why the change in the TrustPilot review patterns?

    I also think somebody like yourself needs to do a thread or a lesson on the issues surrounding reviews and review sites. On the tifgroup1 twitter site it posted a five star review on TrustPilot of London and Capital Finance.....says it all really. In the TIF case it matters when you claim and just because it is cheap does not mean it is good value and thus deserve a 5* rating.
    • uk1
    • By uk1 2nd May 19, 10:17 PM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    I really do not understand their problem.

    It seems to me that there is available two stages. One, in the light of an abnormal number of complaints of a common nature, and all the other compelling supporting evidence from newspapers and overseas hospitals that at the very least claims and medical response team management should be suspended pending a thorough investigation and a relatively small number of oversight management put in place to monitor claims. I find it difficult to believe that the FCA do not have overwhelming detailed information that things aren’t right and that the prudent action is immediate oversight of the claims department and the emergency medical response team pending what ever other investigations they feel they need.

    It isn’t good enough to simply wait for a few deaths, and then a scandal and then the inevitable “lessons have been learned`” etc.
    • uk1
    • By uk1 5th May 19, 3:04 PM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    uk1
    Anyone waiting for decisive and appropriate action with respect to protecting customers of TIF might be interested in reading Tony Hetherington's investigation of how the FCA handled the Park First issues.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/experts/article-6992531/Is-50-000-car-park-investment-Gatwick-stuck-runway-TONY-HETHERINGTON-investigates.html
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 6th May 19, 10:38 AM
    • 104 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    TIF Group (holidaysafe, puffin, worldfirst, alpha, etc associated )
    UK1 the writing is on the wall for Richard Smith and TIF

    1] The police asked to stand down by the FCA.
    2] The GMC running a multi-stranded investigation of their own.
    3] The Times running a front page alleging fraud in a dossier sent to the FCA plus all their own investigations.
    4] Reviews hidden amongst a very sophisticated media operation - Amber Moon the daughter of head of TIF products being one of them. We can hazard a guess she will be in the witness box in the High Court dispute with the Times no doubt.
    5] I think TIF sued the Times in a desperate attempt to shut the story down.
    6] Legal threats made against people on here, TrustPilot and elsewhere that mesh with the Times allegations, reviews and accounts ALL OVER THE WEB. Can you imagine any other insurance outfit doing this. Direct Line threatening people with defamation for reviews for example?
    7] Closing their TIF Facebook and Twitter accounts - why? Blocking people who complain.
    8] Reports of unpaid hospital bills all over the world and TIF claiming they can cut medical expenses by 75%. How?

    Which part of this does not contribute to a disturbing overall picture. One the FCA can obliviously see as well. The problem for TIF is that Rupert Murdock is not your average punter but a media mogul with a net worth of $21 billion. He ain't backing down I suspect!

    The FCA are not fools and quite clearly know what they are dealing with. If they are fining Carphonewarehouse for selling insurance that was not needed you can imagine if any of these allegations are seen as true by the FCA. I personally give it a 10,000:1 that individuals are not fined, banned for life but that is obviously up to the FCA and their investigation which may exonerate them but somehow I doubt it I would guess. I am not the FCA and I don't have the information they have. It will possibly be as life changing for those individuals I would guess as it was for many of the people that have featured on the web at the hands of TIF, Richard Smith and his band of merry men.

    The FCA routinely fine and ban for much less it would appear. They banned Angela Burs for life for not disclosing a conflict of interest.

    Tifgroup1 reports that Smith told a reporter that "we have a Random Acts of Kindness department, which does nice things for both our staff and customers". All this fits into a picture that you so eloquently outlined some months ago.

    I think this will go down as one of the biggest events in insurance for many years. "A how did they manage to get away with appalling treatment for so long". Andrew Ellson deserves a medal.
    • Mark Bedford
    • By Mark Bedford 8th May 19, 5:18 PM
    • 104 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Mark Bedford
    Another unpaid hospital bill?????
    This review arrived on TrustPilot....is this another bill that is unpaid? Is this person, like others, going to fear bad credit issues as one person recently worried about or demands for payment through the door from the hospital?

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

    Furthermore, YET AGAIN we see another review deleted from this page. It was 150 yesterday and now it's only 149. This is a pattern a previous MSE blogger reported. We should remember TIF tried to take down the entire TIF Group on TrustPilot and deletere their Facebook and Twitter pages and password protewcted Alpha travel insurance, Holiday safe.


    Do Not Use TIF Group
    I urge anyone to look elsewhere for travel insurance. After accepting my claim and confirming medical procedures could go ahead, they have not paid any invoices after several months. They even sent confirmation paperwork to my consultant, but currently, have even ceased communicating with me when I enquire on progress. They have introduced departments that were not even mentioned or involved originally. It is classic Insurance company stalling. Welching is the word that comes to mind. I will never use them again and strongly advise others not to.
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