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  • FIRST POST
    • gphunt
    • By gphunt 14th Feb 18, 1:14 AM
    • 2Posts
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    gphunt
    Nationwide FlexPlus travel insurance warning
    • #1
    • 14th Feb 18, 1:14 AM
    Nationwide FlexPlus travel insurance warning 14th Feb 18 at 1:14 AM
    A warning to anybody who has a Nationwide FlexPlus account, or is thinking of opening one. I recently travelled, making use of the travel insurance cover for the first time. I was travelling for 38 days, to stay with in-laws in Japan. I knew there was a limit to how long the insurance covered per trip so I checked the Nationwide webpages for the support info regarding the FlexPlus insurance - Google search “Nationwide flexplus travel insurance support articles” to see the support info (I can't post the link).
    It says the limit is 31 days and for longer stays it is necessary to purchase extended journey cover. Lower down on the same page it also says “Should I let you know before I travel? You don't need to tell us before you travel as your cover is already in place as soon as you open your FlexPlus account.” Great, I thought, I can sort out the extension when I am out there. Just to be sure I sent them an online message to ask how to purchase extended cover; I never got an answer.
    A few days before the 31st day of my trip I phoned the FlexPlus helpline (from overseas) in order to purchase the additional cover. I was told I could not purchase it as it is only allowed to purchase it before commencing travel. I said I had checked their website and sent an online enquiry and had no information that I had to buy the cover extension before leaving the UK. The customer service person spoke said they would look into to it and get back to me. A few hours later I was sent an email asking me to call them. When I did they told me that they were the rules and they would not now provide me with extended insurance cover for the remaining days of my trip.
    After that phone call I looked back at their website and found the statement above about not needing to contact them before travelling. There is a quite a good summary of the insurance cover on this webpage, including 2 references to extending a trip duration but neither says anything about needing to do this before starting the trip. The full policy terms are available as a 29 page pdf download, and it DOES say in there that the extended cover needs to be purchased before travelling, but with everything else I needed to do before travelling I did not think it would be necessary to read the full terms, especially as the webpage says very clearly “You don't need to tell us before you travel as your cover is already in place”. I emailed Nationwide screenshots of their webpages to try to make the point that their guidance on purchasing extended cover is lacking; a few days later I received an email saying my “complaint” had been declined, and that they considered the information on their webpages to be satisfactory.
    In the meantime I had had to purchase special travel insurance to cover the last few days of my trip. Buying a travel policy when already abroad is a difficult and expensive process, and also the time spent trying to find a suitable policy is not what you want to do when on a trip.
    So beware of the terms and conditions and don’t expect Nationwide’s customer service to be helpful.

    This bad experience with the FlexPlus account was on top of Nationwide’s price hike for the account in September; my fees were increased without me receiving any notification letter. When I called them to say they had increased the charge taken from my account but not forewarned me of the changes they said that “A letter was sent to every customer”, I replied “Well, I didn't get one”. They then said that Royal Mail must have lost it. I asked to now be sent the information about the changes to the account and they said I should get the information online!
    So for me its 2 strikes from Nationwide, if there’s another I’m probably out. I could do without the hassle of changing bank accounts, and going elsewhere for my breakdown cover, though.
Page 1
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 14th Feb 18, 10:10 AM
    • 1,276 Posts
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    Gary_Dexter
    • #2
    • 14th Feb 18, 10:10 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Feb 18, 10:10 AM
    It's not a bad experience.

    YOU chose to not phone them until you were out there to extend your stay - you should have done it before you flew out.

    You don't need to inform them before you travel, correct, up to the limit they adivse (31 days).

    As you pointed out it even states in the T's and C's PDF to purchase before travelling.

    So this is on you - you're nit-picking at your own errors

    "So for me its 2 strikes from Nationwide, if there!!!8217;s another I!!!8217;m probably out. I could do without the hassle of changing bank accounts, and going elsewhere for my breakdown cover, though."

    Contradictions - you either want to go, and will, or you don't
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 14th Feb 18, 11:24 AM
    • 8,318 Posts
    • 10,655 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    • #3
    • 14th Feb 18, 11:24 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Feb 18, 11:24 AM
    it DOES say in there that the extended cover needs to be purchased before travelling, but with everything else I needed to do before travelling I did not think it would be necessary to read the full terms
    And this isn't your own error?

    From the product information on their web site, easily found:

    Trips for longer than 31 days are not covered unless extended journey cover has been purchased
    You made assumptions. Unwise.
    Last edited by PeacefulWaters; 14-02-2018 at 11:28 AM.
    • gwapenut
    • By gwapenut 14th Feb 18, 12:05 PM
    • 921 Posts
    • 380 Thanks
    gwapenut
    • #4
    • 14th Feb 18, 12:05 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Feb 18, 12:05 PM
    I'm not sure why you're complaining. The large-print says:
    Trips for longer than 31 days are not covered unless extended journey cover has been purchased

    This, to me, means that none of the first 31 days of your trip were covered either, because the whole trip is greater than 31 days, and trips for longer than 31 days are not covered.

    It does not says that they are covered for the fist 31 days only.
    Last edited by gwapenut; 14-02-2018 at 12:08 PM.
    • gphunt
    • By gphunt 14th Feb 18, 12:53 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    gphunt
    • #5
    • 14th Feb 18, 12:53 PM
    Clarification needed
    • #5
    • 14th Feb 18, 12:53 PM
    Oh, I see there's quite a critical response to my post. Yes, I was personally very disappointed by Nationwide’s service and their response, and I was significantly inconvenienced, but the travel is over now and my purpose now is to try to warn other people so they don’t suffer the same problem. I suggested to Nationwide they improve their online information but they rebutted this; I suppose they don’t want to accept that it could be clearer as that is to accept some amount of fault.
    Personally the critical point for me is I don’t think the information they are giving online is clear, and it could easily be misinterpreted. My point is that the Nationwide webpage which says trips over 31 days need extended cover also says “You don't need to tell us before you travel as your cover is already in place as soon as you open your FlexPlus account”. It says that but nowhere on the webpage does it say that customers should contact them before travelling if for more than 31 days. How many people read all the full policy terms of an insurance policy before travelling? I think to expect that is unrealistic.
    Nationwide’s web information is trying to give the impression that the travel insurance with the FlexPlus account is easy to use so to be convenient for the customer/traveller. They need to be more clear about the potential snags.
    I did contact them before I went; I sent them an online message but, as I say, got no response.

    gwapenut might be correct that the first 31 days are not covered either, but again it is not clear. So a customer could end up without any insurance cover at all. All it needs is for Nationwide to say clearly on the webpage ‘If you are travelling for more than 31 days ring us before you go.’

    If this post helps one person avoid getting in the same situation as me I think it has been worth putting it up. It would be even better if Nationwide made the change to improve their online information, so reducing the chance of this happening again.
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 14th Feb 18, 1:00 PM
    • 1,276 Posts
    • 726 Thanks
    Gary_Dexter
    • #6
    • 14th Feb 18, 1:00 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Feb 18, 1:00 PM
    Yes the responses are critical because YOU made a personal error by not reading the T's and C's properly before making your trip.

    This is not NW's fault - the information is perfectly clear and YOU did not read the paperwork before or after signing up for a product.
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 14th Feb 18, 1:06 PM
    • 7,402 Posts
    • 7,963 Thanks
    eskbanker
    • #7
    • 14th Feb 18, 1:06 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Feb 18, 1:06 PM
    My point is that the Nationwide webpage which says trips over 31 days need extended cover also says "You don't need to tell us before you travel as your cover is already in place as soon as you open your FlexPlus account". It says that but nowhere on the webpage does it say that customers should contact them before travelling if for more than 31 days. How many people read all the full policy terms of an insurance policy before travelling? I think to expect that is unrealistic.
    Originally posted by gphunt
    Perhaps you're misinterpreting that sentence you're quoting (at https://www.nationwide.co.uk/support/support-articles/manage-your-account/travel-insurance/travel-insurance-with-flexplus)?

    To me, given the context within which it appears, it clearly means "You don't need to tell us that you'll be travelling before you travel as your cover is already in place as soon as you open your FlexPlus account".

    It's not saying "You don't need to tell us of changes you wish to make before you travel as your cover is already in place as soon as you open your FlexPlus account"!
    Last edited by eskbanker; 14-02-2018 at 1:08 PM.
    • gingercordial
    • By gingercordial 14th Feb 18, 1:16 PM
    • 1,160 Posts
    • 1,198 Thanks
    gingercordial
    • #8
    • 14th Feb 18, 1:16 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Feb 18, 1:16 PM
    Oh, I see there's quite a critical response to my post. Yes, I was personally very disappointed by Nationwide’s service and their response, and I was significantly inconvenienced, but the travel is over now and my purpose now is to try to warn other people so they don’t suffer the same problem. I suggested to Nationwide they improve their online information but they rebutted this; I suppose they don’t want to accept that it could be clearer as that is to accept some amount of fault.
    Personally the critical point for me is I don’t think the information they are giving online is clear, and it could easily be misinterpreted. My point is that the Nationwide webpage which says trips over 31 days need extended cover also says “You don't need to tell us before you travel as your cover is already in place as soon as you open your FlexPlus account”. It says that but nowhere on the webpage does it say that customers should contact them before travelling if for more than 31 days. How many people read all the full policy terms of an insurance policy before travelling? I think to expect that is unrealistic.
    Nationwide’s web information is trying to give the impression that the travel insurance with the FlexPlus account is easy to use so to be convenient for the customer/traveller. They need to be more clear about the potential snags.
    I did contact them before I went; I sent them an online message but, as I say, got no response.

    gwapenut might be correct that the first 31 days are not covered either, but again it is not clear. So a customer could end up without any insurance cover at all. All it needs is for Nationwide to say clearly on the webpage ‘If you are travelling for more than 31 days ring us before you go.’

    If this post helps one person avoid getting in the same situation as me I think it has been worth putting it up. It would be even better if Nationwide made the change to improve their online information, so reducing the chance of this happening again.
    Originally posted by gphunt
    Why would you not read the terms of your travel insurance before travelling? You're going away somewhere where you could (potentially, depending on the country) be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of pounds in medical bills if you don't have insurance. More if you need repatriation. Of course you should read them!

    The part you're quoting from the website means that if you're going on a routine trip you don't need to ring them up every time. They explicitly say trips of over 31 days need special cover so I can't see how you'd take that "you're already covered" to apply to something that they've already said is a special case. Again, this is something which is so potentially serious why would you not take the ten minutes to quickly ring up and check before you go?
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