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Annual travel insurance

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
If we are in the mood for show me yours and I'll show you mine, then www.travel-insurance.net have an annnual policy for Europe with 24 days ski at £39.00 - and that includes cover for medical conditions! Been with them (Travel Insurance Direct) for a few years now and no complaints. (now where's that plank of wood)
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
daktari, my thats a very useful first post! Prefer it to all those spam email one gets trying to flog insurance rolling eyes . Welcome.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Having just crossed the great insurance divide (I'm now 66 years young) I note that most policies cost double that of last year.

Fortunately, I don't need to renew my SC policy until Feb but I'd be interested to hear from anyone in a similar position.

My needs are:
Annual multi-trip - no one trip over 21 days;
Europe;
Worldwide (probably USA);
Some off-piste (with and without a local guide but with a SC rep - yes I have seen the other thread);
Existing minor medical condition (mild hypertension) - it has been accepted for the last 4 years.

I think that Direct at about £220 seemed to be the best when I last looked.
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Have a look at P.J. Hayman, they cover mild medical conditions. We claimed last year (hubby broke his leg) and the response was excellent. We have just renewed on their "Travel Plus Scheme", but they also do "Free Spirit" if you have a medical condition.

http://www.pjhayman.com/schemelist.asp
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I have just renewed my annual policy with Insure and Go, very reasonable. Worldwide multi trip (15m cover) with Ski (£1500 each) 25 days. £123.50 for two, and they covered my Asthma for no extra. Plus, if you use a clickthrough cashback site ( I use Quidco.com) I get an additional 16% back in about a month
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P.J.HAYMAN is a GO. I've just received a cheque for £ (PM me if interested) for delayed flight. to cut the story short. delayed planes and missed connection -all together 23 hours with a sleepover in NOVOTEL (given by the airline) +3 course dinner and 3 bottles of wine, 2 bath towels (just kidding).In the other hand -messed up my work commitments big time.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
We use Direct Travel and have done so for the past three or four years.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I've just had my first holiday insurance experience. Policy through Marks & Spencers with existing medical conditions, cost was a bit steep compared to some when I was looking to buy but I struggled to find someone to cover us without too much hassle, (family policy, two recent injuries). They use europ assistance and are AXA. All has been very straightforward. Paid nothing up front apart from the excess (£50. I will definitely pay the extra for the excess waiver in future! - live & learn). Europ Assistance telephoned me twice a day while I was away, checking everything, I didn't have to do a thing on the organising front, they looked after everything. Very attentive and a straightforward procedure. When I'm doing it all again next year, I'll be looking for a similar set up.
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I've just looked at Travel-insurance.net as a possible alternative to Insure & go that I usually use as I will need cover for VT. I was pretty amazed to see this get out clause for the theft element of the cover:

"We cannot cover for any items left unattended in an area to which general public has access or left in charge of a person who doesn't have official responsibility for the safekeeing of property".

In other words they won't cover you if your skis are taken from a restaurant stand whilst you have lunch - even if you have them locked up. Whilst you can see their POV I would have thought that it was this scenario where the majority of thefts happen and therefore something that you would definitely want to be covered for.
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Helen Beaumont wrote:
We use Direct Travel and have done so for the past three or four years.


Direct Travel will cover you for your ski equipment outside a restaurant at lunchtime, even if not locked. There was a thread on here somewhere when someome rang them to ask.
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Just about to renew mine again with Direct Travel, been with them a few years now. I always look around at other options but have so far always gone again with them.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
My insurance (through Amex) gives decent enough cover for one's own skis being nicked but does not cover hired skis, which seems a bit mean. I take the risk rather than take the hire shop's insurance (on the basis that insurers make a profit so I'm better off taking the risk myself, in the long run, if I can afford to). If you hire skis and are bothered about theft cover for them, it's worth checking your cover.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
This year I chose not to be covered by snowcard for loss or theft of luggage or equipment, since that was already covered by household insurance.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I've gone with Fogg this year. As my mum bought the policy on my behalf, I have no idea what they cover rolling eyes
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Elizabeth B, now that's what I call a mum!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
achilles, she did a great job last week when I decided not to travel home with the school I was working with, but stay out for a bit of holiday. I had no internet access so she sorted out flight, insurance and train from her house to where I'd abandoned my car. Oh, and a couple of roast dinners thrown into the bargain snowHead
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just been caught by the insurance company (Atlasdirect). Had my board taken in Courchevel where it was locked to the railings outside the bar I was in. They won't touch the claim, even though the board was locked, as it was "unattended in a place where the general public has access". So beware when you next take out your ski insurance - make sure that they will cover for stolen boards which have been locked. Sad
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Bri, I would also check if your household insurance will cover you for this if you have it.
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Yes, I have been in touch with them and they were very good - just non-commital at the moment. I have sent off the documentation and will see what happens - I'm concerned that they may say that now it is too late - it happened over a month ago. It does annoy me though that you think you are doing all the right things and yet the travel insurance companies still find ways of getting out of paying up!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
What's the normal sort of time scale for insurance companies to pay out on a claim? I'm talking a very straightforward one here, only involving attendance at a resort medical centre, x-rays and some painkillers. We're currently with Direct Travel and they seem to be taking their time on a claim made 6 weeks ago.

Unfortunately, we have a rather large new claim to make and I'm not feeling very confident that we'll get the money back promptly Sad
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Quote:

Quote:
on the basis that insurers make a profit so I'm better off taking the risk myself, in the long run, if I can afford to.


A very logical attitude, and I agree; it makes no financial sense in the long run to insure against risks you can afford to run. I did have skis nicked this year, and may or may not get money back (long and very complicated story) but even if I do not, it was the first such loss in very large number of ski weeks. What few of us could afford is helicopter off mountain, difficult and expensive medical cover etc. And, of course, third party claims which can run to huge sums. We did struggle to find a policy which would cover unlimited skiing and trips over 30 days - overall the SCGB top level cover (through P J Hayman) was best for us, but we have yet to find out how well they will respond to the claim. In the past we had excellent service from Snowcard and would gladly have renewed with them, but they wouldn't cover our trip lengths, unfortunately.
But we do buy Carré Neige as well; it's cheap, and covers helicopters etc with no haggling. You get what you pay for, on the whole; at least I hope you do, as ours costs around £270 for the year!
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I've just had a quote from NFU Mutual for mine, been through the policy with a fine tooth comb and it stacks up! The only exclusion being my ski equipment if left unattended and not locked away, to be honest this isnt a cover i'm particually worried about. One thing i would mention here though is my household insurance covers personal belongings away from home so i can rely on this for my baggage, however many household policies exclude sports equipment under this section whilst in use therefore check this out carefully if you ever want to fall back on your home contents cover.

I approached them on the basis that i used to work for them and as i'm having 3 weeks skiing in south america this summer i wanted a company where i knew i wouldnt just be dealing with a call centre.

They've quoted me £140 including IPT and extended the policy to included exactly the cover i needed to create a bespoke policy that covers not only this trip but the rest of my usual trips in the winter. Very helpful. I have claimed from them in the past, although not on any of the key medical type covers, just personal belongings and their service was impressive, i had the cheque within 5 days and a replacement item direct from them within 7 days of notifying them of the loss.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
We're with Direct Travel and have found them helpful and good value for money - last year £68 for annual policy for family of 4 and this includes winter sports premium.- They cover me and OH for things like back pain and shoulder problems which we've had for years. If you confess that you've got the, admittedly minor, problems they seem happy to cover. They've even allowed me to claim for a pair of specs I lost on my last trip, even though I didn't report it to the police at the time.
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I have just renewed our family annual policy and this year have gone with www.dogtag.co.uk
Previous years we have been with Fogg as their off piste was defined clearly and now Dogtag have clarified theirs as well.
If their claims are settled as efficiently as sorting out a blip with our purchase then I have no worries Very Happy
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Hmmm, having been told by Direct Travel last Wednesday (30th) that a cheque was being printed and sent out in the post last Friday (2nd), surprise, surprise it hasn't turned up rolling eyes
They are now saying that they sent us a letter on 19th April asking for more information.

What is it with Insurance companies? Don't they understand that giving good service to their customers means that renewal will be automatic and recommendations will be passed onto others?

It gets worse. As some of you may know, my SO had a nasty fall at the EOSB and the French doctors think that he ruptured his ACL. This meant fairly hefty medical/pharmacy/taxi bills whilst still in Val Thorens. We also had to get Direct Travel's assistance people to sort out extra seats on our flight on the way home, along with priority/assisted boarding at Geneva and Gatwick. We were advised that an extra 2 seats would be needed because the injured knee couldn't be bent. As it turned out, they only booked one extra - for someone with a knee injury, FFS!! Fortunately, the very helpful EasyJet cabin crew accepted him onto the plane with no fuss and managed to retain a whole row of seats so that he could travel in comfort. (I won't even begin to go into how completely useless and unhelpful the check-in staff at Geneva were, that's a rant for another time and nothing to do with Direct Travel). In addition, I had to keep chasing Direct to find out if we could travel on the flight I had originally booked - I think we were just about to leave VT on the Lardybus when they finally confirmed it, unhelpfully saying to me "Oh, we had the extra seats booked last night, didn't anyone call you?"

It's accepted that we all undertake a relatively dangerous sport - I think most people on here accept those risks and take steps to mitigate their effects by taking out an appropriate insurance policy. I would not dream of travelling without one. Why does it have to be such a frustrating process to get a claim passed? I have no confidence that our newest claim will be progressed any more expediently than this one.
Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad
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I called Direct Travel today incidentally having read this thread (I have a Premier Plus policy with them that I took out in February this year). I chose Direct Travel because, like others, the cover looked very good and I think when I had a look it was the same or better than the Ski Club one (although it doesn't cover luge-ing) for slightly less money than the Ski Club one was.

I asked them while I was on the phone if my skis would be covered if they were pinched from outside a restaurant and they said only if they were locked up to the racks. I clarified this and they said if they're not locked up then they wouldn't pay out. I've got a lock anyway which I'll definitely make sure I'll use, but I am a bit confused as that is contrary to what was mentioned earlier about paying out on stolen skis pinched from a public place. The policy wording on this does say, however,

What you are not covered for:-

Loss or theft of, or damage to, ski equipment unless it is:
a) on you all the time
b) locked in the accomodation you are using on your journey or one way trip
c) in a locked store room during the day or night
d) locked to secure racking (during daytime only) where such a facility exists. If such a facility is not available then you must take all reasonable steps to prevent loss, damage or theft to your ski equipment, or
e) contained out of sight in a secure baggage area and evidence exists of a forced and violent entry by an unauthorised person.

Its not too much of a risk because I shall make sure I use the lock if this is the case, but I wonder if anybody has managed to claim for nicked skis (not locked up) from DT in the past?

Also does the Ski Club policy cover pinched skis whether they are locked up or not does anyone know?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
VolklAttivaS5, they told me they would pay out if there were no ski racks to lock your skis to, this is the case in quite a few mountain restaurants we frequent, although we do swap skis or try to use a cable lock if possible.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Helen Beaumont, perhaps it depends on who you speak to at DT and their own interpretation of their policy wording then. Sounds alright then if there aren't any racks, they should pay out, but if there are racks then they expect us to use a lock, which is fair enough. Hopefully we won't have to worry about ever claiming mind you!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I had a great deal of trouble getting a straight answer from DT in how many skiing days an annual policy covers, it seemed to differ depending on who I spoke to. May be the same issue here as suggested.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I have DT insurance also, and they told me that skis should be locked to be claimable. My policy is a Premier, I think, and it gives me 17 days winter sports cover per trip. So I can ski as much as I want provided I come home for a night every 17 days, I suppose! You can also buy extensions f you're going to be away longer. I put in a claim recently for osteopathy I had in the UK after an accident on 1st Feb (off piste, with guide - I think without guide, the claim would not have been accepted) - didn't post the claim for & documentation till just before the EoSB, but they are processing my cheque now. Result. Except...reading through previous posts, smwbounce pays less for 4 than we do for a couple, one of whom doesn't ski! Maybe some cash to be saved there, then. I saw an ad on the Tube this evening from Insure and Go - £29 for annual policy including 17 days wintersports. Might have a look at them next year too.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
All insurance policies have phrases in them like... "you must take reasonable care" or "you must act as if you were not insured"... in other words, if your skis were not insured would you leave them unattended outside a restaurant for a few hours at your own risk. If your attitude is that you can do that because the insurance company will pay out, then you are mistaken because you've literally invited the thief to take them. Taking reasonable care might constitute splitting of skis or using a lock but, even then, some insurers will not pay out on the basis that the items were "unattended". In my view, leaving a £600 pair of skis unattended and just waiting to be nicked, is no different to leaving a small pile of tenners. To the thief your skis are currency. In over 30 years I've only had one pair of skis nicked (and I got them back from the offender's hotel room... a long story) and all I've ever done is split them and, depending on where I am, I normally don't bother do that. Seems to me that certain places are more prone to ski stealing than others. My pals always have problems in France.
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Colin B wrote:
I had a great deal of trouble getting a straight answer from DT in how many skiing days an annual policy covers, it seemed to differ depending on who I spoke to. May be the same issue here as suggested.


For the premier european policy it is unlimited trips, with a maximum of 17 days per trip. Checked this out when we bought the apartment

Quote:
Twelve months - unlimited trips. (Please note that each individual trip is limited to 45 days duration).

Quote:
All wintersports trips are covered at no extra cost. Please note that cover for wintersports is limited to 17 days on any one trip.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Helen Beaumont, It was the ski trip length piece that caused confusion. I got them to email me too in the end as the policy was unclear. They confirmed it was 17 days skiing.
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Question:- When buying an Annual policy with a limit to the amount of days covered (e.g 17 days skiing as above), how do the insurance company know how long you've been skiing? Surely you just say on your claim that it was only your 3rd/4th/5th/whatever day ?
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Guvnor, If you make a claim your insurance company will ask you for proof of travel (air tickets, ferry tickets, tour op itinerary etc). This will tell them how many days for that particular trip but won't of course, help them in finding out how many days in total you've had that season. Some people I know take out 17 days of wintersport cover yet ski way more than that on the basis that "they'll never know" but I'd argue that it's folly... if you ever had a really big claim and the insurer asked how many times you'd been away that season, you'd have to lie and your claim will be chucked out if they can somehow prove you're telling porkies. For the small additional premium to increase the days, it isn't worth scamming it.
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Guvnor, I agree with Bode above, although it isnt "scamming it" its fraud. And insurance fraud is one of the major factors in premium/rate increases.
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I figured as much, but doesn't affect me anyway - have very extensive cover through both my and Mrs G's respective employers
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
... just to add to that... the other reason they want proof of travel is to make sure the policy was bought BEFORE you left the UK. If you get out there and then go online to buy a policy you'll find that the policy is null and void. a lot of folks don't realise that.
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snobunni wrote:
Guvnor, I agree with Bode above, although it isnt "scamming it" its fraud. And insurance fraud is one of the major factors in premium/rate increases.
yes, and that's why claims handlers (regardless of who you are insured with) are so suspicious and exacting.
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I have an interesteing situation whereby I have an annual policy (x days skiing) but on several trips I am covered by the work insurance. Would a company try and count all the days or just the ones that I didn't have other insurance in place for?
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