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The annual "Annual Insurance" thread. This time with added Covid-19.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It's that time of year when the annual renewal comes round and it's even more difficult this year with Covid-19 being an unwelcome factor.

My requirements this year focus mainly around health cover, not worried about cancellation cover as I shan't be booking anything that I can't cancel right up until the last minute.

Research so far has revealed that MPI, who we are currently happily insured with appear to be covering all health issues including Covid as long as the travel isn't against FCO advice. They will certainly remain on my list of favorites due to their treatment of pre-existing health conditions, and what in difficult circumstances this year, their efficient and sympathetic handling of a non-Covid health claim. Surprisingly my current renewal from MPI is cheaper than last year.

Staysure looks to have interesting cover available this year with Covid-19 cover included plus they are offering an added "European FCO Travel Advice Extension" which extends all the cover bar Covid-19. Unfortunately their winter sports cover appears to be limited to a maximum of one trip up to 21 days in length.

Looking for suggestions of other good companies that will be worth me researching, I'm not looking for the cheapest, I have already claimed more than I shall ever pay in premiums. I'm looking for companies with a sympathetic attitude to pre-existing health conditions, a good claims performance and covering at least 30 days winter sports.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

Research so far has revealed that MPI, who we are currently happily insured with appear to be covering all health issues including Covid as long as the travel isn't against FCO advice.

There in lies the issue. Presently of the main European ski destinations only Italy is NOT on the FCO list......

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-countries-and-territories-exempt-from-advice-against-all-but-essential-international-travel

Canada and Japan are currently ok
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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?
Canada and Japan's borders are however currently closed to outsiders.
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If an insurer only covers e.g. a single winter sports trip, in practice does that mean you could do two trips but would only be allowed to claim once? Just wondering!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Yes I don't see how they would know if you're only claiming once. Obviously if you end up claiming for your first trip, then you'd end up having to get a different insurer for the second.
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@Timc, I see you didn't mention the SCGB insurance as one of the options. It seems that due to a bit of a cockup on their administration front that in the process of changing insurers they are currently unable to offer insurance this month and say that they'll be offering insurance from some time in October...
Might be worth waiting to see what their new insurance offers (if you can wait till then).
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
If you are travelling to ski in the EU (and ignoring the Brexit chaos for a second) then how much health cover do you really need? You have your EHIC card and can buy a carte neige. If you are worried about needing an air ambulance for some reason then fair enough but I usually reckon that health insurance to Europe is more about cancellation and the really extreme risk. e.g. repatriation of my body.
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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!
foxtrotzulu wrote:
If you are travelling to ski in the EU (and ignoring the Brexit chaos for a second) then how much health cover do you really need? You have your EHIC card and can buy a carte neige. If you are worried about needing an air ambulance for some reason then fair enough but I usually reckon that health insurance to Europe is more about cancellation and the really extreme risk. e.g. repatriation of my body.


Agreed. The point of the insurance really comes down to repatriation if you 'eat it'.

From what I can tell most that are booking are ensuring they can either cancel for free or financial exposure is low.

I need to change insurers too so interested in this. I used to like insure and go but they have removed end supplier cover so looking for that in a new policy too.
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
If you are travelling to ski in the EU (and ignoring the Brexit chaos for a second) then how much health cover do you really need? You have your EHIC card and can buy a carte neige.


Barring an agreement on extending the EHIC scheme (which there seems to be no sign of and the UK Government doesn't seem to be interested in asking for anyway) the EHIC scheme for UK citizens expires at the end of the year, so from Jan 1st will not be applicable.
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
If you are travelling to ski in the EU (and ignoring the Brexit chaos for a second) then how much health cover do you really need? You have your EHIC card and can buy a carte neige. If you are worried about needing an air ambulance for some reason then fair enough but I usually reckon that health insurance to Europe is more about cancellation and the really extreme risk. e.g. repatriation of my body.


My experience of this in Italy after my partner snapped her ACL and had a minor fracture was that the emergency ambulance got her of the bottom of the slope for free did a quick x-ray and said she would have to go to the nearest public hospital (50k away) or go to the private clinics (about 500m) This was in Madonna , what would it have been like in a small resort with minimal facilities... Luckily I have my banks insurance who sorted all out and we did not have to pay for anything and would have sorted out her return home if we had not have driven

So to me insurance is a no brainer ! Puzzled
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Doctors in French resorts are often outside EHIC cover.
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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.
@achillesTrue, but I and other friends have used the EHIC card to good effect in other countries such as Austria. Not having it in future will be a negative, although granted a relatively small consideration in the overall scheme of things.
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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
Lots of info in existing threads.
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=153013&highlight=
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The EHIC scheme has only been in operation since 2004, yet many of us skied in Europe before then. (I believe there may have been an earlier scheme, but many of us never took part in that). Yes, the absence of an EHIC deal is bound to increase insurance costs, as the insurance companies were tapping in to EHIC to defray their costs. But we always needed insurance anyway, for all the things EHIC doesn't cover - such as rescue from the slopes, or repatriation.

Frankly, I'd rather have insurance that didn't depend on hooking into a patchy system of sometimes limited local public medical facilities; this sort of policy would undoubtedly be more expensive, but I am prepared to pay for good cover and certainty, just as I would if skiing in North America.

I am not making light of the EHIC issue, but I have yet to meet anybody who decided not to go skiing simply because the insurance was too expensive. British skiing trips to the EU will survive the loss of EHIC (and COVID, given time). It will be interesting to see how the major insurance companies start to adapt, producing new policies. However, timing might be an issue, because if there is an EHIC deal, it will probably come at the very last moment. I suspect we'll only see a raft of new non-EHIC policies if and when the insurers have some certainty about the way forward.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Sat 5-09-20 10:15; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@mitcva,
Quote:

The EHIC scheme has only been in operation since 2004

Yes, but the EHIC was a direct replacement for the E111, which we all used for many years, if not decades before then!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Does anyone know when the E111 first started? I can vaguely remember having one as a teenager in the 1970s. Did it come in when we joined the Common Market, or was it around before then - can't find anything on the Web.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Must have predated the EU, which was only formed in 1993.

I am ashamed to admit that I never bought any form of skiing insurance until I was well into my 30s. I wonder if today's youth are more sensible?
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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?
The Repatriation/Air Ambulance thing is more important that many realise. It's effectively a ceiling on expenses while abroad, and has two upsides. First, if it looks like your expenses post-A&E are going to amount to more than, say the £20K repatriation cost, it means you'll get repatriated by air ambulance ASAP, rather than have to stay for weeks/months in a foreign country undergoing further treatment and/or recuperation. Second, it's a driver for the insurer to work hard to get you home (which is probably what you want, too) as once you're back in the UK, their liability ceases.

Helpers: Second point I'd make is about cover for someone to come out to accompany you through treatment and on the journey home. It's not unlikely that everyone else on the ski trip will have to return home. If you don't want to be left alone a policy like ours will pay for someone to fly out as a 'Helper'. When my wife broke her arm in March, and her sister and nephews had to return home, LV= paid all the costs of my flying out, car hire, accommodation and flight home for me to accompany her. This on top of organising two empty adjacent seats for her on a busy flight as well. They also did all the bookings, which was welcome, given the obvious stress and worry about the accident.

I think that in the main, you get what you pay for with travel insurance cover. And there's a reason why that £25 policy is cheaper than another one costing £125.

It's also important to separate the different elements of cover and appreciate that cover for 'logistics' (like organising adjacent empty seats on a flight home, or for a 'helper' to come out, or having translators and medics who can interpret the local hospital Discharge Report, or having an obviously competent case handler who can give advice to you on the ground etc. etc.) can be as important as cover for medical treatment. People often seem to decide they don't need cover while sat in the comfort of their home in a nice summer's day. The reality of an incident can be very different: alone and in pain in a busy foreign A&E, or discharged with everyone else gone home, or awaiting an operation with accommodation to organise etc. means that extra £100 premium suddenly looks like a bargain.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Mon 7-09-20 9:26; edited 8 times in total
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@mitcva, Yes, but the EU was a direct replacement for the EC (Common Market) which we joined in 1973.

And I have travelled in Europe many times with no insurance, just the security of an E111 or EHIC, certainly wouldn't do that without an EHIC.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Useful thread, thanks. I have had annual policies with MPI, LV= and Ski Club GB. I need cover for off piste as well as mountain walking. I have never had to claim except for cancellation due to illness. Strangely some policies I have looked at did not cover me for walking in summer over the same terrain that I could ski. Always look at the detailed wording. If your ski breaks or you lose it on a glacier, say, you are not likely to be able to claim for a Heli rescue unless you are injured. It nearly happened to me. The guide was dialling for rescue when I at last found my ski. Phew!
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The past is irrelevant, what the future requirements are is key. You will need replacement for Ski and Corona.
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@foxtrotzulu, We are travelling to France where the EHIC, if it still exists, will only cover a maximum of 80% of any bill. My last 2 day stay in a French hospital cost €1,150 of which only €820 was covered by my EHIC leaving €330 to be covered by my insurance. The standard health elements were reduced by 80% but the daily charge for food (charged for even though I was on nil by mouth) and a couple of other small items had no reduction.

Carré Neige appears to limit itself to the Savoie, the PDS equivalent is Snowrisk whose medical cover appears to only cover the excess not covered by the national social security which if EHIC goes leaves the 80% to be paid by me if I am not otherwise insured. Other limits make it less desirable and it offers nothing extra not covered by a good winter sports travel policy.

@Alastair Pink, I have looked at SCGB in the past but found it impossible to get a quote for the pre-existing health conditions without actually joining first.

@LaForet, Totally agree.

@Jehu, I also have had good policies form both LV= and MPI both of whom have given great claims handling and fair treatment of the financial claims. LV= were particularly impressive when they managed my wife's repatriation from Annemasse to hospital at home by private air ambulance accompanied by an experienced nurse who organised all the landside logistics. Only had to move from LV= when I retired and needed cover for more than their limit of 17 days.

Cancellation cover is not an issue for us as we use DFDS multi trip tickets which are fully flexible and can be changed right up until the last minute. One occassion we changed to the following day when we broke down between check in and boarding. Our main accomodation providers for both winter and summer holidays gives free cancellation. Intermediate travel hotels will only be booked on a full cancellation basis.
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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!
EHIC will be greatly missed, it will be interesting to see how much the insurance cost goes up.
In January my wife spent two days in BstM hospital in France with a stomach problem, we paid around €200 (claimed back and paid swiftly by MPI) EHIC took care of the rest.
The nice receptionist added that without EHIC the cost would have been towards three thousand euros adding that had my wife needed an operation the cost of that would have been another two thousand Euros! Shocked
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Timc wrote:
Research so far has revealed that MPI, who we are currently happily insured with appear to be covering all health issues including Covid as long as the travel isn't against FCO advice.


Sorry to burst your research bubble but MPI's idea of Covid cover is only this:

Quote:
MPI now covers Emergency Medical Expenses if you contract Coronavirus Overseas


In other words, unless you are out there for a long stay or a season, it's of no use because of the incubation period.

The Covid cover needed is if you contract it BEFORE you go on your trip, you can't go and therefore need cancellation cover.

Staysure seem to have given it the best shot:

Quote:
All travel insurance policies with us include COVID-19 cover at no extra cost. So if the FCO say it’s safe to travel to your destination you can travel with peace of mind knowing we’ll cover you for:

Cancelling your trip if you have COVID-19 within 14 days of travelling*
Emergency medical expenses abroad**
Repatriation to help you get back home**
Cancellation and repatriation cover if you’re denied boarding with a positive test for COVID-19
Additional accommodation and transport if deemed necessary by our medical officer
Daily benefit if you are ordered to self-isolate in your holiday accommodation if you have COVID-19
Cancelling or cutting your trip short after death in the family from COVID-19
Your travelling companion(s), people you live with, or people you’re staying with on holiday being diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days of travel***
This means that if you develop COVID-19 and need help, you’ll be covered as long as you’ve declared your pre-existing conditions.

If the FCO advises against all but essential travel but you still need to travel, you can still get a level of cover with our European FCO Travel Advice Extension.

If you can’t travel and need to change your holiday dates because your trip is cancelled, you should be able to change the dates of your Single Trip Travel Insurance.



foxtrotzulu wrote:
If you are travelling to ski in the EU (and ignoring the Brexit chaos for a second) then how much health cover do you really need? You have your EHIC card and can buy a carte neige. If you are worried about needing an air ambulance for some reason then fair enough but I usually reckon that health insurance to Europe is more about cancellation and the really extreme risk. e.g. repatriation of my body.


Well HM Gov have already declared that EHIC will not continue beyond 31/12/20 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-44850972 . I think they have bigger issues to resolve and they know that there is an insurance solution for most people. Quite honestly, if anyone goes abroad with a serious health condition (like those living in the Costas often do) then relying totally on EHIC was mad anyway. For skiers, most clinics in or near ski areas are private, which is why insurers often put injured people in taxis to get them down to the state hospital. Repatriation of a dead body is around £6-8k AFAIK but more likely you'll still be alive with tubes sticking out everywhere - in that case think more like £25-30k. So a few hundred on insurance might save your friends from doing a crowd fund.
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@Pruman,
Quote:

Repatriation of a dead body is around £6-8k AFAIK but more likely you'll still be alive with tubes sticking out everywhere - in that case think more like £25-30k. So a few hundred on insurance might save your friends from doing a crowd fund.


Few years back my mother fell over in the street in Spain - was hospitalised, with a broken upper arm, surgery, plates etc. Walking back to his Motorhome my dad collapsed an the street, was found by the same police who had attended mum - taken to same hospital, in need of a heart valve replacement. He was kept in hospital until mum was ready to return home. The insurance covered it, but even with EHIC the bill, including air ambulance home, ambulance to the airport in Spain, repatriation of their moterhome etc. was well over £30k.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
A further complication is starting to arise for those living in Scotland/Wales/NI. If say Scotland advise against travel to a particular country, and/or require quarantine on return, but England/FCO do not then under most policies there won't be cancellation cover. I haven't seen any policy wording that also references Scottish/Welsh parliament advice, as opposed to just FCO advice.
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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.
@ecureuil, a very good point.
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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
@ecureuil, For nsurance FCO is the default.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Pruman,
Quote:

Timc wrote:
Research so far has revealed that MPI, who we are currently happily insured with appear to be covering all health issues including Covid as long as the travel isn't against FCO advice.

Quote:
@Pruman wrote:

Sorry to burst your research bubble but MPI's idea of Covid cover is only this:

Quote:
MPI now covers Emergency Medical Expenses if you contract Coronavirus Overseas


In other words, unless you are out there for a long stay or a season, it's of no use because of the incubation period.

The Covid cover needed is if you contract it BEFORE you go on your trip, you can't go and therefore need cancellation cover.


MPI policy wording Specifically covers Covid-19 health claims except where Covid-19 is the specific reason for the FCO advising against travel to that country.

Staysure is not a suitable policy because of the limit of one wintersports trip a year.

Cancellation cover is irrelevant as I explained above.
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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 posted this on another thread about insurance: https://www.coverwise.co.uk/

Seem to have reasonable winter sports cover if you go for the higher level versions with that included including several trips and off piste without a guide as well as fairly good Corona cover.

No idea about pre existing medical conditions however.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@DrNo, Thanks, looks worth investigating.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@DrNo,
Quote:

@DrNo, Thanks, looks worth investigating.

Unfortunately they have a top age limit of 65 for Annual Multi Trip
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@GlasgowCyclops, exactly, and FCO is always in line with England. So every time the Scottish/Welsh/NI governments impose a different set of country restrictions to England, doesn't it have the side effect of removing cancellation cover from their own citizens? (Admittedly for what they consider to be good reasons).
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denfinella wrote:
If an insurer only covers e.g. a single winter sports trip, in practice does that mean you could do two trips but would only be allowed to claim once? Just wondering!


Don't single trips usually have defined dates?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Charliegolf, this was in response to an earlier post, which I think was about annual insurance which covered a single skiing trip. So in this case, no, I don't think you had to specify the date for your winter sports trip.
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I got a reasonable annual deal with Dogtag at the start of the year, with a pre-existing condition (albeit a long dormant one). Don't know what they'll be like now post 23 March, but maybe worth a look. We had an essential need to travel to a country on the "naughty list" earlier in the summer and they gave what I thought was good covid cover to me.
My wife's annual policy with RAC (she neither skis, scuba dives nor has any medical conditons) gave her a flat no, but Dogtag gave her & my daughter single trip cover that matched mine after consulting with their underwriters. Ironically, it seems RAC are also NOW offering reasonable covid cover (according to a work colleague) but Staysure seem to be out on front at the moment. Maybe a single trip policy for your second/third/fourth trips in addition to your annual cover might be a cost effective way to go.
As for the devolved Governments bit, both my Dogtag & my wife's RAC cover use FCO advice as the defining reason for it being unsafe to travel. Dogtag's underwriters specifically agreed in writing that our reason for travel was essential and that's why they covered us despite FCO advice.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

Quite honestly, if anyone goes abroad with a serious health condition (like those living in the Costas often do) then relying totally on EHIC was mad anyway.

I thought that one of the big advantages of the EHIC scheme is that it does enable people with a serious health condition to travel abroad, and that trying to get travel insurance to cover serious, pre-existing medical conditions at an affordable cost was difficult or impossible. I wouldn't know. because my wife and I rely on the EHIC scheme, coupled with mountain rescue cover with the AAC for the entire season; and we will continue to do so after the end of the transition period by becoming resident in Austria. Never had to pay anything for hospital treatment in Austria, except over the counter medication.
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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!
@tatmanstours, That is a perfectly reasonable way to proceed - the time when the insurance on top of EHIC is required is when the casualty needs/wants to be repatriated to the UK, if you have a residence in the european country and the partner or family can stay there during a substantial hospital stay it's not a problem.
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@RobinS, true. However it seems to me that people like us, who will not find it attractive or feasible to secure their rights by becoming resident in an EU country will rue the day that we lost the reciprocal health care schemes - both EHIC and S1.
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@tatmanstours, That may work for Austria with 100% covered by EHIC, Switzerland as well I believe, but it's never been sufficient for France where only 80% of medical care is covered, medication and ancillary charges are not covered.
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