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Archive for June, 2007

Repatriation – Does it really cost an arm & a leg!

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Arm and leg, what are they on about, we hear you say?  Well, not literally but you could lose your shirt if you are not adequately covered whilst abroad and it all goes wrong.  Shirt, come on stop the riddles – you’ve already lost me!

Sorry to lose you but the latest air ambulance and repatriation costs are a timely reminder on why it is essential to have the correct insurance when on holiday.  Repatriation is generally covered in the medical cover section on these policies but it is important to check the small print very carefully to see if any exclusions apply.

For example, average repatriation costs to the UK are:

  • £30000 to £35000 Air Ambulance from the East Coast of USA.
  • £12000 to £16000 Air Ambulance from the Canaries.
  • £10000 to £12000 Air Ambulance from the Balearics.
  • £1,200 to £3000 Air taxi from Northern France.
  • £15000 to £20000 Scheduled flight, stretcher and Doctor escort from Australia.
  • £9000 to £12000 Scheduled flight with nurse escort from West coast of USA.
  • £1800 to £4000 Scheduled flight with Doctor escort from the Med.
  • £100 to £800 Scheduled flight without an escort from the Med.
  • £3000 to £6000 Scheduled flight, stretcher and Doctor escort from the Med.

So to return to the point of this article, repatriation is costly and at a time when the number one priority is to get home, you do not want to be sat in a far flung destination wondering why you didn’t get the cover before you left.  What is more, when you take out a policy that has the benefit of a 24-hour emergency service, serious accidents or illnesses will all be managed by the assistance company who will make any necessary arrangements, such as repatriation, and provide help and advice at a time when it is most needed.

For extensive travel insurance, why not visit Travel and Insure – a travel insurance business with a difference!

Protect yourself on Holiday.

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

We are all used to Kite marks and Corgi approved engineers to provide a level of consumer protection in our everyday life but what about when we go on holiday?  The nightmare scenario for any holidaymaker is being stranded when their airline or tour operator goes out of business.  Although it isn’t an everyday occurrence, these situations do happen with little or no notice so it is important to ensure that your travel organiser can provide sufficient evidence of security for the refunding and repatriation of customers in the event of insolvency.

So who or what is out there?  Some insurers offer Passenger Protection Insurance sold separately or part of a travel insurance policy but always check the small print if this is offered because these are quite often restrictive in their cover.  You can reduce the risk further by organising your travel through companies and agents covered by ATOL or who hold bonding through an approved body, such as ABTA or AITO.

What is ATOL?  This stands for Air Travel Organiser’s licensing and is a protection scheme for flights and air holidays, managed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and protects the customer from losing money or being stranded abroad when a tour operator goes bust.  All licensed firms have to lodge bonds with the CAA so that, if they go out of business, the CAA can give refunds to people who can’t travel and arrange for people abroad to finish their holidays and fly home.

And ABTA?  Members of the Association of British Travel Agents are required to provide financial protection for their customers which means that you can book your holiday knowing that if an ABTA member fails financially while you are on holiday, you can continue your holiday as planned.  If your holiday has not started, then you will receive a full refund or be given help to make alternative arrangements for the trip to proceed.  Likewise AITO, or Association of Independent Tour Operators to give it its full title, require their members to protect their customer’s money in the event of an AITO member going into liquidation.

If you are looking for travel insurance or holiday insurance, why not check out www.travelandinsure.com, they offer travel insurance with a difference.

Medical Travel Insurance!

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Simply put, you need both if you are planning to travel abroad.  One does not replace the other.  First of all what is EHIC?  The EHIC replaced the old E111 form in 2006 which is no longer valid.  Do make sure you get your EHIC before you travel.  Application forms are readily available from Post Offices and you can also apply online through the Department of Health website or by telephoning 0845 606 2030.  EHIC is valid throughout the EU and a number of other countries, namely Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechenstein.  Should you be suddenly taken ill or have an accident in any of these countries, then the EHIC will entitle you, in most cases, to free, or at a reduced cost, necessary medical treatment.

Do remember, however, that an EHIC does not cover you for all the medical costs that you can incur or for your repatriation – it is not an alternative to medical insurance and to go abroad without appropriate medical cover, as provided by most travel insurance policies, is probably as close to playing ‘Russian Roulette’ as you can get.  Further more, an EHIC does not cover you outside the areas described and although the UK has mutual agreements with many countries, these arrangements don’t cover all expenses you can incur.  You may have to pay thousands of pounds in medical costs, a prime example is the USA and Canada where medical treatment is expensive and, increasingly, there are many other countries that fall into this category.

So we do recommend that before you travel that you always arrange travel insurance with health cover that is adequate for your destination.  The FCO advises that the level of cover should be at least £1million for Europe or £2million for the rest of the world but most travel insurance policies now offer cover beyond these figures and £5million is becoming quite standard and even higher figures are common.  As with all insurances where health cover is required, there may be restrictions because of a particular medical condition for example, which may result in a higher premium to be paid.  At the end of the day though, what you are paying for is ‘peace of mind’ and that is why it is so important to make sure you get cover before you go..

For extensive travel insurance, why not visit Travel and Insure – a travel insurance business with a difference!