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Archive for November, 2011

Thomas Cook woes worries holidaymakers

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Those who have booked an overseas package holiday with Thomas Cook should be fully covered by the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (Atol) scheme.  This means that, even in the worst case scenario that the company were to close when holidaymakers are away, customers on package deals are flown home without incurring extra expense.

Those who have paid for but not taken a holiday will be entitled to a full refund.  ABTA also provides a similar scheme for those who have booked package deals that don’t include a flight, such as winter cruises.  But “independent” travellers, who book flights, accommodation and other services separately, don’t have the same protection.

In addition, customers are always advised to pay for holiday and other big-ticket items on a credit card or Visa debit card.  Under the credit regulations, card providers are obliged to offer a refund if a customer has paid for goods or services that are not delivered, provided the value is between £100 and £3,000. This would cover cases where the holiday company has gone bust.

Some travel insurance policies provide protection but you need to search around.  Known as Dynamic Packaging Protection, these policies will pay out up to a specified amount for costs not covered by schemes such as ABTA and ATOL and is well worth having. Travelandinsure.com offers such protection on its Gold policies.

This article is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com – specialist in ethical travel insurance.

Going skiing – get the right travel insurance cover

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

The leaves may still be on the trees (just) but some snow has fallen in the Alps. Yes, the start of the new ski season is just around the corner and, after the better than average snow conditions over the last two years, we can only hope that the shortage of snow so far is only a temporary blip and the that this season will be another to remember. But will it be for the right reasons?

Each year thousands take to the slopes for the first time but some, unfortunately, will return with an injury. And it’s not just first timers as the more experienced take on new challenges, on and off piste, the wipe outs just tend to be more spectacular. That is why it is essential to have the proper ski and snowboard travel insurance to provide the necessary cover on and off the slopes.

So what should people be looking for? Most travel insurance providers offer good cover for intermediate and beginners. This is the vast bulk of the market. Yes, accidents do happen but they are more likely to be in a controlled fashion, by that we mean on well groomed pistes and with assistance and help on hand. The problem area is when the skier or snowboarder gains in confidence and skill and wants to seek greater challenges and with it more thrills. This, generally, means tackling ever more severe slopes but also to venture into what is loosely termed ‘off piste’. This is where the unwary can very quickly become unstuck and we are not talking about the snow conditions.

Most travel insurance policies will have restrictions on ‘off piste,’ such as ‘only with a guide’ or ‘only within a specified resort area,’ so when seeking that ‘adrenaline rush,’ it is important to know what you are getting yourself into first. What’s more, the increasing popularity of ‘half pipes’ and ‘free style’ means that the potential risk of injury has increased as more and more people are attracted to this immensely enjoyable leisure activity. To make sure you are properly covered for these more extreme sports activities, it is essential that winter sports insurance is obtained that offers protection to this level of activity.

The more expert you are, the more likely you will need more specialist cover than provided by the usual high street provider. Mountain rescue and medical costs are expensive and, if this requires repatriation, then the costs mount up rapidly. It’s probably too late, as you are being strapped to the rescue sledge, to wonder whether the travel insurance you bought before the holiday is going to cover you. Know before you go.

This article is brought to you by Travelandinsure.com – specialist in ethical travel insurance.