I set out on a 3 month trip to south east asia with my girlfriend only to break my collar bone badly in Chiang Rai 12 days in. Holidaysafe insurance got a good write up by which magazine and their policy sounded pretty good, if not quite cheap. I had a nasty break which meant my bone overlapped which normally needs surgery. The hospital was so bad in chiang rai that we got the bus back to chiang mai and were told by our insurance company to go to the university hospital. I dont know whether i just had a bad experience but the place was manky and the doc was on his iphone with it to his ear while manipulating a very sore broken bone on my shoulder. I waited 3 DAYS for the insurance 'doctor' to get back to me after sending him my xrays to get his opinion. In the end, i was covered for basically nothing even tho i could no longer carry out my 3 month trip due to needing help to even get dressed. I wouldn't have minded so much if i hadn't been left 3 days in limbo waiting on this joker getting back to me. Just a word of warning on this company.
After coming home, im resting up and will be back out ASAP!
Hi 2Peas, my name is Amber Howard and I am the Brand Manager for Holidaysafe.co.uk.
Firstly I would like to apologise that you feel dissatisfied with the service you received from our Emergency Assistance team, this is not the kind of customer service we strive to provide, so I would like to look into your case as a matter of urgency.
To allow me to do this I need some more information, so I would really appreciate it if you could activate your private messaging function on here, or contact me via the website (unfortunately I cannot post contact details, but please visit our contact us page). All I need is your policy number, or alternatively your surname and postcode.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Kind regards, Amber.
#2 AmberAtInfinity has been a member since 11/3/2013. Posts: 2
Moneysupermarket promoted me to get holidaysafe insurance. I haven't required assistence yet, but i'm sure they have a reputation to maintain.
2peas, please let us all know if this matter gets resolved in an amicable way. Regards.
"Have spent some time comparing 20+ travel insurance policies aimed at backpacking/long-term travel, and this one was the cheapest...."
This doesn't make it the best, of course. It's all good until you need a payout and that's where you'll find out how good the insurer is. That's why word-of-mouth experience and reputation matters. I'd rather pay a bit more and know that I'll get the cover and payout when I need it.
To allow me to do this I need some more information, so I would really appreciate it if you could activate your private messaging function on here
Looks like Amberatinfinity hasn't enabled her own private messaging so I'm not sure why she said that!
How are things going 2peas? Please let us know. Like Lizzy said, what's important is how insurance companies actually deal with claims when things go wrong, not what the glossy brochure says.
I'm amazed you weren't covered for an injury that was serious enough to force you to cancel the rest of your trip. What was the getout clause they used?
She's probably turned her PM back off after 3 months.
It's been awhile since this thread went up.Is there any chance we'll hear about a resolution?
#8 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
As I recall, the OP contributed to just two threads. One was complaining about the quality of medical care they received in Chiang Mai after this injury and seeking suggestions on different places to go for help, and the other was this thread to complain about their insurance claim. I think they were just blowing off a bit of steam and expressing disappointment after getting hurt on holiday.
It seems that these kinds of posts, when people are angry or frustrated, are rarely fair or tell a complete story. I hope the situation turned out well, but I wouldn't give too much weight to this complaint unless it was one of many about this company. I agree with what Lizzy said too about how the most important part of insurance is if they actually pay up on claims, and paying a bit more for a reputable company is a good idea.
So how do you get the information to know if a company is reputable or not. Wouldn't you need access to data referring to successful claims resolutions? Where would you get that information? I can't believe it's just a matter of paying a bit extra. That guarantees nothing.
Maybe there's a data base somewhere? It would be a handy tool.
#10 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
It's through forums such as this, Of course, people only come here to tell about a bad experience. And even then it's doubtful that we get the whole story as to why it was a bad experience - ie we don't get full disclosure.
Not many sign up to to tell about their good experiences though. ("Hey guys - just wanted to tell you that I stupidly hired a scooter, went out, got drunk, crashed, broke open my skull, and InsureMe insurance were incredible as they paid out on all my medical and repatriation expenses! Lucky me!")
OK - I'll start with a genuine good experience. I travelled to Fiji for a couple of weeks. For the last two nights we upgraded from a cheap to a much more expensive, beachfront one. Just as well as the next day a cyclone moved in. We couldn't leave the island for another 2 days - which meant we had to rebook flights (doubling the price) and fork out for the extra 2 nights in the very expensive room. I claimed on my Gold credit card insurance - and they paid for everything, the extra meals, hotel fees, phone calls back to NZ and very expensive internet usage - no questions asked.
So... anyone in NZ looking for travel insurance, I'd recommend using the policy that comes with your BNZ Globalplus Mastercard. Only limitation is that you trip has to be less than 45 days.
I hate it when old threads get revived by newbies trying to sell stuff!
I found it odd that 2peas seemed more pissed off about waiting 3 days for the insurance doctor to get back to him with his Xray results than not getting any of his costs reimbursed. It did cross my mind that he could have been injured while doing something risky that no insurance company will cover. That's why I inquired what the getout clause was!
If he broke his shoulder while doing something really stupid like driving a motorbike while pissed to the eyeballs then that's 100% his problem, however severe his injuries. It's not clear why he expected his insurance to look after him in the first place... pity he hasn't come back to clarify.
2peas mentioned "Which" magazine in his OP. It's a supposedly independent publication that compares products to find out what the best buy is. Consumers have to fork out money to consult their results so I haven't checked, but I bet they just compare insurance contracts rather than basing their results on user satisfaction with the claims procedure.
It's quite difficult to get standardized objective feedback on something like travel insurance. You can't really send out researchers and tell them to break a leg to see how well the insurance company deals with the claim. (Injuring yourself on purpose wouldn't be covered anyway).
An insurance feedback section on TF would be quite useful (though you'd have to sift out bogus reviews and people not telling the whole story). In the meantime I just did a google and found this site... don't know how objective it is but quite a lot of insurance companies have been reviewed.
That's what I like about this forum, you get good straight answers and advice.Thanks SBS and Lizzy
Sitting writing this on my phone in Phnom Penh just realised I'd disqualified my insurance just taking a ride on a motodop. Unlike Vietnam the drivers never carry spare helmets.
#13 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
Apologies, i have not been on here in a while.
Firstly, I can answer the question about whether i was doing anything stupid to get injured. I had slipped on a wet floor in a guestroom. So I wasn't doing anything dangerous.
As for holidaysafe....
My first problem with them was that when the injury happened they asked if i could email my xrays to their doctor. I did this right away but had heard nothing for 3 days. Meanwhile, I had a really badly broken collar bone that was leaving me pretty much helpless! I had been directed to go to a public hospital in Chiang Mai as private wasnt covered but unfortunately this hospital did not even have slings (WHAT?). I had decided by this point to just buy a sling from a pharmacy, get it slung up and try get home as I may of needed surgery. My 12 week trip was cut really short which sucked. After the 3rd day I phoned again and tried to get updates on the doctor who would ultimately decide what i was covered for to get home. Was informed he was busy and had not seen my xrays. Day 5 came and I had still not heard anything and by this point I was informed that even if he got back to me, i would unlikely not be covered to get home as 'loss of enjoyment' isnt covered as a reason for cutting my trip short. Regardless of fact I could barely even dress myself, so I dont know if id call it loss of enjoyment.... Anyways, I decided to go ahead and book flights home using some of my Dad's air miles. The worse thing for me was not the fact they wouldn't cover me, it was the fact that I had just waited 5 days for them to tell me that. The doctor finally called AFTER i had book flights and even told me he still hadn't seen my xrays but wouldn't advise me flying....I was amazed.
Anyways, flew home (tenderly). Got sorted out at the NHS back home and began to heal up. Then came the continued holidaysafe saga. I submitted a complaint to them detailing all the calls, and bad exeperiences I had had out in Thailand. I received a response from their 'Complaints officer' who worked for another company, I believe they oversee holidaysafe. She stated that I should submit a claim and that my complaint would receive a response.
Fast forward 2 weeks....I received a payment into my bank along with a letter which detailed that i had been refunded for part of the cost of flights but not the air miles, wouldn't cover my phone costs (holidaysafe use a premium number so you get hammered for calling from abroad) and they covered from some acommodation costs after I had broke my collar bone till flying home.
There was no response from my complaint about their service or apology. No recognition at all of the initial complaint. Just a bit of money and a breakdown of the claim. They told me to send more details about the air miles to consider that which I did and it's been about a month and still haven't heard anything despite chasing it up and also writing to their managing director who simply replied by saying 'I've been informed that you had a reply sent to you'. I never have had any reply.
Overall, they have just been a bit of a nightmare! Hopefully this helps some of you.
Thanks for getting back to us 2Peas.
Now I'd like to hear back from Amber. Maybe she can explain why anyone should waste good money buying travel insurance with Holidaysafe. I'd like to know how many doctors they employ to deal with medical claims and emergencies for a start. How come their doctor was "too busy" to look at an Xray for over 5 days?!
Sounds very much like Holidaysafe are a bunch of crooks and giving you the runaround. They're probably hoping you'll just give up and cave in without insisting they pay up what they owe you.
Isn't there an official UK insurance ombudsman or regulatory body you could contact? (I wouldn't rely solely on the people they tell you to use). There must be some official body in the UK who give them a license to sell travel insurance. You could also let Which? magazine know. It doesn't reflect very well on them either if they recommend insurance companies like this. Maybe take them to a small claims court?
Bad publicity costs nothing ... post your experience on sites people might be consulting before choosing which travel insurance to buy. At least you'd be helping other consumers avoid them like the plague even if they refuse to deal with the issues you've raised. Maybe one of the BBC consumer programs would be interested in your story? It's outrageous that their doctor was "too busy" to let you know whether or not your claim would be covered. And how come someone who WASN'T medically qualified told you a broken collarbone requiring surgery would be considered as "loss of enjoyment" and wouldn't be covered? Is that how Holidaysafe treat all their medical claims?
We are very disappointed that 2Peas has not received the service, both at the time of his accident and during the course of his complaint, that he is entitled to expect.
Holidaysafe is a trading name of Infinity Insurance Solutions, which is an insurance intermediary, not an insurance company. Our Holidaysafe product is underwritten by the UK office of URV, and it is the underwriter who appoints both the Emergency Assistance Company, and the Claims Handlers on their policies.
So far, 2Peas' claim has been settled in accordance with the terms and conditions of the policy. What has not been addressed is his complaint about the service and advice he received from the Emergency Assistance Company.
Holidaysafe expects high standards of service from any supplier, and we have expressed our concerns about 2Peas' complaint to URV who have advised us that they are dealing with the matter, and that they have written to him.
Our policy documents contain clear advice on the steps our customers should take if they feel that they have a complaint, and this includes details of the Financial Services Ombudsman who can adjudicate if the normal complaints process fails to resolve the matter.
Holidaysafe is currently in urgent talks with URV in an effort to bring this unfortunate matter to a satisfactory conclusion for all parties.
Kind regards, Amber.
#17 AmberAtInfinity has been a member since 11/3/2013. Posts: 2
Holidaysafe offers amazingly cheap insurance cover. Read the small print, though. Thing is if you need expensive life saving care, you are covered. Without that cover you could lose everything you own to pay for it. Just don't expect top notch care facilities from a local hospital, so read the small print! It's not Holidaysafe's fault that a customer hasn't read the terms and conditions correctly.
Obviously you get what you pay for, and holidaysafe is suited to budget travellers looking for basic no frills cover.
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