Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tiger Airways has come under fire from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) concerning safety fears that have grounded Tiger's fleet in Australia recently.

This concerning development is not the first in aviation history to see a cost-cutting budget airline walk the proverbial tightrope between maintenance costs and profitability.

Tiger Airways has a fleet of 10 Airbus A320s operating domestically in Australia. Around 9,000 people fly daily with Tiger operating 60 domestic flights.

Whilst flights to Singapore remain unaffected, the grounding of Tiger's domestic flights in Australia is a boon for competitors. Share prices for competing airlines have risen sharply as the news hit the stock markets, with Virgin Australia rising 10.5% and Qantas growing 6.5%.

CASA reportedly grounded Tiger's domestic fleet after the airline failed to address the industry body’s safety worries.

Passengers who have booked events and purchases will have to claim on their travel insurance, while the cheap air fares will be refunded by Tiger.

The fleet grounding has been extended to at least 31st July 2011 (Source).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How To Make a Travel Insurance Claim

A concise guide to making a travel insurance claim, comprehensively covering stages before, during, and after the event.

1) Before Making A Claim

Your end result of making a successful insurance claim, stems right back to when you are choosing which insurer and policy to use. A golden rule when dealing with insurance companies is; “never assume anything!” Insurers will be rigidly applying this approach to your claim when they review its content, and likewise, the customer should investigate the policy being offered, with equal intensity.

Many claims are rejected by insurers, because the customer assumed the loss / theft / damage / event, would be covered under the policy they took out, and it wasn’t.

Reading the small print informs you specifically what is and is not included in your policy, and importantly; under what circumstances claims are allowed. For example; certain valuables may not be covered if they were stolen from a locked car, but would be covered if stolen from on your person. Alternatively, some valuables would not be covered if lost or stolen from a suitcase, but would be covered if stolen or lost from your carry-on hand baggage instead. Insurers terms vary, so; “never assume”.

It is important to declare any health issues such as pre-existing medical conditions. Be honest with your insurer before you travel, because if they find out you weren’t; it could later void the entire claim!

At home, take five minutes to record the serial numbers and details of any valuables such as; a camera, laptop, expensive watch, iPod, DVD player, as this precautionary action is highly useful when a claim needs to be made.

Finally, do take the travel insurance paperwork with you on holiday. It will include useful telephone numbers, guidance, and procedures to follow.

2) On Holiday - The Insurance Claim Incident

When the unexpected occurs and your holiday experience befalls unfortunate loss or injury, do not assume that just because you have taken out travel insurance that everything will be OK; there are still a few steps you need take.

Immediately after the event of loss, you need to acquire evidence that it happened. A typical process here is to report the loss to the relevant authority, with your goal being to get some kind of report or reference number such as a crime number, to include in the travel insurance claim.

If the event requires you to purchase replacements items, then bear in mind two things: Firstly, that there is often a value cap regarding what constitutes reasonable replacement items. For example if your clothes consisting of inexpensive dresses were stolen, you could not go out on a spending spree buying up expensive ball gowns to replace the missing dresses!

Secondly, all reasonable expenses must be proven, so keep receipts and proof of purchases. Note that what constitutes “reasonable” is not open to debate and it is highly likely that different elements of claim amounts all have maximum values already prescribed in the travel insurance contract. This is why having a copy of the contract with you, can help in determining a budget for replacement items.

Most claims can be avoided in the first place by taking common sense precautions which dramatically lessen the risk of suffering loss abroad. For example making use of secure hotel deposit systems, not cashing all travellers cheques simultaneously at the start of a holiday, making use of a body belt or keeping important travel documents like passports & visas safe.

If the loss is something outside your control, such as being one of the millions enduring the inconvenience of lost luggage, you still need evidence of this and in this case you need to get a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) from the baggage handling company at the airport, forming part of your evidence.

3) After The Event - Make A Claim Successfully

Firstly, get familiar with the travel insurance provider's process, learn about any time scales which are beneficial to know. For example: How long after losing luggage is it deemed lost, rather than technically delayed? How much time does the company say it needs to respond? Does it have aims and benchmarks for better customer service? Being aware of these and reminding a unresponsive insurer of their obligations, can help.

Having understood precisely what is required of your submission, provide as much supporting evidence as humanly possible! To deluge the claims handler in connected information will likely strengthen your claim, and remove the frequent and slippery response echoed by defensive insurers of “more information required”.

Receipts, official reports, tickets, invoices, serial numbers, photos and bills are all part of this complied evidence. But do not trust the insurer with your only original copy, because if even the strongest submission became “lost in the post” then your pay out would be an embarrassing zero. Therefore, it is critical to use copies of everything and deliver it to the insurers claims handling department by the most secure option available, such as recorded delivery or a courier service.

Beware phone conversations! Although often helpful to explore the intricacies of the claiming process, and useful for chasing-up insurers, the fact remains that any evidence of information exchanged by phone is usually lost forever as soon as the call ends. Any crucial points made should be noted down, including time, date, and the source of the information. Significant points can also be stated back to the insurer in writing, by letter or email, thereby making facts irrefutable.

Completion of a travel insurance claim can vary hugely in timescale, some being complete in several weeks, and some dragging on for considerable time before customers begrudgingly receive a pay out cheque from the insurer much later, or even not at all!

The final advice here is to maintain pressure and a spotlight on the insurance company until they perform their obligations satisfactorily. Always remember that your home country should have an overseeing body poised to regulate the industry and investigate your complaints if you have recourse to do so.

Technorati tags; making a claim, pay outs, travel insurance, travel insurance policy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Columbus Travel Insurance No Longer?

Columbus Direct is a well known brand in this industry, partly because of its global reach, having regional offices located around the world.

Customers favour its multi-national insurance cover and the sometimes flexible and helpful protection which can be arranged. Others like the fact it has been in business for some time.

Columbus has used its significant size and current brand awareness to raise prices from several years ago. Where in the past Columbus could be perceived as a commercial underdog, it now has outgrown that identity and is a significant presence particularly on the web.

Labelled as insurance intermediary of the year 2008; Columbus Direct receiving awards at black tie ceremonies does not in any way represent the true customer experience, faced by holidaymakers making claims on their policy.

This comprehensive and insightful review explains more about Columbus travel insurance, from a customer's perspective.

Like many competing travel insurance providers, Columbus Direct has the capacity to serve customers instant cover. Alternatively, users can choose the start date of their financial protection to coincide with their planned travel dates.

However, Although the speed of cover is good, should the person need more individual service, such as to discuss pre-existing medical conditions, then Columbus will have to be contacted by phone. And what's more, it is quite likely that the quoted price is liable to rise as more variables, health issues, and specifics are fed in to the insurance quote.

Clearly the starting price proposed by the online quote engine, is likely to be the cheapest on offer. But the problem is this; Columbus Direct are in many cases far away from being the cheapest travel insurance supplier in this moment. Many other smaller intermediaries exist which do not have the presence of Columbus, but do have the will to compete aggressively on price.

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Columbus Direct, columbus travel insurance, travel insurance.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Travel Health Insurance in America

Of all the countries to have travel insurance while visiting, America can prove the most useful because things get expensive when it comes to health care.

It's ironic for a country apparently placed as a leading nation of medical technology and development, that as a rule none of these advances are made available to the general population.

Experiencing a medical emergency whilst visiting the USA is not going to help anybody recover from it if they are pondering the personal liability and massive health costs in this country! This is why America is one of the most crucial countries in which to have excellent travel health insurance.

Unlike many other countries, the role the US government plays in protecting the health of its citizens and visitors requiring medical care, is minimal. Resident Americans are covered by alternative policies often linked to their job, or personal insurance arrangements. Those without; largely do not receive health care if they cannot pay the exceptionally high costs.

Even just a medical consultation will set back a traveller or resident considerable sums, and this is before any actual work or treatment is carried out!

For visitors there may even be logistical issues in transferring so much money from the home country to the USA at short notice, for example to finance an urgent operation which needs carrying out.

Getting travel health insurance for America proves invaluable, because the the medical services are dealing with an insurer with access to huge quantities of funds, meaning that the barriers and administration are much reduced.

Travelling without any insurance is a considerable financial risk. There are a myriad of possibilities which could require a payment for medical incidents. For example, perhaps driving in unfamiliar circumstances (different traffic laws, driver culture) a crash occurs; injuring your passengers.

Certainly born in the USA; the concept of launching legal proceedings regarding third-party involvement is always a risk in America due to the rather destructive claim culture. Personal liability cover in this context often extends to several millions provided by even a cheap single-trip policy.

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Technorati tags; travel health insurance, America, travel insurance.