Friday, July 11, 2008

Post Office Review

What makes the Post Office unique compared to other travel insurance providers? Well, consumers can also get official travel documents and currency exchanged too.

Although, the main focus of this review is the Post Office's travel insurance product. Investigating why this nationally popular product achieves the reach it does, what experiences consumers have reported, and specifically what the policy insures.

Post Office Travel Insurance

Looking in-depth at the crucial elements of the product on offer; listed below are the maximum values for which the policy insures:

Medical expenses - £10 million (£10,000 in UK)
Personal liability - £2 million
Personal accident - £30,000
Legal expenses - £25,000
Cancellation / curtailment - £5,000
Personal belongings - £1,500 (single item limit £300)
Missing departure - £1,000
Delayed departure - £300
Money - £500 (£250 cash)
Lost passport - £250
Baggage delays - £250

The Post Office spends huge amounts on mainstream advertising, and this is both a pro and a con, because the brand awareness is high, however the cost of running such campaigns is ultimately served by the consumer, and this is reflected in their pricing.

Many competitors point out this pricing position in the current travel insurance market:

When comparing the above headline grabbing quotes, do ensure the comparison is like for like. As always; caveat emptor. Time invested acquainting with the small print will result in useful knowledge gained.

Customer’s Experiences with The Post Office’s Travel Insurance

Firstly, do take in to account the date of some published reviews. For example, the underwriter in 2001 was Aon Risk Services Ltd, but today it is actually Fortis Insurance Limited. Consider such changes in context.

Customers seem content with the level of service they have received from purchasing the Post Office’s travel insurance. Often with fast claim procedures, customers report swift conclusions if they have had to claim.

However a minority of customers are unhappy with situations where the Post Office has refused their claim, and investigating further, this is often actually the result of the customer not understanding precisely the terms and conditions of the insurance policy they have taken out. In which case the Post Office are absolutely right to refuse customer’s over-zealous claims.

British Travel Awards

Travel ran this video about the integrity of the British Travel Awards. It is an acclaimed award which the Post Office has received several times, in a number of different categories:

  • In 2007 it was selected for its foreign exchange and travel insurance.

There follows a PR response to that, here.

Review Summary

To summarise this review, the Post Office offers a decent travel insurance product with a strong brand association, resulting in a higher price to the consumer than other competitors mentioned in this article. The Post Office is a popular choice and continues to demonstrate consistent levels of award-winning performance.

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