Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tesco Travel Insurance Review

Review of Tesco Travel Insurance, looking at noteworthy policy clauses, the level of cover insured, previous customers’ experiences with Tesco Personal Finance, and specifics regarding individual medical conditions.

  1. What type of travel insurance does Tesco offer?
  2. Customers’ experiences with Tesco’s travel insurance?
  3. Tesco travel insurance: Quote specifics
  4. Tesco medical conditions
  5. Ownership of Tesco travel insurance

What Type of Travel Insurance Does Tesco Offer?

  • Single trip from £6.00 and upwards.

  • Annual Trip from £50.00 and upwards.

Tesco are not specialist insurers, for example if customers have particular sports in mind with a hint of risk, they are most likely not covered; read on!

The standard Tesco travel insurance policy is aimed at those without pre-existing medical conditions. Those with existing health conditions will find good advice on this page about medical travel insurance.

Customers’ Experiences with Tesco’s Travel Insurance

The Tesco travel insurance micro site allows users to retrieve previously saved quotes, which is a feature not found on all sites.

However, when it comes to actually making successful insurance claims, the overwhelming story of customers’ experiences continues to stress the obstructive and uncooperative attitude of Tesco’s unwillingness to pay out.

“A total and utter disgrace. I would advise anyone against taking out a policy with Tesco, I choose them as they were one of the more expensive quotes and therefore expected a good policy. How wrong I was.”

Tesco Travel Insurance: Quote Specifics

Tesco, as they did last year, are again offering “free” winter sports cover for travel policies bought up to the 7th of January 2009. However this is not available for existing customers.

Conventional sports covered by the policy (excluding winter-sports) are listed in Section 12 of the single trip insurance policy, under “Insured Pursuits” As follows:

• Aerobics
• Archery,
• Badminton
• Basketball
• Beach Games
• Bowls
• Cricket
• Cruises (up to 16 consecutive days)
• Cycling (excluding BMX and Mountain)
• Fell Walking/Rambling/Trekking
• Fishing
• Horse Riding (excluding jumping)+
• Ice-skating (rink only)
• Parascending (towed by boat)
• Rafting/Canoeing/Kayaking (including white water up to grade 3)
• Roller Skating
• Safaris (up to 16 consecutive days)
• Scuba Diving to 18 metres
• Skateboarding
• Snooker/Pool/Billiards
• Snorkelling
• Squash
• Surfing
• Swimming (in pool or *)
• Table Tennis
• Tennis
• Volleyball
• Water-skiing *
• Windsurfing *
• Yachting/Boating/Sailing/Rowing *+
*Only on inland or coastal waters within a 12 mile limit.
+ Excludes cover under section 7.

It sounds great, but in the terms and conditions, it stipulates “The insured activities must be supervised by a qualified person or arranged through a recognised provider of the service”. So insured policy holders can’t just go and have a game of squash or go surfing (as many do), if an an injury occurred (as sometimes does), it appears Tesco have wriggle room here, for not paying out.

Loss, theft, or breakage of possessions is limited to £200 per item, to a total of £1,250 and incurs an excess where a £50 fee is due to Tesco for “each and every incident giving rise to a claim

Tesco only payout £200 for any cash lost if mugged or robbed while travelling. This is also subject to a deduction of £50 excess, and requires the incident to be reported to the Police within 24 hours, a Police report, and documentary evidence that the cash existed.

If the cash is stolen from a hotel room, Tesco will not cover the amount unless the cash was stolen from a locked safe in a locked room. Neither are Traveller’s cheques covered by Tesco’s travel insurance policy.

Tesco Medical Conditions

Tesco’s medical cover is for accidents or emergencies while on a journey which is not related directly or indirectly to a pre-existing medical condition.

Before issuing cover, Tesco want to know of any completed or scheduled hospital treatment in the last three months. In addition, they require informing about any medication the customer may be on, and any record of a heart or cancer related medical condition.

If any of the above applies, Tesco consider this as a “pre-existing medical condition” which will require specific analysis of the health risks to be insured while travelling, and a resultant increase in price.

Further, written acceptance must be received from Tesco regarding the medical specifics involved in the policy, by the date the policy is issued.

As demonstrated, when delving further in to the insurance small print, there are plenty of clauses which benefit Tesco more than the consumer.

After taking out a policy, if subsequently diagnosed with any of the following, the policy will be void, unless the policy holder informed Tesco of the development.

• Heart or circulatory conditions
• Breathing conditions
• Diabetes
• Cancer
• Conditions pertaining to joints and bones
• Gastrointestinal (stomach issues)

Ownership of Tesco Personal Finance

Tesco Travel Insurance is underwritten by “UK Insurance Limited” based in Leeds. The parent of UK Insurance Limited is a company called “Tesco Personal Finance Limited”.
Further up the chain, the major stakeholders in this joint venture initially were Tesco and The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, with a 50% / 50% share.

Technorati tags; Tesco travel insurance, travel insurance reviews.

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