In the event of a medical emergency, we tell people to go to the nearest medical facility and contact our 24/7 Medical Emergency Service. If then you need to be moved to a better facility for your well-being, that will be arranged. In countries where there is a good public health system, like the UK, Australia, Germany etc., the best hospitals are usually public ones anyway; the private hospitals in the main usually specialise in one area, like cosmetic procedures.
Arguably, the best hospital in London is St Thomas’. The Royal Adelaide Hospital is acknowledged as the best hospital in Australia. Both are public hospitals.
But at the end of the day it’s down to the Doctors. It would take a somewhat courageous insurer to tell their Doctors what to do in a claim scenario!
Regular Payments (known as a continuous payment authority), for travel insurance, is viewed by us as something we’d never want to do and never have done. There are so many complaints which used to go to the Financial Ombudsman Service about these payments which were never ending, and as I result I think most travel insurers have stopped doing it now anyway. The problem is, will you notice a small amount of money being taken from your credit card each week, or your bank account? Sure, we accept the majority of travellers will notice, but a fair minority won’t – which is great for the company or individual who put the continuous payment authority there in the first place. It’s only from when you tell them to stop do they have to stop taking your money.
At True Traveller, we just email people 6 days before their policy ends, and we tell them if they need more cover, they can just take out an extension policy. On these, our policy holders get a 10% discount, if their extension policy is the same duration or shorter than their original policy, up to a duration of 1 year. It’s all done online and people can arrange it in minutes, wherever they are. As a rule of thumb, the cost of a travel insurance policy, pro-rata, reduces on a daily basis the longer a policy is for. We accept that premiums for a week look to be high, but most insurers build in cancellation cover in case you become sick and can’t travel. Will your insurance pay for your non-refundable package holiday if you get sick and can’t go?
Travel insurance is all about claiming, and that’s why TT was set up. Yes, we have a lot of TrustPilot reviews, but we only really ask people to review us on their claims experience. But on review sites, just ignore all the 5-star reviews. Look at the 1-star ones!
For your last follow up, people should get an EHIC (I have one… you just sign up online!) as then you can get treatment free without having to fill out forms. But it’s not a requirement for our insurance to have one. We do ask that the nationalities who are able to register for Medicare in Australia, as it keeps the premiums lower. But some nationalities, like Spanish citizens, can’t apply for Medicare, so their insurance pays.