Halifax Life Limited
1 reviews from the community
Review of "Halifax Life Limited"
First of all, it is Ciao who seem to think Halifax Life provide this cover. It is actually underwritten by St Andrews Insurance Group which is part of the HBOS (Halifax Bank Of Scotland) Group. Apologies for me being too lazy to let Ciao know!But who cares about that?
There are times in life when a rip off leaps out and grabs you! The insurance policies sold by travel agents and tour companies are so obviously poor value for bog standard protection, that shopping around for insurance is best done before booking the holiday!When Thomas Cook quoted me £169.95 to insure my clan on holiday for two weeks in Minorca, I cracked up laughing. Given that we could book a basic self-catering holiday in the UK for a week for this sum, I knew there had to be a better option. Not too much wrong with the cover offered. Just the price!
I surfed in to AOL land and tried their recommended cover from Lloyds TSB. Well, they were willing to provide an annual policy for £138. But I am unlikely to take a second foreign holiday in the next year so this also seemed steep.Then I used my own bank. Halifax. The premium (online) came out at £64. Surely some mistake. I could not bring myself to click as I was sure there was a big catch waiting to grab me at some point. Probably the point when I need a life saving operation in some remote Spanish hospital! £64 for an annual policy v £169 for a 14 day policy. Very odd! Not looking good for Thomas Cook here!
So, when the phone lines opened on Monday morning I made the call, which was answered immediately by a very friendly voice.They took 60 seconds to collect my family details, check for pre-existing medical conditions (I disclosed the mild asthmas that we suffer and was reassured that as these had not involved hospitalisation previously they were not a concern) and had the premium confirmed.
I asked for the catches.The reply came back that there were effectively none.
As I have personal belonging cover on my home contents policy, they had discounted my premium, meaning that I cannot claim on the travel policy if my camcorder is pinched (but my home policy would do the job). I had agreed to a £50 excess, although could pay extra to waive it. I also have 30 days to read the policy. If I find anything unacceptable I could claim a FULL refund and cancel the policy. An option not offered by Thomas Cook.Having spent a thrilling Tuesday evening reading the policy booklet that was provided, I am completely satisfied. The cover provided matched or exceeded that from Thomas Cook. I had saved money by not double insuring my personal belongings. And that sneaky little clause in travel agents policy that insists on a £50 excess per person per claim (effectively £250 for my family) is simply £50 per claim with the Halifax.
So, Halifax gets the sale. I can travel to just about anywhere in Europe for a year with my clan and not have to pay again for insurance. And I have over £100 spare to buy one of those new satellite telly things from the BBC! Thomas Cook, I would never EVER consider you for travel insurance again! And you are meant to be the travel experts!Are there any catches? Well, my premium would increase if I opted to travel outside Europe/Mediterranean. If I wanted cover related to skiing, it would cost more. But if you have ever seen me try to ski, you will understand why I have no need for this. Oh, and I am not covered for golfing equipment either. But then I do not play golf!
Typical policy limits are £5000 for cancellation (suitable for my budget, take care if you can afford a posh holiday!); £10m for medical and repatriation cover (so they can afford to fly my corpse home if my overeating abroad has dire effects) and £2m for personal liability should I drunkenly damage somebody elses property as I do my stereotypical Englishman abroad impersonation!The size of the medical cover shows how important travel insurance is. But you do not have to pay top price for average cover when people like the Halifax can knock out decent annual policies for less than £70 a year.
The simple lesson from this experience is - NEVER BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE FROM A TRAVEL AGENT! Always shop around. Consider an annual policy. And check out the cover you get (I did manage to find a quote for £49, but the policy limits and excesses were significantly
worse). And make sure you take your policy details on holiday with you!
Interestingly, Which? magazine has also confirmed this as a best buy recently.As for Thomas Cook? Hahahaha!
Product Information : Halifax Life Limited
Manufacturer's product description
Listed on Ciao since: 17/03/2003