Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Holiday Insurance

As well as providing most of the spending money (read booze) for my 18 year old daughters Ibiza holiday I seem to have been conned into paying for her holiday insurance too.

And, come to think of it, her boyfriends holiday insurance as well.

Once again on t'interweb last night to find out how much insurance would cost for two 18 year olds who will be sleeping all day and boozing all night in the holiday hell-hole that is San Antonio (hell for me, heaven for them) and from there its just a short step from "where's your credit card dad can you buy it for us"

Or rather it wasn't her it was Suzanne with "she's not leaving this country without insurance" and despite my protestations that it was all a worthless piece of paper and they never pay out anyway, I had to do it.

So for £10.50 we got £10million pounds worth of health insurance and numerous other fictional benefits which will all have tiny small print attached to them so that if you do claim they will easily decline the opportunity to hand £10million across the counter to you by simply pointing to a clause that you hadn't noticed.

Sounds like I have experience of this doesn't it ?

You'd be right.

12 or so years ago my dad was living in Benidorm and bombarding us with requests to fly out there with his two small grand-daughters for a holiday, we resisted up until the point where he paid for the flights and accomodation but with two weeks to departure the dodgy but cheap airline that he'd booked us on went out of business.

Not to worry he says, I purchased some travel insurance and the airline was a member of ABTA, we'll get our money back and book you onto another flight in a few weeks time.


Actually he was correct, he had purchased insurance and the airline was a member of ABTA and according to all the guff they give you in the travel agents "your money is safe with us", it was safe with them, so safe that they didn't want to let it go.

A Swiss company was handling the liquidation of the airline for some strange reason and so all correspondence (no email in those days) was via air mail with seemingly a several week delay - their first correspondence with us started off with the warning that we only had three months in which to register our claim and that there was no automatic payout of insurance or refunds on tickets until they were satisfied that we had been a customer.

Very easy to prove thought I, we had the airline tickets in our hands as they had arrived on the same day that they went bust and as everyone knows, you never get the airline tickets until you're fully paid up and ready to go.

Not good enough the Swiss company said several weeks later, you need to prove that you paid for those tickets, and by the way, you now have only eight weeks in which to submit your claim.

OK thought I, still quite easy, we'll get my dads credit card statement, rang him in Benidorm, he posted the statement and we forwarded it on.

Not good enough the Swiss company said several weeks later, you need to prove that your travel agent actually forwarded on the money to the airline, and by the way, you now have only five weeks in which to submit your claim.

OK thought I, not quite so easy, so I went to the travel agents and asked for proof that they'd accepted my dads credit card and then paid the airline with his money, suprisingly they gave me a copy of their bank statement to show that they had done precisely that.

Not good enough the Swiss company said several weeks later, because, erm, we'll think of a reason later, and by the way, you now have just seven days to submit your claim.

Time for an arse kicking letter thought I, time to threaten them, I love writing threatening letters, I should have been a kidnapper. I wrote my letter, told them what a load of shits they were, told them to shove their self-imposed deadline up their arse and probably reminded them that they were too chicken to get involved in the war just for good measure.

They paid up a week later with no further explanation, it was probably the reference to the war that did it, it works every time with foreigners.

1 comment:

Island Girl said...

Excellent job bringing up the war! I have encountered several difficult and somewhat anal Swiss in my time, mainly during my short but sweet teaching career.

I found it useful to say "goodness gracious, is that a FENCE POST up your arse?"