Is UK Travel Insurance compulsory?

  Miros 16:03 04 Oct 2008

Can a travel company make it a condition of acceptance that you must have travel insurance for say a coach holiday within the UK. For example Insurance supplied by themselves or that you must have your own travel insurance.

Surely this should be optional, or a matter of personal choice, you pays your money or don't pay your money and take your chances.

I personally have some medical conditions for which it is (in my opinion)an opportunity for them to screw me. And then when you read the small print and read all the exclusions you wonder is it really worth it. I think it's just another way of getting that extra bit of cash out of you.

  Condom 16:23 04 Oct 2008

I remember Thomas Cook tried that on me a few years ago. They said if I wished to travel with them I needed to take out travel insurance and of course their's was the best and cheapest. I just said fine as I was going to Belgrade which was still considered a war zone at the time and they soon changed their minds. Tell them if they insist on insurance you will go elsewhere and see their attitude change. The last time I used Thomas Cook they had me sign a form to say that I had declined their insurance but I don't know if they still do this as I stopped using them.

  Miros 16:42 04 Oct 2008

Going to Belgrade there may be a good reason to have travel insurance if only to cover any health issues, but here in the UK any serious problems would be taken care of by the NHS.

The other things like lost luggage you loose the first £75 or £50 each depending who you choose to insure you. The chances of it being lost must be remote and I think I would sue the tour company anyway.
Cancellation due till ill health again as above the first 75 or 50 quid each would be excluded leaving not a lot of return on a short 5 day break for example.I Don't think it's worth bothering.

If I end up in my box it shouldn't cost that much to ship me home from say the south coast to the north, unlike having to fly me home in a box if I was in Spain or wherever :-)

  Forum Editor 17:10 04 Oct 2008

If - heaven forbid - the worst happened, you or your dependants might find that there's no cover under the terms of other insurances.

I wouldn't dream of going in any form of transport without knowing that I was fully covered for all eventualities

  Miros 17:17 04 Oct 2008

My wife and I have just booked a late holiday to the south coast but pressure is be put on us to have their insurance in fact we have had to sign a declaration that we have declined their and will supply our own.

I know from past experience that once I declare my age and my past health history the premiums and exclusions shoot up.

The real question is can they insist I have Insurance?

  Forum Editor 17:34 04 Oct 2008

I believe they can. They can simply make it a condition of the contract, and you either accept it or you don't. I don't think it would be termed an unfair condition either - the carrier wants to be sure that everyone on the coach is insured in case of an accident. By declaring that you have declined their insurance and that you will provide your own you are effectively indemnifying them against potential claims.

If you make the declaration and decide not to take out your own insurance you wouldn't be able to claim against the tour operator's insurers.

  Miros 17:57 04 Oct 2008

Thank you for that info.

The thing I find most annoying is that as an example several years ago I had a repair for an Aortic Abdominal Aneurysm. An extremely serious condition at the time. But now possibly you yourself would have a better chance of suffering this condition (hopefully never)than I would of having a repeat, but once I declare it as I said before up will shoot my premiums and any problems arising as a result of the A.A.A. would be excluded.

Another medical condition has since reared it's ugly little head which is now stable, once again if I declare it the chances are they will again exclude any assosiated problems.

  Forum Editor 18:28 04 Oct 2008

you can understand the condition(s) being excluded, and to be honest you need to assess the risks yourself. If you are happy to take the chance that all will be well you may as well accept the tour operator's insurance exclusions and be done with it - you'll be covered for other risks associated with coach travel.

Alternatively, you can seek cover from one of the specialist insurers; they cover medical condition risks, but of course the premium will be much higher.

In the end it all comes down to whether you want to accept the risk involved or not. You're going to be travelling in the UK, so you'll always have access to NHS care if you need it. Just make sure that you carry the information that might be needed by a hospital in an emergency.

  Miros 20:28 04 Oct 2008

Life is a gamble anyway. I have had to face up to my mortality a few times of late, and as Stephen Hawkins says " I'm not afraid of death but I'm in no hurry to go" or something like that. And if the worst come to the worst in the five days out 365 you could say well he was unlucky :-)

Lost stolen wallets credit cards and the likes which are usually quoted as being covered are at risk every day anyway and we live with that without special insurance, we are always careful with such things and so far never suffered any loss.

My instinct is to trust I will be OK and if needed rely on our great NHS if it isn't. We won't be taking the kitchen sink so we will not have a lot to loose. Back home our home contents and building insurance will cover us for the usual or possible mishaps if any occurred regards fire theft etc while away from home.

To sum up think we will take a chance and relax for a few days, hopefully catch a little bit of late autumn sun and enjoy our selves.

Thanks again. Miros.

  Forum Editor 21:09 04 Oct 2008

I'll be travelling abroad myself in the morning, and your thread prompted me to double check that my own travel insurance was up to date. It is.

  Miros 21:36 04 Oct 2008

You enjoy your trip. Hopefully you will be in no need to make a claim.

Unfortunately I'm informed by my consultant that I now require my own personal oxygen supply when flying, not impossible to get but very problematic, otherwise we could have searched for that late sun abroad.


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