I am going home for Christmas. I can’t get the basic travel insurance you buy when you book your flights because I’m diabetic and that has to be ‘disclosed’ and buying insurance online doesn’t let you disclose things, it just lets you tick a box confirming there’s nothing to disclose.
But there is.
So I had to find travel insurance myself. I left it a bit late but not too late, because I was also moving house and having a mini breakdown and things, but I got it booked about a week and a half ago.
It turns out a lot of insurance doesn’t cover certain things if the trip covered only takes place within the UK, and since mine does, those policies were no use to me. I eventually thought, I know, I’ll try Natwest, they’re my bank anyway. I phoned up and although the guy I spoke to kept harping on about a thing which wasn’t the thing I asked about, he eventually said that would be covered. By that time my break was over soI said I’d call back another time to buy the policy.
My worry, you see, is that something will stop me from getting to the airport for my flight. Not that my flight will be cancelled or delayed, because I know if that happens then it’s the airline’s problem, they have to get me home one way or the other, and although not being insured might mean I’d miss out on my £2.34 per 12 hour period stipend or whatever, I could live without that. What I worry about is that the weather will turn bad while I’m at home and I will be snowed in, and I will not be able to get to the airport. That my flight will leave, early, late or on time, but that I won’t be on it, because I will be snowed in. So the insurance I wanted was for missed departure. I understand that this will require me to provide some kind of evidence that I tried, but I can do that.
What happened was that I was sent an insurance policy schedule and a policy document listing all the possible sections covered and what they’re all for. The section called Missed Departure is Section J.
Section J is the only section that does not appear on my policy schedule.
The first time I phoned up about this the guy started off by telling me I couldn’t just wait til it snowed then buy insurance because nobody would insure me if they already knew the thing was definitely going to happen. I pointed out that I knew this and that it was nearly 3 weeks til my flight, that I understand the point of insurance and that I was asking a specific question. He then spent ten minutes talking about how if the flight was cancelled the airline would have to get me home, and again, I explained that I understood this, and, again, it wasn’t what I was asking about. Eventually he seemed to catch on and said yes, that would be OK.
The next day I phoned up and bought the policy. I made my disclosure and paid my money and the policy was in place.
When the documents arrived, the schedule was missing section J. I called again and was told it must be a mistake, and they would send the documents again.
When the second set of documents arrived, the schedule was still missing section J. I called again and was told I would have to speak to Claims, who were closed on Saturdays.
I remembered hearing Claims on the automated menu options so I called again, went through to Claims, and spoke to some girl whose name I didn’t catch. She was very helpful. She couldn’t see why that section was missing, she seemed to understand what I was talking about, and she said she’d have to speak to Technical Underwriters for an answer. While I was on hold, we got cut off.
I called back and by some stroke of luck spoke to the same girl again. She said that Technical Underwriters had been unable to help in any way whatsoever and had suggested I call Sales again on Monday. Everyone wants me to call someone else on Monday. Anyway this girl said she would see what she could find out, because if the schedules were missing sections that would be a big thing and it would need investigating. She said she would call me back on Monday afternoon.
Monday afternoon has been and gone and now it’s nearly the end of Tuesday. I called again and was told that I was wrong, that Missed Departure was something else entirely, the woman seemed to think that it meant something to do with me not leaving enough time to get to the airport, which struck me as quite amazing, because what insurance company would seriously include cover of any kind for someone’s own stupidity? Anyway, she was certain that I was covered for missing my flight due to bad weather, because it was out of my control, and that comes under section G. But that they couldn’t send me any of this in writing because as far as they’re concerned it’s already in the policy documents. And in any case, all these calls are recorded. So that’s OK then.
I was on hold for about half an hour, so I have given up. Maybe I will go home and read Section G and it will all make sense. But if I do get snowed in and can’t make it to the airport, and I miss my flight, but it leaves without me, then you all are my witnesses, and this is my reminder. I called seven times to ask this question, and was told each time that I was covered.
If I am delayed and there is any question whatsoever of whether or not I am entitled to compensation, I will not be entering into negotiations or trying to convince anyone of anything.
I have been promised.
I am covered.
**worries to infinity**