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Thread: Travel Insurance

  1. #1
    Widdler
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    I will be travelling for 4 weeks in Japan in May and plan on doing a few days hut to hut hiking bagging a few non-technical peaks above 3000m in snow using ice axe and crampons, and some similar day hikes. Most of the trip will be spent doing normal touristy things, however.

    Rather than taking out insurance to cover me for the above for the whole trip I am thinking of taking out some run of the mill travel insurance covering the 4 weeks and then taking out additional insurance to cover me for the relatively few days I will be doing the hiking.

    Has anyone else ever done this? Could you recomend some companies?

    I've had a look at the Snowcard website but they will only provide insurance for the whole trip, not just a few days. The BMC looks promissing though from what I can see on their website.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Goon
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    you can try the bmc they are excellent for stuff like this, but you may find that you have to have cover for the whole trip, theres clauses in the small print usually

    not harm in trying them though its only a phone call

    hth

  3. #3
    ‹bermensch Chris OutdoorsGrubcouk's Avatar
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    I'd recommend the BMC for the lot. Good to deal with and peace of mind that you are properly covered for all your activities.

  4. #4
    Ultra King Jules aka  Bat Girl's Avatar
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    Depends how much traveling you are planning to do but maybe an anual policy with the BMC will be cheaper in the longrun.

    Otherwise you will probably need two overlapping policys.

  5. #5
    ‹bermensch Lindsay Boyd's Avatar
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    I have used the BMC on previous occasions but had no reason to claim, (in fact I have never claimed off an insurance policy) and therefore were happy with their policies although the BMC price is a bit more expensive than others on offer on the web.

    However I have had reason to make a claim for all my valuables which were stolen. The company the BMC are using at present are Foris Insurance Ltd and I'm afraid their initial response to my claim is far from satisfactory. They are quoting various exclusions in their policy including one about an emergency passport. The British Consul supplied me with an emergency passport to return home which you need to pay for (around £60) and it can only be used once. The woman at the Consul gave me a receipt as she said I would be able to claim off my insurance. Low and bold that is one of the exclusions in their policy. I could quote some others as well but I am very disappointed (and annoyed) by the insurance companies initial response.

    I will be writing to the BMC once I have the matter resolved but it doesn't look like it will be in my favour.

    So the bottom line is don't just look at the BMC for insurance like myself thinking that they would have the best interests of walkers at heart. The BMC maybe do but their insurance company definitely don't.

  6. #6
    Goon
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    I've got an M&S policy and itsexclusion for climbingreads "mountaineering requiring the use of guides or ropes". From what you say above, you'd therefore be covered under this policy (and probably quite a few other regular policies too).

  7. #7
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    As David ikplies, "read the small print": a lot of policies cover far more than you think.

    We use Snowcard for an annual policy, which we find worthwhile as we're normally off in foreign climes for a couple of ski trips and maybe a bike or kayak tour in a typical year, but they'll do individual trips too if your existing insurance isn't enough. I really ought to do a compare and contrast with the BMC service (especially as I'm in MC of S) but I've just never got the Round Tuit required... I've had a couple of claims for minor disatsers, a bust carbon track pole and a lost pair of prescription glacier glasses, and they coughed up reasonably promptly.

    Pete.

  8. #8
    ‹bermensch Chris OutdoorsGrubcouk's Avatar
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    Lindsay: that's a bit worrying, I'd always thought that BMC were very good. Do let us know how you get on with the insurance co and BMC themselves.

  9. #9
    Ultra King Cath Sullivan's Avatar
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    I've never had to claim either. I have an unnual policy with snowcard - always been happy with the service for arranging the policy and all that. When I originally began using snowcard they were offering what I wanted (I usually only cover for rescue and repatriation) more cheaply than the BMC.

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch Lindsay Boyd's Avatar
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    Zubald yes I did likewise but of course it's okay to buy an insurance policy and you think everything is fine until you have to make a claim. There are a few concerns I have with the company one being that an emergency passport isn't included in the policy. The lady at the British Consul obvious thought that any decent policy would cover thisobviously Foris Insurance doesn't. They are also trying to use the word 'unattended' as a way of not paying out although that is not the case. Awaiting their next letter of excuses.

  11. #11
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
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    lindsay whilst i empathise with your predicament it is really up to the individual to read their policy to see what it deos and doesn't cover.

    most will be surprised at what it actually does cover.

    if a policy does not define, say climbing, then either go for a different policy that does or get clarifiaction in writing from the INSURER, not any intermediary.

    foris insurance may not be being awkward over "unattended" but are merely trying to seek clarification on what youhave written on your claims form.

    incidental expenses are routinely excluded as people tend to look after things better they have to pay for rather than "claim" for.

  12. #12
    Ultra King Jules aka  Bat Girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Francis View Post
    I've got an M&S policy and itsexclusion for climbingreads "mountaineering requiring the use of guides or ropes". From what you say above, you'd therefore be covered under this policy (and probably quite a few other regular policies too).

    Great so I can solo up an E3 and still be coverd as long as I dont use a rope???

    ( this is hypothetical cos I cant really solo an E3 but you get my drift)

    Some people rope up for grade 2 scrambles but most dont, what about via feratta, that does not us a rope.

    And I can get cheaper insurance if I do Mont Blanc without a guide even though I would be less safe and so more likeley to make a claim?

    Don't make sense to me.

  13. #13
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
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    Hmm, I'm surprised about them quibbling over ‚??unattended'. This topic has come up before and, having a BMC annual policy, I contacted them (albeit a couple of years ago) to seek clarification of the cover. Here are the substantive elements of the email exchange:

    -----My Enquiry-----
    Subject: BMC Insurance Query

    Can you answer a question for me about the Personal Possessions section of the BMC Insurance policies

    I have an annual BMC insurance policy (Alpine & Ski, European cover, with standard personal possessions cover). I'm wondering how the personal possessions cover (up to £1500) would operate in practice when camping or backpacking. There are some conditions in the policy document which I'm aware of - the most pertinent ones (paraphrased a bit) are:

    - depending when the loss or theft occurs you need to get a carrier's report or a police report within 24 hours

    - Valuables must be on your person or locked away

    - No cover for personal belongings left in a car overnight, or any other time if not in the boot or out of sight.

    - "you must take proper care of your belongings and act as if you did not have this insurance policy"

    So, subject to all that, if my kit got taken from either a commercial campsite or a wild camp in the mountains (so I've nowhere secure to leave anything but I would carry my "valuables" such as wallet and camera with me at all times), would the policy pay out for the loss, and on what basis? Would leaving my camping kit unattended in the tent count as "taking proper care" or would it give the underwriters a reason not to honour the claim?

    (cont)

  14. #14
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
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    BMC RESPONSE:
    Hi - Your query has been passed to me for comment.

    Firstly - please note that all claims would be settled at the discretion of the Claims Dept. at Fortis Ins. Ltd.....

    1. The 24 hour limit to obtain a police report for loss/theft does depend on circumstances - the policy wording is a generally accepted format that covers quite a few Travel Insurance schemes besides the BMC scheme....so for instance if baggage was lost at the airport, or hotel etc etc. there is no real excuse for delaying this report...But as many BMC members spend days , weeks or even months in the mountains the Insurers would only expect such police report etc ro be obtained as soon as practicable. But you must explain fully on the Claims report form what the circumstances were, so that they understand this.

    2. 'Valuables' are defined in the policy as including - watches, jewellery, photographic equipment, binoculars, computer equipment etc. There is more appropriate insurance available for these type of items - eg. under the All Risks section of your home contents policy or through some specialist insurer (eg. www.Photoguard.com for cameras etc.) This is why the cover is restricted on the travel policy.

    3. Due to the obvious risks - there is no cover for Anything left in a car-boot overnight.....and even during daytime only possessions that are NOT valuables (as defined) are covered , if the boot & car are locked.

    4. "Taking proper care" - this is a normal clause of most material loss/damage policies and will vary from one circumstance to another. Again - this will be left to the discretion of the claims dept. if they have to decide whether you took reasonable precautions or not. So - leaving your stuff unattended at the foot of a route while you climb would be seen as "care-LESS".

    The wording under Personal Possessions - Section 5, exclusion 1(i) - shows that ONLY "Ski, mountaineering, climbing, camping and SCUBA diving equipment" are covered whilst in use.....so if your tent is erected then it is " in use " and it and its contents would be covered. However - "taking reasonable care" may be seen as - leaving all the stuff inside the tent; zipping up the tent; even using a small padlock (- any intrusion would then = forcible & violent entry"); and of course - NOT leaving valuables in the tent . And if you wandered off for a week leaving your tent etc. this would probably be seen as not taking proper care!!

    Hope this clarifies -

    Ray Perry, Insurance Administrator, BMC

    .

    So istm the BMC demonstrate a pretty pragmatic approach and an understanding of the circumstances surrounding outdoor activities.

    Of course I know it doesn't amount to a cast iron guarantee and it remains to be seen if Fortis demonstrate the same interpretation. They paid out no problem for the tent I trashed on a Pyrenees wild camp a couple of years ago.

    One further point to note - I understand from some unfortunate friends who had a serious alpine climbing accident last summer that policy excesses apply to each different part of the claim and so can rack up a bit i.e one for rescue, one for medical, one for kit etc. if you have a major claim.

  15. #15
    ‹bermensch Lindsay Boyd's Avatar
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    Matt thanks for that. It may come in useful depending on the next letter I receive from Fortis.

  16. #16
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
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    thanks for the reply you got matt. it should clear up a lot in people's minds. it is just common sense.

    makes sense to me jules. it's not a policy if you want to climb.

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