Author Topic: AMEX Travel Insurance  (Read 7019 times)

Offline nickwilliams

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Re: AMEX Travel Insurance
« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2011, 05:01:15 pm »
Here is my e-mail to Dogtag:

Quote from: nick williams' e-mail to dogtag at 18:53 on 1 September 2001

My name is Nick Williams and I am the Insurance Manager for the British Caving Association. Estelle has forwarded me your message for comment since one of my responsibilities is to identify suitable travel and rescue insurance which we can recommend for caving expeditions leaving the UK.
 
I have read your comments and they cause me some concern. Basically, BCA do not consider it to be acceptable that a team should have to contact the insurer (or anyone else for that matter) to authorise expenditure on a rescue in order for the cover to be operative. Some of the locations where rescue may be required are very remote indeed and it will simply not be possible to make contact with any one else without introducing an unwelcome and unnecessary delay in initiating the rescue.
 
For expeditions visiting remote locations, team members will be expected to be competent in self rescue, and many will be members of UK volunteer cave rescue teams. They will always be in a far better position than the insurers to determine whether or not a rescue is required. I can appreciate that the insurers wish to be protected against the situation where they are committed to expenditure on apparently trivial events, but this should be done by reserving the right to withdraw cover for trivial occurrences rather than making it a mandatory condition of cover that permission has to be sought from the insurer before a rescue can be initiated.
 
BCA are always keen to identify and recommend insurers who can provide appropriate cover for our members but we would not be able to endorse any scheme which introduces an unnecessary bureaucratic delay of this nature.
 
Please contact me if you wish to discuss this further.
 
Regards
 
Nick Williams
BCA Insurance Manager.

"Economics is simply the branch of sociology that deals with people trading items and the fact that they use more numbers does not make it anymore of a science."

Offline nickwilliams

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Re: AMEX Travel Insurance
« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2011, 05:02:24 pm »
And here is their reply:

Quote from: e-mail from dogtag's underwriter at 16:33 on 2 September 2011

Good Afternoon,
 
Your email has been passed to me as one of the underwriters for Dogtag travel insurance, I think there has been some misinterpretation of our intentions of the policy and response to your original query.
 
Firstly as I am sure you are aware there is  difference between ‘search and rescue’ and ‘medical rescue/evacuation’. Your policy would cover medical rescue/evacuation.
 
I appreciate your comments with regards to red tape delaying necessary evacuation, this is not the case, it is simply that as the insurers we reserve the right to mitigate loss where possible.  You can of course organise your own rescue on a ‘pay and claim basis’, whereby a claim can be submitted for the costs. It is not an opportunity for us to deny cover but to control expenditure where possible. For example if it was the case that evacuation was organised by yourselves at a significantly higher cost to what could have been organised by us and our agents then we would be looking to reimburse what we consider as necessary and reasonable emergency costs.
 
It is possible to organise your own rescue once this is done and as soon as it is feasibly possible the emergency assistance service need to be informed, whereby they can then organise payment to the provider and in some instances cost contain the final bill. 
 
So to reassure you, cover would not be declined due to your failure to contact our assistance service prior to rescue, the same as a standard travel policy we would not expect a person to contact us before calling an ambulance, but would expect a call within a reasonable timeframe afterwards to liaise with the treating doctor/hospital etc.. offering guarantee of payment, assistance and alternative transport home if necessary. 
 
As you have correctly pointed out, in the event the rescue is considered ‘trivial’ (which would be upon consultation with the treating doctor, our chief medical officer who is also a Doctor and the underwriters of the policy), or in the event that the need for rescue was due to a non-declared existing medical condition, (an important clause to point out to your team) then of course cover would be withdrawn and the claim declined.
 
I hope this addresses any concerns you may have, please feel free to contact me if you have any further queries,


This leaves me feeling rather more comfortable about the Dogtag cover, but it still looks to me as if the distinction between 'search and rescue' and 'medical rescue/evacuation' might provide some undesirable wriggle room.

I've also followed up the response from Snowcard and will report back when I hear from them.

Nick.
"Economics is simply the branch of sociology that deals with people trading items and the fact that they use more numbers does not make it anymore of a science."

Offline nickwilliams

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Re: AMEX Travel Insurance
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2011, 02:16:14 pm »
Here is the e-mail to Snowcard:

Quote from: nick williams 02/09/11@12:41

For the sake of absolute clarity, please can I confirm that your scheme will cover the extra costs incurred by a team which has to organise its own rescue, and that these costs would not need to be authorised by the insurer in advance of being incurred. I am thinking of the situation where a team has (for example) someone with a broken leg underground who they can evacuate to the surface but for whom they then need to hire a local helicopter to fly them back to a point where normal medical facilities and services can take over.
 
Obviously I'd expect the insurers to reserve the right to dispute claims if they felt that someone was trying it on but, as a basic principle, teams need to know that they will be covered for these costs and that they can just get on with organising the rescue and worry about how it is paid for later.

"Economics is simply the branch of sociology that deals with people trading items and the fact that they use more numbers does not make it anymore of a science."

Offline nickwilliams

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Re: AMEX Travel Insurance
« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2011, 02:17:13 pm »
And here is the reply:

Quote from: snowcard 05/09/11@12:48
:

If a team leader, guide or instructor feels it is necessary to call a rescue helicopter we understand that it may not always be possible to obtain our agreement in advance and in practice these situations have never been a problem.
 
Having said this, for the sake of clarity it is a condition of cover that only reasonable expenses are incurred and where possible our emergency number should be called as soon as possible. No advance guarantee is made as the underwriters will look at the circumstances but as I say, it has not been a problem in the past in an emergency situation with a seriously injured client.


I think this is a perfectly satisfactory response.

Nick.
"Economics is simply the branch of sociology that deals with people trading items and the fact that they use more numbers does not make it anymore of a science."