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Is Travel Insurance Included In Your Packaged Bank Account?

Packaged bank accounts have proven to be very popular, with consumers often taking advantage of different insurance products included with their account. But travel insurance comparison site, Compare Cover, is warning account holders to double check their packaged account travel insurance before jetting off.

Compare Cover analysed the packaged bank account market and found that, while many offer worldwide travel cover as part of their paid-for accounts, many have caveats when it comes to actually using the cover. For example, some accounts limit the amount of cover they have and most have an upper age limit when it comes to who they’ll cover. 

The TSB Silver account includes travel insurance, but only for people under 64-years-old, while other accounts extend their cover until customers celebrate their 80th birthday. 

Simon Williams, Head of Travel at Compare Cover, said, “Packaged bank accounts can offer a range of benefits to customers, including not having to shop around for a policy and the peace of mind that you are continuously covered, but as with all insurance products, the devil is in the detail. Before setting off, travellers with packaged account insurance need to be aware of the limitations of their cover - including whether they even have it. It’s essential to have the right cover for your needs.

Travel insurance attached to a bank account may not cover you if you’re older, have a pre-existing medical condition or if you’re going on a cruise or winter sports holiday. Similarly, if you are going on a golfing holiday or a business trip, some policies included with bank accounts won’t cover loss of or damage to the equipment you take.”

Simon added, “If you’ve fallen ill since opening the bank account, ensure the policy will still cover you. If not, you may need to take out a separate policy.”

Many banks have been stripping out their package accounts in recent years, and in 2013 the Financial Conduct Authority said that banks should be informing customers if they are no longer eligible for the insurance bundled in its accounts.

Complaints to the FCA about packaged bank accounts increased sharply from 1,629 in 2013 to nearly 45,000 in 2016. It was estimated in 2014 that around nine million people held a packaged bank account*. These accounts offer bundled insurance, such as travel, gadget and breakdown as part of a monthly fee for the account, but holidaymakers are being urged to check that the travel insurance offered by their bank account offers the right level of cover before jetting off.

Simon continued, “Packaged back accounts can be great if you use the benefits offered and save money, but they could end up costing you more in the event you need supplementary cover. Adding additional travel cover to an existing packaged insurance product can cost more than taking out an entirely separate policy.

“Be bundle savvy, make yourself aware of any limitations, check the exclusions and make sure you have the cover you need when you need it. Then you can focus on enjoying your holiday!”

*FCA Thematic Review of Packaged Bank Accounts, October 2016. https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/thematic-reviews/tr16-8.pdf

Research conducted by Compare Cover on October 27th, 2017, included in the table below:

Provider

Annual cost

Travel insurance

Upper age for travel insurance

 

Nationwide Flexplus

£156

Worldwide annual inc USA (family) + winter sports

74

 

Barclays Travel Plus Pack

£186

Worldwide annual inc USA (family) + winter sports

79

                     

Barclays Travel Pack

£126

Worldwide annual inc USA (family)

79

                     

RBS Select Platinum

£204

Worldwide annual inc USA (family) + winter sports

69

                     

The Co-operative Bank Everyday Extra

£180

Worldwide annual inc USA (family) + winter sports

79

                     

NatWest Reward Platinum

£228

Worldwide annual inc USA (family) + winter sports

69

                     

Lloyds Bank, TSB, Bank of Scotland Platinum

£204

Worldwide annual inc USA (family) + winter sports

79

                     

Halifax Ultimate Rewards

£180

Worldwide annual inc USA (family) + winter sports

70

                     

First Direct First Directory

£180

Worldwide annual inc USA (family) + winter sports

69

                     

TSB Silver

£119.40

Europe annual inc UK (couple)

64

                     

Clydesdale/Yorkshire Bank Signature

£162

Worldwide annual inc USA (family) + winter sports

74

                     

RBS Select Silver

£144

Europe inc. UK (individual)

69

                     

NatWest Reward Silver

£144

Europe inc. UK (individual)

69

 

Read more...

Turning the Travel Insurance Claims Process Inside Out

Has this happened to you? You file a claim and submit all the necessary documentation, only to find out weeks later the claim was never covered in the first place. Leading travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, has reinvented the claims process to make sure that doesn't happen.

Before requesting any documentation, Squaremouth's claims team talks directly to every claimant to assess their situation and better understand what coverage they may have.

"The way we do it is significantly more expensive for us as a company, however it provides a much better customer experience," says Squaremouth Co-Founder and CEO Chris Harvey. "We gather all of the necessary information ahead of time to simplify the claims process for our customers."

During the initial claims interview, Squaremouth claims adjusters use their expertise to put together an easy-to-interpret claim form. The customer is able to electronically make additions or changes to the form, and email back a signed copy with supporting documentation.

"The claim interview is the best way to explain to a customer what type of claim they have and what the process will be moving forward," says Squaremouth Claims Director Brandi Morse. "We can also let someone know if they won't be covered, so they don't have to spend the time providing us with documentation."

Building a Custom System to Fit Their Process 
Communication between a claimant and their provider is typically through email. Squaremouth uses the upfront interview to talk to each customer and obtain a clear understanding of their claim.

"We aren't going to force someone to provide anything we don't need, and we certainly won't ask them to provide lots of documentation if they won't be approved," Harvey says. "Customer experience is the most important thing for us."

To accommodate its unique claims process, Squaremouth built its own in-house claims system.

"We tweak the system on a constant basis" Harvey says. "My goal was to build a system that could tell the full story of every claim. You should always be able to look back and understand every step of a claim."

Using this system, Squaremouth has been able to dramatically increase customer satisfaction while lowering loss ratios.

"Excellent customer service and lower loss ratios are not usually mutually agreeable," Harvey says. "We had to re-engineer the process. We just turned it on its head."

Read more...

AXA PPP Healthcare Introduces Online Glossary To Help Patients Better Understand Common Medical Terms

Good doctor-patient relations depend on good communication and, whilst most patients (62 per cent) say that they understand what their GPs are telling them, nearly a third (31 per cent) find otherwise, leaving most of this group (73 per cent) feeling confused, anxious or uneasy.

Patients come to GP appointments with varying levels of knowledge and experience of medical matters and it can be difficult for GPs to gauge whether their patients are taking in what they’re saying. It’s therefore reassuring that, according to the findings of an AXA PPP healthcare poll of 2000 patients who have seen their GP in the last 12 months,* more often than not GPs are getting it right.

To get a better feel for patients’ knowledge of some commonly used medical terms, AXA PPP asked survey respondents to answer eight multiple choice questions:

CT scan – 4 out of 10 know the correct meaning

Whilst 43 per cent correctly identified CT as the abbreviation for computerised tomography, nearly a third (32 per cent) thought it meant cranial thermal scan and 11 per cent said it meant computerised torso scan.

Ganglion – 5 out of 10 know the correct meaning

Whilst 45 per cent correctly identified it as a harmless cyst, 25 per cent thought it was a skin tag or hanging nodule and 6 per cent thought it was a cancerous swelling.

Somnambulism – 5 out of 10 know the correct meaning

Whilst 51 per cent correctly identified the commonly used meaning (sleepwalking), 33 per cent didn’t know and 12 per cent thought it was an ear infection.

Hypertension – 6 out of 10 know the correct meaning

Whilst 59 per cent correctly identified it as high blood pressure, over a quarter (27 per cent) thought it meant anxiety or stress and 6 per cent plumped for hyperactive disorder.

MRI scan – 7 out of 10 know the correct meaning

Whilst 65 per cent correctly identified it as magnetic resonance imaging, nearly a fifth (17 per cent) thought MRI stood for multiple radiation investigation and 9 per cent went for mass radiation inventory.

Fracture – 8 out of 10 know the correct meaning

Whilst over three quarters (77 per cent) correctly identified a fracture as a broken bone, 13 per cent thought it meant a sprained bone and 5 per cent thought it was a torn muscle.

Benign – 8 out of 10 know the correct meaning

Whilst most (79 per cent) identified the best meaning of benign as not harmful in effect, 7 per cent thought it meant a terminal illness and a further 5 per cent thought it meant life limiting or disabling.

Haemorrhage – 8 out of 10 know the correct meaning

Whilst 81 per cent knew that a haemorrhage was an escape of blood from a ruptured blood vessel, 8 per cent thought it was another word for piles and 5 per cent confused it with a hernia, thinking it was a protrusion through the abdominal wall.

Older patients consistently outperformed their younger counterparts in correctly identifying these medical terms, which may be attributable to their having had more opportunities to hear of and/or experience them. For instance, 52 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds correctly identified hypertension as high blood pressure, compared with 69 per cent of those aged 55+.

Sixty-three per cent of 18 to 24 year olds knew a fracture was a broken bone, compared with 91 per cent of those aged 55+. And, regarding benign, 65 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds thought it meant not harmful in effect, compared with 92 per cent of those aged 55+. Ten per cent of 18 to 24 year olds even identified benign as meaning terminal, compared with 4 per cent of those aged 55+.

Women generally outperformed men in correctly identifying the medical terms. For instance, 85 per cent of women identified haemorrhage as an escape of blood from a ruptured blood vessel, compared with 77 per cent of men. For hypertension the figures were 67 per cent and 49 per cent, respectively, and for benign they were 82 per cent and 75 per cent.

AXA PPP’s chief medical officer Dr Gary Bolger noted, “Whilst, generally speaking, most people seemed to know the meaning of these medical terms, a surprisingly large proportion did not. Good communication is a two-way process so it is important for GPs to remember that a sizeable minority of their patients may not have sufficient knowledge or understanding to take in what they’re saying.”

Although most patients (74 per cent) did ask their GPs to explain what they meant when they hadn’t understood something, nearly a quarter did not: 11 per cent said nothing because of embarrassment, with 10 per cent doing likewise because they didn’t want to waste their doctor’s time. Three per cent gave up altogether and went to see another doctor. “Whilst some patients can find it intimidating to question their GP when they don’t understand what they’ve said, patients should remember that their doctor is there to help them and they shouldn’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask their doctor to explain what they mean,” Dr Bolger added.

Pressure of time can also be an issue for some patients, as a fifth (21 per cent) of those surveyed felt their GP didn’t take enough time to explain things to them in terms they can understand, with over half of this group attributing this to lack of time, which may be unsurprising given an average appointment time of 8 to 10 minutes.** To help patients to better understand some commonly used medical terms, AXA PPP has introduced an online glossary. For more information visit www.axappphealthcare.co.uk/doctorsorders.

*The survey, undertaken by OnePoll in May 2014, comprised 2000 adults who had been to a GP appointment in the last 12 months.

**Make the most of your appointment, NHS Choices: Doctors spend an average of eight-10 minutes with each patient. Once you've got an appointment, plan ahead to make sure that you cover everything you want to discuss. http://www.nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Yourchoices/GPchoice/Pages/GPappointments.aspx

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Expatriate Health Insurance

Compare Expatriate Health and Medical Insurance Plans, Coverage, Quotes and Companies, with iPMI Magazine. iPMIM represents leading providers of expat medical, health and travel insurance plans. Find the right and most appropriate Expatriate Health Insurance for overseas travel, global mobility and relocation