#enterprise Our travel insurer Holiday Extras won’t pay out for cancelled trip after our son’s sudden death
Me, my spouse and grown-up son had two holidays booked in March and May 2022.
Sadly, each needed to be cancelled as a result of my son was identified with terminal most cancers and handed away inside weeks. This was a devastating time for us, made worse by our therapy by the hands of our travel insurer, Holiday Extras.
We first realized of the sickness when our son was admitted to hospital two days earlier than the primary vacation in early March.
We known as Holiday Extras the identical day to request declare kinds for the primary vacation, mentioning that our son was in hospital and severely unwell.
Bereaved: Our reader misplaced his son, however did not get the service he anticipated when he tried to make an insurance coverage declare for a vacation that they had deliberate as a household (image posed by mannequin)
We did not find yourself submitting a declare, although, because it turned out the vacation might be rescheduled for the top of the 12 months.
Two months later, our son died. I knowledgeable Holiday Extras two days later and submitted all info requested so as to make a declare for the May vacation. I believed every part was in hand.
It was solely once I known as in June to observe up that I used to be advised our declare had been parked as we had not offered a medical certificates. We hadn’t been requested for this.
After I offered one I did not hear something for a month, so I known as once more in July.
Shortly after, Holiday Extras advised me by e-mail that it could solely pay out £450 – barely a fifth of what we initially paid.
The purpose given was that I didn’t inform the agency about my son’s sickness shortly sufficient – although I known as on the day I discovered out. I emailed again however Holiday Extras refused to hear and now it has stopped responding.
The firm has confirmed a complete lack of empathy. This has all been very distressing on high of dropping our son. We are pensioners and I’m in my 80s. We actually don’t want this. Anonymous, through e-mail
Helen Crane of This is Money replies: I used to be very sorry to listen to concerning the sudden lack of your son.
Having to take care of unfair therapy from an organization is dangerous sufficient in regular circumstances, however given your state of affairs this can be very regrettable that Holiday Extras didn’t deal with you with the care and compassion you deserved.
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Unfortunately, this isn’t unusual. I’m repeatedly astounded by the shortage of empathy that firms present to their bereaved prospects, whether or not that’s an power agency or a cruise firm.
You paid virtually £2,200 for your vacation, and the £450 the agency has paid you again thus far represents simply over a fifth of that preliminary price.
What precisely occurred right here? Holiday Extras advised you there was a clause in your coverage that required you to ‘take instant motion to advise the insurers within the occasion of any change in well being of both your self or any shut relative through the interval from the date the vacation was booked till the date of departure on the vacation.’
This is a standard function of insurance coverage insurance policies, and whereas the precise definition of the phrase ‘instant’ is not clear, one would think about a telephone name on the identical day can be enough.
But Holiday Extras seems to not have made any notes in your file following the decision. Calls are typically recorded, however not at all times and on this case yours was not.
It famous the medical certificates you offered, displaying the date that your son was admitted to hospital in March – and stated that you just had not contacted it till May, thus decreasing the insurance coverage payout you had been entitled to.
But as you advised me, you probably did make a name that very day to Holiday Extras. The truth that you just took the time to take action throughout such an upsetting time makes it much more galling that the insurance coverage firm seems to not have taken notice of it. You might as effectively not have bothered.
‘Lack of empathy’: The couple say that Holiday Extras did not deal with their insurance coverage declare with compassion, together with by failing to reply to their emails (image posed by fashions)
You say you were not requested to observe up the decision in writing, so assumed the matter was in hand. While you must be capable to belief an insurer to take down info over the telephone, it may be a good suggestion to request an e-mail affirmation so that you’ve a file of any conversations.
After your son sadly died, the agency continued to point out a slapdash strategy to your declare – failing to tell you about what paperwork had been wanted and never updating you on its progress till you picked up the telephone to chase it up. When you requested for a name again from a supervisor, it by no means got here.
Ultimately, Holiday Extras provided you only a fraction of the price of the vacation as a payout.
Naturally you objected, however after the agency started providing you with the silent therapy, you emailed me to ask for assist closing this sorry chapter.
It selected to not give any remark or rationalization, however has now reviewed your declare and agreed to pay you the total £2,198 price of the vacation.
I’m glad I used to be capable of get the agency to hearken to what you had been telling all of it alongside – that you just did make that essential name to inform it about your son’s sickness.
But it should not have taken my intervention to encourage it to do proper by a bereaved household. Simply put: it is a shame.
Free searching: Mobile telephone community Three has made seven charity and non-profit web sites that assist folks handle their funds accessible with out utilizing cell knowledge
Hit and miss: This week’s naughty and good checklist
Every week, I have a look at the businesses who’ve fallen brief in the case of customer support, and people who have gone above and past.
Hit: New prime minister Liz Truss might need promised a freeze on power payments this week, however loads of folks stay deeply involved about the price of residing disaster.
I’m at all times eager to shine a highlight on firms that provide a serving to hand to their prospects in these troubling instances, and this week the cell and web community Three UK has accomplished simply that.
It has added seven charity and non-profit web sites that provide monetary recommendation to its ‘zero-rated’ checklist – which means that prospects will be capable to entry them with out utilizing up their cell phone knowledge.
These embrace Citizens Advice, StepChange and National Debtline, all of which offer free assist to these scuffling with cash and payments.
O2 and Virgin Media additionally made a handful of cash recommendation providers free-to-access earlier within the 12 months, and it could be good to see different telecomms companies observe go well with.
Ticket hassle: Reader M.R offered tickets to see the German rock band Rammstein (pictured) however did not get the refund he anticipated from resale web site Viagogo
Miss: Reader M.R wrote in to inform me of his troubles getting a refund from live performance ticket resale web site Viagogo.
An avid music fan, he and his spouse had booked tickets for a number of live shows scheduled for 2022 – a few of which had been rescheduled because the pandemic, and others booked extra lately.
This included seeing German rock band Rammstein in a number of venues round Europe, and watching Abba’s digital actuality tour Abba Voyage in London.
When his spouse grew to become pregnant, although, they determined to keep away from the international travel and busy crowds and listed their tickets on Viagogo, for a complete of £563.
M.R advised me he efficiently offered all of the tickets and transferred them to the patrons – however he by no means obtained the cash from the resale web site. All of those occasions had been scheduled for July 2022, and Viagogo says sellers ought to be paid inside eight days.
Instead of patrons paying sellers immediately, all of the funds undergo Viagogo – so I contacted the web site to ask what had occurred.
While you had been owed £563 for this batch of tickets, Viagogo stated you additionally listed a separate set of tickets at a special time for a worth of £290.
These had been additionally offered, however Viagogo claimed you then ‘rejected’ the sale and did not present the tickets to the customer. When this occurs, the web site’s coverage is to supply substitute tickets for the customer itself and cost the vendor for the price of doing so.
In your case, the substitute tickets Viagogo sourced price £206. This was subtracted from the cash you had been owed out of your earlier tranche of ticket gross sales – which means Viagogo now solely owed you £357.
It has now paid you that quantity and contacted you on to provide the full particulars.
A spokesperson stated: ‘In this occasion, the vendor rejected a sale for considered one of his orders, so he incurred a substitute price which permits us to supply new tickets for the customer. There had been no points with the sellers’ different gross sales and he has obtained cost for these accordingly.’
Viagogo should not have taken so lengthy to settle up with you, and its communication might actually have been higher.
But sadly for you, the deduction was allowed beneath the positioning’s guidelines. It at all times pays to verify these completely when reselling tickets on-line.
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