herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

VHI blasted over holiday insurance axe

ROW: Travellers left without cover

Holidaymakers have been warned to check their travel insurance cover following hundreds of complaints from travellers last year.

More than 300 complaints about travel insurance were received in 12 months by the Financial Services Ombudsman.

The warning comes as a consumer watchdog accused VHI of "sharp practice."

People with multi-trip travel cover from the Voluntary Health Insurance State agency claimed they were not informed that their travel insurance was cancelled when they dropped their VHI health cover. The VHI travel package was sold to existing health insurance customers but people who quit their health cover or switched to Quinn or Aviva companies automatically lost their VHI travel cover.

The Consumer Association's Michael Kilcoyne said: "You would expect higher service standards from a semi-state company. This is sharp practice."



STRESS

A VHI spokeswoman said: "In the past, if a member cancelled their VHI Healthcare hospital plan, their multi-trip policy was automatically cancelled too, with no refund.

"This was something we clearly highlighted."

The company has since changed its rules and now allows people who had health insurance with Quinn or Aviva to avail of VHI travel insurance,.

The National Consumer Agency chief executive Ann Fitzgerald said people should always check their level of cover.

"It is clear that people need to be careful when they are buying travel insurance products. Not having the right cover can cost a lot of time, money and stress if something goes wrong."

People should also check if their existing health or home insurance policies cover them when going on holidays

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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