The Travel Insurance Confidence Trick


I have booked a trip to Spain towards the end of OcTABer, aka, the month of October. The airline told me that it is a condition of travel that I MUST have Travel Insurance, but they do not demand that I show proof of having such insurance. Thus, the statement that ‘it is a condition of travel’ that I MUST have Travel Insurance is nonsense. Why should I have TI just to travel on an aircraft from A to B? It is nonsense, and my insurance arrangements have nothing to do with the airline. If I fall ill during the course of the flight, then insurance can do nothing about it. Suppose that happened, or even worse, suppose that I pegged out during the flight. What would the airline do? The only unpleasant aspect of such an event would be the effect on those passengers sitting next to me. I suppose that they would not be too pleased to be sitting next to a corpse. But ‘insurance’ would not mitigate their displeasure. Even so, what would be the point of diverting to the nearest airport somewhere over France halfway through the flight? You might as well continue to the destination for all the difference that it would make. Perhaps the simple answer would be to drape a Union Jack over the corpse and sing hymns. Perhaps the cabin staff could put to the rest of the passengers: “We have a passenger who has died. Either we continue to our destination or we divert. Is there a passenger aboard who is not sickened by sitting next to a corpse? If there is someone who is prepared to do so, then we can continue to our destination. If not, then we shall have to divert”. I would volunteer. But what would actually happen? Almost certainly, the aircraft would divert to the nearest airport – for no real reason whatsoever.

That reminds me of an actual incident which occurred to herself and I. She suffers from multiple sclerosis. We went to Mallorca but there was an air traffic strike in France on the day of our return flight. We waited for six hours in the airport before we boarded the aircraft. Even then, we waited for a couple of hours with nothing happening. Herself was much discomforted, as you would expect.

A member of the cabin crew came over and said that we could leave the aircraft if we wanted to. That was very nice of them, but it did not solve the problem, which was the delay. So I said that we would not. Get this aircraft off the ground and get us home. It was not long after that that we took off. I wonder if the Captain was able to get us out of there sooner by saying that he had a passenger with MS who was much discomforted by the delay? You never know with these things what might be the tiny ‘special consideration’ which might decide.

Anyway, back to Travel Insurance.

It is a con, just as SHS danger is a con. The biggest con is ‘medical’.

We are still in the EU, and even when we leave, I am sure that mutual medical agreements will continue. I have a plastic card which I can produce to show that I am entitled to ‘mutual health care’ should I fall ill or have an accident wherever I am in the EU. I may have to pay, but I can get that payment reimbursed. So why should I pay for medical insurance when I already have it? And if I was to drop dead, would my death be ‘medical’? Suppose that I was run down and killed by a car? Would my death be medical? No, it would be ‘an accident’, but it would not be my fault (assuming that it was not my fault), and so what has my medical insurance got the do with it, if it was an accident?

The reason that I talk about this is that I am having great difficulties in getting simple Travel Insurance which suits my wishes. It seems that, because I am 77 years old, I am “singled out” for special investigation. I say that because the TI sites which used to present no difficulties before I turned 70, now refuse to quote. “There are no quotes available” is the response.

But, for my age, I am as fit as a fiddle. Why should I be “singled out” merely because of my date of birth? Sure, I have a bit of a problem with my prostate gland, but it is not a dangerous problem. It merely makes it not easy to wee. But, even so, one does wee. I take one pill per day to aleviate that problem. The stupidity of it is that I do not have that problem is I sit down to wee!

What has my little problem got to do with TI?

So the question arises as to what TI is for.

If I want to pay a premium to an insurance company to pay me £X if my baggage disappears in transit, I can do so. But if my baggage disappears because the airline lost it, then the airline has to pay me the value of my baggage. Also, the insurance company, which I have paid to reimburse me, should my baggage be lost by the airline, must also pay out. Is there a duplicate claim? Yes there is, but why should there not be? If I pay a premium to insurance company A for a fixed amount of money to be paid to my beneficiaries if I peg out, and I pay a premium to insurance company B for the same, why should not both companies pay the agreed sums?

There is nothing different about TI. When the airline lost by baggage some years ago, I got recompense from the airline to the maximum extent under the international agreement which existed at the time – £800 – but I had to fight for it. Why did I not also claim from my insurance? To my shame, I don’t think that I had insurance!


The whole scenario of TI has become ridiculous. TI is The Wild West. It is out of control, but the insurance companies are acting in collusion, just as Tobacco Control and Tobacco Companies are.

When I go on one of my trips, there is only so much ‘protection’ via TI that I want and need and am prepared to pay for. Frankly, that need is not much at all. In fact, provided that I am prepared to take care that my baggage is not stolen when it is in my own hands, and that I get to the airport in time, I do not see that I have any responsibilities which I need to insure for.

We have a ‘Government’ which is supposed to be protecting individuals against maurauding gangs of thieves and vagabonds. Individuals have no power on their own, and that is why we need Parliament. Parliament is supposed to protect against imposition.

Parliament has become the aggressor.

How sad.

2 Responses to “The Travel Insurance Confidence Trick”

  1. nisakiman Says:

    Mandatory travel insurance? Never heard of it.

    I have a flight booked to Bangkok (with Qatar) for next February, and nobody has mentioned anything about travel insurance. I’ve also booked a domestic flight there with Nok Air, and again, no mention of travel insurance. I’ve never bought it.

    Not even Easyjet insist on it, although you have to un-check the box to say you don’t want it. Which airline are you flying with? Sounds like a right royal con to me.

    I know some countries demand health insurance as a condition of issuing a visa, but that’s another thing, and nothing to do with the airline. All the airlines need to know is whether or not you have permission to disembark in your country of destination. Whether or not you have chosen to take out travel insurance is nothing to do with them.

    • junican Says:

      I think that I may be mistaken, although I’m sure that I read words to the effect that TI is required. On my confirmation email, Jet 2 Holidays ‘strongly recommend’. Normally, I just book flights and make my own hotel booking, but I have used Jet 2 Holidays on the last two occasions because the main component of the trip was the flights, which are horendously costly due to half-term at schools. At the moment I can only go when my daughter, N, who is a teacher, is on half-term holiday. I think that, if I use my brain, I can probably make better arrangements!
      But this TI con really gets up my nose. For us oldies, the questions they ask are becoming ridiculously intrusive and objectionable, like: “Have you EVER, in your whole life, had investigations for heart disease?, etc” How can I possibly remember what happened when I went to the doctors decades ago? And then there is the question of privacy. Do these insurance companies have a right to examine my medical records? In any case, what exactly is an ‘investigation’? If the doctor checks my blood pressure, is that an ‘investigation’?
      But my main point is that I ought to be able to decide what I want to cover. Since I travel alone, it is very unlikely that I shall lose my suitcase (actually, I think that my house contents policy covers my posessions even outside the house). There are other things which I would have to consider as well.
      Another thing is that they demand that I be a registered patient of a UK doctor. Why?
      And so on…..

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