Co-op launches into travel insurance market

Published by Adam Williams on 27 January 2018.
Last updated on 27 January 2018

Co-op launches into travel insurance market

Co-op Insurance has launched into the travel insurance market, targeting customers who are unable to pay large costs up front when they make a claim.

The Co-op says it is moving to fill a gap in the market for people who wish to be insured but are wary of the high costs they would be required to pay if they ever claim.

The insurer says the average travel insurance claim now stands at £2,090, with many insurers requiring customers to pay any costs up front and claim this cash back later.

Research by Co-op Insurance found that almost two-thirds (62%) of customers have been required to pay costs up front and then claim the costs back from their insurer later.

One in 10 claimants say they have ended up in debt because they have had to shell out to fund the cost of their treatment.

The Co-op’s range offers unlimited “cashless” medical expenses for policy holders of all ages - where fees are paid immediately to the hospital, rather than by the claimant - plus video consultation with a UK-based doctor.

Its policies also have no upper age limit, although if you’re over 90 you will need to phone Co-op to discuss the insurance before taking it out.

Mark Summerfield, chief executive of Co-op Insurance, says the firm is targeting a poorly-served segment of the market.

He says: “This is an exciting time for the Co-op as we introduce travel insurance to our portfolio of products. Having recognised a gap in the market, we’ve worked with our members across the Co-op, to build a product which is fair, inclusive of all ages and medical conditions.

“Furthermore, we’re the first general insurer to pay medical expenses up front, ensuring that our customers are not left out of pocket at what can already be a stressful time.”

Moneywise verdict

The Co-op is not the only financial brand expanding into a new sector. Earlier this week M&S Bank entered the mortgage market for the first time, launching a range of products for first-time buyers and beyond.

As with all new entrants, extra competition in a sector is always welcome, especially for customers who already use Co-op Insurance for their car, home and pet insurance.

The ability for customers to make a claim without shelling out for the cost up front is also a good benefit. However, you should always make sure you search the market for the best deal before choosing a policy.

Use a price comparison site to make sure you get the best deal. Sites such as Compare the Market and MoneySuperMarket allow you to check prices across the market, while others including All Clear Travel and Medical Travel Compared specialise in finding the best deals if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

Make sure you’re clear exactly what your policy covers to ensure you’re not left unable to claim should the worst happen. For example, {research published earlier this month by Defaqto} shows that just 58% of single trip insurance policies and 61% of annual policies cover cruises as standard.

https://www.moneywise.co.uk/news/2018-01-08/check-your-cruise-covered-four-10-policies-dont-protect-trips-standard

Below is a table of what each of Co-op’s policy tiers cover. The exact price you will be quoted depends on a range of factors including age, health, how long you’re looking to be insured for and where in the world you are travelling.

Co-op Insurance travel policy cover

Tier type  Online Doctor Pre-trip and during Cashless Medical Expenses During trip Homecare Post-trip Winter Sports Cruise Cover
Single Trip
Bronze Yes Yes No No No
Silver Yes Yes Yes No No
Gold Yes Yes Yes No No
Multi / Annual Trip
Bronze Yes Yes No Yes No
Silver Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Gold Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Platinum Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Backpacker
Bronze Yes Yes No No No
Silver Yes Yes Yes No No
Gold Yes Yes Yes No No

Source: Co-op Insurance, 27 January 2018

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Coop should stick to do what

Coop should stick to do what they ca do best and keep out of Financial Business. C00p's Banking and Investments business is in a mess. They loot their customers by hair cutting their investors while their directors and managers behave like Fat Cats. My advice - Stay Away from Coop products.