Insure-and-Go: we're there for you until you need us

How's this for a ripoff? We've got travel insurance from Insure-and-Go, which covers (among other things), flight cancellations due to strikes. Last summer, we bought plane tickets from the UK to the US for Christmas holidays. Some time in October, BA's union threatened a strike. On Oct 26, we renewed our Insure-and-Go policy. Now they're saying that if BA goes on strike this Christmas, they won't cover us -- they say that because "we knew there was a possibility of a strike" on Oct 26, we have no strike insurance (even though we were insured by them when we bought the tickets, and even though we renewed our policy on time).


  1. Schrodinger’s policy!

    The sense of unease this sort of thing engenders is why I’ll never give up my European citizenship while resident in the U.S. If ever I claim on my health insurance here, I know the insurer will set out to deny and delay.

  2. This is a clear cut case of insurance fraud. They also knew the strike was a possibility when they sold the policy. That’s the whole point of insurance, both sides know the risk, and the premium is set to compensate the other party for taking on that risk. Don’t know how it works in the UK, but I strongly suggest you file a formal complaint with the regulatory agency who oversees this company.

  3. And that’s why I avoid insurance as much as possible. It seems to me like most insurance are more like scams than real insurance.

  4. Unbelievable – in the RSA we have ombudsman and public protectors we can go complain to – surely there must be a similar body in the UK?

  5. I tweeted about this a while ago. Try getting a refund from BA, that’ll even be more funny. Even though just the possibility of a strike, every insurer I phoned said it wouldn’t be covered.

      1. general interest rly. as long as there’s a flat bed in business, I’m cool, it’s more little details – the carrier I normally fly with started to stop providing a free laptop adapter, which perplexed me a bit. also it’s how long the walk is usually at heathrow on landing / if there’s some preposterous wait after leaving the lounge before boarding.

  6. Interesting. So insurance is invalid if the events insured against are possible. This sounds like a business model I should get in on.

  7. Want another example of rip-off insurance for airlines? Buy a ticket for Easy-Jet. It will automatically add “insurance” on to your flight. You can opt-out of course and take it off, but plenty probably keep it, figuring since this is such a crap airline it might be useful. Well if you are not a resident of the country you are flying out of that “insurance” is useless. Yet they will sell it to you anyway. So if you are say Greek and you are in London and decide to fly to Geneva, they will try to sell you “insurance” you can never use because you are a resident of Greece. The only way to find this out is to click-open and read the fine-print, but they still try to add it to the cost of your flight. You will only become aware of its useless-ness if something goes wrong and you need to use this insurance. Then they will deny your claim based on your lack of residence. Now imagine how much money they make in insurance they sell but dont actually insure?

  8. Here at Insular, we pride ourselves on selling peace of mind*; we’ve been in the business since money men stole the USA in 1913.

    You can trust* in Insular.

    * Phrase ‘peace of mind’ employed to denote the illusion of peace of mind. Term ‘trust’ does not commit Insular to any liabilities implied. Insular is a proud subsidiary of HyperGlobalMegaCorp.
    HyperGlobalMegaCorp. Fuck you.

  9. Shouldn’t mess with a customer who’s got a couple million readers and fans at his website. Bad for business.

    Anybody got the appropriate email for this company?

  10. Cory,

    Whoever told you that doesn’t have a brain or a law degree both of which I possess.

    IF the strike happens, file a claim in January in small claims court and sue them for breach of contract. The rights of recovery you have under the first contract will be enforceable.

  11. Yeah yeah — and you can be insured against yak bites anywhere but Tibet.

    You’d think that continuous insurance would be an argument against their stance. I suppose that is what courts are for, and at the price of airline tickets, suing them might get you some relief.

  12. Insurance is, by and large, the hugest scam humans have ever managed to organize. In most cases insurance reduces to a sort benign protection racket.

    It does give you what you want sometimes (and I even had “extra” insurance applied to a purchase pay out in spades, as DVD player after DVD player failed over 2 years) but at worst you are throwing your money away.

    Mostly because the underwriters can change the rules at any time — it’s in the contract you signed — leaving you will less coverage than when you signed up.

    The industry does pay out of course, and if you ask them if they can interfere with your right to file and benefit from a claim you will get the legal answer (“the law forbids me to say no”.)

    But they operate on the maximum number of claims they can not pay out, and still stay on the right side of the law (as much as possible.)

    They are masters of dirty tricks and legalese, of course. For anything other than home-buyers insurances (the banks got tired of sorting mortgages BS out, and simplified this a lot) and some sorts of auto insurance (depending on where you live) your insurance contracts are more of a EULA. If you read it carefully you will note that they assume the right to refuse payment for as long as they can, to reduce coverage and to over-extend their claims above and beyond the current law in your locale.

    They don’t always get their way, and adjusters are human and generally not evil. But the industry is generally crooked and run like a well-oiled extra-legal criminal enterprise.

  13. What a nasty piece of bullshit.

    How can they prove you knew about the strike when you booked the tickets?

  14. The possibility of a strike could be a reason to buy insurance, but it’s not a reason not to pay on it! Sue the bastards.

  15. Is there any other good reason for you to keep the insurance through these people (they cover being stranded overnight, lost luggage, etc. more effectively than the minimal assistance an airline will give you)? If not, cancel the insurance and demand your premium back. If they are actually useful for some other reason, you’ll have to decide whether the risk they’ll decide capriciously your particular problem isn’t one they’ll cover is worth letting them keep your money. If they’ve ducked out of one thing they specifically said they’d cover, it doesn’t bode well for if you DO have a problem.

  16. Perhaps they are just trying to fob you off, telling you that you can’t make a claim when actually if you went through the paperwork they’d pay out, because they’re obliged to under your contract.

    I would suspect this sort of behaviour is quite common in insurance companies – if you can prevent people from making claims then you don’t have to pay out, but you can still say that you pay out on a high percentage of claims made. Despicable but logical.

  17. …but I strongly suggest you file a formal complaint with the regulatory agency who oversees this company.


    *Wipes away tears*

    Even IF they can even find out which regulator is even moderately responsible for that company in that locale- they rarely do anything like say, regulate. That would be silly.

    No sue, sue for legal fees as well, if you can avoid it, don’t have the lawyer take it on contingency. I’d pay more money than I’d be losing just to force it to a jury trial (your right under the Seventh Amendment for any civil case involving more than $20) in this current economic climate. Chances are, you’d get it right back and then some after a verdict.

  18. on the other hand you are insured against sunburn – as long as you don’t get it by intention… what is intention?

  19. I work for a Uk travel insurance provider (not Insure and Go)and I’m afraid to say that this is not an isolated case. Any UK insurer would say exactely the same thing. However, don’t forget that the strike may not actually happen and even if it does, BA will book you on the next available flight or offer a refund. Please ignore all the cynical comments about BA and insurers. Incidentally, if you had purchased a single trip cover, you would have been insured. That’s the problem with annual insurance.

  20. Why take two bottles into the shower, when you can spend the holidays at Heathrow out of pocket while the shiftless BA workers stand around a burning oil drum?

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