Crap Insurance

Just wanted to post an unfortunate story of having our stuff stolen and the insurance (purchased via worldnomads.com) looking for ways to avoid payment rather than doing their job of providing protection. Please be aware of this as having insurance doesn’t mean you’re protected, and just because your bags are locked and checked in with a reputable company doesn’t mean they can’t be broken into stealthily.
Our bags were broken into in Peru, at Arequipa’s bus station after they have been properly checked in with the bus company (CIAL). They were properly locked with 3 digit padlocks which did not appear to have been tampered with when we arrived at our destination. Our cash and electronics (camera, phone, etc.) were stolen and we realised the culprit had broken into the backpacks’ ziplines. See how on this youtube video.

We reported to the Peruvian tourist police, who came to our hostel to investigate and examine our backpacks. They then provided a written report of the incident as proof of investigation, and we submitted this along with other required documentation to worldnomads.com for claim.

1 full month later, we finally received the following response:

We acknowledge receipt of your claim, however, we regret to inform you that we will unfortunately not be able to meet your request for compensation.

In accordance with our policy conditions art. 11.4 d, the insurance does not cover theft from a motor vehicle, caravan or trailer, hotel room or holiday residence which does not bear visible signs of forced entry, including theft where access was obtained by means of a correct or a false key

The policy is to be found on the address http://worldnomads.com/policy_wording.aspx?uid=d3c2528a6026462cb0b5f2d740803ae7#exclusions

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards,

Christina Chen Dynesen, Travel Claims

There’s no definition of “visible signs of forced entry” and you could end up arguing for eternity with an insurance company whose intention is to avoid payment (obviously so if it took 1 month to provide the “lazy” response above). Breaking into ziplines is extremely easy and leaves minimal “visible signs of forced entry”.

Lessons learnt are always make sure you watch your bags being loaded onto the bus, don’t trust the bus company even if it is a reputable one, and be very aware every time the bus stops to make sure no one is trying to mess with them.

And last but not least.. purchase insurance from a company you have confidence in, ideally one which has provided quality service previously. (our 8 month policy with worldnomads cost us USD2,230, a premium way higher than market as we thought it would be worth it. Obviously not!)

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9 Comments

  1. Rafzana says:

    So sorry to hear the insurance company won't pay. It's not what you expect from such a reliable company. I can imagine you feel like your money is wasted.

  2. ace says:

    oh noooo! i am so sorry to hear that, are u going to try to dispute it still?

    asooooo!

  3. Glenn says:

    Rafzana / Ace: Hell yeah I'm gonna put up a fight! It's totally unreasonable and unacceptable. Our bags weren't even broken into inside a motor vehicle or hostel room so the exclusion doesnt even apply. And it took one month for them to give that response when they, being the ones who know the policy inside out, shoulda told me up front before asking me to provide police reports et al! Its so obvious they use that time to look for ways to get out of this!

    If they want visible signs of forced entry, I'm gonna show them pics of scratch marks on our zips. Simple as that.

    Never buy insurance with Bupa. If they are pissing around with even such a small claim, I have absolutely no confidence that if I were in some serious life threatening shit, they would pay. The insurance is useless.

  4. Ray says:

    Insurance companies are sneaky!
    You probably have to threaten to take them to court before they will actually read your claim forms.

  5. 山 him says:

    Here's the followup reply from BUPA Denmark (the insurance underwriter):

    QUOTE
    I am very sorry that the insurance does not live up to your expectations.

    In my message to you I made a mistake refering to the old policy conditions. I apologize for that. This will of course not happen again.

    Regarding your claim the claim details states that the bags were checked in with the bus company and while in their custody the items were stolen.
    However, the police report states in the first part that the items were mislaid or stolen, and later on mentions that the items might have been stolen on the bus from Arequipa-Cuzco.

    Nowhere is it mentioned that the bagage was checked in or that the zipline was broken. Thus based on the police report the items are not covered.
    Therefore we kindly ask you why this is not mentioned in the police report, so that we can make a final decision regarding this claim.

    Kind regards,

    Christina Chen Dynesen
    Travel Claims
    UNQUOTE

    Hardly sounds professional. It appears that their first excuse for not paying isn't going to work, because I said I can provide a photo of scratch marks on our backpack zipline as "visible signs of forced entry". Now they come up with a second excuse and are focusing on the wording of the police report. As travelers we all know getting a police report in a developing country where the language is not your mother tongue can be hard enough, let alone getting a report that specifies every single detail!

    I tried to call them today but it seems like nobody works there at all. The worldnomads sales rep was not to be found, the travel claims rep (Christina) didn't work today, and her supervisor was off by 3pm Danish time. Apparently their office hours are from 12 noon to 5pm.

  6. ayngelina says:

    Ive heard that its practically impossible to claim theft with World Nomads. I did choose to go with them but because they had a good rate for Canada for health and I heard its easy to claim health issues with them.

    If you´re traveling short term and have tenants insurance they are pretty good for theft. I claimed theft once and it was approved in a week

  7. ace says:

    seriously hope this gets resolved for u guys! i can't believe them!!!

  8. 山 him says:

    Good news!! We finally claimed our loss back from insurance. Was a challenge trying to get the supervisor as he was either "working from home" or off early.. after bollocking them over the phone and standing ground on how ridiculously stupid they were being, they paid. They tried to say that this wasn't classified as "theft" but "loss of registered baggage" (in which case cash loss is not covered). Fuckin hell! I have never dealt with such stupid people!

  9. ace says:

    so glad to hear it got resolved. most ppl wouldnt bother, but i am so glad u guys were stubborn!

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