A price comparison site has warned holidaymakers that their home insurance could be invalid should they do one small thing – take a holiday snap and share it on social media.

Holly Bennett, one of the personal finance experts at NerdWallet, says that if you get the urge to share that pic when you’re away from home – even just in the UK, it could be wise to think twice, WalesOnline reports.

She said: “At the risk of sounding like a killjoy, you could be creating easy pickings for potential thieves while your home is unoccupied. If you make a claim after a break-in that happened while you were away, and the insurer checks your profile, these social media posts may not help your cause.”

Read more:The Gate reopens cinema and car park after weeks of closure over safety concerns

It is important to note that while an insurer may not decline a claim just because you posted a photo, they do expect you to take reasonable care in protecting your home when it comes to security. Similarly, should you be heading on an extended stay away from home, your insurance could decline a claim made while the property is unoccupied.

Holly added: “If you have standard buildings or contents insurance and leave your property unoccupied for more than 30 or 60 days in a row, your insurer may not pay out if you make a claim. The risk of damage, leaks, vandalism and theft increases when nobody’s home. And when damage stays unnoticed, it can cost more to fix if it gets worse.”

To ensure you’re covered should the unthinkable happen, it’s wise to let your insurers know and take out extra cover. You can take out specialist cover like unoccupied home insurance, holiday home insurance or landlord insurance, which factor in properties being empty for longer stretches of time, along with offering other benefits, such as covering loss of rental income after damage to your home, like a burst pipe, makes your property uninhabitable.

And while standard home insurance policies usually last a year, these specialist policies last for anything from three months to 12 months, to cover the period it’s unoccupied. Below are some other common mistakes people make when it comes to home insurance, including not locking windows, not carrying out repairs and presuming accidental damage is covered:

Assuming you’re covered for accidental damage

Fewer than one in five home insurance policies automatically cover you for accidental damage, which is when you or someone else unintentionally and unexpectedly damages your building or belongings. That could be putting your foot through a ceiling, leaving the bath tap on and flooding your home, upending the paint tin on the carpet, dropping an antique vase, or hitting a golf ball through the kitchen window.

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Accidental damage is the most common reason for a claim on a home insurance policy, yet many people don’t realise the level of cover their policy provides. The FOS often receives complaints

Since many countries still require negative COVID-19 tests to enter, it’s good to obtain travel insurance. After all, a positive COVID-19 test result is still possible — even if you’re vaccinated and boosted — and could derail your trip.

Increasingly, more Americans are jumping on the travel insurance train. Nearly one-third (31%) of U.S. travelers say they are more likely to purchase travel insurance for their trips planned between now and the end of 2022, according to an August 2021 AAA survey of more than 1,100 American adults. And Americans are following through with what they say they’ll do. AAA’s travel insurance sales increased between August 2020 and August 2021.

But there’s a good chance you can get travel protections without buying a separate travel insurance policy. That’s because many credit cards provide travel insurance as a built-in benefit to customers.

Credit card travel insurance is comparable to standard travel insurance, which you’d purchase through a typical travel insurance company, like Allianz or World Nomads.

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But while standard trip insurance requires you to go through the work of actually acquiring a plan, your credit card’s travel insurance provides automatic coverage — as long as you pay for the trip using a card that offers the benefit.

Standard trip insurance is typically priced between 5% and 10% of your total trip cost, according to insurance comparison site Squaremouth. However, exact costs vary based on factors such as your age, type of trip, duration and expense. With credit card travel insurance, the type of insurance coverage and the maximum dollar amount covered can vary.

In general, expect coverage between $6,000 and $20,000 per trip among cards with trip cancellation and interruption benefits. For other types of coverage, like baggage delay, it’s typically less. For example, lost luggage insurance coverage of up to $3,000 per passenger is standard, and travel accident insurance typically covers between $500,000 and $1 million.

See the best travel rewards cards that provide travel insurance here.

What does credit card travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance is a broad umbrella term, and some credit cards provide greater degrees of coverage than others. For example, cards with higher annual fees tend to offer more coverage with higher dollar values.

Common types of credit card travel insurance coverage are:

  • Baggage delay. If your checked bags don’t show up at the carousel, this coverage will reimburse you for necessities such as clothing, toiletries, etc.
  • Lost/damaged baggage. If your bags are lost or damaged by a carrier (or perhaps articles have been stolen from your luggage), you will be reimbursed for the lost/stolen items.
  • Trip delay. Suppose you’re delayed for a covered reason. In that case, you can receive monetary compensation for meals, hotels, transportation and other covered purchases made due to the delay, like an extra night’s stay at a hotel.
  • Trip cancellation. If you need to cancel a prepaid, nonrefundable trip, you may receive compensation to offset the lost funds. This benefit generally applies to

The owner of Chill Insurance, the largest personal insurance broker in Ireland, has expanded its footprint in the market with the acquisition of well-known low-cost broker Quote Devil.

The deal adds Quote Devil to the growing insurance platform of Three Rock Group, the private equity-backed vehicle that bought a majority stake in Chill in 2020 and also owns motor insurance agency Ivernia.

Quote Devil, a sister company of commercial coverage provider Pembroke Insurances, will continue to operate under its independent brand, selling personal insurance products underwritten by Zurich Life and Caledonian Insurance.

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The parties did not publicly disclose a price, which is being shared by Quote Devil’s individual founders and Pembroke.

Quote Devil was started in 2006 by CEO John McGuire and Graham Weir, the current managing director of Pembroke Insurances, a sub-brand of financial advisor First Credit.

The company has one of the more recognisable and heavily advertised brands in the personal insurance market, offering home, car, van and travel insurance.

Mr McGuire is staying with the business along with 60 staff, while continuing his involvement with Pembroke, with which Quote Devil shares an office.

The company has about one-fifth the headcount of Chill, which employs 278 staff and has 230,000 customers, or about a 7pc market share.

Operating profits at Chill Insurance rose more than 10pc to almost €4.5m in its last financial year.

The company had turnover of €28.1m in the year to the end of April 2021

Chill’s owner Three Rock is backed by Livingbridge, a UK private equity firm with a portfolio of more than 100 companies, including British insurance brokers Jensten and Kingsbridge, as well as well-known fashion brands Bench and Fatface.

Chill Insurance was founded by brothers Seamus and Padraig Lynch in 2006.

In June 2020, they sold a majority of the business to Livingbridge, launching Three Rock in the process, as the Irish company sought to finance acquisitions and expand its product range.

The transaction is believed to have valued Chill at about €100m. As part of the deal, the brothers retained about a 32pc stake in Chill Insurance, with Seamus Lynch retaining about 28pc and his brother Padraig keeping just over 4pc.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Two North Carolina insurance agents have been accused of submitting false insurance claims to collect more than $30,000, authorities said.

The N.C. Department of Insurance said in a news release that Christian LaFabian Ratliff, 34, of Rockingham, was charged with insurance fraud obtaining property by false pretense, both felonies. Ratliff also was charged with two misdemeanor counts of making false statements in an application for insurance.

The department also said Jamel Dante Buie, 43, of Hamlet, is facing similar charges.

Special agents with the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division accuse Ratliff of obtaining $29,528 in commissions by submitting life insurance applications containing false information to two insurance companies.

Special agents with the department accused Buie of obtaining $4,758 in commissions by submitting false applications between November 2020 and August 2021. The department said Ratliff’s offenses occurred between October 2020 and August 2021.

Ratliff and Buie were scheduled to appear in Richmond County District Court on Thursday.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

“The court imposed the penalties after finding Allianz and AWP engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct when selling travel insurance by failing to correctly state how premiums were calculated and by allowing insurance to be sold to ineligible customers,” said the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in a press release. (Photo: Martin Leissl/Bloomberg)

On Sep. 7, an Australian court fined two units of German insurer Allianz SE for A$1.5 million (US$1.12 million) for selling travel insurance to ineligible customers and not disclosing how premiums were calculated, Reuters reported.

The fine concludes a nearly year-long civil lawsuit that was filed on Sep. 30, 2020, by Australia’s corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The lawsuit alleged that two of Allianz’s units, Allianz Australia and AWP Australia, engaged in misleading and deceptive practices when selling travel insurance by not providing consumers with correct information on how premiums were calculated and failing to prevent the sale of travel insurance on Expedia to consumers illegible to make claims under policies.

According to the ASIC, Allianz’s travel insurance policies sold through Expedia were sold upon the purchase of travel, such as a flight, and presented as “add-on insurance” where consumers could add travel insurance to their travel product purchase.

The ASIC also claimed the Allianz units misused a quote from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade about the importance of purchasing travel insurance.

“ASIC is committed to improving the outcomes for Australian consumers who purchase insurance. The insurance industry needs to be transparent and accurate when selling and promoting their products,” said ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court in a release, adding: “The community expects that the insurance industry will promote and sell products in a transparent way. People take out travel insurance for peace of mind and to protect their families. The value of an insurance policy is in the promise — that a consumer can feel confident and secure that they will be looked after if something goes wrong. ASIC remains committed to ensuring that consumers’ experience matches that expectation.”

In October 2020, ASIC secured A$10 million (US$7.37 million) from Allianz to compensate approximately 31,500 consumers who were missold travel insurance through Allianz’s website or through distributions patterns, such as Expedia.

The courts considered the early remediation efforts from Allianz when determining its fine, the ASIC said.

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Two all-inclusive resorts in St. Lucia are offering complimentary travel insurance to all international guests who stay at their properties for 5 nights or more. The travel insurance covers medical and quarantine expenses if COVID-19 disrupts guests’ stay.

Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa and next-door adults-only Serenity at Coconut Bay are providing travel insurance underwritten by Grace Kennedy Insurance for the duration of guests’ visits. Coverage starts with arrival day at the resort and continues until departure day from the resort. It does not continue if guests stay elsewhere in St. Lucia following their stay at a Coconut Bay property.

The travel insurance covers $100,000 in overseas medical and dental expenses for guests up to age 70. Guests who are 71 and over are covered up to $10,000 in medical and dental expenses.

Some pre-existing conditions are covered. Read more details about pre-existing medical conditions here.

Medical quarantine is covered at $200 a day for up to 14 days.

Trip interruption coverage is up to $2,000 per person. The trip interruption coverage comes into play if there are events that disrupt your vacation once you’ve arrived at one of the St. Lucia resorts. Trip cancellation insurance is not included in the free insurance coverage. 

Loss, theft, or damage to luggage is covered up to $1,500. You’ll also be compensated up to $1,500 if your luggage is delayed. 

Guests who are staying at either resort for fewer than 5 days can purchase the travel insurance for $39 a day.

See the full schedule of benefits for the travel insurance here (PDF).

The resorts are offering this travel insurance to international guests who book before October 31, 2021, for travel through June 30, 2022.

St. Lucia Resorts Offer Additional COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Both Coconut Bay resorts already offer a free “return home” COVID-19 antigen test for guests who stay 5 nights or more. A negative COVID-19 antigen test is accepted for return to the United States and the United Kingdom. Canada requires a negative PCR test, and the resorts have arranged for tests at a subsidized cost.

The resorts require guests to have temperature checks on arrival and daily throughout their stay.

St. Lucia requires all arriving international travelers aged 18 and up to fill out a travel registration form. All international travelers aged 5 and up must have a negative PCR test within 5 days of arrival.

You do not need to be fully vaccinated to visit St. Lucia, however, unvaccinated travelers must remain on property at a COVID-19 certified property for 14 days (or fewer, if your vacation is shorter) and may only leave the property to dine at certified restaurants or participate in certified tours and excursions.

Full current entry requirements to St. Lucia are found here.

Nationwide Building Society is discontinuing its free European travel insurance deal for its FlexAccount customers.

The company informed its FlexAccount customers via letter and email that the free travel insurance benefit will be removed from December 31, 2021. Any member who takes a trip anywhere to Europe this year will still benefit from the full travel insurance coverage, before the benefit is dropped.

Nationwide also gave assurances that for FlexAccount members who have a trip booked that was cancelled before the free travel insurance cover ends later this year, their trip will still be covered. Those who have also booked a trip leaving in 2021 and returning in 2022 will still be covered during their entire trip, it said.

Only FlexAccount members who opened their account with Nationwide before December 15, 2016, may enjoy the free European travel insurance benefit. It has not been made available to new customers since Nationwide stopped offering the perk in 2016.

“We have kept our free European travel insurance in place for longstanding FlexAccount members for five years after removing it for new members in 2016,” a spokesperson for Nationwide told The Guardian, adding that the perk is being dropped because only a quarter of FlexAccount customers were actually using the coverage.

As compensation, Nationwide is offering a 30% discount on Direct Line travel insurance for customers affected.

Nationwide is axing free European travel insurance for the last of its FlexAccount customers who were entitled to the cover via their current account.

The member-owned building society has been contacting customers this week to announce the change, and warning them that they will have to buy alternative cover for any trip they take from 31 December 2021.

For many years the free European travel insurance was a major reason to have one of the society’s Flex current accounts.

Nationwide stopped offering the perk to new customers of its basic FlexAccount in December 2016 but those who had signed up prior to that were able to keep their free European travel cover provided they paid at least £750 a month into the account and filled in an annual declaration disclosing any medical conditions.

From the end of the year, they, too, will lose the cover. Nationwide said it “understood that members may be disappointed by this decision” but that only a quarter of its FlexAccount customers were benefiting from the product.

“We have kept our free European travel insurance in place for longstanding FlexAccount members for five years after removing it for new members in 2016,” a spokesperson said.

“However, with a relatively small proportion of members now meeting the eligibility criteria, we have taken the decision to simplify our proposition and align terms for all FlexAccount members. In light of low usage and the cost of this cover, we will now be removing this insurance at the end of the year.”

While most customers will lose their cover at the end of the year, those who have paid for an upgrade, such as to keep the insurance after their 70th birthday or to cover a medical condition, will still be protected until that expires.

Nationwide is offering a 30% discount on Direct Line travel insurance for its FlexAccount customers affected by the change. However, this may not be the cheapest option for travellers, who should shop around and compare policies and premiums.

Alternatively, customers have the option to upgrade to Nationwide’s FlexPlus account, which offers worldwide travel insurance for the whole family – plus other benefits – but costs £13 a month, or £156 a year.

Those who do shop around for another policy will not find Axa on the list of providers after it announced it will no longer sell its own brand overseas and UK travel insurance policies to new customers.

The insurer said this week that customers who had already bought annual and single-trip policies would not be affected and cover would continue as planned until expiry. But once your cover ends you will no longer be able to renew it.

Axa has taken the decision to “simplify its travel offering”. However, it will continue to underwrite policies provided by third-party partners, including the AA, Abta, Coverwise and the Halifax packaged account.

Axa says it will contact all affected customers and will advise them to visit the British Insurance Brokers’ Association website, where a broker

Rawpixel / Shutterstock

Rawpixel / Shutterstock

With the holiday season quickly approaching, many people are making their travel plans now. But there’s always a chance you may have to cancel, especially with the threat of the ongoing pandemic. While travel insurance often comes to mind as a solution for protecting your trip plans, not just any policy will do.

Read: How To Budget and Plan for a Vacation in 2021
Get Ready: Travel Prep: 10 Financial To-Dos Before Going on a Trip

“Sometimes, people don’t understand that not all travel insurances are the same,” said Jess C., founder of Easy American Travel. “Just because you bought travel insurance doesn’t mean that it will cover everything related to your trip, including your health. Travel insurance companies don’t offer everything in one product, and they slip this into two to three products.”

Here’s everything you need to know to ensure you get the right kind of travel insurance in case of a COVID-19-related trip cancellation.

Where To Purchase COVID-19 Travel Insurance

When it comes to COVID-19 travel insurance, the best option for purchasing is through a travel insurance company. Avoid buying travel insurance policies or vacation waivers that are offered as an add-on by travel agencies or booking sites because they are likely to have more exclusions and less chance of covering COVID-19 cancellations.

Options for COVID-19 Travel Insurance Cancellation

There are a couple of options that can cover you if you have to cancel your trip for reasons due to COVID-19. Here’s what you need to know.

Learn More: 40 Pandemic Airport Secrets Only Insiders Know

Cancel for Any Reason Travel Insurance (CFAR)

CFAR coverage is just what it sounds like: With it, you can cancel your trip for any reason, including fear of COVID-19.

“If you’re looking to book a trip for the upcoming holidays, look into buying Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) Travel Insurance,” recommended Amanda Hand, head of marketing and communications at G1G Travel Insurance. “It’s the best way to protect yourself against unexpected cancellations due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, unexpected border closures and a general fear of travel — all things not covered by standard travel insurance plans.”

To get a CFAR insurance plan, you’ll have to purchase a standard travel insurance plan and add the CFAR coverage.

CFAR typically covers 50%-75% of your lost, prepaid travel expenses as long as you purchase it within 14-21 days of your first trip payment and cancel your trip by the specified deadline, which is typically 48 hours before your scheduled departure.

Be advised that the window of time to purchase CFAR may vary by company and not all travel insurance companies offer it. Make sure to read the fine print of the CFAR policy to double-check cancellation deadlines.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

If you are only concerned about contracting the virus and not being able to proceed with your travel plans, trip cancellation insurance may be the way to go.

“Now, if you don’t want to opt

Since the pandemic hit in the beginning of 2020, we’ve spent a lot of time booking, changing and rebooking travel accommodations for many of our clients. For some reason, there are still clients who seem to think that they’ll always get a refund on their travels when changes need to be made. Even if they don’t purchase travel insurance, they’re still expecting some form of reimbursement.

We recently had two huge custom FIT reservations that wanted to cancel their preplanned trips. Since it was less than 30 days before their departure, they would have lost a lot of money if they just outright canceled the trip. Fortunately, I was able to secure all of their funds so they didn’t lose any money by my moving the dates over for them vs. outright canceling. I did this without charging them any additional fees. I also did this without charging them the potentially higher rates for their new travel dates.

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Every time I do this for a client I always think – why should my team and I be doing all of this work over and over again without charging any new fees when it was the client’s decision not to travel due to COVID? This is especially frustrating when there aren’t any restrictions where they’re traveling to and they’ve already been fully vaccinated.

When we do offer our travel insurance options to clients, I would say about 90 percent immediately decline the insurance. The top reasons are 1. they think it’s a waste of money, 2. it’s not cheap to purchase, and 3. they feel nothing will happen to them before or during their travels. While it can be expensive depending on the amount of their trip, their age, which policy they choose, etc., clients must realize the importance of purchasing travel insurance. Especially these days!

Everyone has to pay for car insurance because you never know what will happen. Other examples of common insurance types people regularly purchase include home insurance, health insurance, renters insurance and even pet insurance. So why not purchase travel insurance to cover the unexpected, too?

We recently decided it would be beneficial to simply offer more insurance coverage options to our list of services to fully accommodate our variety of clients. We always do our best to offer our clients a wide range of coverages to protect them when they’re traveling, and since there are new travel insurance options now available, we’ve added these new options to our services.

Travel Insured is our preferred partner as they offer insurance benefits, like covering bed rest for quarantine. As a travel agent, you should understand how to choose the best policy and options for your clients. This is especially important due to all of the pandemic-related problems that are still happening as of today.

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