Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Nationwide travel insurance changing

  • Ghosty 17 posts

    Thanks for your post JDB.
    I think it’s best to keep what I have got now, as it is all in place until next year.
    I currently haven’t got any trips booked, but we are getting itchy feet for last minute trips etc and I have an inkling for more Far East travels in Sept after such an enjoyable time in China last Nov/Dec.

    TedL 42 posts

    Does anyone know if Cruises are covered as part of NW or Virgin travel insurance?
    Thanks.

    Nationwide do a cruise extension, £40 when I renewed in July last year, and it came in handy last Feb when had two ports cancelled and also caught Covid on the cruise so was glad I had it. No idea on Virgin.

    Haven’t received any notification from Nationwide on these changes yet and wonder how it will work as my upgrade renewal will be due in July and already have Award flights to/from Australia for October to December.

    Tiger 41 posts

    Does anyone know if Cruises are covered as part of NW or Virgin travel insurance?
    Thanks.

    Nationwide do a cruise extension, £40 when I renewed in July last year, and it came in handy last Feb when had two ports cancelled and also caught Covid on the cruise so was glad I had it. No idea on Virgin.

    Haven’t received any notification from Nationwide on these changes yet and wonder how it will work as my upgrade renewal will be due in July and already have Award flights to/from Australia for October to December.

    Thanks. I wonder if they are going to offer cruise extension under the new insurance with a new provider. But I will call them to check and report back. Cheers.

    Lady London 2,029 posts

    Does Virgin cover car breakdown? We took out the NW account purely for the insurance, based on recommendations from here, I don’t see anything in the changes that affects us directly, but worth having a plan B.

    I am also assuming that a mass exodus (or threat of one) away from the product wouldn’t drive NW to negotiate with Aviva on the “points” point.

    Yes they do cover car breakdown and they are using Green Flag.

    The new NW travel insurance clause 21 states that “However, if you have purchased points or miles for the trip and have a valid receipt, you will be able to claim for these costs if you can’t get the points or miles back.”
    So if your points/miles were bought you can ptentially claim back the cost.

    I don’t think they have much of a leg to stand on if someone used earned rather than purchased miles, can’t get them back, and claims replacement cost for the miles.

    The policy would provide that or replacement travel. I don’t see how an insurance company could refuse miles replacement particularly if for some reason it wasn’t possible or sensible or reasonable only to replace the travel. And especially if replacing the travel, say at last minute, would have cost considerably more. If they refused I’d take it to the FOS.

    pointsarb 8 posts

    All, could I have group thoughts on this please regarding a Nationwide travel insurance (NTI) claim. Late in 2022, my family & I were due to fly back to the UK from overseas but I fell ill with gastric flu so couldn’t make the flight. These were cheap one way PE flights back to the UK for my family of 4 paid in cash by me before we flew out. My family stayed behind with me too until I recovered. I remained ill for around 10 days and NTI offered to get us back home as soon as I was fit to do so. At the back end of my recovery, a business related project came up meaning that we stayed overseas for around 6 months at our own cost. To get us home, I paid for 4 * one way business class flights using avios. Upon trying to submit a claim to NTI for only the avios cost in PE (not business) of these flights to get us home (I pro rated our business class flights downwards to PE to calculate avios cost in my claim), NTI refused and only paid out the cost of our original cheap PE cash flights leaving me out of pocket. NTI stated that they only had responsibility to get us home in ‘reasonable time’ after I had recovered. Do I have any grounds to fight this via the Ombudsman or do I need to take this on the chin? Thoughts?

    JDB 4,315 posts

    @pointsarb – based on the information you have provided here, I think Nationwide was correct to refuse your claim. Their duty was to get you home once you were recovered and they would have paid that. Once you have decided voluntarily to extend your trip and, by extension, rejected their offer of return flights, they are off the hook. Also, insurers are there to cover actual losses but you are seeking a theoretical loss – ie what the return flights might have cost, had you returned after the end of the insurable event. I’m surprised Nationwide didn’t raise the issue of trip length at the date of your eventual return.

    pointsarb 8 posts

    @pointsarb – based on the information you have provided here, I think Nationwide was correct to refuse your claim. Their duty was to get you home once you were recovered and they would have paid that. Once you have decided voluntarily to extend your trip and, by extension, rejected their offer of return flights, they are off the hook. Also, insurers are there to cover actual losses but you are seeking a theoretical loss – ie what the return flights might have cost, had you returned after the end of the insurable event. I’m surprised Nationwide didn’t raise the issue of trip length at the date of your eventual return.

    Thanks @JDB. The issue of trip length did come up actually but the duration between our outbound flight and originally scheduled inbound flight (not taken) was covered within my trip extension cover that I paid for as an extension to my policy before we flew out and so NW paid up the original one way cash return flights being their insured liability as you say.

    As an aside for everyone else here with this same NW policy, my claims process was a long winded one and it was filled with admin incompetence at their end (E.g asking me to submit lengthy documents to support my claim which they later admitted they didn’t even need!) and so buyer beware if you ever need to claim on this policy. I’m actually glad that NW are moving away from UKI and over to Aviva in the hope that the claims process with Aviva will be less stressful if I ever need to claim on my NW policy again!

    pointsarb 8 posts

    @pointsarb – based on the information you have provided here, I think Nationwide was correct to refuse your claim. Their duty was to get you home once you were recovered and they would have paid that. Once you have decided voluntarily to extend your trip and, by extension, rejected their offer of return flights, they are off the hook. Also, insurers are there to cover actual losses but you are seeking a theoretical loss – ie what the return flights might have cost, had you returned after the end of the insurable event. I’m surprised Nationwide didn’t raise the issue of trip length at the date of your eventual return.

    Thanks @JDB. Actually, the trip duration issue did come up, however since I had paid to extend my trip duration cover before we flew out NTI paid up for the original return cash flight that was not taken and as you say (and as I now know) that was their insured liability.

    As an aside for everyone else here, my claim with NTI (their insurer UKI) was riddled with admin incompetence at their end and so I’m actually glad that NTI are moving to Aviva in the hope that the experience with them will be less stressful if I ever need to claim upon my policy again.

    jontlancaster 4 posts

    Any insurers people would recommend? Ideally would like one that would cover avios flights and would cover replacement biz flights (assuming I was travelling biz in the first place).

    Ihar 111 posts

    I don’t really understand the issue here. Insurance is supposed to make you “whole” for unforeseen circumstances (in this instance). So they should be providing the same class of travel (indeed my Barclays insurance specifies it, up to a £5kpp limit). The payment method is of no relevance, unless you are requesting a refund for a cancelled trip – in which case attributing a monetary value to the Avois/points of perfectly reasonable. But that’s different from providing alternate travel to “make you whole” (e.g. For a missed flight) where the cost of the immediate alternate travel might be much greater than the original sum paid.

    My insurance also does not cover: “Travel and accommodation costs paid for using loyalty, reward or points schemes”. However – when this is taken into context – it means it will not reimburse you the cash rack rate for a hotel when you paid using points (although the insurance/FO might agree the lesser of the points/cash value).

    JDB 4,315 posts

    I don’t really understand the issue here. Insurance is supposed to make you “whole” for unforeseen circumstances (in this instance). So they should be providing the same class of travel (indeed my Barclays insurance specifies it, up to a £5kpp limit). The payment method is of no relevance, unless you are requesting a refund for a cancelled trip – in which case attributing a monetary value to the Avois/points of perfectly reasonable. But that’s different from providing alternate travel to “make you whole” (e.g. For a missed flight) where the cost of the immediate alternate travel might be much greater than the original sum paid.

    My insurance also does not cover: “Travel and accommodation costs paid for using loyalty, reward or points schemes”. However – when this is taken into context – it means it will not reimburse you the cash rack rate for a hotel when you paid using points (although the insurance/FO might agree the lesser of the points/cash value).

    The issue is that policyholders need clarity. When you refer to “context” that then becomes your personal interpretation. A literal reading of the new Nationwide policy (which uses the identical phrase as HSBC Premier, also Aviva) gives an unfair outcome for a common class of traveller.

    You have correctly identified that ‘points’ are a form of payment accepted by airlines and hotels, so insurers need to compensate those people who have used that form of payment if there is an insured event. The quantum of the claim will depend on the cost and the circumstances.

    Re class of travel, some policies, including Amex Plat, put you in economy irrespective of the class originally booked.

    Ihar 111 posts

    Agreed @JDB. IANAL but my wife is on the board of a (non-customer facing) insurance company. Her take is similar to mine. I have lodged a query with the Financial Ombudsman. When I get a response I will provide further updates, along with the relevant reference no if you wish to add your voices . In the meantime, none of the clauses I have seen would prevent any assistance/insurance from being provided once your journey has commenced as @DJP31 mentioned.

    There is obviously some insurance issue here that needs resolving better.

    JDB 4,315 posts

    I have received some clarification from Nationwide who have discussed with Aviva. The change of provider has come about because the current provider, UKI, is pulling out of some areas of the travel insurance market. Obviously anyone affected needs to check for themselves although Aviva may provide clarity at some point because I think the position is still quite confused.

    What Nationwide says is that the non-recoverability of loyalty point paid flight or hotel lists only applies to the ‘cancelling and coming home sections’ of the policy. Aviva will cover the costs of points if the insured person has bought such points and can produce a receipt. I have no idea how that will work if you have a mixture of bought and ‘earned’ points.

    In practice that means that if you had booked a trip with flights on points but the accommodation for cash prepaid and non cancellable, you would get the hotel cost back but nothing for the flights even if you couldn’t get those points back, unless purchased as above.

    In a coming home early situation, Aviva would pay the cost of getting you home but not cover any unused flights or accommodation paid on points.

    Any vouchers such as 241 or Barclays ‘upgrade’ earned through spend rather than purchased would also not be covered by insurance.

    It feels very messy and I suspect that it might not be found to be a fair policy term. As it already applies to HSBC Premier, soon Nationwide and probably a few others it will hopefully be tested soon.

    FFoxSake 217 posts

    Aviva will cover the costs of points if the insured person has bought such points and can produce a receipt.

    By spending using an Amex credit card Amex I get both the goods and MR points. That is stated in my contract with Amex.
    I am effectively buying MR points from Amex at the rate of 1 per £1 when I use my Amex card.
    Therefore the receipt needed for Aviva insurance purposes would simply be my Amex card statement.
    Case closed m’lud.

    DJ 91 posts

    I have received some clarification from Nationwide who have discussed with Aviva. The change of provider has come about because the current provider, UKI, is pulling out of some areas of the travel insurance market. Obviously anyone affected needs to check for themselves although Aviva may provide clarity at some point because I think the position is still quite confused.

    What Nationwide says is that the non-recoverability of loyalty point paid flight or hotel lists only applies to the ‘cancelling and coming home sections’ of the policy. Aviva will cover the costs of points if the insured person has bought such points and can produce a receipt. I have no idea how that will work if you have a mixture of bought and ‘earned’ points.

    In practice that means that if you had booked a trip with flights on points but the accommodation for cash prepaid and non cancellable, you would get the hotel cost back but nothing for the flights even if you couldn’t get those points back, unless purchased as above.

    In a coming home early situation, Aviva would pay the cost of getting you home but not cover any unused flights or accommodation paid on points.

    Any vouchers such as 241 or Barclays ‘upgrade’ earned through spend rather than purchased would also not be covered by insurance.

    It feels very messy and I suspect that it might not be found to be a fair policy term. As it already applies to HSBC Premier, soon Nationwide and probably a few others it will hopefully be tested soon.

    Thank you for the clarification. I think I will keep Amex Platinum for now, since we are predominantly travelling in Avios and hotel points this year. Between that and the Aviva policy provided by HSBC should provide some peace of mind … 😅

    Ihar 111 posts

    @FFoxSake – Unfortunately you are incorrect. You are not “buying” MR points – you are being gifted them. In the same way if you buy a BOGOF product in a supermarket, you can’t return the “free one” and expect a refund.


    @JDB
    @DJ – There are a few grey areas, but I think the Ombudsman would uphold the spirit of insurance – to make you whole. It can’t be denied that points/vouchers have a “value”, only what that value is. Fortunately BA has a pretty good cancellation policy re: Avios including (AFAIK) 241 and upgrade vouchers. It will be tested by the Ombudsman, and interestingly whilst not setting a legal precedent it will set a “complaint precedent”, so almost as good.

    I can’t imagine, in a fair scheme, it would even be on insurers’ radar. You can’t expect the insurer to re-book your two LHR-SYD F tickets (booked with 2F1/upgrade) at standard cost. But you can expect them to refund you Avios and re-instate your vouchers. All easily done if people work together, and could be an amazing differentiator for insurers/points schemes.

    Paul 133 posts

    You can claim the cost of airmiles if you bought them to pay for the trip and have a receipt! This completely contradicts the idea they have no value!

    However 23 and 24 are also concerning. If you breakdown en route to airport you are not covered and a weekend in Europe now has to be disrupted by more than 12 hours to obtain cover.

    The good news is that those over 70 still have cover

    Ihar 111 posts

    @Paul – not sure it says “not covered en route to the airport”… These issues will be resolved over time, and unlike the legal system the Ombudsman has far more scope to look at the “spirit” of any insurance contract and not just the legal aspects.

    UK261 already provides good coverage.

    HampshireHog 133 posts

    We have an upgrade so our policy won’t expire until the end of September. We Will however be away on a trip when it expires, I’m assuming that the existing policy would however continue until we returned in October? A further complication would be that we would be extending the policy to more than a month before travel

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