x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Travel insurance ‘invalid’ ... but who forgot to tell client?

Keren Bobker helps you with your financial difficulties. This week, a reader's travel insurance was cancelled without being informed.

I am a titanium credit card holder with Emirates NBD and contacted them in early July to complain that they had cancelled my free travel insurance benefit without informing me. When I travelled at the end of April, I did not purchase separate travel insurance as I assumed the offer from the bank was still valid. I even double-checked their website prior to buying my ticket on April 21 and it still listed travel insurance as a benefit for titanium cardholders. On April 29, I suffered a 17.5-hour flight delay. Upon my return to Dubai, I visited the bank website to download the insurance claim forms. The website was still showing travel insurance as a benefit and even provided all the claim forms and terms and conditions. I submitted these together with all the supporting documentation to the insurer NGI on May 26. After nearly a month of chasing them, they wrote to me on June 24 to inform me that travel insurance was suspended as a benefit to titanium credit cardholders on March 31 and therefore my claim of US$900 for the flight delay was rejected. I made a complaint to the bank and have not got anywhere so would be grateful for your help. S A J, Dubai

I referred the matter to my contacts and a couple of weeks later received this statement from the bank: “We are pleased to inform you that our Group Customer Experience team has been in contact with Mr J and has settled the matter to his satisfaction. We wish to clarify that for travel insurance coverage with regards to flight delays exceeding six hours, a Titanium credit card holder is compensated with US$40 per hour, up to a maximum of 12 hours. Our group customer experience team took up the matter with the insurance provider National General Insurance, and we are pleased to inform you that they have processed the claim in Mr J’s favour, who will receive the appropriate compensation in relation to his Travel Insurance coverage. Furthermore, Mr J conveyed his appreciation of the action taken by sending an official email to our group customer experience team and has requested to upgrade his credit card along with his wife’s credit card to the Platinum category.” At time of writing, three weeks after the bank’s comment, Mr J has still not received the promised refund nor an upgrade to his credit card so I am now following this up and will advise when it has been resolved.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com