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      04.02.2005 18:38

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      Abbey - Loans - Advantages: Good Rates - Disadvantages: V Poor Cust Service

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      01.03.2003 05:52
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      • "No policy wording online"

      As a major bank - the Abbey website is full of various offers - but eventually, if you work hard ,you can track down the travel insurance bit. Lots of other links and irrelevant details remain cluttering the screen until you get to do a quote. But if you perservere you can buy online or by phone. I did have their annual policy a couple of years back, but not since. Premium Levels _____________ Getting a quote is easy enough - there are many cover options. Prices seem to be set somewhere in between a travel agents often inflated prices and the good value deals you can find online. The starting price for 3 day trip is certainly high @ £15.75 for just a one day trip. Other online deals are usually around £10. Cover Information _______________ The cover is as you would expect from a big bank, i.e. not lacking in any area at a benefit level - but ,as ever, it is not in the level of benefits that the catches are held - these are safely tucked into the detailed policy wording. The summary of cover link I tried was odd in that it did not actually me the level of benefits. That said there are links to all the things you would want to read. But, you have to click on a lot to see the whole story and keep your wits about you to crossrefer them. But, as seems to be the case on some websites, the information stops short of being fully useful in some cases. e.g. it tells you that you must be a UK resident - fine, but what does that mean? Turns out you must have permanent home and reside in the UK for 6 months when you find that in Policy Definitions - the only way to check that. Pre-Existing medical _________________ The pre-existing medical terms seem quite restrictive and need careful review: e.g. You are not covered for a condition if "you have been prescribed regular medication or received treatment by your usual General Medical Practitioner within 6 months prior
      to buying this policy". This seems pragmatic enough, but suggests that ast hmatics are out of luck as would anyone who had a simple course of antibiotics to clear a chest infection 5 months before be. This seems a bit tough if your condition is either resolved or under good control through prescribed drugs. I imagine in the average family of four that one member will have visited the doctor during the preceding 6 months. Security _______ The financial viability of the insurer and Abbey are fine. There is an odd link to a "peace of mind guarantee" which turned out to relate to ebanking security and not to the insurance at all really. This about sums up the useability of the site - nearly useful but often doesn't do what it suggests. I ended up with 5 open browser windows by the time I wrote this - very confusing. The data protection statement was oddly suggesting they could trasnfer the data out of the UK - why on earth would a UK bank need to do that? Summary ________ On their own, the above glitches are each minor and can be resolved by reviewing the policy document with care. But overall I found the sheer number of glitches made the process quite frustrating. I could not insure my wife - she has a "100% under control medical condition" that would mean she'd be excluded. it is never normally an issue with our travel insurance. Would I buy if I could? No, the price scan be bettered by a good margin easily - so best left to those who think the world of Abbey. Me -my life is complicated enough, to quote a phrase.

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