I booked flights and premium insurance with STA assuming I would be well looked after but after landing in Nairobi for what was supposed to be a 2 hour transfer after an over night flight I learnt Lilongwe airport had just gone on strike. I was there on my for for 4 days, completly clueless on what to do having never even been to Africa before with absolutely no support from STA whatsoever and now I learn they won't even help financially despite the fact I took out the best insurance policy they offer. Nairobi is not cheap and now I am hundreds of pounds out of pocket.
Multiflex ticket: again I was cautious and purchased this also for £59. After nearly two weeks of correspondence the best they can offer me is a flight we two changes (including a 12 hour overnight layover in Nairobi) for an additional £293!!!
STA Travel, Victoria UK office
Avoid this company if you want hassle-free travel or even to get what you paid for! They sold me a multiflex ticket at £59 extra so that I could change my return date from spain up to three times. But when in Spain, I tried to change it once and I was told by STA that I couldn't. Some issue with BA airlines. But instead of making sure I could still return to the UK at no extra cost to myself (apart from the £59 I had already spent), they were happy to leave me stranded and to sort out a new ticket with BA, which cost an additional £106 (only one date to choose from as all others were over £400!!). Upon my return they offered to refund the £59, after lots of hemming and hawing. But the remainder of the new ticket price they think I should pay! It's like buying insurance and as soon as you make a claim the insurance company saying, 'tell you what, we'll just refund your premium'. This must constitute a breach of contract and I'm looking into it more. The agents said they had never encountered this situation before but still maintain it was somehow my fault and I should be stuck with the additional cost! Avoid STA, they not only are incompetent as travel agents but have no idea of customer service.
What is the point of people writing a review of travel insurance that haven't actually had to claim?Completely pointless! These reviews should be removed.
Completely useless! I got insurance with them 2 years ago when I was 18, they miss-sold me the insurance (I take part responsibility for not going through the small print with a fine tooth comb.) I went into an STA store to buy a working holiday visa for australia, a one way flight and insurance. She booked my visa (which lasts a year) and my ONE WAY flight and then my insurance. Can't fault the flights, visa, or hostels they booked for me. Until after 5 months of being in Australia I became very seriously ill and ended up being in intensive care for a week and had stay in hospital for a further 2 and a half weeks after that. Luckily Australia have reciprocal medical care with the UK so I didn't have to pay for any medical care at all!
After I was discharged from hospital I was advised by my doctor to fly home as soon as possible and seek further treatment. My mum had flown out to see me when I had gone into hospital and after I left she tried to sort out most of the insurance because she had more experience with claiming and I was still fairly ill. We would phone the insurer in England which was only open 9-5 UK time whilst we were still in Australia (the 11 hour time difference made this more tricky). But then the UK team would need to contact some other people who worked for the company who were in New Zealand who again were only open 9-5 local time, therefore making contact between to the two very limited and only one message a day. I was out of hospital on the monday, given the all clear to fly with a doctors note on wednesday and they weren't able to get us on a flight until the sunday, annoying, but we had a flight home at least. Until they told me that I would had to pay they full price of my ticket because according to my policy if I didn't already have a return flight they would not cover me (this is the insurance I booked from the same person working at STA who booked my ONE WAY flight!). In the end the only thing I got out of my insurance was being bumped up to business class on the £800 flight I had to pay for.
In my opinion if you are a travel company who's target market is backpackers and younger people (who are unlikely to have had to claim insurance before) you should really make an effort to explain the cover of the policy, and make it a lot less complicated to claim! It would have quicker/easier and cheaper for me to have just booked a last minute flight the day I was able to fly! Absolute c**p.
I booked my travel insurance through STA travel for my 3 month long trip across south east asia, encompassing thailand, cambodia, vietnam, laos, malaysia, singapore and bali. I paid £119 for the comprehensive blue cover. Although everything went to plan and I didnt have to claim the policy seemed good value for money. It was simple to apply for it and the payment was quick and easy. One thing that attracted me to this policy was that even though it wasnt the cheapest, if something had happened when I was away my parents could have gone into an STA branch to sort things out, rather than one of the cheaper online companies, where there was the chance of not being able to get through on the phone. I just thought it was better to be able to speak to someone face to face in a branch if something had happened. The company also didnt push me into buying a policy with them and told me to look around before making a decision which I thought was quite genuine.
STA is a very well known travel agent among young people wanting to travel the world. Although I didn't book my trip with them, I did take out their worldwide premium cover (blue standard cover) for 5 months costing £187 inc VAT.
You may think that this is expensive for travel insurance, and indeed there are cheaper companies available but am so pleased I paid the extra for a company that are well known for not having any hidden clauses.
During my trip away I unfortunately had to visit a hospital twice. The first time in Thailand I was hospitalised for two nights. The hospital was brilliant, but as soon as I was put in a room they wanted my credit card details. My sister called STA who instructed us not to give them any details as they would sort it directly with them. This is exactly what happened, I didn't have to deal with any funds until I was discharged then just had to pay my £50 excess directly to the hospital. It was a very smooth process. An extra thing to remember is that whoever is with you at the hospital is entitled to meals there that the insurance will cover.
The 2nd time, I needed an x-ray on my ankle in Vietnam, we phoned STA and they gave us the details the details of the best hospital in out area. After I had been treated the hospital demanded that I pay them then claim it back from the insurance company. When we spoke to STA they were extremely helpful saying that we shouldn't hand over any money, they spoke directly to the hospital and after some negotiating eventually the hospital agreed, again I just paid my £50 excess! STA also gave me advice such as to get a 'fit to fly certificate' as I had mentioned I was flying in the next few days. I also had a call a few days later asking if I was ok and if there was anything else they could do for me to ensure I was comfortable on my travels.
Overall I was extremely impressed with the service I received and will most definitely use them for any other trip I take.
After reading 2 reviews on here I am slightly worried about the fact that I have just bought sta travel insurance for a year at a cost of £339, including medical excess waiver, all extreme sports including skydiving, paragliding and all those fun things. It also covers cancellations due to injury or anything to do with personal or medical reasons. They also pay you for stolen luggage/delayed luggage. The only thing we didnt get was money cover, as its very difficult to prove how much money you have.
I read about 100 reviews on sites like gapyear.com before I bought travel insurance. I phoned about 7 companies and no one could beat the quote that sta had given me for exactly the same cover. Also I read some bad things about INsure and Go, that they wouldnt pay out. I suppose you get the bad reviews written about, and the good experiences people dont bother writing about apart from on sites like this.
We also chose it because we would be covered from the moment we stepped out the shop, and wouldnt have to worry about being run over or something just as we had spend £890 on a ticket.
It was easy to buy, our travel agent did it for us at the same time as issuing our ticket, and we received the full policy by email the same day, with the right to cancel it within 14 days if we werent happy. Ive read it carefully and the main thing you need for everything is proof so I will keep all my receipts as adviced by someone else on here, and take loads of photos and leave them with my parents before I leave so they can make the claim for me.
As yet I have not made a claim so cant comment on that, but they buying process was indeed easy and our travel agent explained each section in detail before selling us the insurance.
I hate hate hate HATE STA with a passion, especially their so-called travel insurance. But I will try to be objective. Overall, the service in STA itself is friendly and helpful, this is the instore service I refer to. The insurance plan is laid out in a simple format, and well explained by the staff which is great for first time travellers as so many customers of STA are. What's more, it's cheap compared with some other insurances of it's kind... I can't remember the exact figure I paid as it was a good 4 years ago, but I selected a 4 and a half month premium cover and believe it was less than £200. However, this is where the good points end.
I set off on my travels around South America, and day 7 into the trip everything I owned was stolen during a landslide... rucksack, clothing, phone, anti malarials, flight tickets, EVERYTHING except thank God my credit card and passport. Tearfully phoning home my mother calmed me down declaring, 'don't worry, you're insured' so I thought everything would be ok.
Well, off I went to get a police report as the required proof of the event, and with that done, I thought all would be okay. STA on the phone were helpful, providing the number to call for insurance claims etc and having done that, I was assured not to worry, the forms were in the post to my UK address and I could claim when I arrived home a few months later.
Later in my trip I ended up severely ill in hospital, connected to all manners of drips and running up fairly hefty medical bills, which, should also have been convered by insurance as I made sure to keep all receipts for the medical treatment I received.
Upon returning home I discovered the insurance claim forms had not arrived... 3 phonecalls later I finally received a form for claiming on my stolen luggage, but no form for medical expenses. The medical expenses form NEVER showed up. I filled in the stolen goods form, with a grand total of nearly £800 to claim and sent it off in good faith. However, after a long wait I received a letter declaring without receipts for everything that had been stolen, I couldn't receive a pay-out.
Having phoned up the insurance people yet again, and politely explaining that not surprisingly, I hadn't kept every single receipt for every single product I had ever bought in my life, they suggests I mail in photos displaying the stolen goods, suggesting even a picture of me wearing some of the clothes, or with my rucksack, would be sufficient.
I sent off my travel snaps and as many receipts as I could find, (which actually covered many of the main items like rucksack and antimalarials and mozzi net etc etc etc) and hoped to be receiving a cheque, at least for something if not for all of the value lost. I also, again, requested the medical claims form.
I heard nothing for weeks, before eventually being informed that without further receipts I could not claim a penny. And the medical form STILL didn't show up. Well, I had by now started Uni, and this had been going on for months and months and months with no progress, so I confess, I just gave up. I wish I had pursued it further but am not convinced I would have achieved a desireable outcome anyway. So, I paid for the premier insurance, and I didn't get any compensation for my stolen goods, and wasn't even ABLE to claim for my medical expences.
STA travel insurance in my experience is an absolute waste of time, a complete sham, and should be avoided at all costs. STA itself I discovered had also grossly overcharged me for half of my travel itinery, but we'll save that rant for another day :D
This company should be avoided at all costs. However, if you are off backpacking, check out www.worldnomads.com for great value ADVENTURE travel insurance that covers literally almost every type of activity that you are likely to do. While most people go for STA as it's geared at backpackers and other companies tend to have a mountain of exclusions on adventure activities, worldnomads is fantastic, and recommended in the lonely planet guides. I have never tried claiming from worldnomads though, but I hope it would be a better experience!
STA is rubbish!
It is a total rip off.
I had the PREMIUM insurance, hoping that the extra money would ensure a full refund on claims. But far from so.
In essence, from 140 pounds of stolen items I received a refund of just over 40 pounds !!! Considering that my insurance did cost 40 pounds for ten days, I merely recovered the cost of my insurance - not the cost of the lost items.
STA travel insurance is basically and ENSLEIGH insurance - so please do not get this either.
STA/Ensleigh charged 40 pounds excess plus 50% (!!!) of the value of my items as these were not considered new anymore.
The letter informing me of the amount of my reinbursement did NOT feature a detailed breakdown of charges NOR a phone number. I had to go through the yellow pages to find out where I can enquiere about the overall breakdown of charges.
STA travel is a great service for people taking out a year or two to do some travelling. They advertise themselves as being for the 'independent traveller' and this sums them up tremendously. They offer cover arranged through ISIC - the world leaders in insurance for travellers. STA have three different levels of cover insurance as they are fully aware that everybody is different and every trip is different. These three are Backpack, Standard, and Premier. They can cover you for adventure activities aswell including skiing, snowboarding, white-water rafting, trekking at altitude, horse riding, bungee jumping, scuba-diving, abseiling and more. The period of cover can range from 1 day up untill 24 months so there is no need to worry from that point. They offer a UK and Europe cover and a seperate worldwide cover to make things even easier for you. for 12 months uk/europe the cost is as follows: Backpack - 171.50 Standard - 220.00 Premier - 349.00 for 12 months worldwide Backpack - 178.50 Standard - 344.00 Premier - 537.00