Preparation: Insurance

Soutpiel Safari
John & Jenny
Sun 31 Oct 2010 19:52
The market for insuring vehicles on long overland trips is a very limited one and only two companies were found to be specialising in this market; Locktons and Campbell Irvine.  Both quoted on the basis of accident, fire and theft excluding liability (third party) risks.  The scope of the quotes seemed to be comparable but with a big difference in price.
For liability insurance the market is even slimmer but we did eventually obtain a quote from a Dutch insurer, Alisse, but it was very expensive. Overland travellers normally buy liability insurance at the border on entry to a country and often this is mandatory regardless of already having cover. We therefore declined the Alisse quote on the basis that much of it would be duplicated by mandatory cover and hence wasted. We will purchase as we go along. Several of the West African countries that we shall be visiting belong to an association called ECOWAS and one may purchase their Carte Bruin, which gives cover in all the member countries.
Travel insurance proved to be a major problem on account of the length (5 months)of the trip and John's age (71).  Most companies will not cover over the age of 69 and many cut the line at 60. Companies that do cover the over 60's normally restrict the length of a single trip to 90 days.  We felt that the feature we really wanted was a first class medical and medical repatriation package and didn't need many of the features of a conventional travel policy such as curtailment, flight delays etc.  Trailfinders will insure the over 70's but their terms and conditions were unacceptable.  Insure and Go gave a quote but on reading their T&C it became obvious that they were phrased to give them a "get out" from any legitimate claim and this was substantiated in a recent Sunday Times case review of a claim which was refused until the Sunday Times waded in with a bit of muscle on behalf of the claimants.  We envisaged being severely injured in the back of beyond and finding that Insure and Go would be arguing about the validity of a claim whilst we were dying through lack of adequate medical treatment.  Not the one for us.  We eventually settled for a package from IHI-Bupa in Denmark at enormous cost but it came with a lot of confidence and a recommendation from sailing friends.