Written on: 30/03/2012 by 76RedChris (1 review written)
I purchased AA Travel Insurance (underwritten by a company called Drakefield Insurance) back in October 2011 to cover my four-month backpacking trip to South Africa.
Unfortunately I required medical treatment for a chest/heart problem whilst in Johannesburg and sought assistance at the nearest medical centre. As is common practice I had to pay up front and then seek recompense from my insurer. My total bill was +/- £200.
AA Travel Insurance provide you with a credit card size information card on which is listed a 24hr emergency medical helpline. As I had been suffering with my condition for a few days and had previous sought basic over-the-counter medication I did not believe my situation merited 'emergency' status. To put things in context, had I been in the UK I would've visited my GP rather than go to A&E. In addition the number provided was a UK '0845' number which suggested the 'joy' of going through a call centre in a supposed emergency situation. I had no desire to use someone else's cell phone to make an international call to be told I was "caller number 45" in a 3hr call centre queue when the medical staff were keen to have me assessed and treated.
I contacted AA Travel Insurance via email the following day to be told in a rather brusk manner that my apparent failure to contact the 'emergency medical helpline' could "affect my claim". Nonetheless on my return to the UK I downloaded the appropriate forms and pursued my claim.
The forms are typically detailed and repetitive, and totally irrelevant in places, but I posted my completed forms together with my original receipts confirming my treatment costs. Approximately one week later I received a letter from Drakefield Insurance acknowledging my claim and less than 4wks later I received a cheque for the full amount of my claim. No hassles, no aggravation and a thoroughly efficient service.
My only minor gripes would be that their initial response to my email correspondence was less than reassuring and strongly suggested at a difficult claim procedure, and that they appear to have calculated my claim at the current exchange rate rather than the one relevant to the time of my outlay which has me marginally out of pocket.
But I can only go off my own experiences with AA/Drakefield Insurance and, whilst I would say their initial communications hinted at a potentially problematic claim, they paid up promptly and efficiently.