Travel and Medical News

Consumers could see a drop in the price of travel if the Office of Fair Trading have their way regarding credit and debit card surcharges.

The travel industry are one of the key sectors who add surcharges for the use of credit or debit cards. Not only are these charges covering the cost of the actual fees incurred for processing payments, they are sometimes designed to generate profit for the companies who levy them.

This highlights the difference between the terms ‘transaction fee’ and ‘surcharge’. Debit cards generally only cost 20p to process, with credit cards costing 1.9%, and the OFT has suggested that passing on this cost is legitimate. However, airlines are said to have made an additional £300 million through card surcharges alone in 2009. Companies who apply high card surcharges in this way include the Train Line and Ryanair. The complaint also relates to a wider trend of ‘building’ a price up from the initial quoted estimate. For example, the price of a single flight could end up being as much as £8 higher when card charges were added on, and this price was not always mentioned before the customer embarks on the booking process.

The senior director of the OFT goods and consumer group, Cavenish Elithorn, said that “people are frustrated about being asked to pay for paying”. One airline, Monarch, introduced a flat £10 fee for all credit card bookings last month in an attempt to be more transparent.

The consumer organisation Which? lead the campaign for the OFT to review the rules around transaction fees and charges as they believe them to be inherently unfair. CEO Paul Vickary-Smith added, "we're delighted that the OFT supports this view.”

 

Welcome to the sharpest tool in the mitigation of medical risk.

I am writing to you to share some very important news, which could enhance considerably the mitigation of health related risks for the insurance business that you underwrite.

A few months ago we merged the operations of Travel and Medical Insurance Services (TAMIS) and International Travel and Healthcare (ITHC), into one single operational centre in Orpington, Kent. This was the first element of bringing to the UK market a "super-efficient" business platform on to which we could develop enhanced screening services, based on a combined experience of 16 years and to broaden our offering further.

Our observations and research indicated that underwriters see medical screening as a "necessary evil" and actually distrust how "sharp a tool" it actually is. Brokers consider screening at worst as a sales inhibitor. This was the challenge to prove how sharp and fair medical screening can be, providing decisions that were sensible, highly informed and relevant.

Today our business is now placed to further challenge our competitors and to exceed your expectations, with a choice of highly effective medical screening platforms that operate both online and offline. Our ability to ascertain and pinpoint medical risks based on pre-existing medical conditions and medications for both PA (travel) and life insurance classes is now both razor sharp and highly efficient. You, our client, have full flexibility to decide how you want scoring to be reflected for each individual scheme and inthe decisions and additional premiums/excesses that the systems generate. We have also significantly enhanced our user interfaces in the online environment to make it simple and straightforward to use, and to deliver smooth integration for both your own broker system, or straight into the online consumer environment.

We have bolstered our medical in-house governance further, to ensure that as new medications and conditions are recognised or released, the platforms are immediately updated to reflect these. Bringing the two organisations together has meant we are of course more cost effective and we have sharpened our pencil too... we believe that on a cost per screening, online or offline, we cannot be beaten on price.

Adding to this, we have further developed our call-centre environment and enhanced our services, to now include: telephone sales, sales support and administration services, outbound canvassing, research and a highly automated policy fulfilment service, capable of delivering thousands of personalised suites of Policy Documents a day, into the mail and expanded our bandwidth for unlimited online policy fulfilment.

The future for us is evolving into a broader range of insurance related services, to deliver efficient and cost effective solutions for you our potential client.

We would very much like to talk to you, and believe that we can deliver an unparalleled service and superb decision making abilities to suit your requirements. If you would like to find out more, perhaps have an initial discussion and demonstration, do please let me know and I will be very pleased to facilitate this for you.

Kindest regards

Clive Saron
Chairman

Travel and Medical Insurance Services Ltd.
West House
46 High Street
Orpington
Kent. BR6 0JQ


Tel: 0845 058 8000
Fax: 0845 053 3000
Web: www.travelandmedical.co.uk

   

Travel and Medical Insurance Services Ltd.
West House, 46 High Street, Orpington, Kent, BR6 0JQ
Telephone: +44 (0)845 058 8000 | Facsimile: +44 (0)845 053 3000

Travel and Medical Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Firm Reference Number 311274 and is a member of the Association of Travel Insurance Intermediaries (ATII).