Tag Archives | National Irish Bank

Travel Insurance – shop around for the best value

Irish News of the World

May, 2009

Diarmuid MacShane

Travel Insurance

The past week has seen some dire warnings about the dangers of going abroad without being adequately covered by suitable travel insurance.

There have been horror stories about having to pay tens of thousands of euros in hospital costs for even something as simple as a broken arm.

While all the well known insurance companies will sell you travel insurances, and a number of specialists as well, there are a few tricks you should know that will save you money.

There are some credit cards, such as available from National Irish Bank, that provide you with free travel insurance on any holidays that you book and pay for using the card.

Watch out too for travel companies, such as James’ Villas, that will offer you free travel insurance when you book your holiday with them.

Finally, Quinn Direct offers its customers who already have car and health insurance the benefit of free travel insurance until the end of 2010.

While anything free is great, make sure though that you read the small print to make sure all eventualities are covered.

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What happens when your credit card is put “at risk”?

Another article in the recent Sunday Tribune details a persons problem with AIB after their credit was apparently skimmed, and they had €3500 taken from their account.

Lets get past the fact that someone can have so much money in their account that they don’t notice €3500 being taken over a period of a couple of months, and look at some of the issues here – some of which I’ve experienced myself.

We know for a start that this AIB customer is never going to be told where his credit card was skimmed. This is because AIB and the Irish Payments Service Organisation (IPSO) will lie to him and tell him that it’s against Data Protection regulations to reveal where the card was skimmed. There are no such regualtions, and this like is only intended to protect the business or bank that allowed the card to be skimmed.

I’m in the middle of such a “discussion” with my bank at the moment. They called me recently to tell me that because my card was “compromised” it was going to be cancelled and reissued. They wouldn’t tell me where or how it was compromised or what transactions triggered their “suspicions”. After 3 months of queries, emails and letters, I have still received no information.

My arguement is that I used my credit card “somewhere” that caused the credit card companys suspicions to be aroused enough for them to cancel my credit card.

Yet, when I try to find out where it was that I used my card so that I can avoid using it in the future, they won’t give me that information.

Like most banks when it comes to “responding” to customer complaints, they have taken over 3 months of rejecting my requests for information in the hope that I’ll forget about it and move on – and saving them having to actually answer any real questions.

Which is all fine and good – they’ve probably bored me into submission on this one as well. That, or else my next step will be to send in a data request to their Data “person” where I’m allowed request all the information that they hold about me on their files.

But I know that’s not possible in this case since my credit card company actually uses a foreign company to process my credit card transactions and it is on their computer records that any information about “suspicions” that caused my credit card to be cancelled are stored. And I have no legal backing to allow me get that information.

And the best bit – none of our consumer protection organisations have any jurisdiction in this matter. And that’s despite that anyone who now banks with Ulster Bank, National Irish Bank or Halifax and have credit cards with them could find themselves in similar regulatory “no mans lands”.

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