0333 003 3161

General

Riding a motorbike or scooter up to 125cc is automatically covered with all our policies. Riding a motorbike over 125cc can be covered with our Activity Pack Add-on.

When riding, you must always ensure you:

  • Wear an appropriate crash helmet.
  • Obey the Local road rules and laws
  • Have the relevant licence(s) required to ride a motorcycle in the country or countries you will be riding in. If the country you’re in requires you to obtain a specific in-country licence to legally ride a motorcycle, then to be covered, you must obtain this licence.
  • If all that’s required is an International Driving Permit (IDP), and you hold an IDP, then there’s no need to go about getting any more licences.
  • Be aware that an IDP will only allow you to ride the same class of vehicle as your home licence allows. So, if you’re not licensed to ride a motorbike at home, you’re not licensed to ride a motorbike abroad under your IDP. It's up to you to make sure you are licensed for the type of motorcycle you hire.
  • You should always ensure the bike is fully insured (motor insurance arranged by the company that owns the bike) as there is no Personal Lability cover whilst riding a bike. We cannot cover any participation in competitions or racing or any kind.

With a Single Trip policy we do not require any of the following

  • return tickets (flights or other means of transport),
  • proof of return,
  • proof of intent to return

You can travel with no booked return ticket and be fully covered.

Decide Canada’s not for you, and want to return earlier than your full period of insurance?

Other insurers will tell you to wave goodbye to your money, but Big Cat lets you claim a partial premium refund for the unused time you didn’t stay in Canada.

 

How does the EARLY RETURN REFUND work?

Let’s say you buy a 24 month policy to cover your time in Canada. But after nine months, you decide that Canada’s not for you, and you want to return home. You may have invested a substantial amount for your 24 month Big Cat policy, most of which you’ll now no longer need. Unlike most insurers, Big Cat is happy to offer you a partial refund on the redundant portion of your insurance as a fair’s fair consolation.

 

How does Big Cat calculate the amount of EARLY RETURN REFUND?

We take the length of time of the original policy and subtract the actual amount of time you have used, and pay out the difference, deducting a £50 Cancellation Charge.

 

Are there other conditions that apply to my EARLY RETURN REFUND?

  1. We are not able to offer refunds to cover the first 6 months of the policy.
  2. No refund can be given on a policy where a claim has been made prior to the cancellation of your Big Cat  policy.
  3. You must be back in your home country and notify us by email of your wish to cancel the policy within 14 days of your arrival.

 

Can you give an example of how much I could receive back in my EARLY RETURN REFUND?

Say you took out a 24 month budget IEC policy costing £457.50, then you wish to cancel the policy after 9 months. Our 9 month policy costs £242.89. So we deduct £242.89 from £457.50 = £214.61.

Then we apply the £50 Cancellation Charge, refunding you a total of £164.61.

Unfortunately we cannot accept payments in instalments.

There is no limit on how far in advance you need to take out a policy. You can even take out a policy after you’ve left with our Already Travelling endorsement.

Cancellation cover kicks in upon policy purchase.

Yes, add-ons can be added at any point during the duration of the policy.

Where cover has been purchased for a total duration of 4 months or more, and you want to return to your home country during the period of insurance for any reason that is not directly or indirectly caused by arising or resulting from a claim under your insurance policy. (For example if you wish to return home to see a family member) All cover will be suspended from the time that you clear customs in your home country and restarts after the baggage check in for your outbound flight/ferry/train to the overseas destination.

Any illness, disease, injuries, accidents which existed, showed symptoms or were diagnosed in the previous trip during this period of insurance will not be covered in the restarted period of insurance.

No, there’s no set amount of we require you to have been home for. As long as you can provide a valid residential address in your home country, you’re eligible for cover.

Riding a motorcycle up to 125cc is automatically covered with all our policies. Riding a motorcycle over 125cc can be covered with our Activity Pack Add-on.

When riding, you must always ensure you:

  • Wear an appropriate crash helmet
  • Obey the Local road rules and laws
  • Have the relevant licence(s) required to ride a motorcycle in the country or countries you will be riding in. If the country you’re in requires you to obtain a specific in-country licence to legally ride a motorcycle, then to be covered, you must obtain this licence.
  • If all that’s required is an International Driving Permit (IDP), and you hold an IDP, then there’s no need to go about getting any more licences.
  • Be aware that an IDP will only allow you to ride the same class of vehicle as your home licence allows. So, if you’re not licensed to ride a motorbike at home, you’re not licensed to ride a motorbike abroad under your IDP. It's up to you to make sure you are licensed for the type of motorcycle you hire.
  • You should always ensure the bike is fully insured (motor insurance arranged by the company that owns the bike) as there is no Personal Lability cover whilst riding a bike. We cannot cover any participation in competitions or racing or any kind.

If you're prevented from completing your travels before your insurance expires, for reasons beyond your control, the insurance will remain in force until your travels are completed.

Make sure you get proof of delay, in writing, from the Airline confirming the reason for the delay and departure times!

We always aim to provide excellent service, but if for whatever reason we do not exceed your expectations, please let us know and we will do our best to make things better.

To contact our customer relations please write to,
Customer Relations, Big Cat Travel Insurance, 37 Teignmouth Road, London NW2 4EB.
Tel: +44 (0)333 003 3161
or Emails us at [email protected]

If you have a complaint in relation to your Policy Document or to the handling of your claim, please contact: The General Manager, Claims Settlement Agencies Limited, 08-314 London Road, Hadleigh, SS7 2DD.

Tel: +44 (0) 1702 553 443 Email: [email protected]

 If you have a complaint in relation to how your Policy was sold, or to the customer service you have received, please contact: The General Manager, Campbell Irvine Ltd, 52 Earls Court Road, London, W8 6EJ Tel: +44 (0) 20 7938 1734.

EUROPEAN ONLINE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ODR) PLATFORM

The ODR platform is a website which helps customers who’ve bought something online in the EU should a dispute arise. In the UK that would be the UK Financial Ombudsman Service. Please be aware that the Financial Ombudsman Service will only be able to consider your complaint after we have had the opportunity to consider and resolve your dispute. You can access the ODR platform by  clicking here

Medical

Asthma controlled by no more than 2 inhalers is automatically covered with all of our policies. There's no need to declare it.

(Diagnosis must have been made when the affected person was under the age of 50)

Emergency dental costs to relieve pain and suffering are covered with all of our policies, up to a maximum of £350.

You do not need to call the medical screening helpline in respect of the following automatically covered pre-existing medical conditions, as they are automatically covered at no additional premium provided you do not also have a pre-existing medical condition. If you have a pre-existing medical condition in addition to any of the following automatically covered pre-existing medical conditions all conditions will be excluded from cover, unless disclosed to the medical screening helpline and additional cover agreed in writing.

Acne,
ADHD,
Allergic reaction (Anaphylaxis) provided that you have not needed hospital treatment for this in the last 2 years,
Allergic rhinitis,
Arthritis (the affected person must be able to walk independently at home without using mobility aids),
Asthma (the diagnosis must have been made when the affected person was under the age of 50, and the asthma be controlled by no more than 2 inhalers and no other medication),

Blindness or partial sightedness,

Carpal tunnel syndrome,
Cataracts,
Chicken pox – if completely resolved,
Common cold or flu,
Cuts and abrasions that are not self-inflicted and require no further treatment,
Cystitis – provided there is no on-going treatment,

Deafness,
Diabetes (which is controlled by diet or tablets only),
Diarrhoea and vomiting – if completely resolved,

Eczema,
Enlarged prostate – benign only,
Essential tremor,

Glaucoma,
Gout,

Haemorrhoids,
Hay fever,

Ligament or tendon injury – provided you are not currently being treated,

Macular degeneration,
Menopause,
Migraine – provided there are no on-going investigations,

Nasal polyps,

PMT,

RSI, Sinusitis – provided there is no on-going treatment,

Skin or wound infections that have completely resolved with no current treatment,

Tinnitus,

Under active Thyroid (Hypothyroidism),
Urticaria,

Varicose veins in the legs.

 

To declare any pre existing medical conditions not listed above, please contact our medical screening helpline on 01702 427 237.

If you have a medical condition which is not listed above in our Automatically covered Pre-Existing Medical Conditions statement you will need to call our confidential medical screening helpline on: 01702 427 237 and declare it, usually at a small additional cost. Whilst the medical screening helpline is optional we highly recommend it as it ensures that if anything happens to you on your trip caused by your pre-existing medical condition, you are completely covered.

You will be advised whether the Pre-Existing Medical Condition may be covered, an optional additional premium may be quoted and whether any amendments will be made to the policy terms and conditions. During this process you will be asked for your personal and travel details, additionally, please have your insurance policy to hand if known. 

If terms can be provided for the condition and you elect to take up the offer of the additional cover, you will be given a medical screening reference number and a letter will be sent to you upon receipt of payment. Any additional premiums must be paid directly to the medical screening helpline.

Should you not contact the medical screening helpline or not wish to take advantage of the optional terms quoted by the medical screening helpline, you will not be covered for any claims arising directly or indirectly from a Pre-existing Medical Condition.

There is no cancellation or curtailment cover for a Pre-Existing Medical Condition of persons who are not covered by your policy such as a Close Relative, unless disclosed to the medical screening helpline by that same Close Relative and additional cover agreed.

 

Definition of a Pre-Existing Medical Condition:

a) Any respiratory condition (relating to the lungs or breathing), heart condition, stroke, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, allergy, or cancer for which you (or any other person not necessarily travelling but upon whom travel depends such as a Close Relative) have ever received treatment (including surgery, tests or investigations by your Medical Practitioner or a consultant/specialist, or prescribed drugs/medication).

 b) Any Medical Condition for which you (or any other person not necessarily travelling but upon whom travel depends such as a Close Relative) have received surgery, in-patient treatment or investigations in a hospital or clinic within the last twelve months, or prescribed drugs/medication.

If a close relative has fallen ill to an illness not previously diagnosed or has an unforeseen accident necessitating your return home, costs associated with getting you home are covered.

If a Close Relative has an existing medical condition, it must be declared for cover to the medical screening helpline. If not declared, costs associated with getting the Insured back home are not covered.

Residents of the United Kingdom MUST enrol with MEDICARE should you require medical treatment in Australia. Registering can be done after the first occasion on which you receive treatment at www.humanservices.gov.au/customerjects/medicare-services. In Patient and out-patient treatment in a public hospital may then be subsidised. Should you be admitted to hospital then immediate contact must be made with the Medical Emergency Assistance Service and their authority obtained in respect of any treatment not available under MEDICARE before such treatment is provided.
Your failure to register with MEDICARE or to contact the Medical Emergency Assistance Service may result in a claim being reduced or declined.

For 24hr medical emergencies, immediate contact must be made with the Medical Emergency Assistance Service in the event of death, injury or illness necessitating any of the following: (i) hospitalisation, (ii) repatriation, (iii) alteration to travel plans, (iv) curtailment of travel,


If your policy was issued after 01 January 2019,
Call +44 (0)20 8603 9485
Please quote scheme Reference: 7272TVL01/19

 


If your policy was issued after 01 January 2018
TEL: +(44) (0) 20 3 318 8486
Within US A Toll Free: 1 800 848 2350
Please quote scheme reference: CIAXA18CIDR

If your policy was issued after 01 August 2017
Please quote scheme reference CIAXA17CIDR


Please note the Insured Person’s failure to contact the Medical Emergency Assistance Service prior to any claims for hospitalisation, repatriation, helicopter/air ambulance medical evacuation, alteration of travel plans or curtailment of travel may result in their claim being reduced or declined. Private medical treatment is not covered unless authorised by the Medical Emergency Assistance Service.
Be prepared to give your:
(a) validation certificate number.
(b) confirmation that the policy was purchased from Big Cat Travel Insurance
(c) dates of travel (tickets/itinerary).
(d) details of problem including name and address of patient and nature of illness/accident.
(e) name and telephone number of hospital and attending Medical Practitioner.
(f) details of usual GP.
Please note, should you require medical treatment in Australia you MUST enrol with MEDICARE.

Full details are shown in your policy document.

About the Cover

Yes, loss, theft or damage up to the amount shown in the Schedule of Benefits applicable to the type of policy purchased for:
1. Baggage. The amount payable will be the value at today’s prices less the deduction for wear, tear and depreciation.
2. Personal Monies. Cash, Bank or Currency notes, including reasonable expenses incurred as a result of loss, theft or damage.
3. Tickets. Air or other tickets including reasonable expenses incurred as a result of loss, theft or damage.
4. Passport or Visas. In respect of the cost of an emergency replacement or temporary passport or visa obtained whilst abroad including reasonable and receipted expenses incurred to obtain the same.
5. Temporary Loss of Baggage. If Baggage is temporarily lost for more than 12 hours by an airline, railway or shipping company on the outward journey, for the purchase of immediate necessities the Insurer will pay the Insured Person up to the amount shown in the Schedule of Benefits applicable to the type of policy purchased and shown on the Validation Certificate when supported by receipts, but this will be deducted from the final claim if the loss is permanent.

Cancellation cover starts when you purchase the policy. So, for example, if your departure date is in 2 months and you set your travel insurance to commence on that date, but you purchase cover today, your cancellation cover will start today.

1. Delayed Departure or Arrival
a) If the departure of the aircraft, train or sea vessel in which the Insured Person has arranged to travel is delayed for at least 12 hours from the departure time specified in the travel itinerary, or if the arrival of the aircraft, train or sea vessel at destination is at least 12 hours later than the time specified in the travel itinerary, due to Strike or Industrial Action, disruption, Terrorism (including Cyber Terrorism), adverse weather conditions, or mechanical breakdown of the aircraft, train or sea vessel.
The Insurer will pay £25 for each complete 12 hour period of delay commencing from the original booked departure time or arrival time specified in the travel itinerary up to £100 each Insured Person
b) If the departure of the aircraft, train or sea vessel in which the Insured Person has arranged to travel is delayed for at least 12 hours from the departure time specified in the travel itinerary, or if the arrival of the aircraft, train or sea vessel at destination is at least 12 hours later than the time specified in the travel itinerary, due to Strike or Industrial Action, Terrorism, adverse weather conditions, or mechanical breakdown of the aircraft, train or sea vessel.
The Insurer will pay Irrecoverable Payments and Charges made for the travel, accommodation, tours or excursions up to the amount shown in the Schedule of Benefits applicable to the type of policy purchased and shown on the Validation Certificate for each Insured Person.
*Please note: The above cover is not applicable to BUDGET policies.

Mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, partner (including common law and civil partnerships), son, daughter (including fostered/adopted), grandparent, grandchild, parent in law, son in law, daughter in law, brother in law, sister in law, step parent, step child, step sister, step brother or legal guardian.

Personal Accident cover isn’t quite what it sounds like. If you have an accident and fall over and break your wrist, that’s covered under normal Medical Expenses. Personal Accident is basically: Loss of sight, loss of limb or permanent disablement.

What the Policy says under Section B. Personal Accident:

In the event of the Insured Person sustaining bodily injury arising wholly and exclusively from violent accidental external and visible means which injury shall solely and independently of any other cause result in his/her death or disablement within twelve calendar months of the injury, the Insurer hereby agrees to pay up to the amount shown in the Table of Benefits applicable to the type of policy purchased and shown on the Validation Certificate.

Provided that:

  1. A) the death benefit payable is reduced to £1,000 if the Insured Person is under 16 years of age or 66 years of age or over at the time of death B) the total compensation in respect of any one Insured Person shall not exceed £10,000 for BUDGET Policies, £15,000 forSTANDARD Policies or £25,000 for PREMIER Policies.

Definitions

Loss of Limbs: loss or severance at or above the wrist or ankle or total permanent loss of use of an entire arm or leg.

Loss of Sight: total and irrecoverable loss of sight which shall be

considered as having occurred:

  1. a) in both eyes if your name is added to the Register of Blind Persons on the authority of a fully qualified ophthalmic specialist.
  2. b) in one eye if the degree of sight remaining after correction is 3/60 or less on the Snellen Scale.

Permanent Total Disablement: A disability which has lasted for at least 12 months from which the Insurer believes the Insured Person will never recover and which prevents them from carrying out any gainful occupation for which they are reasonably qualified by way of training, education or experience.

Special Condition

If an Insured Person was already disabled before the bodily injury or already had a condition which is gradually getting worse, the Insurer may reduce their payment. Any reduced payment will be based on their medical assessment of the difference between:

  1. the disability after the bodily injury; and
  2. the extent to which the disability is affected by the disability or condition before the Accident.

Home visits are allowed if your policy duration is 4 months or more. There are no limits, you can come home as many times as you like, for as long as you like.

Big Cat offers 3 levels of cover, Budget, Standard and Premier. Our Standard and Premier policies are available for a single or annual multi-trip, to anyone under the age of 70. Our cheaper Budget policy is only available for single trips to anyone under the age of 51.

With a Single Trip policy we do not require any of the following

  • return tickets (flights or other means of transport),
  • proof of return,
  • proof of intent to return

You can travel with no booked return ticket and be fully covered.

Yes, we can cover temporarily taking up residence in another country. Whether you’ll be going on an extended holiday or on a temporary working holiday visa, provided you still have a valid address in your home country you are eligible for cover.

Yes, we can provide cover for gadgets, sports equipment and valuables up to £1,000 per person on any policy with the Gadgets & Valuables add-on included.

Full list of Valuables that can be covered:
Audio, visual, video, photographic, computer, laptops, iPad and/or android tablet or similar device, and portable navigation equipment, mobile phones, iPods, iPod touch and/or accessories, ebook readers, jewellery, furs, gold and silver items, watches, binoculars, musical instruments, electronic games and sports equipment.

The Missed Flight Connections add-on can provide cover for up to £1,000 for to allow you to carry on with your trip as a result of missing international flights for reasons out of your control such as adverse weather conditions, failure of transport connections or strike.

This £1,000 can contribute towards extra accommodation and travel expenses.

Yes, we can cover cruises.

There are no restrictions or exclusions with any of our policies pertaining to cruising or long-term travel by ship.

Claims

Medical Emergencies Only
Immediate contact must be made
+44 (0)20 8603 9485

 

For Other Claims

Notice must be given within 45 days of the date of occurrence of any claim under this Insurance.

To submit a claim online please go to www.submitaclaim.co.uk/bigcat

Alternatively, you can submit a claim by heading over to www.csal.co.uk and downloading the relevant claims form.Contact information for our claims handlers:

Claims Settlement Agencies,
308-314 London Road,
Hadleigh
SS7 2DD.

Tel: 01702 553 443
Email: [email protected]

For 24hr medical emergencies, immediate contact must be made with the Medical Emergency Assistance Service in the event of death, injury or illness necessitating any of the following: (i) hospitalisation, (ii) repatriation, (iii) alteration to travel plans, (iv) curtailment of travel,


If your policy was issued after 01 January 2019,
Call +44 (0)20 8603 9485
Please quote scheme Reference: 7272TVL01/19

 


If your policy was issued after 01 January 2018
TEL: +(44) (0) 20 3 318 8486
Within US A Toll Free: 1 800 848 2350
Please quote scheme reference: CIAXA18CIDR

If your policy was issued after 01 August 2017
Please quote scheme reference CIAXA17CIDR


Please note the Insured Person’s failure to contact the Medical Emergency Assistance Service prior to any claims for hospitalisation, repatriation, helicopter/air ambulance medical evacuation, alteration of travel plans or curtailment of travel may result in their claim being reduced or declined. Private medical treatment is not covered unless authorised by the Medical Emergency Assistance Service.
Be prepared to give your:
(a) validation certificate number.
(b) confirmation that the policy was purchased from Big Cat Travel Insurance
(c) dates of travel (tickets/itinerary).
(d) details of problem including name and address of patient and nature of illness/accident.
(e) name and telephone number of hospital and attending Medical Practitioner.
(f) details of usual GP.
Please note, should you require medical treatment in Australia you MUST enrol with MEDICARE.

Full details are shown in your policy document.

This depends on the situation, if you are going to the doctors on a one-off basis for something such as a minor injury or health issue, the cost of the doctors visit and subsequent treatment would have to be paid for and claimed back.

If you are admitted to hospital either yourself or the hospital can get in touch with the Medical Emergency Assistance Team at your earliest convenience who can liaise directly with the hospital to pay the medical bills directly.

If you visit the doctor which results in recurring treatment being necessary / treatment that cannot be carried out in one day, you can contact the Medical Emergency Assistance team as they may be able to pay the appropriate costs directly.

 

We offer an Excess Waiver with all our policies. This will take the excess for all claims down to £0, enabling you to claim for any amount. So, if you come down with the flu and go to the local doctors and are prescribed £20 worth of medication, you will be able to claim for this.

Note: The Excess for Personal Liability and Personal Accident cannot be waived and will remain at £250, even with the Excess Waiver.

To claim with Big Cat:

Report the problem to the airline immediately, they will most likely ask you to fill in a “property irregularity report” (make sure you keep a copy of this).

Then, to claim with Big Cat: go to www.csal.co.uk, download and fill in the claims form.

To claim with the Airline:

Report the problem to the airline immediately, they will most likely ask you to fill in a “property irregularity report” (make sure you keep a copy of this).

In cases of delayed or missing baggage, the airline has 21 days to locate it and get it back to you. If you get your lost baggage back within 21 days, you can still claim for compensation for delayed baggage. If not, claim for lost baggage.

Ask the airline how you’d like to send your claim. In your claims letter (or however else you are claiming) be sure to mention that you are claiming under the “Montreal Convention”.

To claim with Big Cat, go to www.csal.co.uk, download and fill in the claims form.

Yes, the benefit amounts shown are per person. So, if you are travelling with your partner and you are each claiming for delays with your flights, you will each be able to claim for the limit of £100.

Up to the amount shown in the Schedule of Benefits applicable to the type of policy purchased and shown on the Validation Certificate, if you suffer an incident that results in bodily injury, death or illness caused by a third party during the Period of Insurance, the Insurer will compensate you for Legal Expenses incurred in pursuit of a claim for damages or compensation against the third party up to the amount shown in the Table of Benefits for any one journey. Note: exclusions may apply - see detailed policy.

Already Travelling

Yes! We specialise in covering people who’ve already left their Home Country, as long as you haven't picked up permanent residency status in another country.

If cover is purchased after an Insured Person has departed their home to commence their journey, there is a fixed period of 48 hours prior to cover commencing. For cover to apply the Already Travelling extension must be shown on your Booking Invoice or Validation Certificate (as applicable). Any illness arising during this initial 48 hour period will be an excluded Pre-existing Medical Condition. In the event of serious injury in connection with an accident, you will be covered from the date you take out cover subject to the accident being independently witnessed and also verified by a Medical Practitioner.

Yes! We specialise in covering people who’ve already left their Home Country, as long as you haven't picked up permanent residency status in another country.

If cover is purchased after an Insured Person has departed their home to commence their journey, there is a fixed period of 48 hours prior to cover commencing. For cover to apply the Already Travelling extension must be shown on your Booking Invoice or Validation Certificate (as applicable). Any illness arising during this initial 48 hour period will be an excluded Pre-existing Medical Condition. In the event of serious injury in connection with an accident, you will be covered from the date you take out cover subject to the accident being independently witnessed and also verified by a Medical Practitioner.

There is a 48 hour waiting period for already travelling policies to commence. Otherwise, cover comes into effect immediately on the cover start date.

Please refer to the above FAQ's or our policy wording for full details.

Yes! We specialise in covering people who’ve already left their Home Country, as long as you haven't picked up permanent residency status in another country.

If cover is purchased after an Insured Person has departed their home to commence their journey, there is a fixed period of 48 hours prior to cover commencing. For cover to apply the Already Travelling extension must be shown on your Booking Invoice or Validation Certificate (as applicable). Any illness arising during this initial 48 hour period will be an excluded Pre-existing Medical Condition. In the event of serious injury in connection with an accident, you will be covered from the date you take out cover subject to the accident being independently witnessed and also verified by a Medical Practitioner.

Trekking

Yes, Helicopter Rescue is covered.

Helicopter rescue is classed as a necessary Medical Expense, so is covered by the Medical & Repatriation expenses section of cover (limit of either £2m, £5m or £10m depending on the policy)

To get a quote, please visit our Trekking Insurance page by following this link.

We have no upper altitude limit with our Extreme Activity Pack Add-on. Otherwise, with the Activity Pack you can trek up to 4,600m. And if you're only trekking up to 2,500m, there's no need to add anything on - Trekking up to 2,500m is one of the 64 activities we cover for free.

Please note for trekking in Nepal the Nepal Trekking Pack add-on will need to be included. A 7,000m altitude limit is applied to this.

How do you include these Add-ons? See question below.

To add any of our Activity Packs, just follow the Quote form - to stage 3 - there you will find all of the optional extras.

It is recommended that when travelling to any remote areas, you go in a group of at least 3 people with a 2 way working communications device, a navigation device, you let someone(s) know your route and when you should arrive, as Search and Rescue costs are not covered.

The Additional Mountain Rescue section of cover is a specific level of cover that takes effect when helicopter rescue is deemed necessary by the local Rescue Authorities due to a non-medical emergency such as natural disasters or adverse weather conditions.

This section of cover does not apply to Medically Necessary helicopter evacuations - these costs are covered under the Medical & Repatriation section of cover.

There is an excess of £1500 applied to all Helicopter Rescue claims in Nepal.

Why is the Excess so high?

Trekking in Nepal has never been more popular. But recently there has been a massive surge in the number of helicopter rescues. Most rescues arise where a climber either has a serious accident or needs urgent hospitalisation through acute mountain sickness (AMS) due to a too rapid an exposure to low oxygen at high elevation. The simplest remedy is to descend 500m and remain there until the symptoms disappear. This should happen in most cases and should certainly not require a helicopter rescue. Recently, however, around 70% of helicopter rescues are down to AMS.

It appears that widescale fraud in the Nepalese trekking industry has seen helicopter operators, hospitals, guides, trekking companies and even trekkers themselves colluding to extort large sums of money from insurers through unnecessary claims for helicopter rescues and hospital treatment. If substantial kick-backs can be earned should a client need a rescue then there is an incentive for unscrupulous guides/trekking company to deliberately incur AMS by taking clients up too high too fast, or by adding baking soda to meals to induce vomiting and diarrhoea. Sometimes clients can be offered a bribe or a free helicopter ride if they don’t fancy trekking back down the mountain. They are then coached in what to tell their insurers.

Consequently, many insurers have either withdrawn from providing cover for trekkers to Nepal or have been forced to whack up the premiums. So it is important for all trekkers to Nepal to be aware of the situation and follow this advice:

 

  • Always book your trek through a reputable company.
  • Ensure that your trekking itinerary gains altitude slowly. Do not exceed 300m per day, with a rest day for every 1000m of ascent.
  • Never ignore the onset of altitude sickness. Always descend 500m or, if not possible, stay put.

 

Don't be drawn into any scam. Insurance fraud is a crime and adds to the cost of your holiday through added premiums.

Here is an article published regarding Nepal: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/25/world/asia/nepal-everest-insurers-fraud.html

We class mountaineering as any section of a climb that you can’t walk or scramble up, or that requires more than standard additional trekking safety equipment (Ice axes, crampons and ropes to tie the party together are classed as standard equipment). Using ropes to ascend a vertical rock face would be considered mountaineering and therefore only covered with the Extreme Activity Pack Plus add-on included.

You must be able to trek to the summit of the mountain or other specific destination to be covered with our trekking cover. So, even if you are ascending a mountain that requires climbing or mountaineering for only a very short time we can't cover injuries sustained anywhere along the route, even if you were trekking at the time, unless the Extreme Activity Pack Plus add-on has been included.

Yes, if trekking outside of Nepal, but there’s no cover if trekking on unrecognised routes.

If you are trekking within Nepal you must have our Nepal Trekking Activity Pack add-on included and there is no cover for trekking without a guide.

We do recommend going with a qualified guide or group of no less than 3 people, as search costs and non-medical rescue costs aren’t covered, only rescue from a known and agreed location is. The search aspect is usually cut out completely, or minimised, when trekking with a guide as they may carry some sort of GPS tracking with them and have an in-depth knowledge of the area. Whereas if you’re injured without a guide you may have a hard time describing your location to the helicopter rescue services, if you can contact them at all.

Altogether it’s a lot safer going with a guide, which is why we recommend it, but going without one doesn’t invalidate cover (outside of Nepal) provided you use recognised routes and take all necessary precautions.

Winter Sports

We can provide cover for skiing/snowboarding in terrain parks, but can't cover freestyle skiing.

If you'll be doing any backflips, double corks, or any other freestyle tricks, any injuries sustained in connection with these would not be covered as this would be classed as freestyle.

If you'll be doing any small or medium jumps (up to 30ft/9.1 m), rails, or using other features of a terrain park cover can be provided with any policy with the Winter Sports and Winter Sports Plus add-ons included.

With the set day packages (14, 28, 56) we don’t need you to tell us, at any point, when you will be skiing / snowboarding. In the event of a claim, the claims handlers will check your name against your ski pass and determine how many days you’ve used that way.

Yes, bar work is automatically covered with all of our policies.

We have a few options when it comes Winter Sports cover duration:

14 non-consecutive days
28 non-consecutive days
56 non-consecutive days
Unlimited

You can choose the cover duration you need. Remember, test the different durations, sometimes it's equal value - or better, to opt for the entire duration option.

We've allowed different durations of cover as some people requiring a long policy may only  be skiing for a short amount of time, and don't need cover for the entire duration.

Winter Sports Equipment – Loss theft or breakage of your own Winter Sports Equipment is insured up to £300 Budget, £450 Standard or £600 Premier per person, subject to a limit of £100 Budget, £200 Standard or £250 Premier for any single item, set or pair.

Loss theft or breakage of hired Winter Sports Equipment in your charge is insured up to £150 Budget, £225 Standard or £300 Premier per Insured Person.

 Winter Sports Equipment Hire – Up to £150 Budget, £200 Standard or £350 Premier per Insured Person in respect of replacement Winter Sports Equipment hire following loss, theft or breakage, or misdirection or delay in transit of an Insured Person’s Winter Sports Equipment preventing their use for not less than 12 hours.

 Ski Pack – Up to £200 Budget, £250 Standard or £375 Premier per Insured Person in respect of the proportionate value of any ski pass, hire or tuition fee necessarily unused following accident or sickness of the Insured Person, or loss theft or damage of the ski pass.

 Piste Closure – Up to £15 Budget, £20 Standard or £30 Premier per day per Insured Person to a maximum of £150 Budget, £200 Standard or £300 Premierfor additional transport costs to reach an alternative resort necessitated by a lack of snow or avalanche at your pre-booked resort following the closure of skiing facilities.

 Avalanche Closure – Up to £150 Budget, £200 Standard or £300 Premier per Insured Person in respect of additional travel and accommodation expense necessarily incurred as a result of the outward or return journey by public transport being delayed for 12 or more hours beyond the scheduled arrival time.

Working Abroad

Non-manual/clerical work is covered automatically with a Big Cat policy. So, there’s nothing you need to add to be covered for things like teaching, caring or nursing.

With the Activity Pack, we can also cover work of a more manual nature. This can include things like WWOOFing, partaking in community or wildlife based conservation work, charity based supervised building / renovation projects or other permitted manual work (defined below).

Cover is excluded for any activity that involves the use of industrial machinery (other than tractors) or non-domestic power tools.

Means WWOOFing, fruit picking, casual farm work. Other Manual Work can be covered as long as it does not involve the use of plant/trade/industrial/agricultural machinery (other than tractors) or non-domestic power tools.

Please get in touch if you'd like to find out if we can provide cover for any light manual work you will be doing.

WWOOfing is classed as Permitted Manual Work, so with the Activity Pack, you’re covered.

(see above)

Yes, bar work is automatically covered with all of our policies.

Geographical Areas

If your area of cover/destination is Australia & New Zealand or Worldwide excluding North America & Mexico and your policy is over 2 months long there is cover for 7 days/nights anywhere in the world automatically included. Under 2 months automatically includes cover for 48 hours anywhere in the world.

We have no limits on how many countries you travel to or how long you stay in each country for (as long as you don’t become a permanent resident there!). By “Single Trip” we mean one trip away from home, it can be to as many countries as you like.

Yes, all our policies meet the medical requirements for entry to Cuba.

No, North America is classed just as the USA, Canada and Mexico. The Caribbean and surrounding islands are covered under Area: “Worldwide exc. North America”.

Any countries within the continent of Europe, West of the Ural Mountains. Includes the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Iceland, Jordan, Madeira, the Canary, Azores and Mediterranean Islands as well as all countries bordering the Mediterranean.

None, specifically. But we go by the FCO guidelines, so if they advise against travel to a certain country, it’s not covered.

Here’s what the Policy Document says under exclusions:

Any Insured Person’s travel to a country, specific area or event to which the Travel Advice unit of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office http://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or the World Health Organisation has advised against all, or all but essential travel, unless agreed by or on behalf of the Insurer.

Area 1: UNITED KINGDOM ONLY
Whilst insurance is available for holidays in the United Kingdom, Section A. Medical Expenses and Personal Liability. 1. Medical and Associated Expenses, 2. In Patient Benefit and 3. Criminal Injuries Benefit shall be inoperative if an Insured Person’s Home Country is the United Kingdom.

Area 2: EUROPE
Europe means the continent of Europe West of the Ural Mountains, and includes the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Iceland, Jordan, Madeira, the Canary, Azores and Mediterranean Islands as well as all countries bordering the Mediterranean.

Area 3: AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND
(a) For any period of cover purchased Area 3 can include a 48 hour stop-over anywhere in the World for both outward and return travel.
(b) If the period of cover purchased is two months or more Area 3 can be extended to include a maximum of 7 days/nights anywhere in the World.

Area 4: WORLDWIDE EXCLUDING NORTH AMERICA
North America means the USA ,Canada & Mexico.
(a) For any period of cover purchased Area 4 can include a 48 hour stop-over anywhere in the world for both outward and return travel.
(b) If the period of cover purchased is two months or more Area 4 can be extended to include a maximum of 7 days/nights anywhere in the World.

Area 5: WORLDWIDE INCLUDING NORTH AMERICA
Includes travel to the USA, Canada & Mexico.

Our Different Policies

A One Way policy is intended to cover 2 types of travel:

Emigrating to a country where you intend to live permanently

For Example:
You're moving to Australia, permanently, but are travelling through Europe and then onto South East Asia before you arrive in Australia.
You're moving to New Zealand, and are taking a direct flight. (A stopover of 48 hours anywhere in the world is included)

or

Returning to your home country permanently.

For Example:
you've been in the UK or other EU country under a temporary working holiday visa, it has come to an end and you need cover for your flight back home.

If none of the above is applicable to you, please select Single Trip.

Please note all cover ceases upon arrival at final destination.

 

With our Standard policy, the maximum trip duration is 30 days. With our Premier policy, the maximum trip duration is 70 days. If you’re going away for longer than the amount of days your policy permits, you will have no cover for the entire duration. So you can’t go away for 31 / 71 days expecting to be covered for the first 30 / 70, as cover for the entire period is invalid if your itinerary exceeds the specified amount of days!

An Annual Multi Trip policy is designed for people taking multiple holidays a year, with a maximum duration of 30 or 70 days each holiday (depending on the level of cover required), departing from and returning to their country of residence.

Changes and Upgrades

Yes, that’s not a problem. Just call us on 0333 003 3161 or send us an email at [email protected] with your name and policy number and what you need changes you need and we’ll get back to you.

Alternatively, visit the extend page here. Fill out the form, tell us what you need and we’ll get back to you.

Yes, extensions to your current Travel Insurance policy are easily arranged, even if your current policy isn’t with us.

If you do have a policy with us and need to extend it, visit the extension page here.

If you don’t currently have a policy with us, follow the Get a Quote form. (Be sure to select Yes to the “Are you already travelling?” question!)

Legal

Your statutory cancellation rights allow you to cancel your Big Cat policy within 14 days of receipt of the policy documents by getting in contact with us by either writing to, by phone, or by e-mail. Any premium already paid will be refunded to you providing you have not travelled, no claim has been made or is intended to be made and no incident likely to give rise to a claim has occurred.

If you have purchased a policy while already travelling, no refund of premium will be made.

Our policy is underwritten by AWP P&C SA and administered in the UK by Allianz Global Assistance, a trading name of AWP Assistance UK Ltd, part of the Allianz Group.
The Allianz Group is a global financial services provider with services predominantly in the insurance and asset management business and is part of Allianz SE, the parent company, which is headquartered in Munich, Germany.

 

Underwritten by Allianz Assistance

In the unlikely event of the Insurer being unable to meet their liabilities, you may be entitled to compensation under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Their contact details are: Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Tel: 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100.

Big Cat Travel Insurance Services (registration No.FRN: 745388) is an Appointed Representative of Campbell Irvine Ltd (registration No.306242) who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. You may check this on the Financial Services register www.fca.org.uk or by contacting them on Tel: +44 (0) 800 111 6768.

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Big Cat Travel Insurance Services, a trading name of Flynow.com Ltd (registration No.FRN 745388)  is an Appointed Representative of Campbell Irvine Ltd (registration No.306242) who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. You may check this on the Financial Services register www.fca.org.uk or by contacting them on (0) 800 111 6768. © 2018 Big Cat Travel Insurance Services.  All rights reserved.