Total joke - lies & more lies - class action worthy for sure !
Your travel insurance is pathetic just like your customer service. I will never ever use Budget Direct for anything again. Removing all my policies and spreading the word to as many people as possible about your disgraceful treatment of customers. Useless is too kind. Your complaints process is broken as well. Negative stars from us.
A class action lawsuit needs to be filed against Budget Direct Travel
After literally weeks of researching travel insurance companies and reading PDS', i purchased an expensive comprehensive travel insurance policy with Budget Direct in May 2019 (A LONG TIME BEFORE COVID), for a round the world trip commencing December 2019 ending June 2020. Upon returning home in March due to COVID, i lodged a claim for some medical expenses incurred (under $300) and cancellation fees. The gall of these people is despicable. They deliberately delay the process by sending multiple requests for "further information" weeks apart, ...rather than asking for all the information at once. Also, they keep asking for the same information i have already provided, again weeks after it was ALREADY PROVIDED. I have been waiting 5 months now and getting absolutely nowhere; clearly their tactic is to keep delaying and avoiding until customers give up. The behavior is absolutely abhorrent and I have no idea how these employees and managers sleep at night. I am out thousands of dollars plus HOURS of my time, and yet I WILL NOT GIVE UP because they need to be held to account. And for god's sake, Budget Direct, don't you dare leave a comment saying you "are sorry to hear about my experience and can understand my frustration". You should be utterly ashamed for earning a living defrauding people, and I hope you personally lose thousands of dollars one day and understand what you;re doing to people. I have already contacted the Ombudsman, and i suggest everyone else do the same.
WORST TRAVEL INSURANCE EVER ! DELIBERATE DELAY TACTICS
Pre covid we bought Budget Direct Travel Insurance and read the PDS thoroughly to ensure we had cover for the trip of a life time. Even rang to confirm we had full cover for pandemics as in early stages of cases taking hold - "of course you do stated the well versed call centre employee". Covid hits further locations and we again checked and it was all good as the PDS clearly talks about cover for "disease & pandemic outbreaks" - phew we thought (and yes we paid for insurance cover before your pandemic cut off date, well before). Again we cal...led Budget Direct and again told yes you are covered 100 % - Don't stress she told us almost like we were being over concerned (and yes we took screen shots of your "chat agent) so cant wait for you to tell me that didn't happen. Then things got worse and all of a sudden our cruise line cancelled 24 hours before departure & the rest of our trip went into oblivion as Europe closed down. Sadly we had to submit a claim with all info and screen shots the - full shebang. Weeks then months pass & we start to wonder why taking so long ? In the mean time we did our absolute best to get refunds from various travel companies most of which are brilliant and refunded except for Italy component which refused refunds but again that's fair & we didn't worry as we thought we were covered. Cruise line was awesome unlike Budget Direct. Still no answer from Budget after multiple calls and emails which go into hyper space. We then finally get a letter stating you are not covered as "YOU" chose to cancel. TOTAL LIES as the cruise cancelled and Europe went into full lock down. According to budget you still could have gone - wow really & how could we have done that Budget with no boat and boarders fully locked. Your claims process is not in line with your PDS at all & you do not standby your customers. Your customer service is geared around manipulation of PDS and you are deliberately slowing claims hoping people will give up. Don't bother complaining as they refuse to talk to you and you get the complete run around. Emails go un - answered. It has ended up Budget Direct have only added to an already stressful situation. Shame on you Budget Direct. I look forward to proving you guys wrong as we did not cancel and we are covered 100% And stop using the wording "We are waiting for the under writers to confirm" as it is code for we have no idea what is happening and you don't stand by our PDS which is in black & white. P.S DO NOT USE BUDGET FOR TRAVEL INSURANCE YOU WILL GET NO SATISFACTION IN YOUR TIME OF NEED. Don't waste your money.
Waste of space- never insure with this mob
I had taken out a comprehensive travel policy on 6th of Feb, 2020 for a trip to Europe (at a time when their PDS clearly mentioned that it covers pandemics) and when I filed a claim on 27 of March 2020, got a response (6th of April 2020) that "We wish to advise you that we have completed the assessment of the claim, and unfortunately it has been identified that the claim does not fall within the terms and conditions of the policy" and the basis of this assessment was "Any claim relating to an incident which you were aware of at the time you too...k out this insurance and which could reasonably be expected to lead to a claim." I had to point out to the travel consultant (who are "supposedly" insurance experts in the travel industry) that their own PDS was not amended until 15th of March to exclude pandemic, so how would they expect an average person to reasonably know that a global pandemic will affect their travels! After escalating and a lot of exchange of documents (a number of them resubmitted more than once), and a lot of reminders), the original decision was overruled and I got my full claim paid out on 4th of August 2020. My question is: why did they reject my original claim based on a flimsy justification / irrational argument? I guess they expected me to just keep quiet and walk away. Lesson: never insure with this organisation- they will make you run around come claim time.
Call centre gave misleading advice.
At the end of January I took out insurance for travel to Japan. Within the cooling off period the COVID situation got worse,so I called the call centre to confirm any COVID related cancellation to Japan or hospital fees would be covered. The call centre staff assured me, “touch wood”, it would be covered and the COVID exclusions on their web site only covered China . However the claim was denied as it was “Reasonably expected to lead to a claim”, completely contradicting their own staff’s earlier advice. Clearly it was a reasonable expectation ...that was not expected by their own experts until after the fact. If they are not going to keep their word they could at least refund price of the useless policy. Update - I found the copy of the PDS I downloaded and reviewed at the time, it clearly states coverage for cancellations due to epidemics. These guys are just plain theives.
I purchased travel insurance from budget direct, i lost a bag containing 2 cameras and some other items on the last leg of a 10 month trip. BD would not pay as they claim i left the items unattended because i did not pick the bag up when getting off a train. That is called losing something!! Never again would I use budget direct.
Don't bother asking for advice about your cover. You won't get any.
I paid for comprehensive travel insurance in February 2020. When I realised there were going to be problems due to Covid 19 I asked Budget Direct for advice before completing payment for my travel plans. They responded, we cannot confirm coverage unless a claim is submitted. When I did claim it was denied because the WHO declared the pandemic on January 30th and it was therefore a known event, that I should have known might give rise to a claim. Why couldn't they tell me that when I asked and save me from compounding my losses. SARS was a known...pandemic but it didn't cause total shut-down of the travel industry as Covid has. The circumstances brought about by this virus are unprecedented, so how were their travel insurance customers to know? My travel was cancelled and I lost $2452. I have had home and contents insurance with Budget Direct for many years and never made a claim. But I won't ever insure anything with them again.
- Comprehensive Travel Insurance
- Verified customer
Check reviews/payouts before you buy
Finished with BD as they simply don't pay out for legitimate claims. Planned to travel to Vietnam with other veterans for our first re-union in 50 years no won't happen. Travel firm won't pay up Budget Direct won't pay up - insurance sector needs royal commission. Read reviews closely - paid out on 14 claims - refused 43 as against Seniors who paid out 17 refused 1. Cancelling other policies based on their shocking performance.
Buying insurance was easy and fast. They were extremely competitive and were cheaper than anyone else. When making a claim it was efficient, simple and hassle free. Definitely will use them again whenever we travel again.
Delays and frustrations like so many other people. Travel booked for April. Apparently I cancelled 12 hours before the PM declared no travel. Forget that the travel warning was ‘do not travel unless necessary’. We appealed, we were asked for more information even though it had all be submitted previously. It became apparent that no amount of reasonable requests on our behalf was going to result in a refund.
We therefore asked for a refund of our insurance premium given it could never be acted on. Guess what? We were told we needed to do that w...
Pathetic, wasted time, rude customer service
In February myself and friends travelled to South Korea, we got caught in a town right as the Covid-19 cases in Korea spiked, after being bombarded by emergency warnings telling us to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel, we made the decision to contact our insurer (budget direct) who let us know if we decided to cut our trip short that we would be able to make a claim. Claim was raised in March, I’ve received communication that it’s been rejected in late July.
We rebooked flights and cut our trip short. Immediately after returning home I ...
Deliberate Delay Tactics, Broken Promises and Unethical Review Process.
We have heard of it happening in the broader insurance company community whereby the Insurer deliberately creates delays and generally makes it so hard for the consumers to pursue legitimate claims that the claimants eventually give up. Going on our own personal experiences and by looking at so many other similar instances documented on this site, it is very apparent that Budget Direct are the masters of employing these tactics. We lodged out claim for international flight refunds then followed up several times when nothing happened and were ...then asked to submit "additional" information (which we had already previously submitted) then chased up again and again. After months of deliberate delays our claim was rejected as the airline, SAA, have offered a credit but as the trip for us was a one-off and we will never be flying long-haul again due to our age and health reasons (further complicated by the advent of Covid 19). We then asked that the rejection be reviewed by a Manager/Team Leader in accordance with Stage One of the Budget Direct Dispute Resolution. As a results we were promised written determination within ten business days and then fifteen business days but nothing ever happened. No contact, no apologies just silence. This is not good enough and we will not be one of those customers who just get so sick of the deliberate delays that they give up. Update as at 17/07/2020. Budget have now just written saying the claim is rejected even though we had comprehensive cover but we can further challenge the decision by going to Stage 2. Obviously this is just more deliberate delay tactics so they can hang on to our money for even longer. Our strongest recommendation to anyone considering using Budget Direct is Don't use them as they are totally unethical.
Whenever I plan to take a trip overseas, I organise travel insurance, on the off chance I may need it. I had used Budget Travel before, but never had need to put in a claim. And then I booked a trip to Vegas in mid-February - at the time COVID-19 wasn't widely known, or viewed, as a pandemic, so the trip was booked and paid for, and travel insurance organised. I had to cancel the trip due to closed borders, and put in a claim. They told me it'd take a maximum of 10 days, but almost 3 weeks went by and no response, so I followed them up. Th...ey just got back me, and have rejected the claim - apparently WHO announced COVID at the end of January (not then a pandemic) and I was supposed to have a magic crystal ball and know this would lead to worldwide shutting down of borders. WHO didn't announce it as a pandemic until March. It is pathetic that Budget Travel have grasped at a minor announcement as a way to rip off their customers. I'll be taking this further, and will no longer use Budget Travel for any insurance. Avoid this mob, they will rip you off.
Perpetual waiting and broken promises
Like many others here, I am really disappointed with the service received by Budget Travel insurance. I've been left waiting for well over three months with still no outcome of my travel insurance claim. During this time, I've been promised a response within 10 working days multiple times, but the timeline inevitably comes and goes. Following up on these over the phone, other promises of receiving feedback in 24-48 hours has also not been honoured. It was stressful and disappointing to cancel a once-in-a-lifetime trip due to the global pandemic.... To now go through an arduous process to receive compensation for the trip (which I was assured before cancelling that I am entitled to) is really adding salt to the wound. Budget, please improve your communication and provide an outcome.
Like all of Budget Direct insurance, great until you claim
Travel insurance PDS clearly covers for pandemics and confirm by phone. The prior to cancelling they confirmed by two separate phone calls. When it comes to claiming they don't respond, delay and then deny on obscure clauses. I have never made an insurance claim in 25 years, a loyal customer of any insurance company. I had other insurance with budget direct but why would you bother if you can't claim when needed. I do not recommend them to my worst enemy. I hope people keep reviewing dealings with them and not just the cheap price.
UPDATE- Today, 29/07, Budget have informed me that my claim has been rejected on the grounds that i didnt accept an alternative flight (which didnt suit) and/or i didnt take a credit note (which i didnt want) . Take note Budget, people have long memories.
As with travel agents, budget travel insurance is dragging its heels in assesing insurance claims. Have provided info more than once but they keep asking for the same info. My elderly father is waiting for money both from Flight Centre (another ripoff) and budget direct for over 3 months. Hard earned down the drain. Once bitten....
Disgusting, never ever use this company
A pandemic hits the world and this company takes advantage of their customers instead of supporting them. They hide behind travel credits which can't be used. My husband was due to travel to Europe with mates in May and was going on a particular tour. The tour was paid up in full and was 100% non refundable. However who would have thought a pandemic would hit the world and the govt issue stage 4 travel restrictions. Budget Direct claim that we haven't taken all measures to minimise the loss but we have. We hassled the tour company and got...a partial refund but because they said they'd give my husband a credit against next years tour (which he can't take for family reasons), Budget Direct have denied our claim. HE CAN'T TAKE THE TOUR IN 2021 and yet we have to apparently put our family out so that Budget Direct don't have to pay out on the insurance that we paid for. The credit is now void, no longer exists, yet they still deny the claim. All my husbands friends who were travelling with him have been paid out by their travel insurance companies. Budget Direct are the only ones not paying. It's disgusting how much they are taking advantage of everyone through these times. We have taken all reasonable measures, yet they are being completely unreasonable. By reading all these other reviews, Budget Direct are simply taking advantage and hiding behind these travel credits which can't be used. They need to be investigated.
Do NOT recommend!!! Lied to by staff!!!
I was one of the people who was affected by covid. On 23 Jan I bought comprehensive travel insurance for a trip to Bali in March. On 2 occasions before the travel restrictions were put in place I called budget direct to confirm that I would be covered in the event of cancellation. They confirmed that I would be covered. When my flights were cancelled due to stage 4 travel warning (which is covered under the PDS) I lodged my travel claim. So to ensure I did it correctly I called BD who told me very specifically not to accept any travel credits o...therwise it would be deemed as a refund. I was able to get money back for my accommodation but not flights. When I called to ask why they rejected my flights claim they explained it was because I had a credit from Jetstar and in order to progress my claim I was advised to cancel this credit (which I never accepted to begin with, was sent automatically). I followed up with Luxury Escapes who then followed up Jetstar to cancel this. The email from Jetstar stated 'as you did not accept the credit it was forfeited'. I only did this because of the instruction I was provided by Budget Direct. I was then denied my flights refund with the outcome email from budget direct stating that I had 'preemptively cancelled my flights'. Needless to say I was furious as I only did as I was told and called numerous times to ensure I would not be in this position. I only acted on the advice provided. The customer service was terrible when I called to explain I only did what I was told and that I had recorded times and dates when I spoke to their staff and got this advice. On 5 May I lodged an internal dispute which under the code is requires budget direct to provide a decision within 15 working days. It has now been almost 30 working days and still no response. I have followed up via email and 3 times via phone. I have been told each time that they would send a note to the complaints team to contact me but I'm still waiting. I have even asked for an indication on timing to which no one can provide. In conclusion don't waste your time or money. I was completely within the rights of the PDS to make my claim, I followed the advice that multiple staff members gave me and I am still trying to get a favourable outcome through their disputes process.
- Comprehensive Travel Insurance
- Verified customer
terrible, customer service lied to me
Before taking out my claim I searched for a company that covered pandemics and clarified with a customer service representative if I would be covered as I wasn't sure whether to travel with the risk of covid and was told as my destination was not on the "do not travel" list I would be covered. Half way into my trip the government issued an urgent return home notice as they were going to close the border, unsure of what to do and if I could afford new flights I reached out again to Budget direct and asked if I would be able to claim this and was...lead to believe I could, so I bailed on my trip and went home and submitted a claim for my new flight and lost accomodation- MONTHS later I received a message my claim was denied as I knew about Covid before taking the claim out, even tho I had been told it was ok to go and lead to believe I was covered by two representatives? So I asked for the logs of the online chats I had with these people to review what had been said and was told they would send them, only for months later them to say my claim had been denied again- and did not send the chat logs. Overall a very long horrible experience, I felt like i was not listened to and mislead and am upset to have given this company any money.
Very disappointing Service
Terrible service, no communication on the progress of claim, unprofessional customer service ethics towards their customers. They don’t follow their own PDS , which leaves them open for legal action. Call center staff are rude. Terrible claims service. Still waiting for claim outcome that I lodged in March .
Questions & Answers
Why do you advertise and con people about your comprehensive policy when in fact it is not comprehensive at all. It basically covers nothing.
The con artist who owns Budget Direct should be behind bars.
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