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.
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 .
- Comprehensive Travel Insurance
- Verified customer
Terrible claims service - not following or adhering to their own PDS
We purchased a full comprehensive travel insurance for 2 people, near the $800 mark. Unfortunately we have been affected by COVID-19 and due to 'do not travel' advice had to cancel our dream 5 month holiday after 3 weeks. We have incurred significant cost and Budget Direct is using all non valid excuses not to pay out our claim. They had updated their PDS mid march, we purchased it prior. So excuses made so far:
* Everyone knew about Covid end of January - you should have gone on holiday - even though they still sell the policy including cove...
Worst company I have ever dealt with - DO NOT USE
4w holiday to Europe, obviously due to covid could not go and would not process our claim. Strange when all policies before 5th of may had stated you would be covered for epidemics and now they are saying everyone was aware. If everyone was aware of this, why were travel insurance policies being sold and why did they change their PDS for claims after 5th May stating epidemics are not included under the insurance. Customer service was atrocious, said 5-10buisness days, waited 15 before calling as new everyone would be trying to claim. Called 3 t...imes before I got an email saying they need more time. Then finally got a response denying claim. We appealed it and they said 15business days, we called another 3x they escalated the claim and then we still didnt hear back from them till well after the recommended period. They of course denied it on the clause 'we were aware' which how could you be aware when there was zero changes in travel restrictions.. Therefore months later our claim is still not resolved! very unhappy with this company, a hassle to contact, lied about time frames, lied about their actual PDS. I have never used this company for travel insurance and Will never use again and encourage noone else to ever use this company. Definitely the worst experience I have ever had. They can't claim they are the best on the ads if they can't even back up what they say on their statements.
Last chance for them to do the right thing then I think a class action needs to be started.
Top comprehensive cover purchased in JULY last year for a two-week trip beginning of April for two 80yr olds. Trip canceled due to Covid-19. Budget Direct has refused to cover them, happy to take the $900 for the policy though, shameful to take advantage of two elderly pensioners. Sending a strongly worded request to appeal on their legal responsibilities as per the terms and conditions this week. If that fails I will be taking this further and seeking a class action against budget direct. I will let you all know their response, if they reject it again I will be back asking who else wants to join.
- Comprehensive Travel Insurance
- Verified customer
Budget Direct Came Through In the End
This is an update to my original one star review below.
After sending my appeal to the Budget Direct IDR panel, Budget Direct made good on my original claim that they initially denied. I would have given them 5 stars if I did not have to go through this the first time. But I'm glad they have been responsive to my complaint.
Here is Budget Direct response to my appeal...
"As you are aware, your claim was escalated to the Stage 1 IDR Panel for consideration. Following the Panel’s review of your claim they are pleased to advise that your claims...
Rubbish travel insurance company, time for an enquiry into the travel insurance industry.
I purchased travel insurance from this company in January for a trip to India in May. Trip was cancelled due to borders being closed. Silly me thought we would be covered by travel insurance. Not so according to the travel insurance company of the year. Denied as the trip was cancelled by the operator, in fact it was cancelled by the overseas service provider, after all what service could they provide. Used this company several times without making a claim. Would I recommend them or use them again. Not likely. Any excuse to get out of paying our claim. Full of excuses.
Horrible, I wish zero stars was an option.
I purchased travel insurance for a 4 week trip to Europe over May/June. AND Budget Direct refused to pay out, after our trip was cancelled due to COVID19. I was told that because I didn't book insurance in January (I booked in February) that I should have known. The video below shows pdf files currently on Budget Directs website, with one file showing the travel insurance policy conditions purchased after the 5th of march 2020, and the other showing the same policy purchased BEFORE the 5th of March. (I booked BEFORE the 5th of march 2020). on p...age 19 of the file it is clear that the word "EPIDEMIC" is missing from the file for purchases AFTER the 5th. So how can Budget Direct refuse to Cover my policy when I booked before the policy conditions changed????
Bad company poor ethics
I checked with budget direct (in writing) that I was covered before I cancelled my flights due to Covid. Come claim time they reject it on the basis I was 2 days early before 1 set of government advice even though smart traveller recommended 3 days before do not travel. They are a shifty company do not use them. Luckily Qatar airways agreed to give me a full refund otherwise I would have fought this.
Don't use Budget Direct
- Domestic Travel Insurance
- Verified customer
I was very disappointed when I tried to claim on our domestic travel insurance for a holiday that was cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Budget Direct's PDS clearly states that they would cover us in the event of an epidemic. They are not true to their word.
Still awaiting outcome of claim
I took out a policy with Budget Direct on 10 Jan 2020 (cost $668.44) for an upcoming 5-week family holiday to USA, Mexico & Cuba.
We departed on 12 March 2020 but unfortunately due to the Covid-19 virus we were required to return home 1-week later.
I lodged a claim on 29 March 2020 and was notified that the claim would be reviewed in 5 to 10 working days at which time I would be contacted.
With no correspondence forthcoming, I emailed Budget Direct on 23 April and 13-days later received an automated response, again saying that the claim will be...
- Comprehensive Travel Insurance
- Verified customer
They do not pay claims, poor response!
Do not trust this company! They make excuses to not pay genuine claims! They don't response to claims until months later! You will know if an Insurer is good during claims time and it is no point buying any insurance at low cost when they don't actually pay you when you need to make a claim. This is an extremely hard lesson I learnt googling for "best insurance companies in Australia or cheapest", cheap is bad and this is Budget Direct, their name itself is a reflection. They spent a lot of advertising money and mostly appears at the top of sea...rch engines and many Comparison sites like Canstar, Find, Comparethemarket, etc, to entice ignorant consumer like me to buy their policies but when it comes to claims time, they do not response at all until months later and make all sorts of excuses to not pay genuine claims! So please do not get scammed, read each and every fine print in their policy! They used this to argue themselves out of paying claims. I am taking my case to the AFCA, also read the reviews of other policy holders before you buy! I am a frequent business traveller, been buying travel insurance since 30yrs ago with different companies and last year, it was unfortunate I came across Budget Direct whilst googling. I bought a comprehensive multi-trip travel insurance in 2019 for my trip to Egypt and Jordan during Xmas holidays. Halfway through my trip, my Mum passed away overseas, and I had to break my trip and fly back for Mum's funeral. Hence, I had to rebook my Business Class Air Tickets and cancel half my trip, and rebook all hotels overseas attending mums funeral for a week. To rub salt into the wound, when I tried to make a claim, I received no response for almost 2 months, sent them multiple emails, they of course made excuses using COVID-19, asked for mum's death cert and all documents to proof my flights, travels, hotels cost etc. They then come back to inform that my claims have been rejected! Below is their response:- "The claimant has lodged the above claim under Section A-Cancellation and Amendment fees. As the claimant has already departed Australia she will not be covered under this section. We further considered this claim under Section C1- Cutting Your Trip Short & Section C2-Additional expenses. However, as the incident did not occur in Australia the claim does not fall within the scope of the policy and is therefor denied at this time." I wondered why the hell would anyone purchase travel insurance for overseas travel if not for unfortunate events like what happened to me! My mum passed away when I was travelling, and this is not a good enough reason for budget direct to pay my claims! So beware all of you, think 100x before you think of engaging this company's services as cheap/budget doesn't mean quality and this is often true each and every time. I am really keen to hear what the ombudsman AFRA had to say about this when I lodge a formal complaint about budget direct tricking ignorant, unbeknownst consumers hundreds of million of dollars purchasing their policies hoping no one makes a claim and if one does, budget direct goes "See, read our 10,000 lines of fine prints in our terms of policies document when you purchase, you are not covered!!!" so unless you are a lawyer, and you have read through each and every word in the terms of their policy document, you are in for the shock of your life, when most of us would have thought we are covered by travel insurance if a family member passed away during your travels!!!
Disgusted on how our claim has been handled.
We put a claim in to be refunded for our tickets back home as the airline carrier declared it was cancelling certain international travel due to financial difficulties. Budget insurance are using COVID-19 as an excuse for the airline going bust. Absurd to be denied our claim on this basis as we insured our travel tickets and not for why companies go bust no matter the reason. Also our cover included pandemics so how Budget Insurance decides to choose the end of January for no cover on insurance claims relating to the pandemic is mind blowing as...than why did they not change or stipulate any of this in the policy which we purchased in February . We are disputing the claim however they are now 3 business days overdue on replying to the dispute and we were promised an outcome by COB yesterday after speaking to one of the call centre employees. Very disappointed in how we have been treated on the phone and the process of the claim/dispute. If you going to advertise that you are their for your clients in time of need especially during the COVID-19 pandemic than stand by your word and not blatantly try to get away with peoples hard earn money. I would love to speak to a manager that sits on these claim/dispute outcomes and not merely a call centre clerk.
Bought travel insurance in January.Company claims credit the same as refund. Was not advised this was the case when querying if I was covered even before travel alert issued for Stage 4. Never answers emails even after many calls advising I wanted to speak to my claims rep. No return calls either. Very poor customer service. Will not purchase any other insurances after this experience
No cover for international travel
We had flights booked in January to London, and proceeded to book Italy accommodation in February (for our May trip) and had budget direct insurance taken out at the same time when Covid-19 was a problem in China only.
We stayed up to date with travel warnings and what the medical experts were saying so weren’t worried about our trip at this stage.
March is when the situation turned and it was clear it was unlikely any international travel would happen. We then reached out to a girl on the online chat about what we could do and it was clear b...udget direct were confused and couldn’t give any answers either. We then submitted a claim only to wait more than 8 weeks to be told it was denied because it was a “World known event” in January, therefore a claim couldn’t go ahead. 8 weeks is too long to wait for a response. Budget direct have made up their mind on covid-19’s “world known event” cut off date AFTER the fact thousands of Australians have booked budget direct for their international travel. It’s misleading to say the least. They shouldn’t have taken our money AFTER their cut off date for any international travellers. I’ve always gone through budget direct, and I’ve also repeatedly renewed my cars insurances through them. I’m disappointed and have nothing good to say about this company. Look elsewhere or avoid insurances all together!
Questions & Answers
I was about to purchase two policy of travel insurance through budget direct, which is one for my son, and the other one for us. After reading these reviews, espescially about Margaret's review, I wouldn't recommend to anyone, let alone to make the purchase. I've travelled to lots of place, never claim on travel insurance, and have used cover more and 1cover.
I have examined the reviews on Budget Direct and it appears that it is wonderful Travel Insurance until you have to make a claim and that of course is the crux of the matter. Why should I choose Budget Direct or Allianz, when the reviews on 'CoverMore' travel insurance regarding the claims is far superior, and yes they are more expensive but at least they are honorable. I think a Royal Commission into Insurance providers is overdue.
Budget Direct A.Budget Direct
Hi Taldree, thank you for taking the time to write to us. We do take on all feedback received, as it is valuable in providing a positive customer experience. When considering Travel insurance we do recommend that your read through/compare the Product Disclosure statement to see what is covered and the conditions, limits and exclusion that apply, in order to select which Travel insurance is suitable for your needs.
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