Read the fine print - carefully
I guess I should have read these reviews before I took out a policy with Columbus. The consensus seems to be that they are reasonably priced and reasonably easy to deal with, until you make a claim !!
We are frequent overseas travellers, visiting Europe and Asia one or twice a year over the past 20 or so years. When our previous annual policy came due for renewal, I found that the premium had almost doubled, apparently because I am now 65. We have used the same Insurer for around 20 years, but have never made a claim
I called the Insurance Council and they gave me the names of a few companies that insure "seniors" at a reasonable cost, and I chose Columbus.
We had to return home from France 2 weeks before our planned return, due to the sudden death of my mother in law. Our claim would have been for costs to change our airfares and one hotel charge for 3 nights (luckily most of the hotels gave us a full refund).
When I rang to see if I could make a claim I was advised that curtailment costs would be covered due to the death of a close relative, but the policy does not provide cover if the relative is over 85.
If you have parents or relatives over the age of 85, look for another insurer - research shows that some other insurers do not have an age limit like this company.
Columbus has my premium for this year, but never again.
Reliable value for money
I have used Columbus Direct several times and have found their policies easy to understand.
I feel that they offer value for money and it is a very easy online system to use with staff readily available to answer any queries.
I will use again
Real value for money
Great staff to work with they knew the product and able to tailor the policie to suit me and real easy to set up. I have yet to make a claim. Just read what you're covered for and make sure it's what your want the annual cover for oldies like me is great i can now afford to travel. Thanks
Excellent service. Great quote. Value for money.
Always helpful on phone explain what's is and what's not included in policy. Excellent rates it's our third time with travel insurance. Haven't had to make a claim hopefully they are just as good if the need arises.
Easiest and fairest.......
have been with Columbus for years. They always send me a reminder when it is time to renew, and the process is always painless. Yes, there are cheaper forms of insurance out there, but I feel Columbus always gives me the best value for money I can find.
One of many trips using Columbus Insurance
I always use Columbus because they give good value for money and are quick to payout when required. I travel to Europe from Australia regularly and have had to make a few claims over the years, all without any issues.
Insurance a must
We have been existing customers for some years now and find filling out the quote form very easy.
Luckily we have not had to submit any claims.And if we do in the future we will know where we stand
6th time I have used Columbus Direct in 11 years
Always the easiest to arrange and best value policy available
Claiming is a breeze and payment is very fast. I always feel well covered when I travel with Columbus Direct covering me.
Happy to use Columbus Direct
10 or more time we have used Columbus Direct as our travel insurance agent. Always way cheaper than the travel agent quote. Never made a claim. . We go through all the disclaimers then pay . Staff dealing with us always easy to deal with and answer any questions.
We travel quite a lot so always in need of travel insurance . Usually take me off policies but last one was an annual . Have used this company about six times.
easiest insurance purchase ever
Your consultant Andrew was the best I've dealt with when buying travel insurance, easy to set up and his "plain speak" made understanding what I was covered for simple well done Andrew
Unknown Quantity yet
We have not made a claim yet --- although we are frequent travellers with an Annual Policy. Therefore we can't comment on the ease of making a claim or service to us. However, we are particularly careful and organised travellers, so this insurance is "just in case". Time will tell.
Would Hate To Die
As with all people travelling overseas, we took out a travel insurance policy. It was easily set up and details provided and premium taken.
Then we went off, it was supposed to be just a holiday - but legislation changed and we turned it into a honeymoon. Very exciting that we could finally marry, so off to the US we headed.
Thats when we get to the US and it is COLD. Not just cold, FREEZING. Just freezing. Average temperature in Washington DC and New York was 0. Not the weather we are quite used to in Melbourne.
As a consequence, my husband - who normally embraces the cold (he grew up in Ballarat) got sick. Not just a little man flu - he ended up being diagnosed with Influenza-B. Yes full blown flu and you know, it was killing people around Australia in 2017, but that was irrelevant. So the last week we travelled to Vegas as per our itinerary.
This is where his symptoms first appeared, it wasn't anything special but 24-36 hours in I had need to ring the Emergency Assistance line as we could not regulate his temperature. I had really no idea what to do, this was the first time I had ever seen him sick in the 5 years we had been together. So I ring the Assistance line (in the UK) and that was the start of the ordeal. Useless, what a joke - couldn't assist me at all. He wasn't in a position to move, but you know I thought they may have a contact locally? But no, just ring someone. Thanks mate, perfect assistance.
So after having a 2 minute conversation with a US doctor, they prescribed medication - that was useless and did nothing and all we wanted to do was come home to ensure we managed to get full medical care (at this stage, we still had no idea what was really wrong). So I rang the emergency line again and stated that we just needed to get home to ensure he got complete medical care and again useless. NOTHING. The Concierge MD service wasn't much better, they said that the receipt and the information from the doctor to get home would be OK to cover the change of flights.........which that information took two weeks.
I then rang my travel agent and we managed to get new flights out of LA in a couple of days and that was cool, paid the change fee - and we kept the original flight from Vegas to LAX. And then we had 18 hours in LA to fill, so crashed in a hotel for the day (that's a whole different experience and story) - so we then get home.
Then I lodged. After my previous experience in the Insurance industry and having post graduate degrees, I couldn't decipher the claim form. Seriously, so complicated. Just wrong. I submitted the claim form.
By this stage, we finally knew what my husband had and he was on the mend, nearly three weeks later - if we had taken their advice and stayed in the US due to his illness, it would have cost 10 times more as at that stage we were in LA, you know, one of the cheapest places on earth to live and stay in hotels.
So in the end, what I wanted to state is that I would hate to die having this company assist you with any real illness. Apparently having Influenza-B didn't require us to change flights and come home early to get proper medical assistance. I really would never use this company again. Next time I will just book it via the travel agent, who couldn't have helped enough with this, and then let them deal with it and get the correct assistance.
In a nutshell - Columbus Travel Direct are terrible and never getting another dollar from my husband or I.
Whilst i was overseas i got hit by a motorbike and was rushed in an ambulance to the hospital, my brother who was with me at the time called the Columbus emergency line who paid in full my surgery costs in a timely fashion. Highly Recommend!
Fantastic customer service - no stress claims
We took out a policy for going overseas while pregnant. Unfortunately at the end of our trip we encountered some serious unexpected complications. We called immediately to get advice on our situation, were provided with fantastic recommendations and straight forward information about what documentation would be required to assist the claim. Couldn’t have thanked them enough for helping us to achieve the best possible health outcomes for me and baby by accessing early medical intervention.
Easy to buy but hard to claim
I bought a multi-trip travel policy for our family and thought I'd researched it fairly well by using an insurance comparison site.
I was happy with the price and the website was easy to use.
On our last trip overseas our son was hospitalized so we put in a claim.
The claim was rejected due to having a pre-existing medical condition.
When I then compared policies around this medical condition, the requirements of whether it needed to be declared varied significantly between insurance companies. And Columbus Direct was one of the stricter policies.
So the lesson I learnt was to always declare any possible medical condition of everyone travelling on the policy no matter how serious you think it might be. Also, I lost trust in Columbus Direct. I made a significant effort to investigate the policy and what it covered. But they have designed their policy to make it harder to claim than other insurance companies. They should have highlighted those differences when people are buying the policy.
You are better off paying slightly more and going with a more reputable company that doesn't make these kind of choices.
Seem good until you claim!
My wife and I took out a one month worldwide policy for a multi-part trip in October 2017. I have used Columbus for over 10 years, and at least 15 different trips I have records for, and always liked their clear and easy website for purchasing policies. I'd never actually made a claim until this time. Then I discovered what they are really like! Trust me, you want to avoid them!
Firstly, there's the delays. It took 2 weeks of contacting them to even get a claims form emailed to us. Then the processing delays kick in. Weeks pass with no updates. Then finally, the questions begin. Receipts aren't enough poof of costs incurred - please provide bank statements; you must provide a medical diagnosis report; you must provide flight details that exactly align with the dates the policy covers (god forbid you have a policy that extends a day beyond your return!). And still no sign of a conclusion. This is for a AUD$200 claim for minor medial treatment in Oman, over 3 months ago - I'm now having to try and contact the medical centre there for a diagnosis report for an hour of treatment. I've spent hours and hours on completing Columbus' myriad array of forms and emails, all clearly intended to drive you away in confusion and weariness. I probably won't ever get my money from these crooks, but I can do my upmost to hit their business by alerting everyone I know (and those I don't!)
Very easy to set up...only took 2 minutes and it was completed...I have always used Columbus Travel for all
my Travel Insurance when going Overseas...I feel I get good value and protection when travelling
September 12th 2018 Update: Easy to use
I have been using Columbus for all my travel insurance for the last 14 years and will continue to do so.
We always end up using Columbus
Like most people when we travel we do our homework on insurance. Even when other companies offer "specials" they still don't beat Columbus for value and protection. I feel confident that Columbus will be there when I need them, even though I have never had to claim. There process is easy and there information is relevant to making my trip hassle free.
I cannot understand people travelling overseas without insurance.
When I compared other travel insurance and pointed out that I had used you many times before, the price offer was better than the other quote from the travel agent.
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