Cancelled or delayed flights? Know your rights!

Cancelled or delayed flights can throw your travel plans – be they for leisure, medical reasons, or work – in jeopardy. It doesn’t help that getting compensation is not always straightforward – the process can take hours, especially if you find yourself trying to get through to the customer service team after a bunch of flights have been cancelled.

People who find out their flight is cancelled sometimes end up having to book an alternative flight through another airline the next day, as well as booking (and paying for) a hotel in Malta for the night, but remain uninformed of any compensation by their airline.

So, here follows an overview of the compensations you are entitled to, their limitations, and how to go about insuring your travels.

What’s the norm?

If you are travelling from a European airport or to a European airport on an EU airline and your flight is cancelled, your airline may either offer you a full refund or rebook your flight subject to the airline’s rebooking policy.

Be careful: This is not always the case, and not all airlines offer such compensation in the same way at all times. The only assurance of getting compensation in these circumstances is by having a private Insurance Policy in force.2.

What about Malta?

If there is a substantial delay (what kind of ‘delay’ is eligible changes with each agency), but the general consensus is that you are entitled to compensation if
1) flight delay takes longer than two hours and flight distance is of 1500 kilometres or less
2) flight delay takes four hours and the flight distance exceeds 3500 kilometres

In this case, you are to expect – free of charge:

– meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the waiting time; and two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails.
– When the time of departure expected is at least a day after the time of departure previously announced, making a stay of one or more nights necessary, you are also entitled to hotel accommodation.

What if you decide not to travel on the delayed flight?

In Malta, airlines offer: reimbursement within seven days (in cash, by electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank cheques or, with your signed agreement, travel vouchers and/or other services) of the full cost of your ticket, at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to your original travel plan, together with, when relevant, a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity.

While reimbursement is given of the full cost of your ticket, it is, however, unlikely that an airport will reimburse you for any other elements of your trip such as cancelled hotels, tickets to concerts, or hire cars. It’s also not completely clear how one can go about presenting costs to the airport for a refund.

Are compensations always given by an airport?

When the Malta Independent inquired about this, asking to Maltese airlines:  ‘Where passengers who suffered delays granted any compensation? If so, could you provide details?’, no response was given.

It is worth noting that, in the case of multiple delays or cancellations, airports can get overwhelmed by the sheer number of claims, and thus struggle to give adequate accommodation or any of the promised services – and if given, they may not be offered in time.

If you are unable to have your airline provide you with an arrangement, be sure to keep all your receipts to make the claims process as pain-free as possible.

Remember, if you’ve booked your flights independently and you decide to rebook your outward flight and travel on a new date, it is up to you to sort out all of your onward arrangements in your holiday destination – not the airline.

So, for example, if you have a hotel or hire car booked in your holiday destination, you’ll have to cancel or rebook it yourself or you could be classed as a ‘no-show’ and charged the full amount. If you incur any losses due to cancellation of these elements, the only way to claim compensation is through your travel insurance policy.

Buying a travel insurance cover, how to go about it?

Check the fine print to make sure the policy includes cover for irrecoverable losses as a result of delays or cancellation.

Sometimes the latter is not only included in the standard Policy but can be bought as extensions.

As brokers, you can hire us for free to check which insurance is best for you, keep in mind that the nature of your destination can have an impact on what kind of insurance cover is best for you. The ‘cheapest’ is not always a great idea, and the most expensive travel cover might just mean you’re wasting more money than you should on a product that is meant to safeguard your finances, not burn them away.

Different Insurers offer different levels and benefits, and you are normally allowed to select between different levels of protection. The salient details of this product are as follows:

– Cancellation and Curtailment
– Medical and emergency travel expenses
– Loss of or damage to luggage
– Travel delay
– Delayed luggage
– Third-party liability

Do you need help finding a travel insurance cover?

As Independent Insurance Brokers, we

  • Compare and review local insurance policies and assist you in finding the right one for you
  • In the event you need to make a claim, we will file and handle the claim on your behalf
  • We’ll keep you in the loop should there be changes in the policy, or if better policies show up.

Better yet?

You only pay a €5 admin fee when you work with us. We get paid via commission from the company you choose to hire. To guarantee that there’s no conflict of interest, we get the same commission regardless of the company you choose.

Contact Ving’s Brokers by calling us on 2016 1622 or through our facebook page, Ving Insurance Brokers Ltd.

This information was brought to you by VING Insurance Brokers Limited (“VING”). VING is enrolled under the Insurance Distribution Act (Cap. 487 of the Laws of Malta) to carry on business of insurance broking and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”). The activities of VING are solely restricted to that of a distributor. VING is not the manufacturer or underwriter on any insurance product it distributes.

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A​ ​4​ ​Step​ ​guide​ ​to​ ​the​ ​right​ ​Home Insurance​ ​cover.

Buying real estate is a big step for anyone — for most, it demands years of hard work and a significant financial investment. Usually, by the time the subject of home insurance props up, you’re strapped for cash and getting insured looks like a lap of luxury that can wait.

Your home is possibly your biggest investment. This article gives a brief and nifty explanation of what coverage homeowner’s insurance provides, how to go about getting the right cover for your house, and how to save
money on your cover.

What does a basic Home Insurance premium cover?

Damage to property — including your building, fitted interiors, boundaries, and permanently installed systems.

Damage, loss, or theft of content — this generally refers to all your household goods and personal belongings. This would normally include all electronic devices and equipment, furniture, kitchen appliances, clothes and linen, valuables, and money.

Liability — Most home insurance policies include Liability cover — protect you or your family member if found legally responsible for injuring someone else or damaging someone else’s property.

What other features should I consider?

All risks coverage — If you’re frequently on the move or a fan of travel, some home insurance companies offer the possibility to cover personal belongings and valuables even if damaged or lost outside your home. This usually includes jewellery, watches, laptops and mobile phones. Cover can be offered at three levels,
– Whilst anywhere in Malta
– Within the European Union
– Anywhere world-wide

Emergency 24/7 Assistance — Some insurance companies offer 24/7 emergency assistance in case of an unforeseen incident at your home. This refers to anything that creates an immediate risk to people to people in the household or a risk of loss or damage to your property or belongings.

How do I get the right insurance cover?

You don’t have to learn the furtive intricacies of insurance law to get a cover that is tailored to what you need. Insurance brokers use their professional knowledge and experience to help you properly assess the kind of
protections you need, shop for the best value in insurance coverage, and help you in the event of a claim.

Better yet?
You don’t pay for a Broker.

Brokers are paid a commission from the insurance cover you purchase by the company. This practice allows people to protect their possessions in a way that is sustainable, avoid scams and get the absolute best cover they could have.

How can I save money on home insurance?

  1. Check for discounts — Many insurance companies give a discount of 10% or more to customers who
    maintain other insurance contracts under with them, such as motor or health insurance. There are other
    discounts — particularly for senior citizens. Ask your broker about this.
  2. Compare benefits — Consider asking your broker to obtain a quote for other types of insurances when looking for a company that will provide you with a homeowner’s insurance. You may end up saving on two annual policy premiums with one move.
  3. Notify your brokers if you add a burglar alarm to your house.
  4. Ask your Broker to compare your cover annually. Take advantage of the insurance industry’s competitiveness by checking if any there are any better premiums available.

We hope our article has helped you understand what a homeowner’s insurance involves, what to look for when purchasing one, and how you can save money while getting the best cover possible.

Contact Ving’s Brokers by calling us on 2016 1622 or through our facebook page, Ving Insurance Brokers Ltd.

This information was brought to you by VING Insurance Brokers Limited (“VING”). VING is enrolled under the Insurance Distribution Act (Cap. 487 of the Laws of Malta) to carry on business of insurance broking and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”). The activities of VING are solely restricted to that of a distributor. VING is not the manufacturer or underwriter on any insurance product it distributes.

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Health Insurance: 5 Questions you should know the answer to.

When the matter is a loved one’s health, ensuring your ability to give them access to the best healthcare is one of the best ways you can invest in their future. Avoid waiting lists, cut down the time it takes you to get better, choose where and who provides the treatment, and benefit from being treated in private facilities with a private room.

This article will give an explanation of what health insurance entails. Already have a pretty good idea? Read our article on how to reduce the expense of your health insurance in ways that are free, and easy.

What are the three main Health Insurance covers?

Basic Cover — provides cover for limited benefits with a worldwide cover. This type of cover would typically be ideal for a customer who wants to have his medical expenses partly paid by the insurer.

Hospital Cover — provides cover for comprehensive benefits with cover for Malta as well as limited cover outside Malta. This cover, on the other hand, would be ideal for a customer who wants a more comprehensive cover in Malta which gives better peace of mind.

International Cover — this type of plan provides cover for comprehensive benefits with a worldwide cover, normally excluding USA and Canada. An International Cover is normally ideal for a customer who is a frequent traveller requiring piece of mind whenever abroad.

What doesn’t Health Insurance usually cover?

Treatment of abnormalities, deformities, diseases or illnesses that, are only present because they have been passed down through the generations of your family, except cancer.

What about 24/7 Emergency Services?

Most Health Insurance Policies also include access to 24/7 Emergency Services. This would give you the possibility of getting in
touch with a doctor for guidance on any health-related situations and may also include other services such as having a doctor
sent to your residence.

What kind of flexibility do I have?

There are a number of options which can help reduce the cost of your health insurance. One option would be to opt for in-patient and daycare treatment and exclude out-patient benefits.

Most Insurance Companies give you the option of having different levels of excess — this will allow various discounts on your annual premium. Some Insurers also allow discounts on premiums for customers who choose specific methods of payment such as Direct Debit.

How can I make it more affordable?

Most Insurance Companies offer tailor-made health insurance plans for groups, which would normally include different benefits,
subject to the client’s specific requirements. Groups would also benefit from substantial discounts on the total premium payable.

Want to learn more about how you can dramatically decrease the cost of Health Insurance? Check our article: 5 easy (and free) ways to save money on your Health Insurance.

Contact Ving’s Brokers by calling us at 2016 1622 or through our facebook page, Ving Insurance Brokers Ltd.

Vɪɴɢ ɪɴsᴜʀᴀɴᴄᴇ ʙʀᴏᴋᴇʀs ʟᴛᴅ ɪs ᴇɴʀᴏʟʟᴇᴅ ᴜɴᴅᴇʀ ᴛʜᴇ ɪɴsᴜʀᴀɴᴄᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀᴍᴇᴅɪᴀʀɪᴇs ᴀᴄᴛ 2006 ᴀɴᴅ ʀᴇɢᴜʟᴀᴛᴇᴅ ʙʏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴀʟᴛᴀ ғɪɴᴀɴᴄɪᴀʟ sᴇʀᴠɪᴄᴇs ᴀᴜᴛʜᴏʀɪᴛʏ (ᴍғsᴀ)

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5 Steps to Getting the Best Travel Insurance Cover

Are you planning on going abroad? We all know that getting a travel insurance is a necessary precaution. It is also a truth — universally acknowledged — that, finding the right travel insurance package — one that isn’t going to break your bank, but will provide the appropriate protection, can be tedious. This article will go over what you should know when dealing with travel insurance.

What is the first step to getting a travel insurance?

Hiring a broker is the best way to go about getting an insurance, why?

  • It comes at no cost to you. Brokers are paid by the insurance company they select for you. Moreover, Brokers have no financial incentive to pick one over another. Their job is to look for covers and compare them according to your requirements, finances, and activities you partake in when abroad.
  • Unlike normal human beings, Brokers are passionate about navigating the furtive intricacies of insurance law. Take advantage of this and spare yourself hours of work.

When deciding on an insurance company, opting for the first suggestion that comes your way seems easy, but this tends to lead to disappointing results when filing claims.

Here’s the kicker,

There are literally hundreds of plans out there, steeped in complex legal language that is often misunderstood by even the most educated of consumers. Due to this, it is easy to miss something, or to fail at predicting certain eventualities. Multiple aspects of an insurance cover have different levels and limits, choosing the right one shouldn’t just be based on intuition.

What does a travel insurance normally cover?

Cancellation and Curtailment — There are a plethora of unforeseen circumstances that can lead to you having to cancel your trip — the death of a close family member, something could happen with the firm involved in your travel plan — different policies will offer different levels of cover.

Medical and emergency travel expenses — Probably the most important part of any travel insurance package — a large number of aspects are covered under the term medical and emergency travel expenses in your policy.

Coverage includes

  • Emergency medical treatment or surgery, transport, and accomodation expenses.
  • Accommodation and Travel expenses in case a family or friend is asked to come and stay with.
  • Personal accident benefits in the event of death or disability. Most insurance policies will pay lump sum payments, which vary according to the nature of the case.
  • Loss of or damage to luggage — it is probably the most tedious — yet common — of mishaps. It is so vital to have the right insurance policy covering your luggage and personal possessions in it, especially if you are parted from your belongings.
  • Loss of Money and/or Passport — Most covers will offer protection for any theft or loss of money up to a specified amount (both electronic and cash). Despite this, it is always recommended that you carry only a small amount of cash at all times to minimise your risk.
  • Travel delay — It happens too often, and can send your expertly crafted plans in disarray. Don’t let this one stumble create a domino effect of mishaps. If your travelling is delayed due to something you couldn’t prevent — like mechanical breakdown or adverse weather — you get compensated. Compensation varies according to the different levels available.
  • Delayed luggage — If your luggage is temporarily lost or not returned within a specific time frame (say 24 hours), you will get reimbursed for the emergency purchase of vital replacement items, up to specified limits
  • Third party liability — We don’t mean for them to happen, but between the chaos of being in a new place, and the usually hectic natures of holidays, situations arise where we accidentally cause damage to belongings, or harm others. Exclusions from this cover exist, so consult your broker — for example, will the activities you’ll be doing include skiing?

What other features should I consider?

Some Insurers provide 24/7 Emergency Assistance whilst you are abroad. This would normally include assistance in case of medical emergencies which would also potentially include direct payments for medical treatments abroad.
Talk with your Broker about this to see if you should look for a company that offers for this service.

What should I prepare before contacting a Broker?

  • Figure out where you are going, and what your travel plans are.Whether your destination is Madrid’s Gran Via Street, famous for its stores and nightlife; Vienna, the Capital City of Classic Music, or Northern Italy, the perfect spot for winter sports — giving us a reasonably comprehensive idea of where you’re going, and what activities you’ll be engaging in is very important. Brokers will ask you all the necessary questions — but it is always a good idea to meet them half-way.
  • Check your other insurances — Mainly, your Health Insurance. Ask your Broker to take a look at it to see where its coverage ends, and where the coverage of Travel Insurance should begin.
  • If you don’t have one, you may want to consider asking your broker to look for a company where you can get both. Some insurance providers offer bonuses on people who have multiple premiums with them!
travel map

TIPS to keep in mind to avoid accidents

1) Keep a note of the address to your accommodation.

2) Friends and family posted on where you are. Mostly, just to keep them sane.

3) Don’t walk alone at night.

If there’s a couple or family walking, tag behind them. Don’t inconvenience them, but don’t let yourself be an isolated target. On this line of thought — avoid dark or non-tourist areas at night.

4) Wear your backpack facing front.

5) Ask questions, seek help.

Don’t let the possibility of embarrassment cost you your holiday — or more. If you feel you’re being followed, go to the nearest hotel, restaurant, or family and ask for help. Likewise, please do the same when it comes to directions.

6) If you’re going to engage in an activity that is a bit dangerous, do so wisely.

Get the right gear, an experienced guide, and check that help is within easy access. Finally, make sure it is covered by your insurance coverage.

Don’t be afraid to reach for the stars! Just keep your feet firmly on the ground.

7) Always keep your money/credit cards in hidden pockets under your pants or at least in your front pockets so that it will be much more difficult for pickpockets to get access to your wallet unnoticed!

Contact Ving’s Brokers by calling us at 2016 1622 or through our facebook page, Ving Insurance Brokers Ltd.

VING Insurance Brokers Limited (“VING”) is enrolled under the Insurance Distribution Act (Cap. 487 of the Laws of Malta) to carry on  business of insurance broking and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”). The activities of VING are solely restricted to that of a distributor. VING is not the manufacturer or underwriter on any insurance product it distributes.