Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Holiday Extras: Clothes, hijacks and sunglasses.

When my husband shops for clothes he enters the shop, sees what he likes and buys it. Does he try it on? No, don't be silly he will just return it if it doesn't fit.
When I go clothes shopping I enter the shop, see what I like and then leave. I browse through every other shop I can find that sells my type of clothes which as I get older is probably not very many as I keep having to cross more off my list. In our local shopping centre I'm left with Marks and Spencer,Wallis, Dorothy Perkins and Next.
I go from shop to shop just in case there's something better in the next one. I take armfuls of clothes into the changing rooms because there's no way I'm going home with something that doesn't fit.
Inevitably I return to the first shop and the first item of clothing I clapped eyes on and buy it. My husband tells me to just buy the first thing that catches my eye in the first shop, but what's a girl to do? We need to be sure we have the right item of clothing at the best price possible.

I wish I had taken my husband's advice when I wasted a few hours of my life searching online for holiday insurance. You all know how I love to browse the internet searching for holidays,well the downside to going on holiday is you have to find holiday insurance. I have a medical condition which means that all the insurance companies rub their greedy little hands with glee when I go online.
They shake their heads,"Here she is again, how much can we charge her this year. She might be ill when she's away, we may even have to put our hands in our pockets and pay for a doctor." I can hear them say this as I'm searching.
For all the years we've been going on holiday I have never ever claimed on my insurance. I have never had to see a doctor or visit a hospital. I did have to visit a dentist in Spain one year when I bit into crusty bread and the crown on my front tooth halved in two but I paid for that myself.
I always take a 14 day course of two different antibiotics with me in case I develop a chest infection so it would only be in extreme circumstances that I would need a doctor. That is not one of the questions they ask you when you try to buy insurance.
First I tried the company we went with last year, they wanted nearly double what we paid then. The next one was a good price and I was quite pleased with it, did I buy it? No of course not, just like searching for clothes I had to find out if I could find it cheaper with perhaps more benefits. Two hours later I didn't find it any cheaper and had to buy the one I first came across.
Every company had a slight variation of the  same questions for medical conditions. By the time I reached the one with the drop down box saying, Miss, Mrs, Rabbi, Baroness, Dame, Capt, Major I was tempted to find out if saying I was a Baroness or a Dame would get me cheaper insurance. One site asked if anyone in the party was over 54 yr, well, yes! They didn't want us if we were.
Although the questions for my medical condition (Cystic Fibrosis) have got better over the years they are still very general and none of the sites ask if  you take your own antibiotics with you or even have a full course before you go (like many with CF do ) or if  you had ever made a claim before like they do with car or house insurance.  If you stay with the same insurance company year after year and never have a claim I reckon you should be rewarded with a no claims bonus as you do with a car. I keep myself healthy, I take my medicine,attend clinics so why shouldn't I be rewarded with cheaper holiday insurance?
We always have to use a different company because their prices change so dramatically from year to year it has something to do with the underwriters and how much they're prepared to pay out.
For me it could be getting near the time when it's just too expensive to go abroad taking the insurance into account and I dread to think how much it would be to be insured for going to America.

For medical expenses I am insured for £10,000,000 but for loss of money only £200.
 If I am hijacked or kidnapped I receive nothing for the first 12 hrs (because I must be enjoying it?) and £30 for each full 12 hrs thereafter up to £500. If I'm kidnapped for any longer than eight days they obviously give up paying out. What, no search and rescue? No ransom money? No helicopters out looking for me? What do I pay this insurance for?

I'm not covered for hazardous pursuits which is okay by me. If a catastrophe occurs I'm due £500 I wonder if they add that to the other £500 for the kidnapping, I'd count that as a catastrophe.
For lost sunglasses I receive £75 which is fine because mine only cost me £2.50 from poundland. I will also receive £200 for "Withdrawal of Service" I have no idea what that means unless someone from the insurance company reads this and cancels my policy.
At the moment I can laugh about it and I'm touching wood as I type this that I do not have to use my insurance this year especially for the hijacking or kidnapping because it's not worth it for £500 unless I sold my story to the newspapers...... nah! still not worth it.


  1. Clothes shopping is soooooo wretched. I hate it. I hate trying stuff on and looking at my fat self in the mirror. I usually buy my stuff at thrift shops b/c I refuse to pay retail prices. Everything looks like it's going to fall apart after the first wash. I had no idea you had CF! And insurance is a joke, no matter what kind you have. I had a pipe leak through a ceiling and the ins. co. said it wasn't covered at all. I blew my top. Why bother having ins if they fight you on everything?

  2. Crazy. Just companies should be there for us..they have enough of our money!! Re shopping: mine is even worse, he only buys exactly what he had before. If shop stops stocking it, he is like a goldfish out of water¬!!

  3. Yes insurance companies really drive you mad especially if you try to make a claim. Why do men do that? They all do.

  4. We ahve to be sucked into having insurance for the big things,the things that may never happen but just might,that's where they make all their money.

  5. Anne, it's really nuts, isn't it? The insurance companies make a fortune from us. The problem is, can we afford not to have it? It's just so unfair to charge so much, especially for you with a medical condition. I am like you with the shopping! In the end I often don't buy anything at all.

  6. Clothes shopping, all I can say is "Snap!" (that is for me and Mr N). As for insurance - well I think the word is "ridiculous".

  7. Ah health insurance - I know they make a fortune, but I had every penny's worth out of them when I was ill on the long trip and cost them thousands! So finding someone to insure me now is interesting.

    I have a Nationwide account, which covers me for Europe, for all the basic stuff. And then I ring them - and talk to a real person. My experience is that they have always been hugely helpful on the phone, ask sensible questions about medication and history, and give me a figure, I accept it, and it's done.

    I do a lot online, but this works better on the phone.

    As for clothes shopping - I try to buy stuff I like when i see it. Which is how I ended up wearing Vietnamese pyjamas to my daughter's wedding!

  8. Just scrolled down to see people complaining about making a claim to insurance companies. I'm sure it's dreadful if you've got to negotiate for lost luggage. But I was ill, and it was all done by the doctors. I was flown from Phnom Penh to Bangkok (with a doctor), taken to hospital in Bangkok where I had every medical test known to man or woman, put up in a swanky hotel while they sorted out an airline willing to take me home, kitted out with doctors and resuscitation stuff. And at no time did I feel i was a nuisance, nor was there any hint that they might quibble about the money.

    I know it feels like throwing money down the drain, paying for travel insurance, but when you really need it - then you know it's not.

  9. We have a similar problem re travel insurance. Rod's condition means that most larger holiday insurance companies won't even consider him. I'm glad you were touching wood as you typed! Now, as for buying clothes, I'm in a predicament. Even M&S don't seem to have clothes to fit my shape anymore. I may resort to sacks!

  10. Oh Anne you made me giggle about insurance and if you were kidnapped! I rarely buy in the first shop I like to look around. It's a tactic I use if I shouldn't really spend the money too. I think 'oh I'll have a look around and come back if I decide to get it' in the hope I forget what I saw so don't spend the money. This sometimes works and sometimes doesn't ;0)

  11. I know Val we do have to have it just in case. I just hope they would be as good at paying out as they are at taking the money from us.

  12. I couldn't just go into a shop and buy the first thing I like I might miss something better elsewhere. Maybe it's a girl thing.

  13. I have tried it online Jo but if you have a medical condition they have to tick the boxes on the questions ,it's black and white no room for grey. I'm so glad they treated you well I have heard some horror stories. The fact is I need to have it just in case.

  14. Yes it must be hard Ros and going on holiday within the UK saves all the hassle if only we could be sure of good weather. Clothes shopping is horrible but mainly because I need to loose weight but as I have now lost 11 lbs it may get better.

  15. If I was kidnapped I'd expect insurance to pay me thousands. You're right,I sometimes forget what the first one I saw was like and where it was.


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