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Recently we have received two messages regarding animal cruelty. I take this issue seriously and would like to make World First’s position clear. 

As a travel insurer World First specialises in providing high quality cover for travellers with medical conditions. That’s our focus. And our belief in providing cover for complex conditions at a price that’s fair often enables customers to take holidays when they have received prohibitively high quotes elsewhere.

We are able to do this because our industry profile allows us to work with the very best and most experienced group of underwriters in the business. However, like many travel insurers, we also use underwriters who provide cover for holiday activities. That spans everything from the regular (hiking, mountain biking and tennis) to the more unusual (hurling, hydro zorbing and dune surfing).

Our underwriters also provide cover for alligator wrestling and bull running, though we made a mistake in alluding to this in recent communications. My personal preference would be that nobody engaged in these activities, yet World First cannot answer for the reckless persuasions of those who do. Similarly in this context we have little influence on the range of activities that travel insurance underwriters choose to cover. However I must express with clarity that we would never, ever use animal cruelty for promotional gain. With immediate effect we have stripped any mention of either activity from our marketing collateral in case our stance is misinterpreted.

Thanks to our privileged relationship with the industry’s best underwriters, World First is able to offer cover for hundreds of enjoyable sports and activities. We believe that giving our customers choice is a good thing and we love empowering travel-lovers to take part in their favourite hobbies or try something new while on holiday. However in order to provide that scale of choice, we need to work with underwriters who also cover activities to which some people object.

We have arranged a meeting with the underwriter concerned to discuss this issue. In the meantime, I would like to apologise unreservedly to anyone who has been offended by any communications relating to our sports and activities packs.

Martin Rothwell
Managing Director, World First Travel Insurance

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