June 16th, 2014
We are connected! Or so our survey saysâ€¦
Earlier this year we completed our first ever travel insurance survey. 583 of you completed the online questionnaire about your travel insurance and holidaying habits.
One of the questions we wanted to know was how connected you are when you are away. We wondered how many of you take mobile phones, laptops, e readers and gadgets away with you when you travel. We also wondered if you stay connected when you are away or if you let your gadgets interrupt your holidays.
Firstly, of those who responded, 62% of you are over 60, with a further 24% between 46 and 59. So that means that many of you belong to an older generation. Far from being a generation that has been left behind by technology, it has often been reported that this generation includes some of the highest email and internet users.
So how do you fare when it comes to holidays and gadgets? Read the rest of this entry »
June 13th, 2014
Here at World First we are FCO â€˜Partnersâ€™. This means we have made a commitment to promoting the work that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office does for British citizens, both before they leave for trips abroad and also once they are away.
The FCOâ€™s Know Before You Go team work hard to raise awareness of issues that affect us all when we are away such as diseases, terrorism and driving laws in foreign destinations. They also work hard to prevent typical problems happening. These are the problems that British consulates all over the world deal with on a day-to-day basis. Recently they have been focussing on the staggering statistics of people losing their passports. Last year, they reported that lost passports abroad cost Brits Â£5 million a year and that around 80 Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are issued to British nationals around the world every single day. 30,000 have been issued in the past year alone (from August 2013). Cases where ETDs have been issued that were preventable – from expired or damaged passports – also increased by over 300% in 2012-13.
To try to counter this problem, the FCO have launched a video called â€˜Enjoy Your Holidayâ€™. It highlights the financial and emotional implications of losing a passport abroad and having to apply for an ETD. Watch it here:
Some important points that the FCO are making are:
- Value your passport and look after it carefully. A damaged passport cannotÂ be used for travel
- Your passport is not always safer on you (e.g. lock your passport in a safe if there is access to one
- Make sure your passport is valid. For certain countries your passport must be valid for 6 months after the date you travel â€“ check the entry requirements before you go
- If you lose your passport on holiday, you will not be able to get a replacement. Instead you will have to get an ETD and then replace your passport once back in the UK
- Obtaining an ETD can take several days depending on local circumstances. You may need to obtain a police report, get passport photos, and of course get to and from your nearest British Consulate or Embassy. You may also have to replace any visas you need for your journey
For more travel advice and information take a look at Know Before You Go.
June 10th, 2014
Travel Insurance Survey
Our first ever travel Insurance Survey finished recently. Weâ€™d like to thank everyone who took part. In total 583 of you responded to the 15 question survey, which is more than we had hoped for. Itâ€™s a good number that will help us to get a good picture of what you, our customers, like about travel, how you travel and what you canâ€™t bear to live without on your holiday.
So. What are you like? Read the rest of this entry »
June 4th, 2014
Diabetes is a common life-long health condition, with 3.2 million people diagnosed and living with it in the UK. According to Diabetes UK, the UKâ€™s leading diabetes charity, there are also an estimated 630,000 people who have the condition, but donâ€™t know it.
Diabetes is a condition whereby the body canâ€™t produce insulin, or enough that is useable, to convert blood sugar (glucose) into energy. Type 1 diabetes is when your body does not produce insulin, whilst Type 2 diabetes is when cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin or when the insulin your body needs to convert sugars into energy doesnâ€™t work properly. Whilst Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, Type 2 diabetes is affected by many factors, including genetics and lifestyle. Read the rest of this entry »
May 27th, 2014
Mid summer is almost upon us! Thank goodness for that. It’s great being able to enjoy long evenings. But what if you could enjoy REALLY long evenings? That would be amazing. It’s also very possible to jump on a plane and enjoy 24 hour daylight right here in Europe.Â So pack your bags, weâ€™re heading off toÂ TromsÃ¸, the Paris of the North in the Arctic Circle. For culture lovers and lovers of daylight, it’s the only place to head this midsummer’s eve.
But before you go, donâ€™t forget that ourÂ Last Minute travel insurance policiesÂ are designed for people like you. With no cancellation cover costs included in the price itâ€™ll work out cheaper than most standard policies â€“ so you’ll have moreÂ to spend on those reindeer steaks!
We are pretty sure youâ€™d never have thought about TromsÃ¸ for a last minute weekend. But, with direct flights from London Gatwick to the city in the Arctic Circle, it is a possible destination for someone looking for a weekend away with a difference. At this time of year, when you can expect 24 hour daylight, it is a remarkable place to spend a very long, sun drenched weekend. Itâ€™s also a cultural centre, with lots to see and do. A weekend might not be enough! Read the rest of this entry »
May 23rd, 2014
If you are going to Brazil this month to cheer on the England football team in the FIFA World Cup you might want to take a quick peek at the following information. Unfortunately, travelling in Brazil carries certain health risks and itâ€™s always better to know before you go than be wise after the event. Besides, a few easy precautions could save you lots of bother later.
At the very least you should make sure your travel insurance cover is up to the job. Whilst emergency care in public hospitals is free in Brazil for foreign nationals (according to the Foreign Office) the hospitals are crowded. This means you will have to pay for non emergency treatment. Also, private hospitals will not accept you unless you have insurance or enough cash to pay for any treatment or repatriation. If you were taken seriously ill and had to receive primary care in Brazil then be repatriated the cost of it could run into many hundreds of thousands of pounds. Read the rest of this entry »
May 19th, 2014
Where are you going on holiday this year? If you are staying at home in the UK, then itâ€™s still worth thinking about holiday insurance. It might not seem relevant to take out insurance in your home country, but a good cancellation policy could well save your bacon if, for some reason, you have to cancel or come home early. Read the rest of this entry »
April 29th, 2014
We are absolutely delighted to announce that Jemma, PA to our MD Martin Rothwell, and her friend Lizzie, successfully finished the London Marathon on April 13th. So far they have raised over Â£5000 for Crohnâ€™s and Colitis UK and about Â£2500 for local Crohnâ€™s and Ulcerative Colitis charities here in the South West.
But it nearly didnâ€™t happen. Read the rest of this entry »
April 25th, 2014
Here at World First we are firm believers in responsible tourism. So when we heard about the 2 Minute Beach Clean recently, we were intrigued. Not because we were curious about what it is, but because itâ€™s a brilliantly simple idea for keeping our beaches clean. And we think everyone should do it.
Soâ€¦ where does it come from and why is it important?
No one likes to go to a filthy beach on their holiday â€“ especially when you go away to relax, have some fun and forget about all that junk back home. Yet sometimes we take it for granted that the beaches we visit wonâ€™t be littered with marine plastics brought in on the tide or by litter left by other beach goers. So itâ€™s a shock to see plastic bottles on the shoreline. But what should we do about it? Complain to the council? Tut and walk past, vowing never to return? Or should we take matters into our own hands? Read the rest of this entry »
April 23rd, 2014
We recently joined an independent review site, Trustpilot, so that we could get more of our customersâ€™ candid feedback about the way we do things here at World First. None of the reviews can be edited or moderated so everythingâ€™s on there, from the good and bad to the uglyâ€¦
But, happily those that have reviewed us have been very kind. In fact, we scored 9.4 out of a possible 10 for our customer service, our policy choice and the fact that we are able to offer policies to people who have been refused elsewhere. We are also, at the time of writing, rated 3rd out of 80 companies in our sector.
You can see all the reviews BY CLICKING HERE, but for now, here are a few of the reviews our customers gave us… Read the rest of this entry »