Insurance - Travel

Free guide to ethical travel insurance, from Ethical Consumer.

Free guide to ethical travel insurance, from Ethical Consumer.


This is a product guide from Ethical Consumer, the UK's leading alternative consumer organisation. Since 1989 we've been researching and recording the social and environmental records of companies, and making the results available to you in a simple format.

The report covers the major providers of travel insurance and includes:

  • ethical and environmental ratings for 20 travel insurance providers
  • Best Buy recommendations
  • how insurance companies may be contributing to climate change
  • which insurance companies invest in arms companies
  • who are the ethical and green or eco insurance companies
  • which insurance companies are transparent about their investments

 

This product guide is part of a Sector Report on the Insurance Industry.

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Score Ratings

Our ratings are live updated scores from our primary research database. They are based on primary and secondary research across 23 categories - 17 negative categories and 6 positive ones (Company Ethos and Product Sustainability). Find out more about our ethical ratings

 

Score table

The score table shows simple numerical ratings out of 20 for each product. The higher the score, the more ethical the company.

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Full Scorecard

The Full Scorecard shows the 'black marks' for each product, by each of the 17 negative categories. The bigger the mark, the worse the score. So for example a big black circle under 'Worker Rights' shows that the company making this product has been severely criticised for worker abuses.

Scores start at 14.  A small circle means that half a mark is deducted, a large circle means that a full mark is deducted.

Marks are added in the positive categories of Company Ethos and the five Product Sustainability columns (O,F,E,S,A).  A small circle  means that half a mark is added, a large circle means that a full mark is added.

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Best Buys

as of December 2012


As our ratings are constantly updated, it is possible that company ratings on the score table may have changed since this report was written.


Travel insurance underwriters on the score table showing some understanding of ethical investment and scoring relatively well on the score table – are Aviva followed by Hiscox.

The ETA’s travel insurance (see below) may also be a good option for you.

Because our scoring tables only cover underwriters, to find more options ask a broker or look at Key Facts documents to find out who is underwriting the products that offer you a good deal.

 

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Travel Insurance

 

Five cheapest quotes from brokers using underwriters on our score table:

  • OUL direct – £9.99 – Groupama
  • GNU Insurance – £15.40 – AXA
  • Insurance.co.uk – £16.37 – Groupama
  • GO – £19.40 – Ageas
  • insurancefortravel.co.uk – £20.47 – Groupama

 

We looked at moneysupermarket.com to see which brokers used which underwriters. Based on a two week trip to India for a 32 year old male with no medical problems.

 

 

Green travel insurance

Tim Hunt spoke to Yannick Read of ethical travel insurance broker, the Environmental Transport Association.
 

The ETA was formed in 1990 as an alternative motoring organisation. “At the time the RAC and AA were very pro road expansion and lobbied for more roads, so we set up for those drivers who were aware of the environmental impact of driving and didn’t think that more road building was desirable,” says Yannick. Things have come a long way since the ETA was set up. “Both the AA and RAC have now quite dramatically modified their stance to come to support views that we articulated back then. I guess we were slightly ahead of the curve” says Yannick.

The ETA also sells breakdown, travel and bicycle insurance. He is mindful of the fact that the insurance they sell is part of system that is contributing to climate change. ETA is one of the few insurance brokers that does systematically screen the underwriters that they use. This is done through EIRIS. Yannick explains. “We use negative screening for underwriters. We ensure that they do not invest in arms companies, drink or tobacco.”

After this process ETA are currently using Ageas (not that strong environmentally by our criteria) and Lloyds of London (better). “In the case of Lloyd’s, the company follows the principles of the insurance industry’s own ClimateWise initiative, which includes supporting climate awareness, incorporating climate change into its investment strategy and reducing its environmental impact.”

“Another thing we do is try to make people aware of how they travel and how they can reduce the impacts of travel.” This is done through a trust with a proportion of every sale going towards environmental awareness-raising projects such as the Car Free Day, where motorists are encouraged to leave their cars at home and take public transport or cycle.

Yannick also thinks the embedded ethics help throughout the customer experience: “It’s not just about picking the correct underwriter or offsetting carbon, it’s as much about a green philosophy that filters down through the organisation about the way we deal with customers. And that does set us apart from those who are simply chasing profit.”

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