Holidaymakers were today urged to check their travel insurance after it emerged that policies had been issued under the name of Lloyd’s of London without its authority.
The call comes after London insurance market Lloyd’s discovered a group called the Management Company had been selling cover through travel agents in the UK and Ireland under the Lloyd’s name.
Lloyd’s has set up a helpline for people to check the validity of insurance bearing its name, and it has also organised emergency health cover, at its own expense, for those already travelling or about to go abroad.
It said it did not know how many of the policies had been issued but thought the figure would run into thousands.
It is advising anybody with Lloyd’s travel policies to contact their travel agent, who should be able to tell them if it was sold by the Management Company.
Lloyd’s is publishing details of all valid policies on its website, but is urging those with invalid policies to arrange alternative cover.
The policies in question refer to Lloyd’s through phrases such as ‘‘underwritten by certain syndicates at Lloyd’s’’, and ‘‘underwritten at Lloyd’s’’, while some also refer to the Management Company.
The Management Company, which was put into provisional liquidation on Monday, had officially sold travel insurance on behalf of a Lloyd’s syndicate for a number of years.
But the arrangement was terminated at the end of July last year when Lloyd’s became ‘‘concerned’’ about the way the company was operating.
It asked the Department of Trade and Industry to investigate, and was told by the company that it had stopped issuing Lloyd’s policies.
But, unknown to the market, it continued to issue them under the Lloyd’s name.
Lloyd’s only became aware of the problem on Friday when it was contacted by travel agents whose clients had been told by the Management Company that Lloyd’s was refusing to pay their claims.
The DTI has confirmed the Management Company, which was not available for comment today, had gone into provisional liquidation.
The helpline number is 0800 917 5971, and the website can be found at www.lloydsoflondon.com