The big travel insurance policy copywriting fail

| November 8, 2012

A few months ago I threatened to re-write a travel insurance policy into plain language. Then I went all quiet. 
What’s been going on? 

Travel insurance policy copywriting nightmare

The policy was just an ordinary travel product from one of the biggest and best-respected insurers in Europe, a household name company insuring literally millions of travellers.

It’s far from unusual, bog standard issue. Yet I spent eight solid hours working my way through gobbledegook, jargon, legalese, repetition, woolliness and general gumph before giving in. At which point I was completely exhausted, baffled and disgusted.

I have more than a decade’s experience in insurance marketing under my belt. Plus a handful of credits towards a technical insurance qualification, the CII. An in-depth understanding of the way the industry works. An appreciation of the financial services regulatory landscape. And a clear picture of what insurance policies offer. But I still couldn’t make head nor tail of the dratted thing.

What hope does this leave policyholders? Very little. Given that policies are supposed to be written for ordinary folk, and bearing in mind the rate at which insurers turn down claims, I think it’s absolutely disgraceful.

Plain English travel insurance? Seeing is believing

I’m throwing down the gauntlet. If you’re an insurer and you think your insurance policy copywriting is plain English, send it over. I’ll believe it when I see it.

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Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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