By Richard Smith, Managing Director of tifgroup
Today, The Times newspaper has issued an apology to tifgroup in relation to a series of three articles it published on 20 and 24 November 2018 concerning tifgroup’s practices. It has deleted the articles which are the subject of the legal action from its website. In addition, The Times has agreed to pay substantial damages and costs to tifgroup.
Here is the wording of The Times’ apology in full:
Travel Insurance Facilities Plc: Apology
On 20 November 2018 we published a front-page article entitled “Boots travel insurer faces investigation over deaths”; together with two further articles on 20 and 24 November 2018 respectively entitled “I begged, but they wouldn’t pay to bring my dad home” and “Insurer left my aunt to die, says Lloyd’s boss”. In these articles, we alleged that there were strong grounds to suspect that Travel Insurance Facilities plc had implemented a pattern of fraudulent practice that had likely led to a number of avoidable deaths. We now accept that this allegation is untrue. We apologise to Travel Insurance Facilities plc and have agreed to pay substantial damages and costs.
This apology has featured in the printed edition of The Times and is published on its website.
The resolution of the legal action draws a line under what has been a very tough twenty-two months for tifgroup, whilst it has vigorously fought the untrue and unfounded allegations made by The Times, which struck at the core of the business’ ethics and values.
My team and I have worked extremely hard over very long days to respond to the unfair and unjust allegations made in order to provide a clear, factual and accurate representation of the true position.
tifgroup, for myself and many of the team, is more than just a business; it is a family of likeminded people driven to make a difference in the travel insurance world.
We are and remain extremely committed and passionate about what we do and what we are aiming to achieve.
We have a company full of remarkable people who go above and beyond for our customers every single day. A team who believe in doing things right and who believe in us and our goals.
We were dismayed at how we were to deal with the unjustness of the articles when they were published.
This led us to the decision that the only choice in order to protect and vindicate the reputation of the business was to issue proceedings against the Times.
As the largest travel insurance provider in the UK, we pride ourselves on our expert knowledge of insurance, underwriting, claims handling, and providing emergency assistance and support to our customers in their time of need while abroad.
We make decisions and offer advice to our customers to make sure they have access to optimal care and the best possible clinical outcome in the circumstances. We make recommendations and arrangements for customers to return home at a time that is considered to be the least risk for both their short- and longer-term recovery following an injury or illness overseas. These decisions are always based on what is right for the customer.
We have stayed confident in our position throughout this period, a position that we always knew and believed in. We haven’t faltered in our determination to fight for the truth to be known and for justice to be done.
We would like to thank our customers, partners, and employees who stuck by us during this time and supported us in getting the truth. In a year of such uncertainty for us all, this news is very welcome now more than ever.
With this news behind us, we can now concentrate on the real issues facing travel insurance providers and our customers.
We want to go back to spending time and money on exposing the criminal networks in Spain who are trafficking patients and undertaking dangerous medical practice for financial gain. We want to spend money on protecting travellers in Mexico due to the shocking and appalling treatment of tourists by cartel run medical facilities.
We want to make it impossible for the consulates, embassy officials, as well as the travel trade as a whole, to ignore these issues, all with one simple aim – to protect our customers from being subjected to such practices in the future.
For us, this is not an ending, but the beginning of a new chapter in our long history of making sure we do the right thing for our customers.