The team at Venture Abroad have worked long and hard to find the right provider to be our travel insurance partner in 2022 and beyond. The safety and security of our groups out on tour is, of course, our absolute priority, and Aviva has certainly come up trumps! We ventured in for a chat with Graham Meskell, our partnership link to AVIVA, and Kelly Wigley, Venture Abroad’s Head of Operations and Customer Relations. And well, what can we say…who would have thought insurance could be quite so interesting?

Purchasing the right insurance policy, giving due consideration to scenarios where you may need to claim, and deciphering the fine print is enough to give anyone palpitations. Throw in the challenges of travelling around the world with COVID-19 in the mix, and more so than ever before travellers are paying greater attention to the fine print of travel insurance policies and the cover they provide. Even more so when you have responsibility for a group of students travelling together.

After a lengthy chat, we’re keeping it simple – these were the BIG takeaways and ‘must-know’ points for your groups.


Why did Venture Abroad need to change insurance providers?


Kelly Wigley, Venture Abroad’s Head of Operations and Customer Relations explains:

“Quite simply, policy prices were on the rise, and when we needed to include additional cover for COVID-19 related scenarios, it was clear that we could no longer offer our groups value for money with our existing insurer. There were also gaps in coverage on the existing policy, the requirement for a costly GP approval letter when travelling with preexisting medical conditions and rising excess when making claims. COVID-19 changed the future of travel, and in terms of insurance, things were getting too complex for us and our groups. We needed to find a solution to keep things simple.”

We assume that these were some of the reasons for choosing to work with Aviva?

“Absolutely! They covered off our major challenges with ease and in simple terms, everything is covered unless it explicitly states otherwise in the policy. Both our respective businesses acknowledged very early in the pandemic that there was an urgent need to adapt; it was a perfect pairing of brands. We’ve come together and successfully collaborated to provide a formidable insurance policy for groups.”

Graham Meskell, our partnership link to AVIVA elaborates:

“By working with various groups, we have to accept that no two tours will be the same and that the breadth of potential activities would be part of the course – so these had to be covered as standard. Through ongoing dialogue with Venture Abroad, we also, all agreed that pre-existing conditions needed to be covered without costly and time-consuming hoop-jumping. So if someone has discussed a medical condition with a medical professional and is deemed fi t to travel, no advance declaration or paperwork is required.”

COVID-19 – what can we say…

“It was a given that we had to include cover if COVID-19 interrupts travel. If you can’t travel because you test positive for COVID-19 or have been instructed to self-isolate, you’re covered. If you test positive on tour and require medical treatment or an extended stay, you’re covered. As a broker to one of the leading insurers in the UK, we commit to conducting ourselves impeccably. It was clear and apparent that Venture Abroad shared these values.”

Speaking to Kelly and Graham, it really was quite simple to understand. The unique combination of the AVIVA travel insurance policy + dedicated support of Graham’s team + Venture Abroad’s Covid guarantee + legal protection of the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, means that moving forward, groups can book and travel with confidence, knowing that any arising challenges will not see their parents or guardians out of pocket. Nice and simple!


About Kelly and Graham and the roles they play in supporting group travel


Graham Meskell, David Roberts & Partners Insurance Brokers

Graham is not employed by AVIVA but acts as a daily intermediary between our clients, us and AVIVA. He acts as an extension to the Venture Abroad team, and his role is focused on ensuring all our bespoke insurance needs and questions are answered. When clients have a claim or may need advice, he and his team are the go-to for answers; they are skilled in supporting us all every step of the way. His team’s knowledge and support to our clients is valued and vital.


Kelly Wigley, Venture Abroad’s Head of Operations and Customer Relations.

Having worked with the company for some 15 years, Kelly is a fountain of knowledge for our clients. She works relentlessly with our entire team to ensure our clients enjoy the very best tour experience, both when things are running smoothly and when life throws a curveball. Managing communications between Venture Abroad, Graham and AVIVA she is calming, thorough and knowledgeable – the perfect point of escalation for our team and party leaders alike.



Venture Abroad Covid Guarantee

We understand that when planning your next trip, you’ll want to tread carefully and work with a company you can trust. This is why we want to assure you that, even in these uncertain times, we’ve got you covered with our Covid Guarantee

For your financial security, you must have insurance when travelling with us, whether it be your own or the insurance we provide through Aviva. We highly recommend our insurance because it’s tailored specifically for group travel and offers cover for Covid related cancellation and curtailment.

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