An insurance intermediary which may have left thousands of people without travel insurance was being investigated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) ten months ago, it emerged this week.
Last week, the DTI put the Management Company (London) into liquidation following concerns it was issuing policies bearing the Lloyd's name without authority.
It is thought up to 150,000 people may have been left without travel cover and many may have to buy new insurance. Policies can be for single trips or can provide cover for up to three years, worldwide and were issued by British and Irish travel agents.
Members of the public are now being urged to check if their insurance documents bear the Lloyd's name and contact the supplier. As an act of goodwill, Lloyd's will provide health insurance for a limited period of time, but cannot cover other aspects of travel insurance such as lost baggage or missed flights.
“A considerable number of people have bought travel insurance which was sold without Lloyd's authority,” said Adrian Beeby, spokesman for Lloyd's. “We are now concerned about their well being.”
He added Lloyd's first became concerned about the way the company operated when managing agency Marlborough severed ties with the Management Company (London) last August.
Lloyd's contacted the DTI, which then started an investigation.
But the problem resurfaced a fortnight ago. Lloyd's began receiving complaints from customers, accusing it of failing to pay out for claims and since then the DTI has petitioned to close down the organisation.
Lloyd's has set up a helpline for policyholders on 0800 917 5971. A list of valid travel insurance schemes is available on lloydsoflondon.com.