It's So Easy Travel Insurance is probably unlike any other travel insurance company you've ever heard of. That might sound like a rather wild claim but I think it's true.
My name is Kevin Waite and I'm the Director of the company. My company's history is rooted not in the financial world, as you might imagine, but in my experience of working in the charitable sector, especially the health charity sector.
In the mid 1980s, when I was unemployed, I volunteered in the Citizens' Advice Bureaux Service. About 18 months later, I became a paid worker. Roughly a year on, I went back as a Deputy Manager to the branch where I had been a volunteer. It was a paid, three day a week post.
Not long afterwards, I saw a report on the London news about a man (Christopher Spence) who was creating what would become Europe's largest HIV/AIDS centre - London Lighthouse. I just knew I had to become involved and contacted them, asking to become a volunteer, which I did. I helped to answer the telephone in portacabins as the building was being made ready and also in many fundraising events for the charity.
When the building was completed, I chose to continue to working as a volunteer a day a week in the Community Services department, using my CAB knowledge to help those affected by HIV through the maze of claiming disability benefits as well as advising in housing, employment, debt and other issues.
At that time, HIV was literally a death sentence and I attended more funerals than I thought I would in the whole of my life.
I extended my volunteering to two days a week as I had built up so much holiday entitlement in my CAB job. My workload at London Lighthouse snowballed and I urged the charity to obtain funding to turn what I was doing as a volunteer into a paid position. They recognised the need for the work and eventually, funding was found and my job was publicly advertised. I applied, went through the recruitment process and, happily, was appointed. I then created the Welfare Service.
While at London Lighthouse, I helped create a not-for-profit organisation called Positive Discounts, which enabled anyone HIV+ and in receipt of state benefits, to obtain discounts in many shops and services. Some time later, I heard about an insurer who was willing to offer travel insurance that would include HIV-related medical claims. I seized the opportunity and made the policy widely available. However, I wasn't completely happy with the process the insurer required my clients to go through.
After some research and talking with others in the insurance industry, I found a different underwriter who was prepared to listen to my ideas. Because of my knowledge and experience of HIV, I was able to work with this underwriter to design a travel insurance policy that doesn't require someone to go through a length medical screening process or ask questions about CD4 counts or viral load levels. Even more important is that the policy doesn't indicate on the documents that the person covered is HIV+. I wanted to gain the trust of those with HIV, who were experiencing a difficult time with the insurance industry.
I aim to provide you with a professional and yet friendly service. If you are happy with us, please tell others you know whom you think might benefit from what we have to offer. If, for any reason, you're not happy with us, then we want to know. Only by getting your feedback do we have the opportunity to improve our service.
The policy was successful and it soon became evident that a more formal structure was required, which is why I formed a limited company - It's So Easy Travel Insurance.
A short while later, I expanded what I was providing to include travel insurance for people with a very wide range of medical conditions.
A few years ago, I started providing travel insurance for people travelling from virtually any country to any country.
In 2016, I developed a policy for people who had already left the UK and who had either forgotten to take out travel insurance or who wished to stay away longer but whose policy could not be extended because they were outside the UK. This has proved to be highly valued.
In January 2017, I launched three new policies:
I am currently developing a specialist travel insurance policy for citizens of the USA.Although I might sometimes be restricted by the insurance industry, I continue to try to provide policies that people need and hope to bring a more human face to the industry for those who buy my policies.
HIV Travel insurance is a trading name of It's So Easy Travel Insurance, a provider of specialist travel insurance policies that can include a wide variety of medical conditions.
Our registered office ia 27 Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3XX. Our company registration number is 03931540. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and our Firm number is 476160.