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 to make 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 and health charity sectors.
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 to the branch where I had been a volunteer, as a Deputy Manager. It was a 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 Lightouse. I just knew I had to become involved and contacted them, asking to become a volunteer. I did, and I answered the telephone in portacabins as the building was being made ready and helped in many fundraising events for the charity.
When it opened, I had to choose in which department to continue being a volunteer. I chose Community Services and, volunteering a day a week, used my CAB knowledge to help those affected by HIV through the maze of claiming disability benefits as well as advising in housing and 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 pushed for the charity to obtain funding to turn what I was doing as a volunteer into a paid position. Eventually, funding was found and my job was publicly advertised. I applied and went through the recruitment process and, happily, was appointed. I 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 benedfits, 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, using my work experience, knowledge and understanding of the medical condition to gain the trust of those with HIV, who were experiencing a difficult time with the insurance industry.
The policy was successful and it soon became evident that a more formal structure was required, so I formed a limited company - It's So Easy Travel Insurance.
A while later, I expanded what I was doing to include cover 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 counry.
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 be restricted by the insurance industry, I continue to push its boundaries to provide policies that people need. I don't always get it right - I am human - but I hope to bring a human face to the industry and to those who buy my policies.
Our contact details are:
Our address is: It's So Easy Travel Insurance, 27 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3XX. We are registered in England as It's So Easy Travel Insurance Limited, company number 3931540.Our telephone numbers are:
For our travel insurance for people with NO medical conditions that need to be covered: 0330 606 1424
or our specialist HIV-inclusive travel insurance: 0330 606 1421
For our general travel insurance that includes other medical conditions: 0330 606 1422
For our travel insurance if you have already left the UK: 0330 606 1423 or 020 3189 1214