All Clear Travel Insurance Warning When Buying Cheaper Cover

12 March 2010 13:56

Medical travel insurance specialist AllClear has warned those travellers intending to take the cheaper option and buy less expensive cover that they may not be protected against all emergencies.

The move comes after Manchester great-grandmother Jean Edwards was left stranded in Turkey after falling seriously ill while on holiday with her daughter and son-in-law.

She urgently needed life saving surgery, but her travel insurance company refused to foot the bill and fly her home, claiming she had failed to declare pre-existing medical conditions.

She spent two months in Turkey while the argument continued, and only flew home after her MP became involved and the insurer gave the family a £30,000 humanitarian payment. Jean Edwards was taken to Wythenshawe hospital but died only ten hours after landing.

Chris Blackman, Head of Product Development at AllClear explains the pitfalls of not buying comprehensive cover: "Cheaper products often mean less cover, and policyholders only discover they are not covered at the point that a claim is made, he continues, Budget policies which rely heavily on the use of EHIC reciprocal health agreements can prove to be false economy because, when people fall ill abroad the decision about their care and treatment is often taken out of their hands in the heat of the emergency and this can mean medical costs not covered by the travel insurance or EHIC are left  to the patient to settle."

MP Jim Dobbin, who intends to raise a question in the House of Commons, was quoted as recently saying: "We will never know if she had been flown home sooner whether she would have survived. When somebody is as ill as she was, time is of the essence."

Mrs Edwards bought her travel insurance online from EHIC Plus and the directors claim the £38 policy was not valid because although she declared her heart and breathing conditions, she did not properly indicate all her illnesses.

Mr Dobbin continued: "We want to make sure there is complete disclosure going back on the insurers, making sure the clients understand the deal and the form is completed properly. Sometimes not all the information about policies is easily accessible."

Chris Blackman concludes: "As Mr Dobbin says, complete disclosure to the insurer is a must. The problem is often that customers fail to see the relevance or connection between medical conditions or simply forget some altogether. This can unwittingly leave them without proper cover. This is why, if you have a medical condition of any kind, it is important to go to a Specialist Medical Travel Insurance Provider who offer specialist travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions. They have the knowledge and expertise to ask the right questions to obtain the relevant information from a customer, ensuring complete disclosure and avoiding the kind of problems experienced by Mrs Edwards and her family."

Published by World First Travel Insurance - providers of worldwide travel insurance for all types of holiday, over 65s travel insurance and great family travel insurance. Get in touch for competitive travel insurance quotes today.

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