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Travel Insurance - Insurer playing fair, or stalling???***Resolved***


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Hi,

 

I bought my parents a UK coach holiday and, as they're both pensioners, travel insurance which included cancellation cover as both have had illness in the past. Unfortunately, a direct family member became ill a week before they were due to travel and they decided to cancel the holiday and visit her instead. The family member sadly passed away 2 weeks later.

 

The insurer sent out claim forms, these were completed and returned along with a death certificate which was required. Last week, the insurer wrote back requesting additional evidence for the deceased, namely the completion by the deceased's GP of a long winded complicated medical form? The cost of which, needless to say we have to pay.

 

Is this fairly standard? Or, is it a ruse by the insurer to find a way to avoid paying the claim? If it was either of my parents that became ill, I could understand a medical form being required, but for a family member??

 

Thanks for your help, any advice would be appreciated.

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Yes it happens. It is whether your parents were aware that the relative had a life threatening illness at the time of taking out the Travel Insurance. If they did it was a known risk and the Insurers won't cover it. Now it may be that the relative was aware, but your parents were never told. Some people keep life threatening illness a secret. In that situation, it was whether your parents should have been aware it was life threatening e.g heart attack, stroke, cancer.

 

The relatives GP will see such Insurers forms on a regular basis. It is supposed to find out how serious the illness was and when this was found out.

We could do with some help from you.

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Thanks Uncle. I suppose as the relative was in her 90's, although she wasn't in the best health (few are at that age), it was hardly unexpected. I'll get the forms completed and see what they say.

 

Thanks again.

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Thanks Uncle. I suppose as the relative was in her 90's, although she wasn't in the best health (few are at that age), it was hardly unexpected. I'll get the forms completed and see what they say.

 

Thanks again.

 

It is standard practice and should not be seen as Insurers trying to avoid claims.

We could do with some help from you.

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Thanks to you both.

 

We're not particularly well versed to insurance claims, hence a bit confused why they were asking for a 93 year olds medical report when they had nothing to do with the holiday itself, just the cancellation.

 

I suppose we were concerned that any 93 year old would not be in the best of health, no doubt the medical report will suggest this and the company were looking for a reason not to pay out.

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Thanks to you both.

 

We're not particularly well versed to insurance claims, hence a bit confused why they were asking for a 93 year olds medical report when they had nothing to do with the holiday itself, just the cancellation.

 

I suppose we were concerned that any 93 year old would not be in the best of health, no doubt the medical report will suggest this and the company were looking for a reason not to pay out.

 

The age is not relevant. It is whether they were aware or should have been aware that the relatives health was such that they knew the risk of cancelling their holiday was an issue.

 

You would not book a trip and risk losing money, when you knew something like this was likely. Therefore expecting insurers to cover a known issue, without telling them about it, would be unreasonable. They would not have provided the cover for this known risk or charged a higher premium.

 

When you book these trips and tick the box asking for insurance, you would not even think about the issues raised here. There should be a warning placed on the holiday internet sites, so people understand that the insurance does come with the usual terms and conditions. That people should think about all possible reasons for cancellation of trips and that includes health of immediate family who are not going on the trip booked.

We could do with some help from you.

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Thanks again Uncle.

 

A couple of points with your response. Whilst my 93 old aunt wasn't in the best of health, (again, who is at that age) we had no indication anything untoward was to happen. However one of the reasons insurance was taken out was to cover such a possibility that if something did happen, the insurance would come into play.

 

At no time did the insurer enquire about any relatives health, again why would they? We didn’t “tick the box” regarding the insurance as my parents were too old for the provider to quote, we went direct via an specialist provider. All questions, including these on Health on my parents were all answered truthfully, which resulted in a premium loading which was paid without quibble.

 

Regarding the insurer T&C’s, these have been checked. The wording states you are covered for cancellation cover where cancellation is “unavoidable and due to an event which is beyond your control”. I suppose the question here is regarding the likelihood of something happening. Of course a 93 year old woman is at a greater risk of illness and death, however how were my parents supposed to know when it would happen? I cannot see how it can be considered a known issue, however I’ll get the form completed and see what the insurer says.

 

Thanks again for all your help.

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Should be ok, as long as no indication of impending death noted on medical record.

 

Given the age, perhaps the Insurers should ask the question about other immediate family and whether they were aware of anything that could cause cancellation.

We could do with some help from you.

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Check the actual exact policy wording relating to existing medical conditions on persons the trip depends on eg people whose health may cause you to cancel.

 

There are a significant proportion of Insurers who only ask questions / make statements about the health of the persons travelling.

 

If they do not ask any questions / make any statements about non travelling persons it may help you.

 

Also look at the Insurers definition of "Insured Person"

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Thanks again.

 

Uncle B - one of the key reasons we went with this specific insurer was they had no upper age limit and they were happy to accept the risk following disclosures of health, age, type of holiday, place of visit etc.

 

Dacouc - the insurers definition of insured person is "you/your", nothing in this definition about relatives. Having read both the Keyfacts and Policy wording, there is nothing specific regarding cancellation due to relatives health over and above “unavoidable and due to an event which is beyond your control”. There is a statement regarding curtailment of the hol due to a relatives illness/death, however I can't see how this is applicable in this scenario.

 

Thanks again.

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As others have said provide them with the information they have requested, I would add the cost of the GP's report to the claim.

 

If they find an existing health issue that they say causes a problem to the claim (Someone of that age is probably taking preventative medicine for high blood pressure) then you can use the fact they don't ask about the medical conditions of non travelling persons against them.

 

A recent change in law means you do not need to volunteer information to the Insurer, you only have to supply information that they specifically ask about and / or give they give clear statements about

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  • 2 months later...

Afternoon all,

 

Thanks for all your help, the firm have finally paid out following the sending of the death certificate. Alas they didn't refund the GP's report (they quoted their T&C's where its up to claimants to provide the evidence) but i'm happy with the result.

 

Best Wishes

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Glad it worked out for you. I think it is pretty standard not to refund GP report costs.

We could do with some help from you.

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