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Don't Forget the Travel Insurance

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One of the drawbacks of entering into the twilight years of life is the fact that, unless you are made of money, as you get older things tend to get more e xpensive and less accommodating. ĎAhh yesí you say and come out with a host of examples that have affected you, or someone close to you. But, within the confines of this article, I am going to talk about insurance and before I hear any more Ďahh yesesí, can I be more specific and talk about travel insurance and travel health insurance.

OK, remember that travel Insurance companies are not good Samaritans who go out of their way to make your holiday enjoyable and risk free without certain provisos. Coming into the real world, they are simply there to make more money from the insurance premiums you pay than they do from the amount paid out to the claims made and, accordingly, will go out of their way to enter as much small print into the policy as they can.

But, to be fair to the insurance c ompanies, if you stick to the finer points of the insurance policy they r eally can be a friend in need when you most need them - more on this later. Basically, when you are taking out the policy, you must be honest. Whatever you do, donít try to hide any previous illnesses or ailments in the hope that a clean sheet will keep the insurance p remium down. For example, how many minor chest or water infections have you had in the past year or two, and of course itís easy to forget the mild diabetes your doctor mentioned and which you easily control by diet alone. And what about the blood pressure which you donít take any medication for but just have an annual check, and the suspected stomach ulcer 10 years ago which hasnít caused any problems since.

Just remember that your doctor keeps meticulous records of these ailments and illnesses in your medical notes and, in one of the tiny bits of small print in the insurance policy that you sign up to, you agree that the insurer can approach your doctor for information about your medical history the minute you make a claim.
Going back to the first sentence of this short article - one of the drawbacks of entering into the twilight years of life is the fact that , as you get older, things tend to get more expensive - indeed they do because, as you get older, you are more susceptible to ailments and i llnesses and are more likely to call for medical help. Accordingly, insurance companies start hiking up your holiday insurance premium the older you get simply because you are a bigger risk.

Let me give you a couple of examples I have encountered. An 85 year old man went on a West Indies cruise but was struck down by a debilitating chest infection. The cruise doctor ordered him off the ship to be dealt with at a local hospital where it took a little longer than usual to settle his illness down. In come the insurers who were asked to repatriate him by air a mbulance to the UK. Ah sir, but you did not declare on the insurance questionnaire the bronchitis you suffered over the last two winters. Cutting a long story short, the claim was rejected and the £26,000 bill to get him home came out of his estate because he died just 2 weeks after getting back to the UK.

And what about the 70 year old who travelled to Nevada and Las Vegas and was having the time of his life when he suffered a heart attack - not really s urprising when a normally inactive man went into holiday exercise overdrive!. What he had forgotten to tell the insurers was the mild chest pain he had told his doctor about and was given a GTN spray as a trial. Once again, claim rejected and a bill for £18,000 to be faced - health care in the USA and Canada is extortionately expensive by any standard.

Then there was the arthritic lady who regarded her arthritis as a normal part of growing older and didnít bother telling the insurers that she had monthly prescriptions for Brufen from her doctor. A fall, a broken hip, an expensive hip replacement and a nurse assisted repatriation left her with a rejected claim and a bill eight times that of the cost of the original holiday!



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