Travel Insurance for RWT Holidays
Travel insurance is not compulsory, but it is very strongly recommended for those taking trips outside the UK. Please ensure that you are adequately covered and, if you are relying on insurance supplied by a credit card company for instance, we suggest that you request a copy of the ‘small print’ of the policy so that you can see the extent of cover provided. We have been involved very recently in assisting a client who believed that they had more cover than they actually did through their credit card.
We would be pleased to offer you a quotation for travel insurance if you don’t have cover in place – please call us on 01962 713330. We work with a company called Infinity Insurance Solutions who we can recommend for providing a good quality service, including their own in-house claims facility. Alternatively you may wish to obtain a quotation from the supermarkets or on-line insurance companies.
Insurance for the 65s and Over
Those aged 65 and over, or with a specific medical condition, may wish to approach one of the following companies who have all been recommended to us by clients:
Saga Travel Insurance (no upper age limit) – 0800 056 5464
M.R.L Insurance (cover up to age 89) – 0870 870 4401
Barclays Insurance – 0845 600 8090
Comfort Insurance – 0845 602 0281
Free Spirit (www.free-spirit.com) – 0845 230 5000
Netcoverdirect – www.netcoverdirect.com
CIS (www.cis.co.uk) – 08457 464646
Bradford and Bingley – 0800 169 4078
Help the Aged – 0800 41 31 80
Age Concern – 0845 601 2234
Insurance for Hazardous Activities
For those requiring travel insurance for activities deemed to be ‘hazardous’, the following company is recommended:
Harrison Beaumont – 0870 121 7590
Insurance for Individuals with Disabilities
This company promotes itself as offering insurance to those with disabilities:
J&M Insurance Services (www.jmi.co.uk ) – 01992 566924
Insurance for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Those with a pre-existing medical condition (even relating to something that occurred a number of years ago) should speak to their insurance company to clarify that full cover is available.
If you need to cancel your holiday prior to your departure on medical grounds, you should be able to make a claim against your insurance policy to recoup any monies lost.
Please note that if your holiday is of high value, you will need to check that your insurance policy gives sufficient cover in the event that you have to cancel your holiday prior to your departure.
Article from The Times
We reproduce this article from The Times (Saturday 21st April 2001) for your information if you are in the process of looking at travel insurance. It includes some very useful points …
‘Can you really afford a break?’ – Philip Barron of The Times gives warning that many travellers are going abroad with insufficient cover to pay for unexpected medical bills
Planning a holiday is delightful: arranging travel insurance is a tedious chore. But paying little or no attention to the cover provided by the policy can turn your trip into a nightmare journey if a member of your family falls ill and is admitted to hospital. About half of the claims made on travel insurance are for medical treatment, yet many people still fail to check the amount of cover provided for such eventualities as emergency surgery and repatriation. Others forget to inform the insurer of an existing medical condition, so invalidating any claim if they have a recurrence of their complaint while overseas.
With 15 per cent of holiday makers now travelling without any cover, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office plans to launch a campaign in June urging people to insure themselves. Contrary to the belief of some Britons who venture abroad, local consulates and embassies cannot be relied on to settle the bills for holiday healthcare. Officials will contact your family so that they can arrange the necessary funds.
Some holidaymakers mistakenly think that they are entirely protected by the form E111, which gives the access to healthcare in the European Union. Bernard Boyle, an 81-year-old from Middlesbrough, found the form E111 of little use when he fell sick in Benidorm earlier this year. He could not recover his costs of more than £11,000 from his travel insurer because, through an oversight, he had not mentioned his existing heart condition on the policy application form. The cost of this care will fall on his family.
As we report below, there is also a risk in relying on the travel insurance that comes as a perk with gold cards. Banks may not always make it entirely clear that you will only be covered for medical treatment – and anything else – if you pay for the full cost of your holiday with the card. Medical treatment abroad is expensive, with the cost of care for a broken leg in Europe costing about £2,500. But America is probably the most expensive country in which to fall ill. Recently a young boy was admitted to a US hospital with respiratory problems. A special life-support system costing nearly $60,000 a day had to be used. After several weeks an aircraft was chartered to repatriate him with a full medical team in attendance. Happily, he is now recovering, and fortunately, his family – who prefer to remain anonymous – were insured. Columbus, the insurer, picked up a tab for £1.2 million.
Last Christmas Michael Cosgrove, a 49-year-old from Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, suffered a heart attack while on a family holiday in Thailand. In January he was flown home, accompanied by a cardiologist. The total cost to Mr Cosgrove’s insurer, Primary Direct, was £11,530.
Anyone looking to get the best protection should look for a policy giving worldwide medical and repatriation cover of at least £5 million. For this extra reassurance you do not need to pay large premiums, although some companies will insure only those aged under 60 or 65. The lowest amount of medical cover you should accept is £2 million if you are bound for America and £1 million for Europe. Do not sign up for the policy offered by a tour operator or travel agent with our checking that the cover is adequate. These policies can cost 200 percent more than those arranged independently, but higher premiums do not mean a higher level of cover. If you are travelling to Europe, it is useful to pack a form E111, available in post offices (for more information see the website at www.dss.gov.uk) as an extra safeguard, but be aware that is covers only basic care in state-run hospitals. Certain medicines and the cost of repatriation are excluded. Malcolm Tarling, of the Association of British Insurers, says: “In some countries you may have to make a contribution for even basic services. The standard and level of treatment might not be the same as in the UK.”
Beware of the small print on free credit card travel policies. Holidaymakers should beware travel insurance offered free with credit cards, as the small print could render it void. Nancy Thomas, a biology lecturer from Hook, Hampshire, was shocked to find that family holidays for the past four years had been uninsured because she did not use her NatWest gold card to fund the whole holiday. When Mrs Thomas took out the card in 1997, she was assured it came with free travel insurance from Royal & SunAlliance. But when she lost a watch in Florida last year, the insurer turned down her claim because she put a deposit on the holiday with a different card, and only used her gold card to pay the balance. Mrs Thomas was enraged because she had telephoned the bank twice to check that the insurance cover included waterskiing. NatWest confirmed that the policy included watersports. She says: “We assumed that because they told us that we were covered for watersports that we were insured.” Mrs Thomas worries that if anything had happened to one to the family while they were on holiday, the expenses involved could have cost them their home. She adds: “We take full responsibility for not reading the small print carefully enough, but no-one pointed out this fundamental clause.”
Ronan Kellaher, of NatWest, says: “Our staff is trained to make customers aware of policy conditions, especially using the gold card to pay for the total cost of a holiday.” Mrs Thomas has been compensated for her watch after The Times’s inquiries.