Once again highlighting the importance of always declaring any pre-existing medical conditions a would-be travel insurance policyholder might have, whilst arranging (and subsequently agreeing to and biding by the contractual obligations of) far-reaching cover, is a news story currently doing the rounds; involving a holidaymaker who is effectively stranded in South America due to not having previously disclosed a propensity to suffering from high blood pressure.
According to www.insurancetimes.co.uk, a 72-year old former milkman is currently laid up in a Mexican hospital after complaining of chest pains whilst just two days into a holiday in Cancun with his wife.
Colin Read was admitted to the hospital soon after experiencing the onset of the pain, and has remained in the intensive care department ever since.
However the receiving of this level of medical attention was only achieved after Read’s wife managed to stump up £3,500 pretty much then and there so as to afford her husband the urgent treatment he required. In the wake of paying the amount requested by the Mexican health authority, Sandra Read was under the impression that their travel insurance provider would recompense the family for the sum handed over, and contacted Axa to explain the situation which had unfolded while they were in Cancun.
Stand-off Between Travel Insurer and Policyholder over Disputed Pre-existing Condition Leaves Victim in No Man’s Land
Yet she was left speechless after the policer provider refused to pay-out on the claim, insisting that as far as they were concerned Mr Read, the policyholder had neglected to confirm that he suffered with high blood pressure when completing the application for cover.
The hospitalised Read’s wife argued that at the point of sign-up to Axa’s travel insurance plan they hadn’t been asked any qualifying questions regarding medical conditions, and have accused their insurer of failing in their duties and literally leaving them to their own financial devices thousands of miles from home. Indeed, the Reads have since learned that it will cost them in the region of £20,000 to repatriate Colin back to the UK, on top of the substantial £18,000 they’ve forked out to the Mexican hospital where Colin has already been treated for both bronchitis and pneumonia.
The upshot of this difference of opinion between the policyholder and travel insurer means that the Read family are facing up to the prospect of paying a staggering £40k overseas medical bill in total, before they can even bring Colin back to Britain; who at this present time is still requiring around-the-clock treatment due to remaining unconscious and depending on a ventilator while holed up in the Mexican hospital.