Ask Jes­sica

Fi­nan­cial trou­bleshooter Jes­sica Gorstwilliams is here to help you with your money prob­lems

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Readers’ Letters -

Why won’t my travel cover pay?

Five and a half months after tak­ing out an an­nual travel pol­icy along with my hus­band, we booked a hol­i­day in Ibiza. This was due to start in the early sum­mer the fol­low­ing year.

Three months after book­ing the hol­i­day a lump ap­peared in my neck and the doc­tor sent me for a scan.

This was in­con­clu­sive and an ap­point­ment for an­other scan was made for just be­fore the hol­i­day. This was due after my multi-trip pol­icy was re­newed. The per­son who dealt with the re­newal was told that I had an un­di­ag­nosed med­i­cal con­di­tion.

The sec­ond scan then re­vealed a se­ri­ously in­fected lymph gland. My doc­tor ad­vised me not to go on hol­i­day.

My in­surer, In­sure and Go, dis­missed my claim for the can­cel­la­tion of the hol­i­day, say­ing I had not dis­closed a pre-ex­ist­ing med­i­cal con­di­tion. I pointed out that I did not have one when I booked the hol­i­day.

It sent me a cheque for £150 as full and fi­nal set­tle­ment. I have re­fused this. The cost of the hol­i­day and the sum I am claim­ing is £1,427.


The terms and con­di­tions state that if, after pur­chas­ing the pol­icy, any per­son named on it de­vel­ops a new med­i­cal con­di­tion they must no­tify the in­surer. The in­surer will cover trips al­ready booked but can choose to ad­vise can­celling while the costs are still rel­a­tively low. Can­celling when the need for a scan was first di­ag­nosed would have meant the loss of the £150 de­posit.

By the time it was clear a sec­ond scan was needed you had paid for the hol­i­day in full and there was no pro­vi­sion for a re­fund from the hol­i­day com­pany. Your hus­band says it would have been silly to can­cel the trip when you did not know what the out­come of the scan would be.

You ac­tu­ally thought that your hus­band had de­clared the con­di­tion early on. When I quizzed him, though, it turned out that he had done so only when the an­nual pol­icy was re­newed. He thought cover had been ac­cepted for the con­di­tion. In fact the in­surer had ex­cluded it un­til the sit­u­a­tion was clar­i­fied.

Later on, to es­tab­lish that the pre-re­newal con­ver­sa­tion had in­deed been as In­sure and Go was say­ing, it agreed, at my re­quest, to send you a tran­script and waive the usual £10 fee for do­ing so. The record­ing vin­di­cated the in­surer.

When a con­di­tion is await­ing di­ag­no­sis, as this was, In­sure and Go would not cover any­thing re­lat­ing to it. It said: “We of course un­der­stand that med­i­cal cir­cum­stances change and, should the cus­tomer have a con­di­tion di­ag­nosed dur­ing the life of the pol­icy, this will need to be com­mu­ni­cated to In­sure and Go as soon as pos­si­ble. In some cases an ex­tra cost may be in­curred to en­sure it is cov­ered.

“We are very sorry to hear about Mrs K’s case and in this in­stance we are not able to cover the full losses in­curred.”

Ill­ness pre­vented a trip to Ibiza – and a reader was left unin­sured

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