It was just about time that I booked some holiday leave and go on away. I didn’t go on holiday at all last year and to be honest I could do with a break or an enforced stop. So I went online and booked myself a holiday away for 10 days.
So with the flights and the hotel booked there is one important thing that I had to remember to do before I could go away. That was to book holiday insurance.
Now I’ve done this before and in the pass this hasn’t been a problem; so why would there be this time?
In fact I would go as far as to say as it was a doddle. An absolute doddle!
For the record my epilepsy is well controlled, I do not lose consciousness, it is caused by a DNET tumour which was removed partially in order not to damage my vital brain function (you know, little things like spacial awareness, moving, looking in the right direction this will turn out to be a crucial detail). I have not been hospitalised since I was 7 years old. I am 31 now.
So I began my search.
Try 1. Confused.com’s pre existing condition insurance search (I have to admit, it is a bit of a mouthful).
The questions covered the basics, what was the nature of my pre existing condition and the details of it. The quotes ranged £1200.00 £1600.00.
This is 10% more than the cost of my holiday. Needless to say I did not walk through door number 1.
Try 2. Insure nGo. Epilepsy Action do offer a discount with this company however epilepsy action make it clear that members are subject to Insure n Go’s policy’s, and the two are very much separate companies.
I found that (after a bit of probing) Insure n Go would not cover me for travel insurance. I went through all their questions. Answering honestly, because I can’t afford not to. When they sent me their quote they had not marked an answer to a question as I had stated. So I called them back. After receiving a quote of £256.00
The question was. Was all of your tumour removed. They only had the choice of yes or no. So in my case I answered; “no, as much was removed as could have been done in a safe manner”. They marked it yes. The last time that I checked, yes was the opposite of no. This was an important detail for me because I wanted cover for a brain tumour.
On speaking to them they told be that if I answered no, then they would not be able to cover epilepsy. To which I replied, “you won’t be covering a lot of people with epilepsy then”. The scary thing was we both knew that this insurance salesman would have been quite happy to send me off on holiday with what was effectively a void policy and meaningless piece of paper. But hey, he would have got his commission and I would have been left responsible for the inaccurate (I am being kind here) questionnaire marking.
To his credit and my persistence they sent it off to the underwriters. No doubt for them to come back with an astronomical quote for a low risk person. The message that they will be trying to tell me with the quote will be, go away! So my search continued.
Try 3. AllClear travel – Full cover £247.00 :) N0 fuss. Seriously it was that easy for me. I filled in the online form and I got a realistic cover for someone who has a brain tumour sat in their head. I was happy with that, very happy in fact.
From my experience of finding travel insurance I am genuinely concerned about the possible number of people who have existing conditions and taken the time to get appropriate cover. Yet they are sold inappropriate coverage simply because a yes or no answer is interpreted in favour of the salesman’s monthly quota. Also there could be a number of people who travel abroad not even knowing that their insurance is inappropriate.So my advice would be ALWAYS re read your quotation questions and how the questions have been answered, even if this means you have to pay a admin fee to get a copy. Without doing this I would not have spotted sneaky Joe’s “mistake”.
Also, the git from one company said “its your choice of you take the policy”. I thought about this as was I was on the phone to him and told him quite directly that it wasn’t a choice if the company’s policy is to cover all or nothing. So by looking at the definition of a choice we certainly do not have one. Oddly the twerp did not have an answer for that. Maybe his computer said no.