Compulsory Travel Insurance will help but it won’t be a catch-all.


24th of August, 2011 Bookmark and Share
MP for North West Leicestershire Andrew Bridgen plans to raise the topic of making travel insurance compulsory in parliament following the tragic plight of uninsured constituent’s step-son Mathew Taylor, who is still lying in a coma in a Singapore hospital with medical bills exceeding £150,000 after a motorcycle accident.

Whilst this is likely to be warmly welcomed by the travel insurance industry as a whole and will help to prevent other people like Matthew innocently travelling uninsured, as Chris Blackman from AllClear Travel Insurance points out, it would not completely eliminate tragic cases and there will still be incidents where the injured traveller has taken out insurance but the claim may not be paid.

“This year the industry has seen no less than 12 people fall from hotel balconies and numerous other serious injuries involving excessive alcohol intake. We have heard of youngsters attempting to dive into hotel swimming pools from balconies and several falls where attempts have been made to climb from one balcony to another. Insurers simply can’t cover claims where individuals have deliberately placed themselves in such high risk situations, hence there are specific exclusions to this affect and further exclusions regarding being under the influence of alcohol. Insurers would have to charge astronomical premiums to cover such events and everyone would be paying so much more for insurance, it could cost more than the holiday”.

Chris continues: “We are extremely fortunate in the UK that no matter how reckless or indeed just unlucky we are as individuals, the NHS will always pick up the pieces free of charge but this simply isn’t the case when going abroad and the travelling public really needs to understand this and what they need to do to protect themselves.

My advice to travellers is therefore as follows:

1. Do not travel out of the UK without first taking out a decent travel policy
2. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, make sure you select a policy which specialises in covering medical conditions and declare them to the insurer. Just Google “pre existing medical travel insurance” and search for a suitable policy.
3. You can still have fun on holiday, so if you plan to take part in any kind of organised activity which may be hazardous in any way, tell your insurance company, they may be able to offer cover.
4. Nobody expects holiday makers to be teetotal whilst away but make sure you do not drink to excess or take drugs which may impair judgement.
5. Don’t be tempted to do silly things which place you at risk of injury. Apart from the risk of permanent disability, you or your family could be paying the medical bills for the rest of your life!

AllClear Travel Insurance can be found at www.allcleartravel.co.uk or call 0845 250 5 200
Chris Blackman
In 2001 Chris Blackman joined Inter Group Insurance Services (later to become part of Royal Bank of Scotland Insurance), specialising in medical risk assessment processes and operations and then as medical analyst. In July 2008, Chris moved to AllClear Insurance Services as Head of Product Development. AllClear Insurance Services Limited is a privately owned company, founded in 1985. In addition to marketing our own AllClear Travel flagship products and our AllClear Options comparison site for specialist medical travel insurance, we provide third party call centre and administrative solutions to some of the UK’s largest financial and travel companies; a testament to our reputation, commitment to quality customer care and service delivery. We are also well known within the industry for product design and operation of bespoke medical-screening services; this along with our experienced team, flexibility and urgency has helped to set us apart from our competitors.