To hate fucking insurance companies

(70 Posts)
ReindeerBollocks Sun 07-Apr-13 21:15:15

Before I will begin, let me just start by saying I know I'm being Unreasonable.

I'm livid. We were looking to book a holiday to America next year. We want to do the big D (I know, I know) and also travel on the West Coast. Ambitious but much wanted.

All fine, we have some small savings which make this possible. Just about.

Except we didn't take into account insurance for our family. Two people with past and present medical conditions. I understand that this will be difficult but our quote was higher than the price of the holiday.

Fucking Insurance Fuckers.

sad

HollyBerryBush Sun 07-Apr-13 21:20:14

But you could be a liability, why would your premiums be low?

Try going through your house insurance or union for cheaper. Also, have you tried the post office?

Loislane78 Sun 07-Apr-13 21:20:22

YANBU my parents have always wanted to go to the States but the insurance costs are crippling. Dad has angina/arthritis and mum has a pace maker but both are absolutely fine and fully fit to travel. Who has nothing wrong with them at nearly 70??!! They do 2-3 other holidays a year but obviously wouldn't risk it to the US.

I think heart uk and other specialist places do it.

Loislane78 Sun 07-Apr-13 21:22:01

*at more reasonable prices I mean

DoJo Sun 07-Apr-13 21:22:14

How much?! Unless you are on the brink of a limb falling off, it shouldn't be that much. Have you actually spoken to any to ask if they could exclude some elements which might be less important? Have you read the advice on Money Saving Expert on how to get cheaper travel insurance? Tried specialist providers? Sorry if you have already done all this, but it would be such a shame to miss out over something like this...

Loislane78 Sun 07-Apr-13 21:24:11

It's cos its the US, if you go typo Canada for example - wayyyyy cheaper insurance for pre existing conditions

ReindeerBollocks Sun 07-Apr-13 21:24:50

Holly I was very clear I was BU and that I would expect some premium but over three grand for travel insurance?!! shock

I do get it. But this makes the holiday impossible. I can't help but be gutted really.

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Sun 07-Apr-13 21:26:44

How many insurance companies have you tried? Some will give mental quotes as they don't want to deal with your specific issues, which other companies won't be as bothered by. It's worth doing your homework.

TheCraicDealer Sun 07-Apr-13 21:27:09

There are a few companies who specialise in travel insurance for people with pre-existing conditions, they could give you more favourable rates. I've never sued one myself, but I'm sure another mn'er will be along soon with a recommendation.

My mother took ill last time we were in the states, Sept. 2011. Turned out that she had an ovarian cyst that had twisted, causing a tremendous amount of pain. She spent two days in hospital, with various medications, scans, etc., and then a prescription and updated notes for when we got home. No-one could say a bad word about the care she got, but it did cost something in the region of $20,000. And they didn't do that much! God knows what it would've come to if they'd had to operate.

Anyway- that was a woman in good health, with no other conditions. The increased risk of your two family members requiring medical care in one of the most expensive (and litigious) healthcare systems in the world has to be reflected in your premium. Unfortunately.

ReindeerBollocks Sun 07-Apr-13 21:31:52

I tried a few websites specialising in pre-existing conditions. A couple wouldn't even quote us hmm.

The irony is because of the conditions both passengers would be in the best condition before we flew because I would get them both checked and monitored beforehand. Making medical intervention unlikely.

QOD Sun 07-Apr-13 21:39:01

I've worked in travel insurance. What conditions are we talking about?
Mental health? Current cancer?

manticlimactic Sun 07-Apr-13 21:42:09

What's the big D? (and why is it an 'I know, I know' thing?)

ReindeerBollocks Sun 07-Apr-13 21:47:29

Big D is Disneyland. Sorry, I made a crap assumption that everyone would know and there are some MN'ers who think Disney is the spawn of the devil itself. Still I'd like to take the kids grin

QOD really? We have a post transplantee and a CF'er. If you know of anywhere it would be cheaper I will personally send you chocolates by the bucketload.

manticlimactic Sun 07-Apr-13 21:52:20

Ah right! Thanks. Makes sense now. My DD is older now so it didn't even cross my mind grin I thought it was travelling to different cities that made the shape of a D when you joined them on a map. <dense emoticon>

jkklpu Sun 07-Apr-13 21:57:08

This must be so disheartening - I hope QOD can help. Whatever you do, please don't be tempted to go for insurance that would not cover you properly if anyone was ill. In the US, you can very quickly get into medical costs of tens of thousands of dollars, so it's really worth getting an all-singing, all-dancing policy. Best of luck.

PS Isn't there a Disneyland in California? If you want to go to the West Coast anyway, is there a chance it could be cheaper going there?

QOD Sun 07-Apr-13 22:20:23

Gosh, pretty much the two worst things other than mental health from a Travel ins point of view sad
What sort of transplant?
We use a company called Free Spirit, well I say use, point people towards if we can't do it
... I just tried to get a quote for a 42 yr old male who'd had a heart transplant (guess work, not a stalker!!) and a 12 yr old girl with CF and it wouldn't let me get one.

Make sure you just get bog standard cheap insurance for the healthy ones, don't do a family cover, just the 2 with conditions.

Stupid America and its stupid extortionate medical charges.

QOD Sun 07-Apr-13 22:21:46

Its poo, but to be honest that length of travel is a big risk for both I suppose sad

Disney land Paris rocks? Not the same sad

NonnoMum Sun 07-Apr-13 22:26:25

You are not being at all U to feel aggrieved at the additional cost of your holiday, but I would direct my anger at the US Healthcare system rather than the insurance companies...

specialsubject Sun 07-Apr-13 22:27:04

no point screaming at the travel insurers.

American medical bills can be thousands a day, may possibly have something to do with litigation costs.

there's a Disney outside Paris.

happybubblebrain Sun 07-Apr-13 22:27:34

YANBU

Do you have to get insurance? I'd probably just chance it. I usually don't get travel insurance, no problems so far.

After the banks, insurance companies are the biggest rip-off merchants out there. Having insurance doesn't guarantee against things going wrong and it certainly doesn't guarantee you will receive any money back if things do go wrong.

QOD Sun 07-Apr-13 22:29:56

Lunacy to travel outside the EU without insurance. A broken leg in the states? $29 000

Madness

NonnoMum Sun 07-Apr-13 22:30:47

Please don't listen to happy...

Have you no idea how many thousands and thousands it can cost for a simple medical procedure in the US???

And this family with two major medical needs????

It's not a gaggle of healthy 18 year olds in Ibiza...

ReindeerBollocks Sun 07-Apr-13 22:31:37

Ah fuck sad

Am really, truly gutted. Stupid, I know.

I just wanted to do this for my boy (the one with CF).

sad

jkklpu Sun 07-Apr-13 22:34:40

happybubblebrain - Of course having insurance doesn't guarantee that things won't go wrong. However, NOT having insurance when things go wrong is a guarantee that you will have financial concerns to add to the angst/pain of any medical issues. Even if you're in the EU, you should get travel insurance as your EHIC card doesn't entitle you to everything. Haven't you heard about the couple in Spain whose baby was born ?13 weeks early, they don't have travel insurance and they can't get home?

Seriously, your priorities are questionable if you don't get insurance, especially if you have kids.

raspberryroop Sun 07-Apr-13 22:34:51

Love the idea of 'just chancing it ' with no insurance to America !

HomeEcoGnomist Sun 07-Apr-13 22:34:52

happy - you do realise you've just jinxed yourself massively...

Please don't think about going on holiday without insurance. It's a recipe for being on the front page of Take a Break with your overseas burglary/illness/hospitalisation story.

NonnoMum Sun 07-Apr-13 22:35:20

Reindeer - just a thought... Maybe one of those specialist companies (Make a Wish??) who take families with medical needs could advise you how they deal with the insurance problems...

NonnoMum Sun 07-Apr-13 22:35:37

Don't give up just yet, I bet there is a way...

ReindeerBollocks Sun 07-Apr-13 22:43:14

Thank you QOD for taking the time to look. I really appreciate it.

It was a kidney transplant which is 2+ yrs post op with no rejections for over a year.

I feel the biggest factor is the CF. But its a progressive condition and whilst hes not had the easiest of times hes not on the transplant list nor does he require O2 when well. I wouldnt even let him fly if he were unwell and we would chat with the team about doing IV's before the holiday to ensure his health.

And yes I could do Euro Disney, I suppose.

Nonno we had a wish a couple of years ago - DS picked Dr Who!! He has been lucky I guess to get that.

I will have a serious think about whether its worth saving for, including the insurance - I wouldnt dream of going without!

TheCraicDealer Sun 07-Apr-13 22:49:10

I'm about to suggest breaking a golden rule of mumsnet, but what about travelling out of season? That could reduce the cost down on the travel side, before you add the insurance.

You could also consider postponing the travelling across to the west coast, that would also get the price down.

Of course it's possible you have your heart set on having "the dream holiday" with no compromises. If that's the case, you might be best just saving for another year.... But whatever you do, don't travel without insurance! But after what your family's been through, I'm sure you're not of the "it won't happen to us" school of thought and we don't need to warn you.

Have you tried Direct Travel? They cover my T1 diabetes with no extra charge, they might be able to help.

lougle Sun 07-Apr-13 22:56:01

Unique is a specialist travel insurer, recommended by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Family Fund has specialist insurance for children with disabilities.

Btw...are you getting all you can for your DS, while we're here? DLA, Carer's Allowance, Family Fund (if you get tax credits), etc.?

happybubblebrain Sun 07-Apr-13 23:01:32

Wow, do you lot work for insurance companies?
I travelled the world with no travel insurance. Guess what. Nothing happened. Usually, nothing happens. If it does (very unulikely) you have a bit of a debt, unless you have savings. In my opinion that's better than throwing money at something and getting nothing in return.

CheCazzo Sun 07-Apr-13 23:05:05

Oh don't be so fatuous happy - unless you did all that, sans insurance, having just had a transplant or whilst suffering from a chronic and life limiting condition?

No? Thought not.

NonnoMum Sun 07-Apr-13 23:07:27

happy are you deluded and happy???

Travelling as a healthy 25 year old is a bit different to travelling to the states with a different kidney inside you!!!

Snorting at the possiblity of Take a Break cover...

Have a prem baby in the states and there's £100k of savings disappeared.

lougle Sun 07-Apr-13 23:08:01

"If it does (very unulikely) you have a bit of a debt"

A bit of debt...ok.

NonnoMum Sun 07-Apr-13 23:11:01

Right - think Reindeer needs some handholding and general support... I want you all to have your dream holiday, Reindeerers.

And happy needs some basic education.

ReindeerBollocks Sun 07-Apr-13 23:15:54

Lougle thank you for those links. We were going to phone the CF Trust on Monday to see if they can help - but it still leaves us looking for cover for the transplantee.

I will get a quote from them tomorrow though. We have previously had help for driving lessons (vital for hospital) from the Family Fund.

We are getting DLA and I get Carers at the moment. Everything is due to be reviewed under PIP soon though.

Rue I will get a quote from them tomorrow, thank you.

thecraic I never thought about out of season. However a lot of school is lost due to illness. Head is reasonable so might try one week at Disney if she is amenable. Will also just stick to a simple holiday - see if that lowers things.

And whilst I do understand the suggestions of no insurance, I can't risk it. I am not overly cautious but equally I'm not loaded and wouldn't be able to run the risk of something going wrong. I would panic for the entire time too. I will definitely insure them if we go.

MorrisZapp Sun 07-Apr-13 23:16:50

Why is mental illness such a high risk? How do they define it?

I don't know anyone who isn't on happy pills*

*hyperbole.

ReindeerBollocks Sun 07-Apr-13 23:19:08

X-post with Nonno thank you for your support smile

ihatethecold Sun 07-Apr-13 23:23:48

There is also a Disneyland in Hong Kong.
Have you tried to get insurance for there?

Great place for a Holiday!

ClayDavis Sun 07-Apr-13 23:31:46

No idea, Morris. I know when I went away last year they seemed far more concerned about the depression than about my asthma that had suddenly got worse and I had only just managed to get back under control. I know which I was more worried about ending up in hospital with.

Hope you manage to get something sorted, OP.

happybubblebrain Sun 07-Apr-13 23:40:52

Nonno - I am happy - that I'm not brainwashed. Call me deluded if it suits you way of thinking.

One third of America doesn't have health insurance - that's for 365 days of the year, and therefore a much bigger risk than 7 or 14 days. Most of the world doesn't have health insurance.

I agree with ihatethecold - Hong Kong is a great place for a holiday, much better than America. I lived in both places.

happybubblebrain Sun 07-Apr-13 23:41:16

*your way of thinking.

TheCraicDealer Mon 08-Apr-13 00:02:34

Yes but happy, that's because they can't afford it. Just because of 33% of American have no healthcare plan in place does not mean that it's something the OP (or any traveller) should just leave out as an "optional extra", as if it's extra legroom or something. The family is traveling with a child with CF- just even thinking about the germs etc that that child will be exposed to on the flight over would put most responsible parents off taking the risk, never mind anything else.

I do work in insurance btw- not travel, home and business. And sometimes insurance has literally saved people I've dealt with from bankruptcy or losing their home. If you think an ocean won't stop a US hospital from collecting on a bill, think again.

Positive thoughts for you, OP!

happybubblebrain Mon 08-Apr-13 00:17:01

CraicDealer - but the OP can't afford it either. Most people can't afford travel insurance that costs more than a holiday. Even if they could, who in their right mind would pay it?

I agree with the OP - Fucking Insurance Fuckers. Rip-off merchants. Someone somewhere is getting very rich at the expense of others. I wouldn't pay it. Either go somewhere else in the world where insurance/heathcare is cheaper, or take a chance and travel without it. Don't waste all that money, especially if you don't even have it to waste.

CraicDealer - Paying out insurance for this that and the other has contributed to lots of people having less money and lots of people losing their homes as a result. On top of other living expenses high insurance costs can tip peoples' finances over the edge into the red.

I too hope the OP gets a nice holiday.

TheCraicDealer Mon 08-Apr-13 00:55:48

The difference is those people can't just up and move to somewhere with free healthcare, whereas the Op doesn't have to go on holiday. She has a choice to postpone until they can afford to cover all eventualities, which is sensibly what she's doing. Her family's circumstances, which you don't seem to be taking into account, mean that there are two members of her party who may require medical care whilst away. And I guarantee, even if only one of them is taken ill then their care will cost over and above the premium charged by Insurers. Tens or hundreds of times more is not an over exaggeration.

From personal experience, my DM was asked for Insurance documentation when we were in Florida, which I've said about above. If you don't have any arrangements in place they schlep you off to the less salubrious hospital down the road once you're stable. I really do hope that you're never in that position.

sashh Mon 08-Apr-13 04:48:41

Try the post office.

My mum was quoted a huge amount for a trip to France (several medical conditions including 1 terminal).

The post office were very reasonable.

But you could be a liability, why would your premiums be low?

Actually you don't know if someone is a liability. My main health condition is arthritis. The chances of me ending up in a hospital abroad are virtually nil because it is well controlled and I take care of myself.

It also means I won't be

riding a motorbike
skiing
paragliding
getting drunk and climbing on balconies

So why is my premium higher?

holidaysarenice Mon 08-Apr-13 04:57:02

Will somebody please take happy out and educate her cos she is making me incredibly cross.

happy here's my not so happy story to make you think twice:-

I was young, healthy, happy and carefree on holiday with my very healthy and happy dad. He died as the result of a tragic accident.

It was horrendous, I pray I never have to face an experience like that again. If I'd had no travel insurance (because after all I was happy healthy and young and in the EU!) It would have been thousands to bring me home, and my dad may not have ever come home and may have been buried out there. It was tens of thousands.

My yearly policy is 18.50. Really why would you risk it? If a happy healthy adult can afford the holiday, they can have the insurance.

holidaysarenice Mon 08-Apr-13 04:58:34

Now OP having hijacked ur thread, but travel insurance really gets my goat!!

Could you try some of the charities like Make a wish type ideas to see how they get cover, if they could recommend someone? Or the CF charities might be able to suggest something?

mortifieddotcom Mon 08-Apr-13 05:18:07

Last year my uncle damaged his back (agony) on holiday. No previous problems. He was in California and his total bill was nearly $100,000. Luckily his insurance covered it. They sent a nurse to fly home with him. Ambulance met him at Heathrow and transferred him to hospital.

Nice bit of debt for you there Happy. Do you have an extra 100k lying around?

QOD Mon 08-Apr-13 07:06:47

I'm a normal kind, one week in hospital in Cyprus and surgery, flight home as obviously I missed my original one, taxi from airport as rest of party had gone home on original flight
£4000
£250
£90

Insurance £30 for a year

That was fun

Re mental health, it's the risk of suicide. Isn't that ridiculous? Plus mental health hospitals are pricey

I'd go look France without insurance, or mainland Spain if I really couldn't afford the insurance, but not anywhere where I couldn't get home by car and ferry
I've just paid £38 for annual European cover for me and daughter and that is with cover for gastric bypass complications
If I had a bowel problem, I'd have not been covered
Never happen? Mum had ruptured appendix in UK then two yrs later blocked bowel on holiday. She had gangrene and a big stretch of intestine removed
We're just normal folk with no long term issues
Honestly, madness to not take out insurance
Op have you done Disney etc or America yourself before? It's truly utterly exhausting travel and unless you went in their winter, can be suffocatingly hot. Try getting a quote for October half term maybe? Might be less risk and cheaper?

Verbalpunchbag Mon 08-Apr-13 07:20:28

Go to Canada it's just like the U.S but more civilised.

ReindeerBollocks Mon 08-Apr-13 21:48:06

Thought I would come back and update this after my efforts today.

I took the advice from here and from a good travel agent friend today and decided to see what would happen if I booked insurance for the 'difficult' family members separately, using some of the links provided in this thread.

Well, it has made one hell of a difference. We managed to get the kidney transplantee's insurance down to £100. Luckily it has been a fairly easy road since the transplant <touch wood>.

However the CF'er has been much more difficult to insure. Lots of quotes coming in at over a grand for this one very small, but very high risk person. But we have struck gold and managed to get a quote for just under £200!!! This also included cover for the remaining members of the family who have no medical issues.

I also would like to apologise to insurance companies. I have shopped around and I realise that it's down to the American healthcare system, not the insurers as to the extortionate rates (in this instance wink).

So a huge thank you for everyone who contributed to the thread. It has been a help and a guide that I referred back to when searching for quotes. These sums will make it do-able. So I currently look like this -> grin grin grin

lougle Mon 08-Apr-13 21:49:39

That's wonderful news grin

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 08-Apr-13 21:58:53

Op have you tried fortis? I believe the PO and Swinton use them.

When I worked for an insurance brokers they were fantastic they were reliable and they covered one customer who had lekumia to go to the US.

From what I can remember they were about £80 for 3 week trip or about £120 annually

ReindeerBollocks Mon 08-Apr-13 22:02:38

Fortis wouldn't quote the CF'er due to his long and complicated history (rectal prolapse, gastrostomy and haemoptysis). I don't blame them - I wouldn't want to insure DS either!!

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 08-Apr-13 22:04:08

They have tightend up since my days of insurance. Really hope your new quote works out for you and you have a fantastic time

DevlinMaccabee Mon 08-Apr-13 22:19:31

Wonderful news!

greenfolder Mon 08-Apr-13 22:22:29

That's fantastic. For those that say "just risk it" my dad had a heart attack in california. Totalling up the final bills it came in at 475000 dollars including 10 days in intensive care and repatriation. Each day in intensive care was 20,000 dollars. He took insurance out at the airport just before he got on the plane. Seriously don't even consider it (not you op who has clearly got sense!)

jkklpu Mon 08-Apr-13 22:23:50

That's fantastic, really well done for keeping it together. Have a wonderful trip.

QOD Mon 08-Apr-13 22:27:36

Hurrah!

NonnoMum Mon 08-Apr-13 22:29:47

Have a fabulous holiday! xx

ChippingInIsEggceptional Mon 08-Apr-13 22:35:49

That's brilliant news smile I hope you have a fab time and your two 'patients' are well and thoroughly enjoy the trip!

lozster Mon 08-Apr-13 22:46:32

I'm sure you've done your research (and some) but just in case, did you try Insure and Go?

lozster Mon 08-Apr-13 22:47:57

Oops - just saw you are sorted! Great. Enjoy.

mintyneb Fri 12-Apr-13 18:52:49

Reindeer, I haven't read all the thread so apologies if this has already been said but by splitting up the insurance for the party between 2 policies (if I've understood you correctly) are you happy that if the transplantee say fell ill and had to be flown home or kept in a local hospital that at least one person on the other policy would be insured to go/stay with them? Or if your DS had to be admitted to hospital just before the holiday and you had to cancel, would the other persons flight/hotel bill be covered? I know insurers often ask if there is anyone's health (insured or otherwise) that would affect the trip going ahead.

And I know exactly where you are coming from with regards to insurance companies as my DD has CF and I too face the annual battle of getting her insured.

SugarPasteGreyhound Fri 12-Apr-13 19:35:47

I work for an insurer.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES TRAVEL TO THE USA WITHOUT INSURANCE

The reason why it is so expensive is because the cost of healthcare is astronomical- there is nowhere in the world more expensive if you are ill.

FYI to the poster who said "it's a bit of a debt". Wake up and don't be so bloody stupid. I have known of cases where tourists have been uninsured and have had to take out second mortgages or sell their houses to pay their treatment fees. It can cost thousands of pounds a DAY.

OP I am genuinely sorry, but if it's any comfort virtually all companies end up out of pocket on their USA risks, because the claims are so costly.

SugarPasteGreyhound Fri 12-Apr-13 19:36:59

X post - glad you are sorted!

dixiechick1975 Fri 12-Apr-13 19:41:16

Try asking on thedibb.co.uk

Specialist british forum for US disneyworld holiday planning

They will point you in direction of specialist insurers.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now