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Travelling without insurance

38 replies

Bloodybridget · 24/01/2022 19:17

DP and I are probably going to book a holiday in France later this year; in the past we've always had travel insurance if going overseas but now, as I have advanced cancer, I'm basically uninsurable - that is, I could get insurance but I couldn't afford it! I wonder what other people do in this situation? I'm sure we'll go anyway, and I reckon there's very little chance of anything going wrong as it's a coach/hotel package. I'll check with the company about Covid related issues of course. It's very unlikely either of us would need urgent medical treatment and maybe our old EHIC cards will still be valid anyway.

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BabyFeb22 · 24/01/2022 19:19

I work for travel insurance and you will be able to get cover for anything but the cancer condition without paying more than the holiday! Do you have any cover with your bank accounts at all? They should be able to provide you with cover for anything but pre-existing conditions and hopefully depending on the account have covid cover in place too. X

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BabyFeb22 · 24/01/2022 19:20

Also if it's a package holiday they would have to legally cover if they cancel the trip due to covid regulations such as the destination not allowing travel xx

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Wilma55 · 24/01/2022 19:22

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purplesequins · 24/01/2022 19:27

can you afford 10lk or so for a simple medical repatriation?

the ehic (or the new equivalent) only covers primary care. it would not cover repatriation or for your dp to stay longer than booked.

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Bloodybridget · 24/01/2022 22:42

Thanks for responses - @BabyFeb22 I read online that it's possible to get cover that excludes specified medical conditions, but I haven't been able to actually find a provider that offers it; I rang Saga today thinking they might be a good bet, but the person I spoke to was quite sniffy and said they didn't do it and she didn't know a firm that did. I can try other companies.

I don't have cover with a bank account, no.

@purplesequins no, I couldn't afford to pay for a medical repatriation. But neither can I afford to pay over £500 for insurance for a nine day trip, and I'd rather risk the very slight chance of the former, than stay in the UK for the rest of my life.

@Wilma55 thanks for the link; I had forgotten what the new card was called but I knew there was a replacement scheme.

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VanCleefArpels · 24/01/2022 22:45

It’s a really bad idea OP - even without additional medical needs such as yours. Just tripping over your own feet and breaking a bone could end up with huge expense. Not to mention being at the receiving end of an accident in eg the coach.

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Tryingtokeepgoing · 24/01/2022 22:54

Try FreeSpirit - they definitely provide cover when there are père existing conditions. They husband, who had kidney failure, a failed transplant, was on dialysis, diabetic and had a broken leg for a 3 week trip to Australia in 2019. Was around £500 from memory. He died later that year, but the memories live on x

www.freespirittravelinsurance.com

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BlackAndPinkNose · 24/01/2022 22:58

Relatives of mine travelled to Spain without insurance as he had cancer. He fell ill over there and although the EHIC card covered very basic medical care, he died there and the authorities would not release the body until medical fees had been paid.

The surviving spouse had to sell the house / all the family chipped in / a go fund me was set up - to cover the medical bill / her costs of staying out there with him and even then could not afford to repatriate the body so had to make do with a cremation in Spain.

It was utterly heartbreaking.

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Tryingtokeepgoing · 24/01/2022 23:06

I should also have said that we, perhaps recklessly, didn’t often bother with travel insurance for short European trips…we’d go away every 4 or 6 weeks for long weekends and it just wasn’t worth paying the £2/300 pounds insurance per trip. We just relied on credit card cover p. Given nothing went wrong (perhaps luckily) over 20 odd years I’d do the same again… and even if it had, the £60k saved would have covered most things the EHIC didn’t! Only you can assess the risk, but the memories will be priceless x

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Bloodybridget · 25/01/2022 06:56

Thanks again to all. I can see the potential for disaster! @Tryingtokeepgoing I got insurance from FreeSpirit for a short UK trip in 2020 but you can guess what happened then. I'll try ringing a few more companies and talk to DP, and the holiday company.

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Ratched · 25/01/2022 07:05

I was having treatment for cancer many years ago, but had insurance through my bank account.
They covered me for everything other than my cancer, which I was happy with, as nothing was THAT much of an emergency, right?
Someone barged into me on a day trip out, I fell off the coach and broke my arm.
No problem, you'd have thought, but it took me two and a half years to be reimbursed by the insurers, as they claimed that I was more liable to break bones due to the chemotherapy and radiotherapy I had received - therefore the injury was cancer related and should be excluded.

I did get paid out eventually, but be very careful if you do get insurance. They really are baastards

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Roselilly36 · 25/01/2022 07:12

You definitely need insurance, make sure you declare every condition, as otherwise insurance will not pay out should you need to claim. Have a lovely holiday OPFlowers

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Bloodybridget · 25/01/2022 15:04

Gosh sneaky bastards @Ratched - glad you got the money in the end!
@Roselilly36 thanks for the good wishes - but as I've said, I simply cannot afford to pay over £500 to insure myself on a nine day holiday. My question on the thread wasn't "should I get insurance including medical cover for the cancer" but "what do people do if they can't afford it". I know of course that ideally I would be covered for all eventualities, but that's not an option.

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user1471505356 · 25/01/2022 15:10

Macmillan can provide advice.

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Ratched · 25/01/2022 18:35

@user1471505356

Macmillan can provide advice.

Have you ever used them?????

Not going to derail, but MacMillan have been less use than a chocolate teapot in my experience.

Marie Curie on the other hand....Smile
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FindingMeno · 25/01/2022 18:43

How does your partner feel about it?
That's the starting point because without your partner being on board to take the burden of anything happening, you can't really consider it.
It's a big gamble.

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Tryingtokeepgoing · 25/01/2022 18:52

@Bloodybridget

Gosh sneaky bastards *@Ratched* - glad you got the money in the end!
*@Roselilly36* thanks for the good wishes - but as I've said, I simply cannot afford to pay over £500 to insure myself on a nine day holiday. My question on the thread wasn't "should I get insurance including medical cover for the cancer" but "what do people do if they can't afford it". I know of course that ideally I would be covered for all eventualities, but that's not an option.

It’s a tough one… I know we didn’t used to bother for long weekends. Our view was the (then) EHIC plus credit card cover would sort out most non kidney related emergency type stuff. The risk was a repatriation…. at the time ~ £10 - £15k. But, we felt the chances were low. Plan A was that we’d hire a car (or we’d driven over anyway) and get back if flying wasn’t an option. Our view then was it was serious enough to require full on accompanied medical repatriation then we’d just stay in France / Italy / wherever until he was well enough to travel either by road or air accompanied or unaccompanied.

And, in over 20 years non-planned medical assistance (he often dialysed abroad) was only needed once, in Andorra. The ambulance attended, but sorted it out without a trip to hospital. We’d always use Free Spirit for trip cover to the Caribbean, Australia, India, Far East. But, never claimed. He was 24 on our first trip, and he died when he was 47. Though, that was, with hindsight a narrow escape. We’d had 4 days in Israel mid September. He then took a short trip to Poland alone early October. He’d been back 3 days and had a fatal heart attack 3 days later. One day before a day trip to Dublin. He could have died on either of those trips, which would have been a major hassle without insurance, albeit not life-changingly expensive. But, the travel kept him going, and the memories are forever. So I’d say if you’re comfortable with the risk, and only you know the answer, then go for it. We did 10 days in Greece with just EHIC / credit card cover.
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Roselilly36 · 25/01/2022 18:53

Entirely your choice whether you are prepared to take the risk, I used to work in travel insurance many years ago, I wouldn’t travel without it, I always have to pay an extra premium due to multiple sclerosis, I pay it as I know how expensive treatment can be overseas and in a worse case scenario repatriation is extremely costly. I have never claimed on a travel insurance policy, but I bet if I didn’t buy one I would need too.

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ErinAoife · 25/01/2022 19:22

Just curious now that the UK is no longer in the EU, is the European health card cover not for trip in Eu?

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Kitkat151 · 25/01/2022 19:29

@ErinAoife

Just curious now that the UK is no longer in the EU, is the European health card cover not for trip in Eu?

I think you can still use if you have an existing one as long as it’s still in date....I think
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Kitkat151 · 25/01/2022 19:33

@Bloodybridget are there any charities that can help out? It must be such a dilemma for you.....I really get that you want to go abroad....I had treatment for primary cancer in 2020 during Covid...I didn’t go away abroad last year as premiums were still high for me as I was less than 1 year from treatment ( although obviously not as high as yours).... This year they are much less ( although more than my partner who has never had any illness.....I’m not sure I would risk it if i Was you....but I really hope you get away somehow

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purplesequins · 25/01/2022 19:50

@ErinAoife

Just curious now that the UK is no longer in the EU, is the European health card cover not for trip in Eu?

the european health arrangement is for primary care only. i.e. patching you up after an accident.
it will not cover for further treatment or re-patriation, which can be very expensive.
it would also not pay should you need to stay for longer than foreseen due to illness/car breakdown/flight cancellations...
it will also not pay for relatives to stay longer.

I really hope that op will be able to go.
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Tryingtokeepgoing · 25/01/2022 20:13

The EHIC card has been replaced with a GHIC card, which offers broadly the same benefits, and includes Switzerland and Norway AFAIK. But, it’s not a replacement for insurance

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Bloodybridget · 25/01/2022 20:33

@Kitkat151 thanks for the thought, I very much doubt that a charity would fund something like that, nor should they, and honestly I wouldn't be that anxious about going uninsured - apart from cancer, I've practically never been ill in my life, and atm I'm feeling very well and quite fit. Of course if I had a dodgy scan or something in the next few months that would change things. I need to check the travel company's cancellation policy, among other things.

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lunar1 · 25/01/2022 20:53

Don't take insurance that offers it but excludes your cancer. They will find a way to blame absolutely anything on the cancer to get out of actually paying out.

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