March 2016 News from Costa de la Luz Sur

I had a phone call (a tale of woe) from a married friend the other day (let’s call them Jane & John); they had been on a Christmas visit to England and returned with (Jill) his sister-in-law. They all had picked up the inevitable cough, cold / flu from kissing friends during their travels.

However, Jill seemed very much worse in the morning; a decision was made and to Centro Medico she was taken. Excellent service, Jill was soon diagnosed as having had a stroke! Now whilst the insurance company were happy to fit the bill for the diagnosis, they needed to contact Jill’s doctor directly to ensure that there was no way they could claim that this wasn’t a pre-existing condition (and boy were they trying to wriggle out of the thousands of euros bill).

Centro Medico finished by saying they wouldn’t release Jill unless another doctor / hospital would take responsibility. My friend packed Jill’s suitcase in the expectation that she would be repatriated; however, they couldn’t find the passport, and Jill didn’t have it either.

My advice was to contact the British Consulate on 952 352 300 and obtain a certified travel document. I then went off for a lunch appointment but contacted John later. The British Consulate had come up trumps; they contacted the insurance company who agreed to pay the 130€ fee for the one day travel certificate, and the consulate would continue to chase the insurance company to make sure Jill would be repatriated soonest.

In the background, the insurance company contacted Jill’s doctor who said he had seen Jill a couple of months earlier for a minor operation. Within minutes the insurance company rejected the claim as Jill had not complied with the terms and conditions; namely advising them of EVERY visit to the doctor, hospital or nurse for any treatment!

The cost of repatriation was in the order of 15,000€; this is why the insurance company spent a lot of time and trouble looking for ways to reject the claim. Only the names have been changed; this cautionary tale is what could happen to you or your family. Sufficient to say that I am now considering my options for travel insurance to Canada later this year. Read the small print – it matters.

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