Holidays and Travel Insurance

So, I’m assuming my annual travel insurance policy is now invalid.

pic stolen from

click on pic to see where i stole it from

Ah the irony.  I’m studying for an MSc at the moment so some annual leave, many evenings and a good 2/3 of my weekends have included hardcore studying for the past two years.  This has meant minimal holiday time, and certainly no proper overseas ‘holidays’ as one would know it.  Usually I’m the one who can’t bear the thought of a do-nothing holiday but, right now, I’d love to be somewhere warm, beside a lovely pool, with lots of cold (mostly virgin) drinks on tap.  One of those places where you don’t have too walk to far to find nice food.  Heck, this month I won’t even be precious about having to explore.  But I can’t, because I don’t think I can get any sensible travel insurance.

by Stephane106 on flickr

That’s right. In excess of 2 months away from work and one can’t even say ‘ok, I might as well take a few days holiday’.  Oh I know, there’s the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight, Jersey, Guensey and the Cotswolds.  But my vision isn’t of a roaring fire while rain smashes against a rustic window pane, lovely though that might be on a winter day in the UK.  There are last minute deals for holidays I’d normally never desire (like thisthis and even this!) and I’m longing for that feeling sunshine on my (albeit bruised up) belly while my toe is dipped in a warm-from-the-sun pool, waiting for my icy citrus mint punch to arrive.

The Stroke Association has an insurance supplier they link to for ‘specialist insurance for stroke survivors’.  But I can’t see that it’s any different from any of the other companies that say they cover things that have already happened. First, you try filling in the form. One gets stuck at ‘how many strokes have you had?’ Well, technically 3, but they all happened within 26 hours until they worked out I had a rogue clot in my neck and I think you actually mean how many stroke events, which would be 1.  If I click on 3 I’m pretty much uninsurable; if I click 1, and then need to claim for something, you’ll probably say the insurance is invalid.  Trying to fill in the form doesn’t matter anyway though, because no matter what I put in, it tells me I have to ring them to sort it out.

Perhaps I have to  consider that it may be better to do nothing for 3 months.  One can then at least tick a box to say you are, 3 months clear.  I suppose – in my case, because I am on the trial – I will have a scan then too so it may be that the clot may have gone which will also be good information for them.  Though I suspect once they click the ‘stroke’ box in their automated system, I – once again – get treated like an elderly, sick person.  They wouldn’t actually be able to consider my actual case on its on merits.  It’s an automated system, I’m afraid.  Computer says no.

I don't even like Little Britain...

Of course, I haven’t rung them yet.  Not my existing annual policy provider (because I’ve one experience of what happens when a big company ‘have to note that on the system’ already). (WHY did I ring them?!)  And it takes a rare moment to be steeled to make a call like that at the moment.  I’ve been sitting on the power company’s request for a meter reading for 3 days – negotiating with an insurance company will definitely take more effort than that!  And it’s not like I can get someone else to do it, if I want to convince them I’m not a bad risk to take.

Obviously, of course, this situation won’t last forever.  Probably.  I’m actually betting I’ll be able to sort out some kind of insurance so I can feel that sunshine.  Maybe in 3 months, you know, when I’m back at work.  Or maybe in 6, just as our own glorious summer begins.  As I said.  Maybe!

Still.  I’ve been looking for a bright side, and I’ve found one. Wanna hear it? Well, I don’t have to learn how to say, “I’m on warfarin and I’d rather not bleed to death, if that’s ok”.  I’ve already checked and this phrase isn’t in my “How to Survive in Five European Languages” book.  So that’s ok then.



  1. Jayne says:

    If you can’t reach the sunshine how about going to a uk hotel with luxury & pampering available indoors – like a spa or something.

    Re insurance: even if you can’t get someone else to ring about your specific case you could get someone to ring with general queries to get answers to the questions you are likely to be asked and identify issues. Then you can prepare yourself before speaking to them.

    Cautionary note: I once made a general call to an insurance company to check out my position and decided against giving them my details and ended up travelling without insurance. Trying to explain something to a Greek Dr was an experience not to be repeated!!!

  2. Tony says:

    Get the company to send you somewhere and divert off for a couple of days – do it on someone else’s dollar – a conference in the US followed by a few days in Florida sort of thing maybe?

  3. Mary in SA says:

    if you can get insurance, get yourself out here – warm-from-the-sun pool right outside the lounge, not far to walk to the kitchen for hopefully nice food and as many drinks as you like from the fridge by the pool. xxx

    • Char says:

      Mary, the forms then ask “should your worldwide cover include Hong Kong, South Africa and Singapore” but I don’t know why they separated those out. Any ideas?!

      • Linda James says:

        Because some countries have different policies regarding travelling, insurances and tourist facillities. Oh.. and Hong Kong.. that’s not a country..

        • CN says:

          I think it might be to do with the medical facilities in those countries. Oh… and for travel purposes… whatever the label may be, Hong Kong is treated as an utterly separate entity from China.

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