Lynne Joseph has always loved to travel. Now in her late 60s, Lynne and her husband James prefer cruise holidays, finding them a comfortable, hassle-free and enjoyable way to see the world.
Three years ago Lynne was forced to cancel a cruise the couple had booked, after she was admitted to hospital with a problem with her heart. She was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, a leaky heart valve and pulmonary hypertension. The travel insurance she had through her building society reimbursed her for the cancellation costs, but informed her they were no longer able to provide cover going forward.
Lynne’s condition is controlled by medication, and after being advised by her doctor that she was fit to travel, the couple planned a cruise visiting the Caribbean, Mexico, the Panama Canal and Honduras. The whole trip was to last 36 days and so for Lynne, it made sense to purchase annual travel insurance covering her and her husband for this trip, as well as another cruise to the Baltics, planned for later in the year.
Finding the right cover
However, no longer insured through her building society, and now with a pre-existing medical condition, Lynne discovered that purchasing travel insurance would not be straightforward. Annual, worldwide travel insurance inclusive of America, covering cruise holidays, and crucially providing full medical cover is not available from most travel insurance providers.
While a number of insurers would offer cover, it was not comprehensive, excluding any claims that could be linked to her heart condition. This was when Lynne turned to online cruise forums, Facebook groups and the British Heart Foundation’s website in search of advice on where to find full, comprehensive cover for both herself and her husband, enabling them to continue to travel wherever they choose.
It was on these websites that Lynne was recommended AllClear Travel Insurance, a specialist in medical travel insurance that provides cover for any medical condition, any age and any destination. After calling AllClear, Lynne purchased worldwide, comprehensive annual cruise cover for both herself and her husband, and the couple booked and thoroughly enjoyed their planned cruise.
“Comprehensive cover is a must,” says Lynne. “As with any pre-existing medical condition, it is possible that my heart condition could result in another trip cancellation, or worse require medical assistance while abroad. Travel insurance that precludes my heart condition would not provide the peace of mind necessary to enjoy travel as we do.
“Another benefit was that AllClear’s annual policy covers up to 45 day-holidays as standard. This was not the case with most other companies I spoke to, where holidays over 30 days incurred an additional cost. This is very useful for older cruisers who go on long winter cruises.”
“The service from AllClear has been excellent,” adds Lynne. “When I have needed to update my policy with respect to new medication, it was easy to do and my updated policy documents arrived promptly.”
Her advice to others
Lynne’s advice to others in her situation is to be honest with insurers: “Declare absolutely everything, and make sure you understand the cover you are being offered. When travelling as far from the UK as we do, the costs and trauma involved with falling ill away from home, and not being covered, do not bear thinking about. We are now very much looking forward to our next cruise to the Baltics.”