The end of expensive holiday medical costs? Where do I sign?

Written by Lisa Stanley Mann on 29th Jan 2018

Ever found yourself using up your holiday cash on a trip to the local hospital? Once upon a time, every holiday we went on (we have close family in far-flung places) involved spending a small fortune on medical expenses for ourselves or our children with badly-timed illnesses. Chicken Pox in Barbados, Scarlet Fever in Spain, Gastroenteritis in Honduras… there have been more, but I won’t go on.

With those experiences in mind, a travel insurance product like this one, just launched by the Co-operative would have been very welcome.

Research conducted by the insurer reveals 62 per cent of holidaymakers who have claimed on their travel insurance had to cover the costs upfront themselves and then claim these costs back at a later date from their insurer.

For families prone to sickness abroad, such a policy could spell the end of forking out hundreds for medical treatment.

It offers cashless medical expenses, for all ages and medical conditions, meaning customers will not have to pay out themselves for any medical treatment.

With the average travel insurance claim at more than ¬£2,000, it’s unsurprising many holidaymakers struggle to front up the cash themselves. A quarter of those interviewed said they had to turn to family members to borrow money in order to pay the claim, and a further quarter resorted to taking money out of their savings. One in 10 ended up in debt as a result of having to pay the costs themselves and claim them back at a later date.

The new travel insurance product will also offer Co-op customers access to an online video medical consultation with a General Medical Council (GMC) registered doctor, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from anywhere in the world.

Customers can use their smartphones or tablets to speak to doctors both prior to jetting off and during their holidays. Users can also receive prescriptions, referrals and fit-for-work notes – avoiding the need to navigate unfamiliar health systems and overcome language barriers. And the new insurance offers pre, during and post trip care including nannies and physiotherapy.

The Co-operative says this product has been shaped by its members.

If you are in holiday booking mode now, it’s worth a look. I’m off to book my next trip.

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