Invalid Insurance!


Registered User
Sep 2, 2006
Has anyone else suffered a similar bad experience?

My dad aged 80 died in July. He had been diagnosed with vascular dementia two years before, and for the last 10 months of his life he was in an EMI nursing home. He recieved fantastic care and only deteriorated quickly in his final week as his body gave up with his lungs and heart unable to keep going.

In February of this year my husband and I booked a two week holiday and bought travel insurance over the internet. We were not asked any questions about anyone elses health except our own. We were due to fly to Spain two days after my dad died, so obviously had to cancel. After 56 years together my mother was distraught, and as executor and eldest daughter a holiday was the last thing on my mind. We made a claim for the cancelled holiday, and despite supporting information from the GP, the insurance company is refusing to pay as my dad had a pre existing condition that is an exclusion on the policy.

As more than half the population must have an elderly relative (or even friend - if you look at the small print hidden away in the policies it states 'anyone you know'?) and this elderly person might have a pre existing condition that might kill them at anytime then be warned that your travel insurance does not cover you if you cancel because they die.

We continue to fight the company but I wanted to warn as many people as possible as I think this type of exclusion is immoral. It is hard enough losing a loved one. I have always paid insurance trusting that this was the right thing to do and have never made a claim until now. It now seems a total waste of money as it appears that having an elderly relative will exclude any kind of claim!


Registered User
Feb 3, 2006
My father died last year. He had a fall in March 2005 and suffered a stroke shortly afterwards which left him unable to speak move or feed, he went into a nursing home in June and we went on holiday to Turkey in early July (booked the holiday) in June.
after 2 days out there we had a call saying that Dad had taken a turn for the worse and wasn't expected to make it so we flew home (he did pull through that one but died 6 weeks later) I put in a request for refund of holiday from my insurers and my sister & family who where due to fly out 5 days later also put in a claim, I had no problem getting a refund on our holiday but my sister did have a battle with her insurance company.
We had letters from his G.P and also the hospital consultant and nursing home. My sister fought her claim with,

How can you predict when someone is going to die/become ill. ?

Does that mean you cannot take a holiday if you have close relatives/dependants over a certain age ?

As Dad was not going on the holiday with them did they need to take out a seperate travel insurance for him if they went away again ?.

They paid up in full in the end.


Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
I am sorry to hear about what you went through, and it is good that you are alerting other people to what can happen. I believe that you can inform your insurance company, prior to taking out a policy, that you have a 'frail' relative. They may then agree to cover you against the eventuality of you needing to cancel a holiday or return home early, although this sometimes may entail paying a higher fee.

I could have come a cropper with this myself! I went to Dublin for the weekend 2 years ago with my son. It was my birthday on the Saturday (November 6th) and the first time I had been away for my birthday. My dad died on my birthday, although I didn't find out until 2 days later, as I was checking out of the hotel. Our flight wasn't leaving until about 7 hours later and I didn't manage to change it, although if I had I probably would have assumed (possibly wrongly!) that my insurance company would have reimbursed me for any extra cost.

The hotel were very good and gave us a room free of charge until the time we had to leave for our flight, for which I will always be grateful. I did write a letter to them afterwards, not a complaint for a change! However, absurdly (hopefully!) I did worry in case I got someone in trouble for doing something they shouldn't have done!

I am going away next weekend for my birthday and hope I am not tempting fate!


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
It is a confusing and annoying situation, isn't it?

On the one hand we are told that nobody dies of dementia [which I believe to be practically untrue, even if the absolutely final cause is pneumonia brought on by the results of the ravages of dementia], then when someone passes away, the fact that they had dementia is used by an insurance company as an excuse as it was a pre-existing condition.

One way or another, please!

I have raised here on TP a warning flag about insurance for people who have dementia in the past, and I would certainly strongly advise anyone taking out travel - or any other health insurance - to make an explicit statement about the dementia at the time the insurance is taken.

Leave them as little wriggle room as possible!