ACTION DESK: James gets £14,000 back

Disclosure: James Finan and the company advert
Disclosure: James Finan and the company advert
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AT 85, James Finan was taking no chances when he flew to Cyprus for a family wedding.

He paid £112 for two-week travel insurance from Just Travel Insurance, a company that specialises in cover for people over 65 with medical conditions.

He was completely honest when he applied, he says, listing all his ailments, some of them major, including emphysema, spondylitis – inflammation of the spine - osteo-arthritis and high blood pressure.

Despite that, the company accepted his money and James went on holiday.

All went well until two days before he was due to come home when the extreme heat and humidity left him unable to breathe.

He was rushed to hospital where he spent 17 days receiving treatment for pneumonia, at a cost of 14,000 euros.

He then had to pay 3,500 euros to fly home accompanied by a doctor.

But, he says, Just Travel is refusing to pay up because he failed to mention medical conditions including a hernia from five years previously, two successful cataract operations last year and glaucoma that has now cleared.

James, of Woodland View, Charnock, said he paid the bill himself after cashing in ISAs worth £14,000 - money that was meant to pay for a nursing home.

He added: “They are trying to wriggle out of payment every which way.

“They claim that I didn’t mention chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but emphysema is COPD.

“What has a cataract got to do with pneumonia? I had my tonsils out when I was eight, should I have declared that?

“I’m just so disappointed, I thought I paid extra to be covered by a specialist insurer. I feel very left down, they are taking advantage of old people.”

SUCCESS - after a call from Action Desk, all James’s costs will be covered.

Just Travel are brokers for underwriters Tokio Marine.

Shalimar Turner, the Tokio Marine compliance officer, said: “I am pleased to tell you that following the resubmission of the medical screening and after in-depth internal discussions here at Tokio Marine Europe, the outcome of our investigations is that we are now willing to consider his claim and we will be in touch with him directly regarding settlement.”

A spokeswoman confirmed they would pay everything covered by the policy.

Mr Turner added: “From Mr Finan’s file, the records that his GP supplied to us, and the recording of his telephone call when he applied for the insurance, we can see that there are medical conditions that Mr Finan did not disclose and which he was required to disclose according to the conditions of his policy.

“We do not believe that this was deliberate non-disclosure, as we can see that he disclosed four other main conditions.”