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Ski Insurance basics

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
ster wrote:
Hurtle wrote:
Just renewed with MPI at vast expense and wish I hadn't now I've seen this
Quote:

this with a declared medical condition (extra £20) and age 75 years.
Ah well, next year...


Cant you cancel MPI (with maybe a small fee)? If you bought on line you have the right to cancel in 14 days due to distance selling laws. (Sometimes more if they post the docs out then count the time from when you received the docs)
Probably I could, but they've been so good over the years (both with insuring pre-existing conditions and with claims) and very helpful this time too. For a whole year's peace of mind, the difference really isn't that much - not more than a restaurant meal.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thats the right approach. Quality at a small additional cost. I’d rather know/trust the insurer if I’ve had a good experience in the past. Definitely stick with them.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@ster, Very Happy
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Hurtle - ster is correct. 14 day cooling off period during which you can cancel. It's in the MPI Policy Summary. Don't have to tell them why, just as long as you haven't claimed and haven't started travelling. The woman I spoke to couldn't have been more disinterested in my expressing amazement at the increase.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Can you buy Carre Neige via your tour operator when you pay for lift pass at the time of final payment. Or do you have to make a visit to the lift pass office to get it once you have been given your lift pass.
I see from their website that you can’t buy it on line.
Also, does it have to be purchased daily, or can you get it to cover the duration of your lift pass.
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Eggfried, you get it at the office, generally, and for the duration of your pass. A small operator would be more likely to buy it on your behalf than a big operator
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@holidayloverxx,
Thanks for the info. Have two trips with Inghams so will get it upon arrival in Tignes. The second trip is to Obergurgl, Austria. Do you know if Austria have equivalent Optional insurance?
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Eggfried, i believe it exists in some places but I dont know obergurgl
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Thanks. I have a good level of cover that comes with my Bank Account. But have managed to find a specialist multitrip winter sports insurance for £68. (£50 excess) That sounds quite reasonable to me. It includes off piste without a guide. We won’t be venturing too far from the beaten track, but it would be nice if you see a nice area not too far off the piste.
Any recommendations or advice from anyone would be gratefully received.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
musehead wrote:
@Bigtipper, It seems strange that it should be considered fraud.


It asks you on a claim form if you are insured elsewhere and you tick a box yes or no and then agree at the end you have been truthful. Typical examples might be personal belongings or legal expenses that are covered both on home contents and on travel policy. If you give details of your home contents insurer, the travel policy will pay out but they will go to your home contents provider for 'a contribution'. If you can't be bothered to dig out the details and just tick 'no' then I'd say you aren't committing fraud as you aren't trying to get paid out more than the amount it takes to put you back in the financial position you would have been in had the incident not happened.

What would clearly be fraudulent is if you set out with the intention of getting paid out multiple times for the same claim by having multiple policies. It does go on (a lot), they do get spotted and people do get prosecuted if it's bad enough - normally because insurers outsource claims handling to specialist claims companies who work for many insurers but that's behind the scenes and you'd never know it. Also, experienced claims handlers can smell a rat a mile off. Normally fraudsters get a very snotty letter and no pay out and that's it.

BUT --- This guy got 16 months - http://news.cityoflondon.police.uk/r/1224/fraudster_jailed_for_multiple_fake_travel_insuran

Quote:
A fraudster has been jailed after he lied about being ill or injured to make several fraudulent travel claims for the same family holiday, amounting to a total of £19,225.

On Friday 26 April 2019, Richard Agyemang, 36, of Fife Terrace, Islington, was sentenced at Inner London Crown Court to 16 months in jail. A few weeks earlier (Friday 5 April 2019), he’d been found guilty of four counts of fraud by false representation after a five day trial at the same court.

The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) led on the criminal investigation into his fraudulent activity.

IFED discover details of bogus claims

Agyemang initially came onto IFED’s radar following referrals from several insurers, including Ageas, AXA and LV= General Insurance, who were suspicious of the claims he’d made in relation to a cancelled family holiday. IFED soon discovered that the claims against each insurer had a number of striking similarities.


Different for life insurance - you can have multiple policies and they all pay out but, unlike travel, there is often an investment component.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Just looked at the Asda insurance multi trip annual policy docs. We spend most of the season skiing. Always need to look at the max number of days per single trip and also if there is a limit on winter sports days. With Asda single trips limited between 31 and 90 days depending on cover taken and age. The real problem is the number of winter sports days is only 18 or 24 for the whole year. I realise this might be ok for many but anyone who spends a significant part of the season doing wintersports will need to look elsewhere. Ski touring is also only with a guide.

My wife uses an annual policy with Snowcard and has had good experience with previous claims. Now getting seriously expensive but maybe something that just needs to be paid. I use Vieux Campeur annual insurance at 25 euros for the year ! Also card gives you discount on store purchases and most years it pays for itself. Much may depend on whether they change policy depending on what happens to EHIC post Brexit. Never had to make a claim. The only thing that worries me is it seems too good to be true at that price.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I just tried to get a quote from Asda and was turned down. I wanted single trip (2 weeks) with winter sports cover. I'm 65 and had a mild heart attack at the end of June, but have had a stent fitted since. I was asked (by the software) to answer questions about what medication I'm on, blood pressure lowering tablets, cholesterol lowering etc. and at the end was refused cover. It did say I could ring one of their advisors. I may do that later; but the initial response; we won't cover you. Crying or Very sad

Edit. Just tried Snowcard. They would insure me but not for any existing medical conditions.

Could be fun and games trying to get cover this time; even though my cardiologist says I fine to go skiing. Confused

Does anyone know of insurers who will cover you for existing conditions?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Awdbugga, Most will but not through online questionnaire - they usually need a medically qualified screener going through the questions on the phone. Obviously too easy to lie to online questions then claim you didn't understand them.
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Dave of the Marmottes, except snowcard have been cler for a couple of years now they won't cover existing conditions even with extra premiums
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Awdbugga, the automated online system is there to deal with the majority of customers who can tick all the "No" boxes and be lumped together as "average risk". When you start answering "Yes" to some of the questions you soon hit the point the simple risk logic on the website runs out and that's where you can, and should, give them a call and speak to a human being. Speaking human-to-human they can get a lot more detail/colour around you and the risk you represent, and from there they are able to make you an offer.

"Do you have a heart condition?" could cover everything from a slight arrhythmia you've had all your life and presents zero risk, through a mild heart attack picked up quickly and treated to minimal risk, to a huge attack where the doctor tells you not to stand up too quickly, let alone partake in any form of exercise. The website just sees "Yes", the person on the phone will be able to understand where you, as an individual sit on the risk spectrum.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Dave of the Marmottes,
I just went through a person to person quote with one of Asda's reps. When we got to the medical questions -
Rep - "Do you have high blood pressure?" Me - "No, but I'm on tablets for it. I've never suffered from high blood pressure ever. But the SOP after a heart attack, is to put you on them".
Rep - "so you have high blood pressure". Me - "No".
Rep - "Do you suffer from high Cholestrol". Me - "What do you class as high? I'm now on statins. But what is classed as "high"; is 6.0 high?
Rep - "I've no idea what is classed as high, but you must give me the correct answer.".

I Googled it and there doesn't seem to be a definitive figure as to what is high; as there are so many variables to consider when an MD assesses whether your cholesterol is too high.

It's all very black and white, even going through it on the phone with one of their reps.

I think I need to wait a while before applying for insurance cover, in case they take me off some of these tablets in the meantime.

How do I get to talk to a medically qualified screener? Confused Puzzled Sad

I didn't have high blood pressure, until the call with their rep. Embarassed wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
@Awdbugga, Most will but not through online questionnaire - they usually need a medically qualified screener going through the questions on the phone. ...

One potential (and for some, very real) difficulty is that although there appear to be plenty of travel insurance intermediaries, the number of actual underwriters is much less, and the number of medical screening companies very few indeed: I think when Which? looked into it a few years ago all the insurers they looked at used detailed questionnaires from just 3 different screening companies - and it rapidly becomes obvious when you start getting exactly the same questions from an apparently completely different company and underwriter!

The problem is that if you fail that screening you will also fail with any other intermediary / underwriter that uses the same screening, so can be excluded from up to 50% of the market. And if you are unlicky enough to fail the 3 common ones, from perhaps 99% of the market - including the companies that specifically advertise that they cover pre-existing conditions!

We are fortunate to currently be covered by an employment-related provision, but when we went around this loop a few years ago we got rejected because of the inflexibility of the screening questionnaire. In particular it only allowed a Yes/No answer to a question where even the hospital notes from 20 years ago say "might have ..." - and we investigated the two alternative "what if we answer ..." options. GP is quite happy for us to travel - because the issue was 20 years ago and clearly isn't a problem now - but even he couldn't help us get through the screening! The problem is that in most cases even the detailed medical screening is carried out by a clerk simply working through a computer generated list of questions; what we needed, but failed to find, was a company where you can actually speak to a medically qualified underwriter!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Awdbugga wrote:

How do I get to talk to a medically qualified screener? Confused Puzzled Sad



You are trying to buy an "off the shelf" insurance product, when unfortunately your medical condition will exclude you from some off the shelf insurance products. You need to be medically underwritten, which means being screened by someone with medical underwriting training. This can be expensive in itself, and so generally "off the shelf" insurance products such as cheap online travel insurance do not offer this.

As travel insurance is generally considered cheap, and commodotised, having a large add on premium just because you need to be underwritten means most insurers will not even offer this option. They will just exclude (like the example you gave). The other way you could obtain a travel insurance policy, is to have any loss related to your heart condition excluded from the insurance.

Then you will have to find a medical insurance product which will cover you for your condition (such as your EHIC card). Alternatively, you could try a personal health insurance product to cover you whilst abroad for a week or two skiing (unlikely to get this). Full medical underwriting may take place if you take out full personal medical insurance, as it becomes economic to do full medical underwriting as the premiums are much bigger.

One option would be to take out full private medical insurance (and get full medical underwriting) then after your holiday lapse the policy (stop paying premiums). This may work out to be quite reasonable compared to any other method. Check the terms and conditions allow foreign travel first.
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@ecureuil, @Bigtipper, thanks both for the explanations.

I’ve accepted that I’m not going to get cover for my existing condition; however they misinterpret the severity of it.

The stent and medication seem to be doing their job, plus my cardiologist said I’m fine to go skiing. So unless I go skiing on a Bash with @grandmasunshine, @jk or @stevem Shocked my ticker and blood pressure should be ok.

As long as I get cover for skiing induced injuries, that’ll be fine. snowHead Besides, I’ve got five months to build up my fitness and see whether any further problems develop with my ticker and associated plumbing. Toofy Grin If all ok, bring on the PreBB/BB double.

The good news is, the premium with Asda is only slightly higher than the premium with Snowcard last year. But that increase will be more than offset by the reduction in the cost of the lift pass now I’m 65. Every cloud.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Awdbugga, Are you happy/able to self insure for the cost of heart treatment whilst abroad? Especially as there may well be no EHIC next year.
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If you're being treated with BP tablets, then you've got high BP. If you're being treated with statins, then you have high Cholesterol. And so on. As guys get older, the odds are high they'll get a load of 'pre-existing conditions'. 1 in 3 over-55s have BPH (prostate) and need to take tamsulosin. 65% of 60-69 year olds have high blood pressure. Similar stats for cholesterol. Travel insurance costs more as you advance through each 5-year segment over 50 because the odds are you'll get more conditions. For winter cover, the complications and recovery time before being fit to travel just gets worse as you get older. That's life.

I pay around £280/year for self and wife, over 65, European and winter holiday cover. As mentioned, this involved a conversation with a specialist rep who in turn consulted a medic before confirming the final details

Personally, I think you get what you pay for, especially once you get over 50. And it's not until you make a claim that you discover that what you get for £75 is a lot less than what you get for £275.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@LaForet, Who are you insured with? Thanks.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
LaForet wrote:
If you're being treated with BP tablets, then you've got high BP. If you're being treated with statins, then you have high Cholesterol.


I don't get that Puzzled Surely, if you're taking pills which stabalize your condition then you don't have high BP or cholesterol. Saying you have the condition means the medication/dosage needs adjusting.

They may ask about medication in another section but for the "Do you have?" the answer is surely no.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Awdbugga, I suspect I'm in a similar situation to you

I had a heart attack 8 years ago and I'm on statins, blood pressure reduction and aspirin. Lots of people my age are. The company I was with (Snowcard) maintained the cover until it expired but would not renew. Now I'm with the BMC who add a £100 so to the policy to cover the heart. The cover is expensive but covers me for a year for mountaineering and skiing. I spend 2 months a year climbing and skiing.
The funniest question was " can you walk 200m on the flat" on the flat! I intend to walk up some very steep and high hills.
The upcoming fly in the ointment is they only cover you up to the age of 70. After that it's the Austrian mountaineering club
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@cad99uk, if all goes well over the next few months, I'm happy to take the risk. In theory, I'm in better shape now than I was doing the PreBB/BB double earlier this year. My single narrowed artery now has a stent fitted. I'm eating only heart healthy, non processed food. I've lost a stone in weight, in just over a month. Not that I was fat to start with. I don't smoke or drink. I didn't get tired on the last bash with a narrowed artery and the problems surrounding my heart attack were almost certainly compounded by having Covid19 at the time, making my blood sticky.

Besides, I'll have my own private health care team on the bash. @laine and @missnutmeg are nurses; @aewynia is a doctor; @neens is a physiotherapist and @audfart is my official carer. Toofy Grin wink
ski holidays
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@cad99uk It's LV. Just finished a claim following an accident in March, for around £5K, plus they paid for flights and car hire for someone to accompany injured home and 3 seats for the injured person. They also translated the hospital discharge report and certification of fitness to travel and reviewed it by their medics (to make sure hospital wasn't just trying to get rid of the injured). So overall a very positive claims experience.

@maggi I think the logic is - You have high blood pressure. You take BP tablets to reduce it. You don't have high BP. But you have a BP condition. Also, you may forget to take medication, or it may have side-effects (BP reduction can go too far and you faint), or take too much, or the condition may worsen etc. Taking pills that suppress a condition is not the same as the absence of that condition.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Tue 11-08-20 15:46; edited 1 time in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Awdbugga, All good to hear. Enjoy the anticipation for the coming season. Best wishes.
snow report
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@LaForet, Thanks for that. We have used LV in the past after good reports on SH.

We run into problems with them over max skiing days per year though. They would not go above 35 skiing days per year. Have you been able to get a higher number of days?
snow conditions
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@johnE, good to hear. I'll look into BMC. Like you, I chuckled when they asked can I walk 200metres. I had a brisk two mile walk the other day, on a hot day, just to drop off and pick my car from the garage and as soon as we are allowed, I'll be in the CFe for a four hour session. If the cardiologist says I'm fine to go skiing, I'll be skiing. Worrying about your condition and getting stressed, is apparently one of the worst things you can do. Rehab team says I should exercise every day, so I get out of breath and not to panic if I do get out of breath. Just be sensible.
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Awdbugga wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes,
I just went through a person to person quote with one of Asda's reps. When we got to the medical questions -
Rep - "Do you have high blood pressure?" Me - "No, but I'm on tablets for it. I've never suffered from high blood pressure ever. But the SOP after a heart attack, is to put you on them".
Rep - "so you have high blood pressure". Me - "No".
Rep - "Do you suffer from high Cholestrol". Me - "What do you class as high? I'm now on statins. But what is classed as "high"; is 6.0 high?
Rep - "I've no idea what is classed as high, but you must give me the correct answer.".

I Googled it and there doesn't seem to be a definitive figure as to what is high; as there are so many variables to consider when an MD assesses whether your cholesterol is too high.

It's all very black and white, even going through it on the phone with one of their reps.

I think I need to wait a while before applying for insurance cover, in case they take me off some of these tablets in the meantime.

How do I get to talk to a medically qualified screener? Confused Puzzled Sad

I didn't have high blood pressure, until the call with their rep. Embarassed wink


Just some clarification that I hope is helpful (I'm a Cardiologist).

There is what we in the medical profession would classify you as, and this may be the same as insurance companies for some things, but different in other things.

For example, you are taking both BP and cholesterol medication as part of a standard cocktail of drugs following a heart attack and stent, that we term "secondary prevention" ie. they are there to prevent recurrence of heart attack. Your cholesterol of 6 does classify as high (even if it is now lower on medication, treated high cholesterol still equals high cholesterol when screened as part of your medical history). Regarding whether you have high BP, that's a little more of a grey area. Your BP meds in the context of post-heart attack are actually there because they do more than one thing. They reduce risk of future events through (1) reducing BP if high/preventing BP from going high if not previously high (2) other effects on the heart/vascular system to prevent heart attacks. If you've never had high BP before, then generally speaking they are there for secondary prevention only, not to reduce your BP.

Regarding what to tell the insurance people:
1. Yes you have high cholesterol
2. If you've not previously had high BP readings and/or been told by a professional that you have high BP, AND the terms "high blood pressure" or "hypertension" are absent from your medical documentation that the insurance company could get their hands on in the event of a claim (from anyone - your GP, your Cardiologist, any other hospital admissions/clinic letters etc), then you can accurately (and more importantly in this case, legally) say you don't have high BP, even though you are on meds that others would take for high BP. If those terms are on your documentation, then not much you can do. You could however ask your Cardiologist to write a letter summarising your condition and explicitly stating you don't have a history of hypertension and are on those meds for secondary prevention.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
if you do off piste, snowmobile riding, etc.
Off the shelf insurance does not cover you for them usually.
Similar to Dune Buggy, Paragliding off the back of a boat or riding on one of them inflatable tow things.

They & a ton of others are classed as extreme sports
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
karansaraf wrote:
... 2. If you've not previously had high BP readings and/or been told by a professional that you have high BP, AND the terms "high blood pressure" or "hypertension" are absent from your medical documentation that the insurance company could get their hands on in the event of a claim (from anyone - your GP, your Cardiologist, any other hospital admissions/clinic letters etc), then you can accurately (and more importantly in this case, legally) say you don't have high BP, even though you are on meds that others would take for high BP. If those terms are on your documentation, then not much you can do...
All good stuff.

I work in clinical statistics, but I don't have the right to look at anyone's records, or "pull them" on behalf of any third party.

Do insurance companies have any right to ask "the NHS"[1] to disclose identifiable clinical records to commercial organisations,
under any circumstances? Is there a process for that? I'm not in the fraud business, just the information privacy business, hence my curiosity.

--
[1] I know, they'd need to ask a lot of different organisations.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Normal process is they would ask for your written consent to have access to your records. If you refuse prior to cover then they would just refuse to cover. If there is a dispute during a claim then they would need to get court order to access your records if you do not consent. No automatic right for insurers to get records direct without your permission.
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@Awdbugga,

Have a look at https://www.direct-travel.co.uk/

Quoted me £88 for a 2 week ski holiday (Over 65, on statins and blood pressure tabs, but minus the stent..)
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I search on one of the comparator sites having the high bp, cholesterol and having had a stroke 4 years ago. Age 63. Normally quite a few do come up as available and even SCGB insurers would insure me but their loading was much higher (£100 on annual policy) than others. There is also someone called Staysure, seemed expensive, that, allegedly, insure any preexisting condition.
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@karansaraf,
thank you for your input and advice. Much appreciated. My understanding of the BP tablets was as you described, they are for secondary prevention. At least I can now answer the question that I do have high cholesterol. My GP put me on Statins not long before the heart attack and he hadn't even bothered to check if it was high or not. It was the hospital that checked my cholesterol level after my heart attack and said it was 6.0. I will do as you suggested and ask my cardiologist to write a later confirming that I do not have hypertension and the BP tablets are for secondary prevention.

Thanks again for your advice. Very Happy
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@albob, cheers mate, I take a look at direct travel as well.

Did they say whether you were covered for your existing condition?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I am sure it will upset karansaraf but I am afraid I call the bp pills and statins the smarties of the UK NHS. All part of the UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence's standard post incident package.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Awdbugga wrote:
@albob, cheers mate, I take a look at direct travel as well.

Did they say whether you were covered for your existing condition?


I believe so -- but going to have another look (it was an online quote..)

================ EDIT ======

Purchase of the 'Budget' policy = no cover for Pre-existing condition
Standard/Premier/Premier+ = cover, providing you have complied with the 'disclosure of medical conditions'

Policy wording == https://www.direct-travel.co.uk/services/library/Documents/3/9351/dated/12-06-2020
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Don't touch Leisureguard with a bargepole.

Thought I had found a reasonably priced policy last year, until someone here sent me a link to a problem forum.. Turns out they don't cover your luggage for the return trip. Cancelled within 3 days and got a refund.

Found a good policy with Multitrip. Never had to claim, but decent write ups.

Situation is very complex this year due to Covid. I'm booked on the Birthday double. The second week is insured against cancellation as I booked in Feb 2020. The pre week is not, as the buttons were not available until after the pandemic hit. Current policy expires 2 days after I arrive, so travel is covered, but not cancellation.

Following suggestions on other threads, where the general consensus is to have continuous cover with the same insurer where possible, as the cover may well be better and less complication over liability.

Will update the situation in the New Year, when I contact them about renewal.
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