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Here are some of the questions
which you might find on a travel
insurance questionnaire:
Have you
had cancer?
During the past
years have
you had cancer?
During the past
years have
you been diagnosed or treated for
Have you been diagnosed with an
illness that has not been treated?
During the past
you seen, or been referred to, a
In the past
have you
taken any medication or had any
treatment for any condition?
These are very simple questions
and, I would think, very easy to
I received an e-mail from Len
Paulovich and he asked me
to comment on a recent CBC
television program called “Tripped
Up.” Several other people have
mentioned it, too. This half-hour
program was intended as an
“exposé” of the practices of insur-
ance companies in dealing with
travel insurance policies. In particu-
lar, it was very critical of Manulife
Financial in their handling of a
medical claim that was declined.
I will provide my comments, but
I must caution you that I am not
privy to all of the information
about the claim discussed and, by
necessity, I have had to make some
assumptions which may be incor-
rect. If they are indeed incorrect,
then I would be happy to revise my
Frommy understanding of the
situation, it appears that the
claimant provided very incorrect
answers to at least three different
questions on the questionnaire.
One of the questions would be very
similar to one of those previously
mentioned. If this is the case, then
the claim deserved to be denied.
An insurance company should not
be expected to accept a risk that
has been misrepresented. If the
insurer pays such a claim, then it
is really you and I who must pay
that claim through our increased
premiums next year.
We must also understand why a
person would not answer truthfully
on a travel insurance application,
and that is really very easy to
understand. If you tick one of those
“Yes” boxes, your premium could
go from $700 to $2,500; if it is one
of the very important boxes, then
you may not even qualify to buy
the insurance at all. Most seniors
are on very tight budgets and the
cost of travel insurance is often
the most expensive bill that they
will pay this year. They know that
they should not travel without
insurance (some people still do),
but they just cannot afford the
high premium. It is an all-too-easy
mistake to provide “wrong” answers
to save money. The thought is
that it is a big insurance company
and they will never find out that I
had cancer…or that I have a heart
condition or…so, I should be OK if I
have a claim. Heck, I’m not going to
have a claim, anyway; I have been
travelling south for 15 years and
have never had a claim! I could buy
a nice cruise for that extra $1,800.
Our readers will know the result al-
ready. The insurance company will
turn over rocks in Iraq to investigate
a large claim. You do not want to
put yourself in a position where
How can anyone
that they had cancer?