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October 14 2013

Save thousands – The younger the better when taking out Income Protection…

Many people wait until a lifestyle event before taking out income protection insurance, such as taking out a mortgage or having a baby, but new Drewberry research reveals that a...

August 29 2013

Four mistakes the Self-Employed make with Income Protection

Many self employed individuals arrange income protection to cover themselves in case they are unable to work due to accident or sickness. This is a vital form of insurance if...

August 07 2013

How many days away from the breadline are you?

A recent report by Legal and General reveals that the average 25-44 year old could only live off savings for one week upon losing their income. The findings show that...

July 31 2013

A simpler way to protect your income from British friendly

If you have recently become self employed, are a part time worker, have a fluctuating income or have no earnings history then a new income protection product from insurers, British...

July 30 2013

Spain is taken to court for refusing the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

Within the European Union the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows citizens to access emergency medical treatment for free in 27 countries.

Despite this there have been “hundreds” of cases over the last three years in which holidaymakers in Spain have been turned away from hospitals, charged or been asked to claim on their insurance for treatment which should have been free under the reciprocal agreement.

The European Commission in Brussels is now investigating these complaints.  In one case reported by the BBC a Spanish debt collection agency tried to collect £54,000 from a British holiday maker for a month’s hospital stay.

Travel insurance

Even though the EHIC should cover emergency treatment in member countries you still need to get travel insurance when going on holiday in Europe.  The EHIC does not cover all medical costs such as an ambulance, GP visits, prescriptions or repatriation to your home country.  A journey home could be extremely expensive.  An air ambulance home from somewhere in Europe could cost as much as £16,000.

You also need to think about the extra costs associated with being ill.  You may need a new flight and additional accommodation if you have to stay in the country for longer.

Private health insurance

For UK nationals living abroad in Europe the EHIC is not sufficient cover.  This is because the EHIC is only meant for emergency treatment rather than the everyday healthcare that you need when you are living in a country.

International private medical insurance can provide access to private healthcare when you are living away from the UK. Healthcare provisions can vary considerably around the world and depending on your location public healthcare may not be available at all. An international health plan can provide cover for routine healthcare, emergencies, normal pregnancy, prescription drugs and even chronic conditions.

Cover includes:

  • Diagnostic tests, such as X-rays and scans
  • Consultations with a specialist
  • Surgical procedures and hospital charges

How does international medical insurance work?

If you are living away from home and are unwell you would first contact your insurer.  Quite often they can advise you regarding English speaking doctors in your area.  They will then deal with the medical facility on your behalf providing a guarantee so that you will not be asked for a payment and can concentrate on getting well.  The insurer then pays the bill directly.

As shown by the recent cases in Spain, it is important to consider the potential cost of healthcare in countries where you are not able to access public treatment. Even if you are able to access care under a reciprocal agreement those with private healthcare cover benefit from speedier diagnosis and treatment, the highest quality care and lower infection risks. Global health insurers are also able to help with arranging suitable medical treatment, which can be difficult to do alone in a foreign country.

If you would like any further information or advice on arranging international medical insurance visit our Private Health Insurance site or contact one of our advisers on 0208 432 7333.



July 29 2013

Half of us will get cancer during our lifetime by 2020

Macmillan cancer support has recently announced that the number of cancer diagnoses has increased by one third in the last twenty years and that by 2020 half of Britons will get cancer during their lifetime. This is due to our life expectancy increasing.

Even though the number of people getting cancer is rising, due to advances in treatment and research, 4 out of 10 cancer sufferers will survive. This means that there will be a greater number of people living with cancer or having recovered from cancer than ever before.  The figures show that there are 2 million cancer survivors in the UK today and this figure rises by more than 3% per year.

The long term effects of cancer

Research by Macmillan shows that one in four people living with cancer experience long term health conditions caused by the cancer or the treatment and never return to full health.

A recent report “Cured- but at what cost” looked at the long term consequences of cancer and the treatment of which there were many. For example women who have had breast cancer are twice as likely to get heart failure and men who have had prostate cancer are two and a half times more likely to get osteoporosis. In addition, 200,000 cancer survivors are left with pain often with nerve changes following cancer treatment.

Ciaran Devane of Macmillan said “The NHS will not be able to cope with the huge increase in demand for cancer services without a fundamental shift towards proper aftercare, without more care delivered in the community, and without engaging cancer patients in their own health.”

Private health insurance

To address the fact that people still need help after their cancer treatment has finished, private medical insurance provider, Bupa, has launched a “survivorship programme” for people living with or recovering from cancer.

This programme allows cancer sufferers to receive ongoing support following treatment to enable them to manage their recovery.  Bupa’s specialist oncology support team who will advise people how to cope living with cancer looking at physical factors, but also the social, financial and emotional aspects of living or recovering from cancer.

Income protection

There are other types of insurance which may assist if you have cancer. Income protection insurance pays out if you are too unwell to go to work.  The payment is a monthly tax free benefit which you would get until you are either well enough to go back or the end of the term (whichever is first).  This means that if you have been successfully treated but are still not well enough to go to work then you could receive a benefit to help you with your living expenses.  This will allow you to focus on your recovery rather than feeling pressured to return to work for financial reasons.  Many insurers also provide support to help individuals return to full health and to the work place.

Critical illness insurance and serious illness insurance

Critical illness insurance pays out a lump sum if you suffer from an extremely serious illness specified on the insurers policy details.  Not all cancer is covered; most insurers require it to have spread or reached a certain level of severity.

A serious illness insurance policy will pay out for a wider range of conditions but the level of payout depends on the severity of the condition and could range from 25-100%.

For more information on health insurance or protection insurance please contact one of our advisers on 0208 432 7333 or visit our Health Insurance site or Income Protection site.

July 26 2013

Female breadwinners: Do you have a financial safety net?

Recent research has shown that 40% of women are the main earners in their family; the proportion of women earning more than men has almost doubled in the last 30...

Cover yourself for critical illness and incapacity in one product

It’s now possible to combine critical illness cover with income protection in one product.  Ageas’ Critical Illness with Total Disability is a critical illness policy which will also cover you...

July 18 2013

Six ways to reduce your income protection premiums

We often get asked how clients can reduce premiums for income protection. It’s important to point out that price is not the most important factor when choosing an income protection...

July 03 2013

The Business Protection Gap: Business Owners’ Attitudes Towards Protection

Legal and General have examined the business protection gap in a recent survey. They found that under insurance has risen over the last two years and the business protection shortfall...

June 19 2013

Protection Payout Rate Tool Now Available

A new payout rate tool is now available on the site showing the payout rates across eleven different insurers for income protection, critical illness insurance and life insurance. The tool allows you to select from a list of the...

The Top Employee Benefits 2013 Include: Life Insurance, Income Protection & Medical Insurance

Life insurance, income protection and private medical insurance are in the top ten benefits employers offer to staff according to the 2013 Benefits Research by ‘Employee Benefits’.1 When looking at...

June 14 2013

The FCO Urge Holiday-makers to “Pack their policy”

With many people looking forward to their summer holiday it is interesting to know that 24% of Brits travel abroad without any travel insurance and this figure is even higher for 15-24 year olds at 48%.  This is a real concern as in 2011/2012 3,793 Brits were hospitalised abroad which works out as 10 per day.1

Armed with these worrying statistics the ABTA and FCO are urging travelers to “pack their policy” as part of their “ know before you go” campaign.2

False sense of security

Research by ABTA and the FCO1 found that 16% of people felt that travel insurance was unnecessary as the UK government would foot the bill if they needed treatment abroad and 17% believed that the European Health Insurance Card made travel insurance surplus to requirements within the EU.

Reading the policy documentation

Even more concerning is that whilst 82% of young people surveyed said that they would engage in more risky activities whilst on holiday such as sky diving, quad biking or jet-skiing, only 45% checked that their insurance would cover such pursuits.  Even older holiday makers don’t check the small print on their policy; 50% didn’t check that they were covered before engaging in adventurous activities.

With an increasing number of people buying insurance online it is important to stress that you should always read the documentation of any insurance policy to check what you are and are not covered for to avoid nasty and expensive surprises. The FCO reports1 that the average medical claim from holiday insurance is £914 but costs can be much higher.  The average post office personal accident claim is for £7,500 and repatriation from some EU countries by air ambulance can cost £16,000 and would not be covered by the European Health Insurance Card.


Travel insurance can also cover you against theft of your passport or baggage.  Nearly 30,000 British passports are stolen each year and with the increase in devices such as smart phones, Kindles and iPods being taken on holiday, the average tourist is a major target for theft. Petty crime is on the rise in EU countries with high levels of youth unemployment such as Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy3.

Tourists need to keep their wits about them especially in crowded tourist hot-spots where pick pocketing is rife.  They should also check that their travel insurance covers personal items, items stored in cars and the maximum cover per item.

1. FCO (2013) Travel Insurance Facts. Available from: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/206692/Insurance_Infographic_v5.pdf

2. FCO (2012)Know Before You Go. Available from: abta.com/news-and-views/press-zone/brits-unaware-of-medical-costs-abroad

3. Hunter (2013) Tourists warned on travel insurance as European crime soars. Available from: www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/insurance/10115060/Tourists-warned-on-travel-insurance-as-European-crime-soars.html

May 28 2013

The Four Common Income Protection Myths

Income protection insurance is considered by Which? Money to be the primary protection policy for working adults in the UK. However, according to our Health and Protection Insurance survey 2013,...

November 26 2012

The Festive Period: Alcohol – How much is too much?

It is well known that us Brits like a tipple and with UK alcohol consumption set to increase by 40% over the festive period(2) how much is too much? It...

November 20 2012

What Does Income Protection Insurance Cover?

Overview of income protection cover Income protection insurance is a form of policy that will provide a regular monthly income if you cannot work due to incapacity (i.e. illness or...

November 16 2012

LV’s IP Benefit Guarantee Increase A Great Step Forward

LV= (Liverpool Victoria) has increased the maximum amount of benefit for its income protection product by £500 to £1,500. This means that in the event of a successful claim, you...

November 13 2012

Drewberry Income Protection Portal designed to help raise Consumer Awareness

After many months in the making we have finally launched our Income Protection portal to help raise consumer awareness to the many nuances that need to be considered when buying...

June 18 2012

41% of Workers Suffer Incapacity or Redundancy

Current statistics show this is a time for people to review their Income Protection policies and those without this type of cover need to give serious consideration to the long...

Long-Term Sick Leave Costs Large Firms Over £600,000

The Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) has [...]
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