Body of Lancashire man flown back from Thailand

Medical form mix-up left sick Brit without health insurance cover

Travel Insurance News - 14/03/2011

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The body of a British man who died while in Thailand has finally been brought back to the UK. The man had failed to mention an existing medical condition when filling out insurance forms, leaving him without cover for the thousands of pounds in medical bills.

The family of 76-year-old Philip Blakemore managed to raise thousands of pounds towards the cost of bringing the Blackpool man home but he died before he could be flown back. He had fallen seriously ill after suffering two strokes while in Thailand for a three-month break with his wife.

Though they had raised £26,000 towards Mr Blakemore’s medical bills in Thailand, the family were then left to worry about whether the hospital would release his body. He had been hospitalized since the strokes in January.

After he fell ill, the insurance company refused to pay his medical costs as he had not mentioned the fact that he suffered from the heart condition angina when filling in the travel insurance form. The family were left waiting to hear if the hospital in Pattaya would let his body be returned to the UK.

On Saturday, however, Mr Blakemore’s body arrived back in Britain. His funeral has been scheduled for 15 March.

Every year, Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) warns travellers of the need to ensure adequate and appropriate insurance. In its annual reports, the FCO highlights the numbers of Brits who get in to trouble abroad and the many dangers for those who don’t have enough insurance or coverage suitable for holiday activities like skiing and motorcycling.

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