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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As permanent residents of Portugal, we are finding it virtually impossible to get travel insurance through a UK company. It seems to be an unknown field of insurance here in Portugal. Does anyone have good experience of travel insurance companies here please? We have minimal insurance with our bank, Millennium, but it does not cover much and we go to South Africa for three months every year and various other holidays as well. Thanks for any replies.
 

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Hi Maggy. This is always a problem but availability does seem to be getting better. I have previously used Suretravel, but last year they dropped residents of Portugal from their list. So I moved over to Citybond and currently have an annual policy with them.

Surprise, surprise, I have just been on line to check that they still offered cover to residents of Portugal and the short answer is yes. The surprise was that they are now called Citybond Suretravel and they offer cover to resident of the UK and the European Union.

Your 3 month stay in SA will not be cheap though at £604.73 or £876.03 depending on the level of cover required. This covers up to 85 years of age and is the price without previous medical history. An annual policy to include SA, has three possible levels of cover and would be between £206.01 and £386.95. The problem with that is a maximum stay of only 35 days which is not enough for your trips.

Their website is here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Johnboy. We shall probably do the same as this year when we travelled without travel insurance because we only purchased the flight. We have our own home in South Africa where we stay most of the time, we have our own vehicle which is insured locally and know where the nearest health centre is in case we need it. If we got seriously ill we would simply fly back here. As far as repatriation is concerned, our wills state cremation so the ashes would come back in luggage. Our premiums will be astronomical due to pre-existing health conditions. I have tried to explain that my husband's heart after a triple bypass and stents is probably in better condition than a lot of the men who travel and then have heart attacks, but to no avail. They follow the crib sheet and if the answer is wrong they whack up the premium. One dozy girl I spoke gasped when I mentioned a triple bypass and asked if it meant it had been done three times!!
 

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Some of them really don't have a clue; crib sheet or not. It is also very strange the different attitudes adopted by companies towards the same problem. Since last year's policy, I have had my gall bladder removed. One company I approached for cover this year wanted to whack the premium up. The one I am with have a list of medical issues that you do not even have to report to them and my condition was included.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again. I checked the website you provided and, sure enough, you're right maximum period is 35 days which is no good for our South African sojourn. I am just really disappointed because, as once in a lifetime, we were thinking of extending the 90 days in South Africa with a cruise on QE back to Europe from South Africa which looked great. Unfortunately, you now have to have insurance in place before making a booking so that's out the window. I do wonder how some of the ancient people on cruises do get insurance?
 

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I've been back to that Citybond website Maggy and there is a drop down on the right hand side to select the trip duration. If you use that to select a 4 month holiday, so 3 months in SA and up to one month on the cruise, the cost rises to either £768.34 or £1074.85 but again, with no previous medical conditions reported.

Here is another site that you could look at:

International Health and Medical Insurance - IMG Insurance

As you seem happy with your current insurance arrangements for the SA portion of your trip, you could always consider just insuring the cruise to keep the costs down.

As for your question about how others manage on cruises, to be honest, I haven't a clue but suspect that some do not bother. Before retiring I had three years experience helping people who were unfortunate enough to be hospitalised on holiday. I used to call it their version of a two-centre holiday; one week beach and one week hospital! You cannot believe how many either did not bother with insurance or lied about previous medical history. Very stupid really as it can turn out to be so expensive. I had a lovely old Welsh guy once that had spent his life working down the mines and paid for it with emphysema. His wife took out the insurance and neglected that little detail. He fell very ill in Cyprus and the cost, including medical repatriation was over £65,000 meaning they had to sell their home to pay the bill. Another young lad in Egypt broke his back diving into the shallow end of the pool, had no insurance and had to pay for his hospital treatment and an air ambulance back to the UK. I dread to think what that cost but he will still be paying that back for sure.

I know that you will want to do the right thing though but, with your pre-existing, I'm am glad I'm not paying the bill! Mine is bad enough thank you, with a clean bill of health.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you JohnBoy and Siobhan. I will try Staysure but I am sure that's who I spoke to ages ago and where the dopey girl asked damn silly questions. There was an article in the Daily Telegraph recently about companies loading the premiums massively for cancer survivors (which I am twice over). This is totally unfair as many of us have a clean bill of health and our problems have been resolved, unlike others who will travel and then be taken ill on holiday and the insurance company has to fork out. Incidentally, our ashes are to be scattered on the nearest river so the survivor doesn't have to cart an urn home.
 
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