Insurance company agrees to cover 90-year-old's claim

By Nikki Preston

Susan Lafleur, right, with her mother Christine Dunn, left. Susan Lafleur is ecstatic Cover-More has agreed to cover a claim after her mother fell in the UK. Picture / Brett Phibbs
Susan Lafleur, right, with her mother Christine Dunn, left. Susan Lafleur is ecstatic Cover-More has agreed to cover a claim after her mother fell in the UK. Picture / Brett Phibbs

Travel insurance provider Cover-More is agreeing to cover a claim which left an Auckland woman almost $50,000 out-of-pocket when her elderly mother fell ill in the UK and was treated by privately.

Sue Lafleur was still in shock yesterday afternoon after receiving a call from Cover-More telling her the claim had finally been accepted.

"Oh my god. I'm absolutely ecstatic. It's kind of unbelievable. I'm going to tell everybody now everything is OK," she said.

Lafleur had been waiting for an answer for almost two weeks after her 90-year-old mother Chris Dunn fell sick while they were travelling overseas.

Dunn was initially treated by the NHS but after being misdiagnosed by a hospital doctor was referred to a private cardiologist who said she had an acute heart failure.

The usually fit grandmother was admitted to a private hospital for four nights at a cost of GBP15,000. With no go-head from Cover-More Lafleur was forced to dig into a home improvement loan to pay for it.

The pair then missed their flight and after being told by the specialist the she needed to be flying flat on the return flight booked two business class tickets home.

Lafleur had been in contact with Cover-More since her mum fell ill but had been told they would not cover a private hospital because she had to be treated publicly.

A confusion over her mum's name which was written on the policy as Doris but listed as Chris with her New Zealand GP had delayed the company receiving notes from him to confirm she had no pre-existing conditions before saying whether the hotel or flights would be covered.

As of Monday night Lafleur was still waiting for Cover-More to tell her whether the claim had been accepted, but on Tuesday afternoon received a call with some good news.

"We will now be able to get our 50-year-old bathroom done."

Cover-More New Zealand chief executive Bruce Morrison confirmed the claim had been accepted and the claims manager would visit them on Wednesday to go through the paperwork so there were no further delays.

"If the public system doesn't fulfil the need then we will then cover private and that's what has happened in these circumstances."

The business class flights would also be covered because a flat bed was deemed medically necessary.

Mr Morrison said it usually it only took between one to days for medical notes to be accessed from a GP. However in the future people would be able to carry their medical information with them via a phone app which would speed up the approval process.

Meanwhile Lafleur had not been put off getting travel insurance, but said in future she would carry her medical notes with her.

- NZ Herald

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