Holidaymaker Andrew Cooper, of Leicester Forest East, wins travel insurance payout
A man has won his fight against a travel insurance company which refused to pay out when he was forced to cancel a holiday for health reasons.
Andrew Cooper, of Leicester Forest East, was left stunned when he was diagnosed with Crohn's disease after an emergency appendix operation on November 14 last year.
He and his wife, Jackie, were due to fly to New Zealand for a family wedding 10 days later, but had to call off the trip.
However, insurance company Insure and Go refused to pay, saying he had failed to declare a condition he already knew about.
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After contacting the Mercury and the Financial Services Authority, he has now received his money back.
Mr Cooper, who took out an annual policy with the company last June, said: "I couldn't believe it when they told me they would not be paying because I had a history of stomach complaints.
"This was despite the fact the hospital and my GP provided evidence that the Crohn's disease was only diagnosed in November.
"I have had some stomach problems over the years. Every now and then I would get cramps.
"At one stage, doctors thought it was a grumbling appendix but you sort of live with it.
"Now I know it's Crohn's disease."
Mr Cooper, 51, a driving instructor, said: "There must be hundreds of people out there who think they are insured when they go on holiday and then when they claim find there is no payout because they have been to their doctor for something minor.
"I have travelled all over the place in the last 30 years and this is the first time I have ever claimed on travel insurance."
Airline Emirates immediately refunded three-quarters of the cost of the couple's air fare after hearing about Mr Cooper's medical condition.
A hotel which the couple had booked in Singapore on the way to New Zealand was also cancelled without charge. The balance for the flights – £360 – has now been paid out by the insurance company.
But Mr Cooper said: "It has never been about the money. I will be donating it to Help for Heroes. I don't think the company would have settled unless I had contacted the Mercury, complained and threatened to take the matter to the Ombudsman."
A spokesman for Insure and Go said: "We acknowledge an error was made in declining this claim originally. We apologise to Mr Cooper for the inconvenience that this has caused."
Mr and Mrs Cooper will be flying to New Zealand on Friday to make up for the missed wedding – but are now insured with a different company.