While there are plenty of destinations to choose from in the world, many find that they have less choice when it comes to the all-important travel insurance.

This is something that 64-year old Barry Everett from West Yorkshire experienced first-hand after having a double cardiac arrest after Christmas in 2010. “I knew very well from a hard lesson learned by a friend – who was left with a £68,000 bill after his brother was taken ill abroad – that I would have to buy travel insurance,” he says.

After two weeks in hospital, three stents and a few months of recovery at home, Barry was looking forward to some time away with his wife, Margaret. Given the go-ahead from his doctor, he set about planning his trip, only to have those plans stopped literally in their tracks.

heart travel

“We were intending to visit Cala Blanca on the West Coast of Menorca – a place we started visiting some 20 years ago and with treasured memories, since it was where we renewed our wedding vows nine years ago. I started my search for travel insurance with my bank, believing I was already paying for insurance, but was told that I could not now be covered because of my cardiac event.”

Barry then began looking into other specialist providers: “The best I could find was a single trip policy for £240. This would be well over a fifth of the total cost of our holiday – which is a very unpleasant prospect if you are not used to paying for specialist cover.”

Thankfully this is where Margaret stepped in; she found a policy for just £73 from AllClear. After checking the policy gave them the cover they wanted, they bought cover, which sadly Barry needed.

“On the way back to the airport as our holiday was ending I felt distinctly unwell,” Barry says. “I knew that I was in no fit state to fly.”

Barry was attended to by medical staff at Mahon International airport who inserted a drip, and an ambulance was called. “In the ambulance I tried to help as much as I could when they were asking my wife questions because Margaret’s grasp of Spanish is not the best,” he says.

“I think she was relieved to call our insurer and speak to someone in English who understood what was happening – and it meant that she didn’t need me to translate, which was a relief!”

Barry, who had suffered a heart flutter on the transfer to the airport, was discharged from the Mateu Orfila General hospital later that evening after extensive tests and was cleared to travel. Had he not been insured, however, he would have been effectively stranded.

heart rate monitor

Although it was a bleak end to their holiday, Barry says the anxiety and strain of the day was lessened by the support they received from AllClear.

“We didn’t have to worry about a thing,” Barry says. “We had a five star hotel, including breakfast, taxis from the hospital and then to the airport, as well as our return flights. I could not believe it. The flights alone would have cost us a small fortune so it was far and away the best £73 we have ever spent.”

Barry says he now knows the value of having a comprehensive travel policy for every trip: “It goes far beyond the cost of medical expenses. As well as making all the necessary arrangements for us, they liaised with the Spanish authorities and were a very reassuring presence for Margaret. The whole experience empowers me to say that AllClear is the best travel policy we’ve ever used.”