An insured had taken out travel insurance and while they were away they became ill.  Although they were well enough to travel the next morning, the doctor who examined the insured, recommended an upgrade to first class, so they would have better access to toilets and more opportunity to sleep.  The insured bought an upgraded ticket and continued to travel on the same flight that they had originally booked on.

Their insurer declined the claim because the policy wording provided that additional travelling expenses had to be of the same nature and class as originally purchased and that upgrade fares could not be purchased without the insurer’s prior written approval.  As the insurer had not given prior written approval they were entitled to decline the claim.

In this case, if the insured had not travelled on the upgraded tickets with better toilet facilities, but had stayed behind and purchased a later flight of the same class, they would have incurred additional accommodation and flight costs. It is likely the insurer would have had to have paid under the policy.  The insurer declined to make any payment even though it had been saved costs by the insured having taken the same flight as they were originally booked on.

Alan Knowsley

Insurance Lawyer