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Disabled man's holiday to America is in jeopardy as insurers 'refuse' to cover trip
“Point-blank refusals” from travel insurance companies are jeopardising a paralysed Silsden teenager’s dream holiday to America, his family claims.
Nathan Cubitt, 18, broke his neck in a rugby match scrum nearly two years ago. He and his family have already paid out £11,500 from their own savings to go to Florida in November for a longed-for holiday, which will include a trip to Disney World.
But Sue Cubitt, Nathan’s mother, said she has hit a solid wall of refusal when trying to acquire travel insurance for Nathan, who uses a motorised wheelchair.
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins, when told of their plight, said it was distressing news for Nathan and his family and that he was raising the issue with insurance industry bosses.
“I have written to Tidjane Thiam, the chairman of the Association of British Insurers, with a request that an urgent solution be found,” Mr Hopkins said.
Mrs Cubitt wants to hear from anyone who can suggest a company that may be prepared to offer a quote.
“I want to make sure that if, God forbid, anything does happen then Nathan will be covered,” she said. “But we can only get so far with applying for insurance. As soon as we say Nathan is paraplegic the shutters come down.
“It seems ludicrous. Nathan just shakes his head – he can’t believe it. He’d be devastated if we can’t go, we all would, but I would feel bad for Nathan more than anything else.
“I always understood that we would have to pay more for him, but didn’t expect to get point-blank refusals.
“My sister-in-law has been looking as well as myself, and we must have contacted at least seven or eight companies on the internet and over the phone – it’s getting critical now.
“Nathan isn’t a special case and he doesn’t see himself as that. He just wants to go on holiday with his family.”
Anyone who can offer the family help or advice is asked to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Malcolm Tarling, spokesman for the Association of British Insurers, said: “Insurers want to offer travel insurance to as many people as possible, including people with disabilities.
“This is why there are travel insurers who specialise in providing travel insurance protection for people with disabilities. A specialist travel insurance intermediary can often help in ensuring that people with specific medical needs can travel overseas, safe in the knowledge that they are covered.”
A ball featuring live music will be staged on Saturday to help fund Nathan’s ongoing care costs. The event at Skipton’s Rendezvous Hotel begins at 7.30pm, and will include a meal followed by the musical entertainment.Call 07595 337159 for details.
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