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Holidaymakers with Disabilities Should Check Travel Insurance

  • Published: 2008-12-30 (Revised/Updated 2011-05-10) : Sofia Abasolo.
  • Synopsis: Disabled holidaymakers have been advised to check their travel insurance to make sure it covers key areas.

Main Document

Disabled holidaymakers have been advised to check their travel insurance to make sure it covers key areas. Brian Seaman, head of
consultancy at Tourism for All, said individuals with a disability
should ensure they have enough medication with them to last the trip and to check any accommodation they plan to stay in has sufficient facilities to cover their needs.

He noted: "You may need to ask a few questions about the facilities; even if it says it is accessible you should find out whether it meets your particular needs."

New European legislation is coming into force from July this year that means airports will now be responsible for meeting the needs of disabled travelers as approximately two million disabled passengers use UK airports each year.

Furthermore, a recent survey carried out by Leonard Cheshire Disability found that 37 per cent of disabled passengers have experienced negative attitudes from airport staff and those on board flights. In other news, charity for the elderly, Age Concern, has reported that the inability to find cheap travel insurance for pensioners has been called "ageism" by one newspaper columnist. Writing earlier this month in the Guardian, Jackie Ashley called on the government to tackle the problem of prejudice against the elderly.

Ms Ashley cited the opinion of one Age Concern campaigner on the issue of travel insurance for pensioners, saying: "The effect of insurance companies refusing even to give a quote to elderly people is like walking along the high street and finding eight out of ten shops with a sign reading no old people here."

Rather than searching for travel insurance, another article in the Guardian has revealed that many British pensioners may soon be "exploiting a tax loophole" by transferring their retirement pots abroad. Retiring overseas rather than simply holidaying there could cost the UK taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds as wealthy pensioners escape paying British tax rates.

Age Concern is the banner title used by a number of charitable organizations (NGOs) specifically concerned with the needs and interests of all older people - those over the age of 50 - based chiefly in the United Kingdom. In addition to providing practical support to individuals, Age Concern campaigns on issues such as age discrimination and pensions, and works to influence public opinion and government policy about older people.

Numerous Age Concern organizations have been established throughout the UK, working at national and local levels. At the national level, four Age Concern organizations cover England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Local Age Concerns vary from small village groups to county-wide organizations. In England, over 370 of the individual charities are members of a national federation. Although each is a separate registered charity working under the Age Concern banner, the federation allows members to collaborate at local, regional and national levels, to share resources, expertise and influence

Age Concern's origins are British and can be traced back to a realization in that country of the effects on aged people of the second world war; the dislocation and breakdown of family life arising out of conscription led to a recognition that existing poor laws failed to provide effective support for old people separated from family support networks.

In 1940, the Old People's Welfare Committee (OPWC), chaired by Eleanor Rathbone, was formed as a forum for discussion between government and voluntary organizations. OPWC was a sub-committee of Liverpool Personal Service Society (PSS). In 1944, the committee changed its name to the National Old People's Welfare Committee (NOPWC), and took on responsibility for coordinating the activities of numerous local OPWCs.

Reference: Sofia is an author of several articles pertaining to Travel Insurance. She is known for her expertise on the subject and on other Business and Finance related articles.

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