1. ITV Report

Family fears huge medical bills after insurance company reportedly refuses to pay out

David Poole, from Water Orton in Warwickshire, needed an intensive care bed when he became ill after falling over on a trip to Turkey Credit: BPM

The family of a tourist who suffered a brain haemorrhage after falling whilst on holiday fear they'll be forced to pay huge medical bills.

David Poole, from Water Orton in Warwickshire, needed an intensive care bed when he became ill after falling over on a trip to Turkey. But now his relatives fear a "life-changing" bill for the 64-year-old's care because of the amount of alcohol in his system when he fell.

His son, Stuart, says insurers "had an issue" with his father being around 25 per cent over the UK limit - even though he was not driving when the accident happened.

Mr Poole's family said they were told on Thursday (May 16) that the insurer, Rock, would not pay costs for his care or an air ambulance flight to get him back home.

Mr Poole is a carer for his wife Credit: BPM

Speaking from Turkey, where he is supporting his father, Stuart said: "I am appalled. This shows a distinct lack of compassion or common sense. My father has a bleed on the brain. All the doctors we spoke to didn't know if this was the cause of, or as a result of, the fall."

"In what is a particularly stressful time for our family, we are having the unnecessary complication of dealing with financial concerns that should be covered by travel insurance. The intentions of my family are to appeal proceedings immediately."

– Stuart Poole, Son

The family have not yet been made aware of the costs involved with his treatment.

It was unclear where the fall happened but his family believe it may have taken place as he walked on a promenade.

Asked about the extent of the bill facing the family, Stuart said: "We haven't had an indication of costs so we really don't know. But we fear the bill could be life-changing."

Mr Poole was first taken to a state hospital but was transferred to a centre with a specialist neurologist when a CT scan revealed he had suffered a brain haemorrhage. He has been in intensive care for two weeks and remains in a semi-conscious state.

The couple bought their insurance when they booked their holiday through travel agent, Travel Republic. Before they left, they received confirmation of their policy from Rock Insurance. But the Poole family said the company had now refused to pay and cited Mr Poole's blood alcohol level as the reason for the decision.

They said that, upon his arrival at the state hospital, his blood alcohol was measured at 0.1065, over the UK drink-drive limit of 0.08.

Stuart said: "We want people to be aware how wishy-washy travel companies are over their alcohol policies. Maybe we are biased but we think it is in the national interest for these clauses to be more publicised, especially with the summer holidays coming up."

Mrs Poole was escorted back to the UK last week. She has suspected Parkinson's disease, the symptoms of which are similar to that of dementia. Mr Poole is her primary care-giver.

"Firstly Travel Republic is very saddened to hear of this incident and would like to wish Mr Poole a speedy recovery. For regulatory reasons, comment on this specific case is currently restricted due to GDPR constraints, as it is a live and active case."

– Travel Republic spokeswoman

Travel Republic insurance services are provided by Rock Insurance. The company says it is actively working with Rock Insurance to ensure the right outcome for Mr and Mrs Poole.

Rock Insurance Group has been contacted for comment.