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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I had to cancel my cruise in April due to the death of my mother

Customer Question

I had to cancel my cruise in April due to the death of my mother in law. The only date for the funeral to take place was for the 29th April when we were due to go on the cruise on the 27th. My insurence company said that I needed to get a medical form completed by my mother in laws GP. I have tried to get the her GP to complete the form but he refuses. The travel insurence company has a copy of the death certificate already. They say that this is not sufficient, what do I do know how can I get the cost of my holiday refunded.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High
Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008.
During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions
from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other
users, I might not always respond in
minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me
while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully.

Why is her GP refusing?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He just says that he cant complete this. Also that all her medical information has been sent away. I know that she died at home and the death certificate was completed by the corenor. All the cause of death is on the death certificate, all he has to do is to confirm she was his patient and sign and stamp the form.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

I'm sorry,
I am confused. You said he will not complete it and he just refuses.

But then
you say that "he is willing to complete
it but as he has the death certificate in front of him".
That doesn't make
sense. Can you please explain?

What is it
that the travel insurance company will not accept?

Is he
agreeing to sign it subject to something or is he just simply saying
point-blank no without giving any reason whatsoever?

Does he
want a fee? That is not uncommon.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Her Gp said that he would not sign the form. He told me to take the form to my own Gp. who is willing to sign it as he can see the death certificate. But the travel insurence company wont let him do this as they say it needs to be completed by my mother in laws GP. not my own. I also told my mother in law GP that I would be prepared to pay for him to complete the form.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Will he
tell you in writing that he is not prepared to sign it and will he tell you why?

exactly is he signing to say? There may be a patient confidentiality issue.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have it in writing saying he cant sign the form. He says that her medical information has been sent away. All the form is asking for is the cause of death, and if she suffered from any of these things prior to her death. It askes then for him to confirm that he was her GPand sign and stamp the form.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

I think
there are issues here and the insurance company should know better.

There is no
client confidentiality in confirming the cause of death and in any event they
have the death certificate.

There is no
client confidentiality in confirming that he was her GP.

There is
however a patient confidentiality issue in disclosing if she suffered from any
of the various things prior to her death. I can understand therefore why he
will not sign it.

On the
other hand I cannot understand how your own doctor (who won your own admission
did not know her) could agree to sign it even if it was ultimately

I do not
know the terms of the policy and usually it simply comes down to the death of a
close relative giving you the right to cancel and does not ask you, as part of
the insurance application process, to disclose whether the relative is in good
health or bad health. In that respect, would be necessary to look at the
insurance proposal and the terms and conditions of the policy.

What can
you do?

You can make
a complaint to the Family Practitioners Committee that the doctor is refusing
to do this but to be honest, I think they will come down on the side of the
doctor if, for no other reason, patient confidentiality.

So you are
stuck between a rock and a hard place and I think the only avenue you have is
to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman because it would appear that the
insurance company are imposing criteria which is impossible to fulfil and they
are using that therefore to avoid paying your claim. Unfortunately, the
Financial Ombudsman is not quick and this could take 12 months to resolve. Once
you tell the insurance company that you are going to refer this to the
Ombudsman, they may take a different view or you will not know until you do

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