An insurance company has come under fire from a disgruntled family who suffered a nightmare getaway.
Margaret O’Neill, 69, fell ill on a flight at 39,000ft and had to be treated by doctors on her journey from Bulgaria, ultimately requiring an emergency landing in Budapest where she was rushed to hospital and spent four nights.
Now, her daughter Claire has spoken to the Manchester Evening News
about their anger at their insurance company Mapfre Assistance which failed to fly her mother home from the Hungarian capital and didn’t provide accommodation while Margaret was in intensive care.
The family, from Bolton, reportedly paid £18,500 to fly Margaret home using an emergency air ambulance, with Claire, herself a nurse, claiming the insurer offered just £100 to cover the costs.
“We got dumped in Hungary and mum was really poorly,” she told the Manchester Evening News
. “When me and my dad got to the hospital and were sent to the emergency department we didn’t know if she was alive.
“The insurance company said we would just need accommodation for that night and the next day a case handler would tell us where to stay for the rest of the week.
“In the end my sister, who was back home, booked me and my dad into accommodation near the hospital.
“All our suitcases had gone back to Manchester. We just had a phone charger and a pen and we didn’t have any Hungarian money.”
Margaret was moved to intensive care as she developed pneumonia, with Claire asking if she could be moved to a military hospital nearby. However, she alleges that the company would not help.
“The hospital was horrendous, it was dirty,” she explained. “But the insurance company said they were happy that the treatment she was receiving was adequate. I was scared we would be taking my mum home in a coffin.
“They also said they won’t pay for the emergency air ambulance that took her home because we had hired it privately.”
Margaret is now recovering at home after she was flown from Hungary to Bolton Hospital on August 19 while Claire has filed an official complaint with Mapfre Assistance.
In response, a spokesman for the company told the publication: “We are sorry that Mrs O’Neill’s experience in Hungary was so difficult and we sincerely hope that she is on the road to recovery.
“An offer of £100 has been made to Ms Claire O’Neill and the reason for that is we acknowledge we could have done more to help arrange accommodation in Hungary.
“The response letter which has been sent after investigating the complaint in further detail does make it clear this offer is by way of an apology for the fact Claire was left to arrange accommodation on her own.
“The letter also explains that we are willing to consider all medical, repatriation and accommodation costs so I would urge Claire to forward all of this information to us at the earliest opportunity so that we can review in accordance with the policy terms and conditions.”
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