Statement regarding Jake Tonkin
We’re genuinely sorry to hear Jake’s been so badly injured while travelling around Asia. As a travel insurance provider, we deal with a lot of awful accidents, incidents and ailments, and it never gets any less upsetting to hear about them.
We’ve spoken to Jake again this afternoon (10/05/2017) and he’s confirmed that he’s happy for us to discuss his accident and his claim with the press, and we’re extremely grateful for this opportunity to put across our side of the story.
As you’ll already be aware, Jake was involved in a road traffic accident on the 7th May in Thailand. He was riding pillion on a friend’s moped when the moped collided with an oncoming motor vehicle.
The reason Jake’s claim has been declined is because, based on previous events, we considered him to have demonstrated reckless behaviour.
This was Jake’s second road traffic accident in less than three weeks. The first claim, submitted on the 26th April, has already been approved and processed by our claims team. However, Jake’s decision to climb onto another moped just five days after undergoing major surgery on his injured arm was considered to be reckless behaviour by our assistance team, which means he does not qualify for cover in this case.
With Jake’s arm in a back slab, he wouldn’t have been able to safely secure himself to the moped or the driver – he also risked exacerbating his existing injuries.
We’ve been in regular contact with Jake, and he’s been invited to appeal this decision – but so far, he’s not chosen to do so.
We never like telling people we can’t help them, and we always offer them an opportunity to discuss our decisions, but we have to have rules and regulations in place.
UPDATE (12/05/2017): The hospital in Thailand has denied that they refused treatment to Jake until payment was guaranteed:
Hospital director Dr Dhun Damrongsak said that Tonkin was admitted on Monday following an incident in which a van crashed into the rear of a motorcycle on which he was riding pillion. He sustained head injuries and a broken right leg and was immediately take to the hospital’s critical care unit.
Two medical teams led by neurosurgeon Dr Lersak Leenanithikul and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Supachai Panpichet treated Tonkin. As his brain injury was deemed to not require surgery, Tonkin underwent a one hour, 20 minute operation on his leg that night, Dhun said.
The patient’s condition improved without complications, so he was moved to the ordinary patient hall where he was recovering, Dhun said. He would have to remain at the hospital for at least another week and so far his medical bills had amounted to Bt300,000.
During admission, Tonkin, who was conscious, told hospital staff that he had a travel insurance so they contacted the firm which then notified them that they wouldn’t provide protection for unknown reason.
Hospital staff then called his relatives while still treating him, in accordance with Joint Commission International (JCI) standards and the hospital’s policy to prioritise patient safety, Dhun said, insisting that the doctors did not refuse to treat him.
He said the hospital had explained the full situation to the British Embassy in Bangkok, adding that the foreign news reports may have stemmed from misunderstanding or miscommunication.