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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 164

Date:- 20 August 2004

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DESPITE the fact that the over Sixties are now travelling more than ever before, Sainsbury's Bank believes that they are finding it more difficult to purchase travel insurance because a growing number of insurers don't want to cover them. Only around half of policies, including Sainsbury's Bank Five Star awarded cover to insure people.

The bank also believes that some travel insurance providers have inadequate screening processes, which means they can find it difficult to understand fully the extent of a customer's medical condition, if they have one. 

Given that older travelers are more likely to have a medical condition or have suffered from one in the past, these insurers are reluctant to insure them. Many people aged 60 and over may find it difficult to purchase affordable travel insurance even though they are healthy or have not suffered from a serious medical condition for many years.

More worryingly inadequate screening could leave older travelers unaware that their travel insurance does not cover them in the event of certain medical conditions or associated problems reoccurring. They may only find this out when reading the small pint on their policy or when it's too late. 

Michael Liddell, travel insurance manager, Sainsbury's Bank said:- "Too many travel insurance providers either don't undertake comprehensive screening or, because older people are more likely to make medical insurance claims, simply decide not to insure the older traveler, leaving them struggling to find insurance at a time in their lives when they most wish to travel."

Sainsbury's Bank Travel Insurance uses a very flexible screening process. If a person has a medical condition or has suffered from a serious illness in the past, it looks to develop a comprehensive understanding of their health and the risks involved so that on an individual basis, cover can be provided whenever possible. The policy has been given a 'Five Star' rating for the 4th year in a row from independent market analysts, Defaqto. 

Club in the swim with training grant

SIX members of Bootle's Fish and Tiddlers Swimming Club will be taking the plunge to become fully qualified swimming instructors, thanks to a £1,500 grant from the Community Foundation for Merseyside. 

The Club meets every Sunday at Bootle Leisure Centre providing swimming instruction, snorkeling and scuba diving to all-comers ranging from infants to pensioners.

The grant, from the South Sefton Key Fund - supported by the European Objective 1 programme and the South Sefton Partnership - will be used to meet the costs of a three-day Amateur Swimming Association instructor course in Speke, and to buy additional equipment for the club.

"There'll be a double benefit from this initiative,"
said Community Foundation Grants Officer Val Bayliff. 

"As well as enabling the individuals to achieve new skills and qualifications to support their own career development, the club will have six extra qualified volunteers to provide coaching for many more people at the Sunday training sessions."


THE Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the conviction for attempted murder of Paul Blackburn to the Court of Appeal.

Mr Blackburn was convicted of the attempted murder of a boy on 18 December 1978 at Chester Crown Court. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Blackburn was 14 at the time of the offence, which took place on June 25 1978.

He sought leave to appeal but the application was refused by a Single Judge in September 1979 and by the Full Court in March 1981.

In May 1995 a petition on behalf of Mr Blackburn was submitted to the Home Secretary. No grounds for referral were found. Mr Blackburn later applied to the Commission and the review of his case began in August 2001.

The Commission was set up in 1997 as an independent public body to investigate alleged miscarriages of justice and decide if they should be referred to the appeal courts.

After an extensive review of the original case, including the commissioning of expert reports, forensic tests and interviewing of witnesses, the Commission has decided to refer the conviction to the Court of Appeal. A related conviction for a serious sexual assault was also referred.

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