We need to talk about weight


On this morning’s show, PJ spoke to Tony, whose sister Paula Healy passed away suddenly while on holidays in Greece recently.

At only 50 and with no major health conditions, Paula’s death was sudden and tragic, and compounded by the fact that, once her remains had been brought as far as London, her insurance company withdrew cover and refused to repatriate her.

The reason they gave? Her weight, and high blood pressure, and the effect these may have had on her health.

I have heard of someone being refused life insurance (and thus a mortgage) due to obesity.

But what I have never heard of is an insurance company refusing, after the event, to cover someone, purely because they were overweight.

With 57% of Irish women and 48% of Irish men expected to be obese by 2030, it really begs the question – will insurers withdraw coverage from all of them? Will they be able to get health, travel, motor or life insurance?

I’ll certainly be checking the fine print on my policies, and I hope others will do the same.

Luckily, Paula’s family was able to find the €6,000 it costs to repatriate a loved one, and the Kevin Bell repatriation trust has offered to reimburse them. But they should never have had to go through this.

My condolences to the Healy and Nation families, whose grieving process can begin now that this awful part of their ordeal is concluded.






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