One myth should be debunked immediately – that is that you can’t find single trip travel insurance if you have pre-existing medical conditions. |
In all but a tiny percentage of cases, that’s just not right. It’s a general truism of insurance that you can find cover for just about anything if you’re prepared to look around and pay an appropriate premium that’s commensurate with the risk you’re asking the policy provider to take on.
Every so often, there’s a storm of outrage in the press over a travel insurance claim that’s been rejected because the policyholder failed to declare a pre-existing medical condition.
It’s important to remember that such instances are a miniscule percentage of overall policy and claim numbers, and in almost all cases the insurance company’s position is actually correct. No reputable UK insurance company will ever try to avoid meeting their responsibilities by behaving unethically or illegally, though inevitably judgement may be involved and in rare cases errors in such have be seen.
Why does this area cause confusion and what can be done to avoid it in the context of single trip travel insurance?
Your Medical History
In advance of deciding how much will be required to insure your health while abroad, it’s not unreasonable to expect an insurance provider to try and quantify those risks by knowing something of your medical history. Specifically, they’ll want to know about any ‘pre-existing’ medical conditions you might have had or have.
The logic here isn’t devious. Quite simply, if you suffer from say asthma, then there’s a higher chance you’ll suffer an attack abroad that results in the need for medical treatment that someone who doesn’t have asthma.
Problems with claims usually arise due to one of two things happening:
• Someone claims for medical costs for a pre-existing illness which they had not declared on their original proposal form.
• A claim is launched for reason ‘a’ but is refused because pre-existing condition ‘b’ wasn’t declared - but the policyholder believes ‘a’ and ‘b’ to be entirely unrelated to each other.
Top Tips for Avoiding Disputes
To avoid finding yourself in such a position, adopt the following with single trip travel insurance.
• Declare every medical condition you suffer from or have ever suffered from. Don’t hide things to try and save money.
• Do not assume that you can ignore a condition because it’s no longer relevant or is in the past. Let’s take an example – you’re hit by a car from behind on holiday and failed to declare you had surgery to improve your hearing some time ago. You may think the two are entirely unrelated but your insurer might not. So, declare it.
• Shop around – many single trip travel insurance providers will accept pre-existing medical conditions with only modest increases in your premium as a result.
• Remember that, although your doctor has given you a clean bill of health with regard to your condition, that’s not to say your insurer won’t be interested. Tell them!
• If you suffer or have suffered from a serious condition, you may still be able to find cover through special brokers. Once again, keep your options open.
• Declare if you’re taking medication. Some things such as anti-histamines for hay fever might not be of interest, but something such as anti-depressants may well be. Yet again, don’t make assumptions but declare instead.
• Remember to declare injuries as well as illnesses. You may think your broken leg is now almost fully healed, but if you come off a rented bike while away and you haven’t declared that, you might find it becomes an issue.
Whatever the press might say sometimes, your provider of single trip travel insurance isn’t trying to ‘catch you out’ but, to the contrary, to make sure you’re fully covered. Share with them and help them to do so!
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in global single trip travel insurance policies. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.
Related Articles -
Single, trip, travel, insurance,