Travel Insurance: did you declare your pre-existing medical conditions?

According to ABTA, 27% of British holidaymakers travelled abroad with no insurance last year. But of the rest, how many had the cover they thought they’d paid for?

Contrary to what many people seem to believe, travel insurance is not an off-the-shelf, one size fits all product. One of the main risks included in a travel insurance policy is that of medical emergencies, that is why insurers ask about pre-existing medical conditions when you apply for a policy.

When a customer takes out a travel insurance policy, they are entering into a binding legal contract with the insurer. If the worst happens, and there is a claim, then it is this contract which obliges the insurer to pay out; but customers also have obligations under the policy, including answering all of the insurance company’s questions honestly, and in full.

It is important to remember that this means customers must always tell their insurer, in full, about *any* pre-existing medical conditions they have, or have ever had, when the insurer asks. Being open and honest allows the insurer to make sure that the policy is right for the customer, and that they will always be covered, no matter what should happen.

Failing to declare a pre-existing medical condition is fraud. Insurance companies can, and do, refuse to pay out on any holiday illness claim – and even cancel policies altogether – where customers are dishonest when taking out their insurance. With medical treatment overseas becoming increasingly expensive, especially in the USA, it’s easy to see why some customers are tempted to be economical with the facts to save a few pounds on their insurance, but it is not worth the risk.

The average cost of a travel insurance claim is £1,296; however, it can be much, much higher. Travellers are risking bills in the tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of pounds by travelling uninsured, which could leave them having to sell their home, or even bankrupt, to pay for what should have been the holiday of a lifetime.

If you are at all unsure, or need any advice about travel insurance, contact Mackrell and Thomas today.