Do You Understand Your Travel Insurance?

Many people believe that you are only required to disclose present illnesses or complaints you are currently taking medication for. It has been suggested that only one in five of the people understood the need to disclose any illness or disease diagnosed or treated within the past two years, even relatively minor ailments.

Moreover, 7 out of 10 failed to realise they needed to disclose any diagnosis of depression, however long in the past. Around the same number didn’t know that any diagnosis of cancer they had suffered was disclosable.

Medical conditions you must disclose

Given the confusion-  what illnesses do you need to disclose, and what can you keep to yourself? If you’re currently being treated or taking medication for a condition, you’ll always need to disclose it and some pre-existing medical conditions must also be revealed if they occurred within a certain time frame, normally 2 years.

Some serious conditions such as heart, respiratory illnesses and cancer must be disclosed to insurers regardless of how long ago you stopped receiving treatment.

Generally speaking, these medical conditions must be disclosed before you buy medical insurance.

  • Type 2 Diabetes – (if you received treatment or diagnosis within two years)
  • Diagnosed current pregnancy complications – relevant if you are pregnant and are suffering complications.
  • Epilepsy – if a seizure resulted in a visit to medical practitioner or treatment within the last two years.
  • Asthma – if you have ever suffered from any diagnosed respiratory condition
  • Parkinson’s Disease – if you have been diagnosed or treated for early onset Parkinson’s within two years.
  • Arthritis – if you have received diagnosis or treatment within two years for any diagnosed medical condition.
  • High blood pressure – if you have ever suffered from any diagnosed circulatory condition.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression – if you have ever suffered from diagnosed psychiatric or psychological conditions
  • Irritable Bowel Disease – if you have received diagnosis or treatment within two years for any diagnosed medical condition
  • Cancer – if you have ever suffered from any diagnosed cancerous conditions

Always check your terms and conditions thoroughly before taking out a policy, especially if you’ve been diagnosed with any of the above. If in doubt, make comments on the policy

Medical conditions inflate premiums - If you have ever been seriously ill or suffer from chronic conditions, then getting insured for holidays or finding an affordable deal can be extremely challenging. That said not being truthful on a policy could void your policy.

Don’t lie to fly.

After a WHICH survey of 10,495 members with a medical condition in November 2018, they found a quarter had faced inflated premiums, and a fifth could only find policies that excluded all claims related to their illness.

How to find the best travel insurance

If you’re having difficulty finding travel insurance with a high street insurer, you may find specialist providers will offer you a better deal. Using price comparison websites can help you shop around for quotes. However, avoid choosing a policy solely based on price, and be sure to read the terms and conditions to make sure you get the right level of cover.

Once you agree to the terms of a policy, making a travel insurance claim will be impossible in relation to health conditions that are excluded.

How travel insurance is screened

When shopping around for travel insurance, you’ll find yourself answering the same questions again and again. This is because most insurers use medical screening software from a company called Verisk (formerly Healix) to generate a ‘medical risk score’. What insurers then do with that score and charge is down to them.

But alternative screening systems may be more suitable in other cases.