Travel insurance hit the headlines recently when it emerged that many Britons are losing out on their holiday insurance premiums after neglecting to mention pre-existing medical conditions at the time of booking. So what medical conditions should you mention when taking out travel insurance and what exactly are your rights in relation to existing conditions?
Pre-existing medical conditions seem to generate a lot of confusion amongst holiday makers and it appears that most of the population is confused to what actually constitutes a pre-existing medical condition. A simple definition is that a pre-existing medical condition is defined in travel insurance terms as "an illness or injury that you, a traveling companion, or family member were seeking or receiving treatment for or had symptoms of on the day you purchased your plan , or at any time in the 9 months before you purchased it ".
But whether its asthma, diabetes or cardiovascular problems, the fact is that the majority of people in the United Kingdom do have pre-existing medical conditions. So if you're one of these people what should you do? Well the first port of call is letting your travel insurance provider know.
If you plan on booking your holiday insurance online, you will often find that the form you need to fill in really is not that comprehensive and often leaves little or no room for you to talk about any pre-existing medical conditions that you or a family member has. The easiest way of doing this is a simple phone call to your travel insurance provider or a quick email enlightening them on your current situation.
And remember your pre-existing conditions are not the only ones which need mentioning. If a close relative has recently been taken ill this may hinder your ability to complete the trip and so should definitely be mentioned to your holiday insurance provider. Likewise, if your boss or a business associate has recently fallen ill and it is likely that if his condition worsens you will have to abandon your holiday and hold fort in the office then this should also be mentioned.
Although most medical conditions that you've suffered from prior to the nine month pre-purchase period do not ordinarily need to be mentioned to your travel insurance provider, things get a little more complicated if you have ever suffered from cardiovascular, cerebrovascular (strokes and brain hemorrhages) or cancerous conditions and most holiday insurance companies will not cover these if you have ever suffered from, or undergone investigation for them.
The important thing to remember is that pre-existing medical conditions do not stop you taking out holiday insurance or even claiming on your travel insurance for costs relating to them. In simple terms, if you are asthmatic and whilst on holiday you suffer from an asthma attack, you will not be able to claim on your holiday insurance for any costs related to this condition, if it arises that you suffered from this illness nine months prior to booking your holiday and chose not to inform your travel insurance operator
If you do not declare a medical condition, prior to travelling, you are opening yourself up to a potentially enormous financial risk, which could run into many thousands of pounds. The risk is just not worth it.