World First launches online medical screening for medical travel insurance

25 January 2010 17:53

25 January, 2010.  From today, travellers with pre-existing medical conditions can buy insurance more quickly and easily by using an online medical screening tool. Launched by travel insurance specialists World First, the virtual tool enables customers to purchase the appropriate travel cover from the privacy of their own PC, bypassing the need to run through, often complex, medical conditions on the telephone.

Almost 1.3 million people with pre-existing medical conditions travelled abroad in 2009 without telling their insurer about their health problems, with cost and fear of refusal cited as the two main reasons. Failure to disclose relevant health details when applying for travel insurance can lead to an invalid claim, meaning medical costs and other expenses will not be covered.

The new screening service sits alongside World First’s easy to use quote calculator, which sits on the home page (and throughout the site).  During the quote process, applicants are asked whether or not they have any health issues, and if they opt in, a separate medical screen comes up, which takes customers through a range of questions.  It is easy to toggle forwards and back, and applicants can easily see any additional premium costs added on as a result of their condition.

“Many standard insurance policies refuse to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions especially if they are aged over 65, so affordable travel insurance can be difficult to find,” says Martin Rothwell, Managing Partner of World First. “This is why we provide specialist cover for travellers with health conditions or the elderly, and we offer some of the best value policies around. Our customers say we are often hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds cheaper than the nearest competitive quote.”

“However, we are always looking to enhance our service, and many of our customers have told us they find discussing their condition on the phone highly embarrassing or cannot do it during working hours, which is why we have launched our new online screening process which is available 24/7 and is simple and intuitive to use.  Customers can now get an instant quote and buy their travel insurance online, making the whole process quicker and easier and vitally, discreet.”

“Of course, for those customers who want to speak to a “real” person they will still have access to our highly trained, in-house, customer service department, who are available during normal working hours, Monday to Saturday.”

World First offers affordable comprehensive cover for travellers with conditions such as angina, asthma, blood disorders, cancer, deep vein thrombosis, heart conditions, HIV, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, thyroid problems and people who have had a stroke.  Benefits include a 24-hour emergency helpline, medical cover anywhere in the world up to £5 million and cover for travel delays, luggage loss, cancellations and personal liability.

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