Younger travellers reminded to declare pre existing medical conditions

20 September 2011 15:59

World First Travel Insurance are particularly concerned for younger travellers, many of whom are travelling to destinations where medical facilities could be limited or the cost of treatment could be very high.

World First Travel Insurance are particularly concerned for younger travellers, many of whom are travelling to destinations where medical facilities could be limited or the cost of treatment could be very high.

Travel insurance specialists, World First Travel Insurance, are reminding younger travellers of the need to declare any pre existing medical conditions when purchasing travel insurance ahead of taking a holiday or starting their travels.

When purchasing travel insurance people are required to declare any pre-existing medical conditions as this can affect the policy and is essential in ensuring individuals on the policy have full cover. Many older travellers are familiar with declaring pre existing medical conditions when purchasing travel insurance, but contact centre staff at World First Travel Insurance have noticed that more younger people are failing to declare their illnesses or conditions, resulting in some claims not being paid.

There have been cases in the past year of people declaring some of their conditions, those they believe to be more serious, and failing to mention other, less serious conditions. By not declaring everything people are risking not being covered if they are taken ill whilst on holiday.

Managing Partner of World First Travel Insurance, Martin Rothwell said, "We have known some customers to provide details of some of their medical conditions, often the ones they deem to be most serious. This includes conditions such as angina, Crohn's disease, cancer and Alzheimer's. But then fail to tell us about other conditions which they feel are 'being managed' or are minor, this often includes things like asthma, irritable bowel syndrome and allergies to stings.

"Our contact centre team have noticed that many younger travellers need to be pushed to declare any history of asthma and other conditions that, as far as they are concerned, are minor. People are worried that declaring a condition will vastly increase the cost of the policy. In truth it may increase the cost a bit, but better pay a few pounds more than risk having to foot the bill for medical treatment abroad."

Recently a number of claims have been refused as the policy holders did not provide details of all their conditions when taking out the policy. One such case involved two women who travelled to the USA. Both had declared they had pre existing medical conditions and provided details of these conditions. Whilst on holiday they were both hospitalised. Unfortunately the reason for hospitalisation was as a result of a number of conditions which had not been declared at the time of taking out the policy. The medical bills, which were clearly not covered by the travel insurance, were in excess of £50,000.

Because the reason for hospitalisation was a pre-existing medical condition that was not declared the underwriters will not cover the claim. This is standard practice. Failure to declare any information upon purchasing travel insurance can invalidate the policy and result in claims not being paid.

If you are taken ill whilst on holiday and a doctor identifies it is linked to any pre existing medical condition then this forms part of the claim. If the condition was declared at the time of buying the policy and there are no other conditions to consider, then you should be covered. If you have failed to declare a condition and that forms part of the reason you were taken ill then your travel insurance will not cover you.

Martin concluded: "Although the pre existing medical conditions may be minor, failure to declare them can invalidate the entire travel insurance policy. Often medical conditions are interlinked and therefore, if people need to make a claim, it is likely that a number of their conditions may play a part in them being taken ill."

World First Travel Insurance are particularly concerned for younger travellers, many of whom are travelling to destinations where medical facilities could be limited or the cost of treatment could be very high.

The advice is simple, firstly make sure you get travel insurance, but more importantly, make sure you get travel insurance for pre existing medical conditions, no matter how minor you may believe them to be.

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