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Six Questions Travellers with pre-existing medical conditions should ask

12 March 2010 13:56

World First Travel Insurance has created a check list of six questions travellers with pre-existing medical conditions must ask before buying their policy.  This is to assist travellers with long-term conditions, and their travelling companions, to ask the right questions and make the right decisions when buying travel insurance, particularly in the lead up to the summer season.  

“The cover for medical conditions varies from policy to policy and insurer to insurer,” comments Martin Rothwell, Managing Partner of World First.  “Some insurers operate blanket exclusions, for example stating that you will not be covered if you have received treatment, medication or advice from your doctor in the last 12 months.  Other insurers insist that anyone over age 65 is screened regardless of whether they take medication and ask that you phone a separate number before buying your insurance to be screened. You may then, after answering an often lengthy series of questions, be offered cover at an additional premium, which can vary dramatically between different insurers.

The six questions all travellers with pre-existing medical conditions must ask themselves are:

  • Have I declared all the medical conditions for every member of my party?  If you don’t, you will not be covered.
  • Have I remembered to declare all my medical conditions?  Some people forget that they have one. For example, if you are over 65 and been taking blood pressure or cholesterol tablets for the last ten years, this constitutes a pre-existing medical condition.  If you do not declare it you will not be covered.
  • Have I told the insurance company that I have a medical condition under review, regardless of whether I take medication?  If you forget you will not be covered.
  • Have I told insurers about any injuries I have had in the last 12 months that may be exacerbated by activities I am planning during my trip? If not you may not be covered.
  • Am I making sure everyone in the party is buying insurance from the same company?  If you don’t not everyone in your party will be covered should one of you be forced to cancel the holiday due to a pre-existing medical problem.
  • If you are pregnant, have you checked the exclusions? Some insurers will not cover claims if the holiday is in the last 16 weeks of pregnancy.

World First are specialist holiday insurers and operate an in-house medical screening service so travellers can discuss their conditions and buy the right policy in one phone call.  Most medical screening helplines are run by third parties, which mean travellers have to make several calls before getting covered. 

World First has higher limits than a lot of insurers in respect of the medical problems it can cover and therefore is able to insure all stages of pregnancy and travellers with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and HIV in addition to diabetes, Crohn’s and many more.