Many travellers not declaring pre-existing medical conditions


If you have ever applied for travel insurance, you will be familiar with the question regarding any pre-existing medical conditions. This includes everything from common conditions such as elevated blood pressure and raised cholesterol levels, to the more obscure complaints from which you may suffer.

Recent research, carried out by Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance, reveals rather worryingly that 1.3 million people went abroad last year without disclosing their pre-existing medical conditions.

Of these, around one in five had heart conditions, one in six had respiratory problems, and one in nine had cancer or was recovering from cancer. These figures do not of course take account of the half million travellers who do not bother to take out insurance at all despite having medical conditions. All laid themselves open to huge medical bills had they required medical attention for their problems whilst abroad, since their omission would have invalidated their travel policy.

The two biggest factors leading people to be sparing with the truth when filling in their insurance proposals are concern that it will cost an arm and a leg and worry that they will be refused cover altogether.

The irony is, of course, that by omitting to declare a pre-existing condition the policy holder will invalidate the policy and could be faced not only with a hefty bill for medical treatment but also the costs of repatriation should disaster strike.

Insurance companies are generally keen to attract business and although they will normally charge a higher premium to cover pre-existing conditions the uplift may well be minimal, especially if the condition is a common one. If you have a more critical condition there are specialist insurers who should be able to help.


Leave your comments

Please enter the validation code shown   
Your email address is required so we can verify that the comment is genuine. It will not be posted anywhere on the site, will be stored confidentially by us and never given out to any third party.

There is obviously a lot to know about this. There are some good points here. :)
Posted by PatShelby on 07/10/2009 at 18:52
Report Comment  

#2 I'm so glad I found this site...Keep up the good work
Posted by Bill Bartmann on 06/09/2009 at 21:49
Report Comment  

#1 It is a common theme with all insurances, car, house and even pet!

Problem for travellers is that they do not realise that their dishonesty affects the whole policy not just whether or not they will receive cover for an incidence of sickness. A company may not pay out on a lost baggage claim if they discover the insured has been dishonest. It might seem unlikely that an insurer will discover details about health history for lost baggage claim the risk remains!
Posted by Charlotte on 28/04/2009 at 09:55
Report Comment