Travel Tips & Advice

Should I Declare Medical Conditions for Travel Insurance

Vegas in Nevada

Before going on holiday, it is essential that you think about travel insurance but more than this, that you also get cover which you are not actually invalidating the moment you purchase it. One of the most common mistakes people make when buying holiday insurance is to do all they can to try and chip away at the trip costs, yet this small saving can end up being one of the biggest mistakes you will make when planning a holidays.

If you become ill or get involved in a serious accident whilst abroad, an unprotected traveller will have to pay for the medical costs and these bills can often mean a bill of thousands of pounds. Travel insurance ensures that it the insurer who pays for your medical costs, medications, and transport home and this is no problem provided that when applying for insurance, you answer ruthfully the questions on your current state of health. Questions will include your present state of health, as well as about any pre-existing medical conditions are questions you should always answer honestly and to the best of your ability.

Withholding Information

It is a common misconception to believe that not revealing you have a medical condition saves money. It only saves money if your holiday goes off without a hitch. The problem occurs if something goes wrong and the insurance company then dicover that even the smallest of details was missed out on your application. If you fall ill, and it’s linked with a pre-existing medical condition, the insurer might cover your costs initially, but they’ll seek recompense when you return. Some insurers will not provide any cover at all on discovering any disrepancies and invalidate your policy. Furthermore, giving false information is fraud.

Added Premiums

To further discredit the myth that not declaring your medical conditions saves you money, it is also not every medical condition adds anything to your premiums. There are also specialist insurers which have lower premiums for those with pre-existing medical conditions. In this case, declaring any underlying problems can add very little onto the cost of insurance.

What Should You Declare?

Generally, you should declare anything you think relevant. It doesn’t matter if it’s something which last caused problems decades ago. It’s best to declare everything just in case the worst happens. No insurer will bump up the cost of insurance significantly because of an asthma attack 15 years ago. Here are some of the major medical conditions you should always declare.

  • Asthma. Failing to have a proper inhaler can lead to a hospital stay for asthma suffers. Avoid making the mistake of not declaring if a family member has it, if you’re taking out a blanket insurance policy for the whole family.
  • Heart attack. Heart attacks often lead to underlying heart problems. You automatically have a weaker heart if you’ve lived through a heart attack. Even if you haven’t had any further issues, declare it regardless.
  • High cholesterol. Insurers nearly always ask if you have high cholesterol. This is a precursor to many heart problems. A change of climate increases the risk of aggravating one of these conditions. To reduce your premiums, consider reducing your cholesterol before taking out insurance.
  • Surgery. Any condition which led to surgery needs declaring. To an insurer, this says you’ve suffered from severe health problems. They’ll assess your risk as a policyholder separately.

Hidden Advantages of a Declaration

Declaring your medical condition entitles you to further benefits than just having the costs of medical care covered.

  • Cancellation cover refunds the costs of your holiday if you become too poorly to travel due to a pre-existing medical condition. You can’t claim these costs back if you didn’t declare the condition to begin with.
  • Curtailment. Coming down with something serious on holiday can lead to cutting the excursion short. Your insurer can refund the remaining value of the holiday as part of a curtailment policy. Failure to declare your condition prevents you from being able to make a claim.

How Specific Should I Be?

Be as specific as you can. Usually, it’s just a matter of taking an insurer’s survey. Most insurers do this over the phone or online. They’ll ask you a question and you can choose from multiple answers. There’s also a comments box where you can add some extra details. If you have a condition, it’s wise to visit your doctor before taking out travel insurance. They can give you the most up-to-date information on your condition and the vital information you need to accurately brief an insurer.

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