Speak to Christine Pearson or Susan Myers for Expert Help on 0191 284 8545

or send us your contact details

Travel The world

Travel Insurance for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Why do you need special cover for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?

Many standard travel insurance policies exclude poeple with pre-existing medical conditions, because policies are intended to cover unexpected events. If you choose to take out a standard policy without telling the insurer about an existing condition and then go on to make a claim relating in any way to an undisclosed condition, your claim may be refused and the policy could become invalid.

Medical costs abroad can be very expensive and without adequate insurance cover you could be left severely out of pocket. Cover will only be provided for pre-existing medical conditions, all of which must be declared. Note that you cannot pick and choose which conditions to include or leave out, otherwise any particular claim will be voided.

Taking out a policy that covers you for pre-existing conditions means that if you fall ill while on holiday and need emergency treatment or hospital care related to your condition, subject to the conditions of the policy and any excesses, the cost would be covered.

Risks of standard cover

Travellers may be tempted to take out standard cover and simply not disclose any pre-existing condition. But you run the risk of the policy not paying out if you were to make a claim.

A large proportion of consumer complaints to the Ombudsman about health-related travel insurance involve disputes over non-disclosure of pre-existing medical conditions.

There are many policies that are broad and ambiguous and it’s not clear whether consumers with a pre-existing medical condition would be covered. It is therefore vital you clarify you are buying the right policy.

You are expected to disclose all relevant information, so Medical Insurance Bureau’s expert advisors always make sure they ask appropriate questions to enable you to do so.

What is classed as a pre-existing medical condition?

These are ailments which existed before an insurance policy was taken out. A pre-existing condition usually means any medical condition for which medical advice, diagnosis, care or treatment was recommended or received.

Some common conditions include:

Even those who have been cured from a medical condition may still have to declare this to their insurer. For example, a person who has been completely cured of cancer may still face higher insurance premiums.

You should speak to one of our experts to check whether they will include your condition on the policy.

What is medical screening?

Medical screening is a system that will ask you a series of easy multiple choice questions to assess the severity of your condition.

When searching for an insurance company that covers pre-existing medical conditions you will be often asked a number of in-depth questions and will be required to submit detailed and sometimes very personal answers. You will be asked about a range of conditions both physical and mental such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders.

Whilst this can be a frustrating process it is necessary so that the insurance company can tailor your policy to your specific needs and determine any risk you may impose.

Failure to declare a medical condition to an insurer could result in any claim being rejected and force you to cover any medical costs yourself. It may be tempting to withhold certain information in order to obtain a cheaper premium, but in the event of a claim the insurance company will request access to your medical records.

No matter how minor a medical condition may be it is always worth declaring this to the insurer just to be sure that you are fully covered.

Our experienced consultants can usually cover this over the phone.

How we can help you

Travellers with pre-existing medical conditions may find difficulty in obtaining a travel insurance policy which covers them. If you have had a stroke or heart disease, for example, it can be difficult to find one.

Because of the increased risk of claims, travellers with pre-existing conditions find themselves with fewer policies to choose from and also face paying more for cover.

Once you have answered all relevant questions there are a number of potential outcomes, these are:

The BTIC group of companies includes:

E. Lloyd Hartland & Co, SNH Insurance Services, S. Stuart McLean & Co, Medical Insurance Bureau, Aspect Insurance Services.

Medical Insurance Bureau is a division of BTIC Ltd who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No 306433)

Registered in England and Wales (No 3163970) at 26/27 Lansdowne Terrace, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 1HP