21st August 2019

Travel Insurance Unpacked: Declaring medical conditions

By Suzi Rackley, Dip CII
Client Director
Medical conditions

Buying travel insurance can be a minefield if you have suffered from or have any ongoing medical condition. Each insurer takes a different stance on when and how you declare your health, and the health of anyone travelling with you. In some cases, insurers even want to know the health of people who might affect your decision to cancel a trip. For example, if you book a trip knowing that a close relative is very likely to pass away, don’t expect your additional costs to be covered if you must cut short your trip to quickly return home. Insurance is there to cover unforeseen events.  

Therefore, it is extremely important to pay careful attention when asked questions about your health or medical conditions and to not hide anything away. Being open and honest is the best way, even if this means you must be medically screened, pay a higher premium or even take out a specialist policy. 

When you are obtaining a quote, make sure you have easy access to all the people who are to be covered by the policy. This way, you can discuss any health declarations with them to ensure the information you provide to the insurer is accurate.  

If you require emergency medical treatment whilst abroad, hospitals in some countries will want to see evidence of medical emergency insurance before proceeding with treatment, unless it is a life or death situation. If you have an ongoing condition that the insurer has agreed to cover, this should be stated on your policy schedule or certificate so it’s vital to arrange the correct cover before you travel.  

Many people rely on the travel insurance that is built in with their bank account but there is one significant pitfall to this. Because you do not go through any health declaration or medical screening, these policies tend to be very general and restrictive. Buying a standalone annual policy means that you declare and agree your health upfront and again at renewal, so it is important to buy a good quality travel policy, especially if you have medical conditions.  

At Aston Lark we have worked closely with Millstream to bring you comprehensive travel insurance. Our policy will automatically provide cover for several minor medical conditions and these are clearly listed for you when you get a quotation. If a condition is a little more severe you can self-screen by answering a few questions and you will know straight away if you can be covered or not. If your condition cannot be covered, you can book a time slot for a Millstream nurse to call you and discuss your health in more detail. This call can take up to 10 minutes and you will know by the end of the call if you can be fully covered. There may be an additional premium to pay and the nurse will tell you what this amount is and add it to your quotation premium for you. 

Our travel policy is not designed for people who are terminally ill or are in recovery from a recent operation. If you need assistance, please call us and we can direct you to a travel insurer who will be able to meet your specialist requirements.  

For a quotation for either a single trip or an annual policy, click here.