Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Warning - the importance of declaring pre existing medical conditions when buying travel insurance.

Holiday insurance is an interesting subject and as we get older we find we worry more whereas we know many younger travellers who just wing it figuring the insurance companies always find ways not to pay anyway.  Just maybe they are right.

Talking to a Doctor recently he mentioned how companies are trying to wriggle out of making payments and this is the gist of the conversation.

Doctor arrived in work on Friday to find a letter from a travel insurance company wanting a full medical history on one of his patients who had been rushed to hospital abroad after a heart attack.

Although the Doctor was concerned for his patient it would be Monday before he had time to complete the large questionnaire so already his patient was going to be in hospital abroad for at least 3 nights over the weekend clocking up a bill.

The patient had never had any heart or heart related problems in his life but the insurers also  asked numerous questions about non related illnesses.  One question was about whether the patient had ever had an ear infection.  There is no connection between ear infections and heart attacks however the patient had not declared an ear infection on his pre existing medical conditions and of he had this would have meant a very tiny increase in premium.

Now this is exactly what the insurance company were hoping to find.  As the correct premium had not been paid the patient was under insured giving the company a valid reason for not paying out on the heart problem or at best only paying out a percentage of the bill.

Please read this as a warning so that you declare absolutely every little thing you can as a pre-existing condition.  In reality most don't affect the premium at all but could affect any payout whatever you were claiming for.

Guessing it will only be a matter of time before you loose your luggage and miss out on a payout because you live in an area at home where you were vulnerable to burglary or maybe you miss a flight but can't claim because the insurance company learn you once missed a bus as a child!   Take heed.  


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Lesley said...

We had a situation whilst cruising when our travel insurance tried to get out of paying up by saying we had travelled more than 150 miles off shore having left Grenada and sailed to Antigua when Paul needed urgent surgery and that we were therefore not covered. We had this discussion with each agent, then management. Eventually we were put through to their company lawyer who read the 'off shore limits' and recognised that although we had travelled over 600 miles we were never more than 80 miles from land at any time. Monserrat saved the day and the claim was paid! We were also lucky in that it was on the 83th day of a 90 day policy! I would strongly suggest that any cruisers check the small print to ensure the offshore limits and cruise accordingly making sure you are within landfall in accordance with the policy..

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