The insurance minefield of travelling with a pre-existing medical condition
In the UK there are over 15 million people with long-standing health conditions who are finding it increasingly difficult to source affordable travel insurance. This figure is expected to rise to 18 million in the next decade.
Why is it so difficult to source affordable travel insurance?
There is an all-around lack of understanding amongst a number of insurance companies about the risks surrounding pre-existing medical conditions and their severity. This can result in companies making gross overestimates when setting the premium amount in these cases or even outright refusing to provide the traveller with cover. The information about any alternative cover is not being made readily available to the public, which means a number of people are not seeking out specialist insurers who would be able to assess their pre-existing condition in more depth in order to devise a fair quote.
The uncertainty surrounding pre-existing medical conditions also means that even people who have undergone preventative treatment or have been given the ‘all clear’ may still be penalised, despite currently having a clean bill of health. There are many people who are at very low/no risk of being affected by their past illness yet they’re still being quoted unreasonably high premiums.
What does this mean for travellers?
Travellers with pre-existing medical conditions often feel forced to travel without insurance, leaving them with no protection on their trip. These individuals can feel like they’re uninsurable or that they’re being victimised for having lived with medical conditions. Some may feel pressured to omit the details of their conditions when taking out a policy, which could invalidate their policy completely should they get caught out.
What’s being done about it?
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is now making a stand and have declared that they will work with others in the insurance industry to direct those met with high premiums to specialist insurers. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has made it clear that the insurance industry is doing all it can to help people with pre-existing medical conditions to find appropriate cover.
Specialist insurers and brokers can ask precise questions about pre-existing health conditions to determine the risk they currently pose to the traveller so the level of cover and the premium can accurately and, most importantly, fairly, reflect this.
If you’re looking for travel insurance with a pre-existing or current health condition, we can help you get the cover you need at a competitive price. Call one of our friendly team members at Watkin Davies today on 02920 621056.