The nation’s go-to consumer champion has found that British holidaymakers who disclose their pre-existing medical conditions might well be stumping up hundreds of pounds, needlessly on travel insurance policies. Having recently conducted its own investigation into 10 leading travel policy providers’ approach to pre-existing medical conditions, www.which.co.uk discovered what they believe to be substantial discrepancies when it comes to like-for-like annual worldwide coverage.
Which’s scrutinising highlighted that, amongst other things, there was a £327 premium difference between what they acknowledged as the cheapest and most expensive travel packages when a policyholder reveals a heart condition; whilst elsewhere there was a £230 swing within quotes for those would-be insured parties who admit to suffering from high blood pressure.
The study carried out by long-respected fighter of the consumer’s corner, Which? ultimately ran the rule over some 200 insurance policies, together with compiling and contrasting feedback from thousands of travel policyholders according to its own website of late.
Again, one thing that it’s accrued data points toward is the underlying fact that shopping around for travel cover is key to securing a competitively priced deal, especially so if the interested party has a pre-existing condition to disclose from the outset. As part of its examining current travel policies readily available out there, Which? assumed the hypothetical identity of a 55-year old in the market for an annual worldwide policy to afford its research a more realistic perspective.
Discrepancies Between One Pre-existing Condition-accepting Travel Policy Provider and Another Can Run to Hundreds of Pounds Difference
Although seemingly trouble-free to arrange the appropriate level of cover to accommodate, high blood pressure did manifest as pricey, with one provider quoting £268. Yet delving a little deeper and Which’s researchers tracked down a similar package for just £43. T
he same degree of monetary difference presented when opting for travel cover which encompassed the declaration of a heart condition, with a 55-year old suffering from both arrhythmia and angina being quoted £443 for annual cover; however £115 with a competitor. For those holidaymakers who reveal they are dealing with breast cancer, just two travel providers well able to offer suitable coverage with regards to dedicated annual worldwide policies, while separate research conducted by Which? Money (which focused specifically on travellers with cancer) found that holidays to either America or Spain would set the policyholder back double what it would for those without the disease; due to significantly more expensive means of treatments.
As a timely reminder on how best to arrange travel insurance should you have a pre-existing medical condition, Which? suggested a few pointers to always bear in mind; first of which was to refer to any packaged bank accounts you may have. A number come with travel insurance policies as a freebie, or incentive as such, therefore it’s wise to revisit the paperwork and check the small print to determine whether or not pre-existing conditions are taken into consideration or not.
Secondly don’t overlook the importance of confirming the existence of a major health issue which you’ve received treatment for in the past, as keeping this information to yourself could end up with you facing the prospect of footing a huge medical bill at a later date; chiefly because this withholding of crucial information effectively invalidates a policy. Meanwhile if you’re struggling to find a travel insurer who’ll cover your pre-existing medical needs, then experts advise you to speak with the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, who will put you in touch with an insurer who can. And finally don’t go anywhere (abroad anyway) without an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). Despite it not being a substitute for more conventional travel policies per se, it will entitle you to certain treatments in hospitals situated in various countries across the EU.