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Travel Insurance and Pre-Existing Health Conditions

Updated on October 8, 2018
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Eileen loves to travel as much as possible both at home in the U.K. and abroad with local places of interest high on her to visit list.

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Importance Of Travel Insurance

Are you about to take your summer vacation? Looking forward to a winter break abroad? Have you taken out travel insurance and if you have is it really fit for purpose?

When you take out travel insurance you must declare any existing medical conditions at once. Some health conditions will have no effect on your policy, however some will; but either way, if you do not inform the insurer of pre-existing medical conditions your policy could become void.

With many of us traveling independently these days having insurance fit for purpose is a must.

Existing Health Conditions

If you have an existing heart condition it may still be possible to take out travel insurance but at a higher premium. A lot will depend on your condition, and the chances of it reoccurring.

Any similar condition should be declared but bear in mind the insurance premium could be high.

Whether you have thyroid problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer or even migraines you may need to make your insurance provider aware.

If you are traveling to a foreign country good health insurance is a must for those with health problems yet it is often so expensive travelers take a chance and travel uninsured.

British travelers to European Union countries can currently apply for an E111 card which allows the bearer medical treatment free of charge or at a reduced cost. ( E111 cards are free if you are eligible. Watch out for websites that demand a fee)

The U.K.s Brexit negotiators hope to figure out a way to keep these reciprocal health arrangements in place. If they cannot secure a deal of this, travel health insurance will be vital.

Insurance Is Business Not Charity

Insurance companies are a business and as such aim to make profits. They like to stack the odds in their favor and in truth do not want people making a claim unless the person has paid the correct premium for their cover.

If insurers did not apply strict rules, insurance premiums would go through the roof.

When you declare a pre-existing condition your insurer will be able to advise you just how much impact it may have on your premium. It may be worth checking this before booking your vacation.

The insurance premium could also be dependent on just where you are traveling to, as your destination could have a negative effect on your medical condition.

Be honest and ask for a quote. If the insurers want an extra 800 dollars or 400 pounds as you have a heart condition (quite a realistic sum of money in such cases) you may find that you cannot really afford to take the vacation.

But if you think "What The Hell" and skip buying insurance you could be in trouble. The cost of health care in a foreign country, for a foreign visitor, may be high. Any additional costs needed to get you home safely could add to your financial woes.

In truth, any pre-existing medical condition could affect your travel insurance premium but most will not.

However, non-declaration of any such condition could be a costly mistake.

If you do not declare an existing health condition you could find any claim you have to make null and void.


Research travel insurance options.

Some banks and building societies offer customers who regularly pay into a current account free travel insurance. The Nationwide in the U.K. offers free travel insurance as long as you meet the criteria. They are making changes to their free insurance but it is still worth checking out.

If you are an older person research what insurance is available through age-related charities. Premiums can go through the roof when you hit certain ages.

Insurance is usually available through a travel agent as you book a vacation but may not be suitable for people with pre-existing health conditions.

Dig out your home insurance policy and check whether it covers your when traveling.

Shop around but always make sure you read the fine detail.

You may think you are covered but could be in for a nasty surprise if you fall ill.

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© 2018 Ethel Smith


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