When buying travel insurance you’ll be asked if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. Some people are reluctant to declare any medical conditions which have been ‘completely cured’ as they won’t need to claim for the condition in the future.
However new claim data seen by PayingTooMuch.com shows that around 50% of claims for medical expenses are related to pre-existing conditions. The other 50% are for unrelated illnesses, showing that you never know when the unexpected may happen!
One of the most common conditions screened is ‘Ischaemic Heart Disease’. This covers a large range of conditions, including angina and heart attack. Customers who declare a heart attack (and usually a remedial procedure, such as a bypass, angioplasty or coronary stent,) are under the impression that because the condition has been treated, that it will never happen again.
However - based on claims data from insurers, this is not always the case.
This year Mr X, 76, travelled to the USA for 16 days, and ended up having to claim on his insurance for medical expenses (not including repatriation) of £60,000 as he had a heart attack whilst abroad.
Mr X had previously suffered a heart attack (which, luckily, had been declared on his insurance policy) and was also taking preventative blood pressure and cholesterol medication. However the unfortunate event still occurred for a second time.
Other common conditions that people don’t always declare include asthma and other breathing conditions. Again, claims experience shows that these conditions can reoccur and give rise to the need for medical claims and repatriation.
In 2012, Mr Y, 69 was travelling within Europe and had to claim £31,000 for medical expenses and repatriation after suffering respiratory problems whilst on holiday. Along with several heart conditions and a liver transplant, Mr Y had previously suffered from pulmonary fibrosis and several chest infections. Luckily, again, he had declared these conditions to his insurer, so he was covered when he experienced recurrent problems abroad.
If you are unsure about what you need to declare, see our website or call our travel team on 01243 784000.