You’ve Paid for Travel Cover, But Are You Actually Insured?

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Summertime is fast approaching, and many holidaymakers will soon be packing their bags.

The more sensible holidaymakers out there will no-doubt be packing the details of their travel insurance policy, but will they actually be covered?

As more and more people are drawn to taking out long-term travel insurance policies (often via their bank or credit card company) that can cover multiple trips, it seems that more claims than ever are being rejected.

The reason? Most insurance policies include a piece of small-print stating that the policyholder (that’s you) must tell the insurer if they ‘fall ill or receive medical treatment after they’re signed up for the policy’.

Failing to do this can result in your insurer failing to pay for subsequent claims, even if it’s for a completely unrelated illness.

Rock Climbing

In some cases, policyholders fail to disclose this information because they don’t judge it to be of relevance. In other cases, they simply forget, or don’t realise that it’s their job to do so.

On long-term policies (that can last for years), it’s highly likely that you’ll receive some kind of medical treatment during the lifetime of the policy, which is why so many claims are being rejected by insurance companies.

One often cited case is of a man who had an annual travel insurance policy from a bank. This person suffered a temporary loss of vision, and the doctors suspected a stroke. Fortunately, the patient recovered fully, but four months later, when on holiday on a cruise ship, the man suffered a heart attack.

His insurance company refused to pay up, because he had not told them about his previous loss of sight.

Using Specialist Insurance Companies

The golden rule: Make sure you tell your insurer about any serious illness you’ve had, or anything you take medication for.

If your condition is serious, you should consider using a specialist insurer (such as Free Spirit, All Clear or Medici).

If you do have a pre-existing medical condition, it is better to buy your cover over the phone (as opposed to online), as it’ll give you a chance to discover everything that may be relevant before taking out your policy.

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