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Travel insurance for pre-existing conditions

A suitcase with stickers on from around the worldIf you have asthma, high blood pressure or heart disease you’ll understand how hard it can be to find travel insurance. But you can now compare policies that cover pre-existing medical conditions with Confused.com.

Many standard travel insurance policies exclude people with pre-existing medical conditions.

These are ailments which existed before an insurance policy was taken out.

Insurers usually exclude claims arising from pre-existing conditions because policies are intended to cover unexpected events.

But Confused.com now compare polices from a number of providers which offer travel insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions – making it easier for you to find the best deal.

Compare prices from specialist insurers

With Confused.com’s easy-to-use site, you can now select your particular condition.

In moments you'll receive tailored travel insurance quotes from a range of market-leading providers, including Flexicover, Coverwise and TopDog.

So no more choosing a travel insurance policy only to read the small print and find out it doesn’t cover your particular illness.

People with pre-existing medical conditions are seen as more likely to make a claim on their travel insurance policy.

More likely to claim

Travellers with pre-existing medical conditions will be only too aware of the difficulties in obtaining a travel insurance policy which covers them, says Kate Rose, head of travel insurance at Confused.com.

Because of the increased risk of claims, travellers with pre-existing conditions find themselves with fewer policies to choose from and also face paying more for cover.

Rose says: “We understand that not everyone has a perfect medical record but that shouldn't prevent you from enjoying travel as much as anyone else.”

Travellers may be tempted to take out standard cover and simply not disclose any pre-existing condition.

But you run the risk of the policy not paying out if they were to make a claim.

Risks of standard cover

Consumer complaints organisation the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) saw an 27 per cent rise in travel insurance cases in the 12 months until the end of March 2011.

And around half of the health-related travel insurance complaints handled by the Ombudsman involve disputes over non-disclosure of pre-existing medical conditions.

Martyn James, spokesman for the FOS, says: “Positive steps have been taken by many insurers to make sure consumers buy the right policy.

“For example, some insurers now have heath helplines so consumers can phone up and clarify they are buying the right policy.

“But there are still a number of policies that are broad and ambiguous and it’s not clear whether consumers with a pre-existing medical condition would be covered.

“We expect consumers to disclose all relevant information, but at the same time it’s important for insurers to make sure they ask appropriate questions to enable consumers to do so.”




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Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick covers all things consumer for Confused.com. She started out on a weekly newspaper, via a national news agency and a stint in the fun but ‘not as glamorous as it appears on screen’ world of TV at the BBC researching consumer films for The One Show.

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