Travel insurance loopholes: Don't get these illnesses on holiday!

From asthma to cancer: What not to fall ill with when you go abroad on holiday

Updated: 
travel insurance medical conditions you need to declare

If you suffer an asthma attack, or the side effects from high blood pressure while you are on holiday, it could end up costing you tens of thousands of pounds in medical bills - even if you have gone to the trouble of buying insurance.

Travel insurance specialists have warned that 40 per cent of people have no idea that they need to declare asthma or allergies when they buy insurance, but if you don't, you could invalidate the entire policy, and have to pay for treatment yourself. In the case of an asthma attack, the cost can easily top £45,000.

The warning comes from travel insurance comparison website payingtoomuch.com, which highlighted the ten medical conditions that people most often fail to declare.

1) Asthma

2) High Blood Pressure

3) High Cholesterol

4) Skin Cancer

5) Heart Attack

6) Prostate Cancer

7) Blood Clots

8) Depression

9) IBS

10) Breast Cancer

The prevalence of many of these conditions means that it's all too common for claims to be rejected. The Financial Ombudsman Service says it receives 45 complaints every week from holidaymakers who have had a claim rejected - and one of the most common reasons boils down to failure to declare pre-existing medical conditions.

Beth Macer, travel insurance expert at PayingTooMuch.com explains: "A lot of travellers fail to declare certain medical conditions because they occurred 'a long time ago' or because they don't realise it is a medical condition."

"Surprisingly we also find people are unsure why they are taking medication in the first place. Few of us have a perfect medical history, so if you are prescribed medication for treating or controlling a current or previous medical condition then you need to declare the condition for which the medication is prescribed, to your insurer. Failure to declare your conditions could cause serious repercussions when it comes to making a claim."

The kinds of conditions that need to be declared include some that may come as a surprise. So, for example, if you are pregnant, and you have ever had complications with a previous pregnancy, then your insurer needs to know about it.

Meanwhile, regardless of how long ago it was diagnosed, or if you have not suffered any symptoms recently, any allergy or asthma needs to be declared. You need to tell the insurer about any allergies - especially if you are prescribed something like an 'EPI' pen to carry with you, as this would need to be covered by your policy should you require treatment for an allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock whilst abroad.

For most people, the basic rule of thumb should be that if you are unsure whether to tell your insurer about a medical condition, it's always best to bring it up just in case.

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