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Disclose illnesses, holiday-makers told

Disclose illnesses, holiday-makers told

Category: Travel

Updated: 28/10/2010
First Published: 05/07/2010

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
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Hundreds of thousands of holiday-makers could be jeopardising their travel cover by failing to inform their providers of any medical conditions they suffer from.

Around half a million Britons who travelled abroad last year with a long term medical complaint but neglected to tell their insurer, potentially invalidating any claim they made, according to Sainsbury's Finance.

While a number of travel insurance policies offer customers the opportunity to cover most medical ailments, it is estimated that 245,000 holiday-makers failed to let their insurer know about their back pain last year.

In addition, 110,000 people travelled with a respiratory condition, while 50,000 neglected to tell their insurer about a heart problem before taking in a holiday.

Over a fifth of people neglected to disclose their problem because they thought it wasn't relevant, while other reasons for not informing their insurer included embarrassment and the fear of being refused a policy.

Worryingly, an estimated 340,000 people – equivalent to 8% of those who travelled abroad with a medical condition in the last 12 months – did so with no travel cover at all.

"Good travel insurance can prove vital if you fall ill abroad so it's really important that people are open and honest with their insurer," Scott Gorman, Sainsbury's travel insurance manager, said.

"The costs of medical treatment abroad can be exceptionally high and simply omitting to give details of a pre-existing condition because you felt it wasn't relevant could, in the event of an accident or further illness, prove very costly indeed.

"The travel insurance market has grown considerably in recent years and those with common medical conditions should now be able to find a provider who will offer fair and competitive cover. For those with more serious medical conditions there are specialist insurers available.

"Choosing to ignore a condition and travel with potentially invalidated cover or no cover at all is simply reckless."

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