Many people do not understand the importance of declaring a medical condition when travelling abroad. Some people think that they do not need insurance as they have cover through their bank, others have an EHIC card and feel that this is sufficient and some people just take a risk and have no form of cover.
Christopher Jordan, Managing Director of Orbis Insurance Services says: ‘ The insurance industry is coming under fire for not paying out claims, but unfortunately many people are not reading their policy documents carefully to ensure their policy is comprehensive. Orbis are a specialist broker for people with medical conditions, and the story of non disclosure is all too familiar to the clients that come to us. Many of our clients have had bad experiences before and the main reason for this is that they were not aware that they needed to declare medical conditions.’ Chris goes on to say: ‘Our client’s bad experiences have led us to launch a campaign to raise awareness of declaring medical conditions when purchasing travel insurance and to prevent people having bad experiences before realising the necessity’ Insurance policies are issued on the basis of the declaration of any ‘material facts’ and the acceptance of ‘utmost good faith’.
All insurers wordings will have these terms stated somewhere in their policy. Failure to disclose a material fact may, and probably will, invalidate your policy. Medical history is a material fact that needs to be declared when purchasing any insurance policy. This includes conditions that you had, but may not have anymore. Lauren Stovell, General Manager states: ‘1 in every 4 people have a medical condition. This statistic suggests that 1 in every 4 people should have a specialist insurance policy but this is not the case.’
If you have a gold or a premier account with your bank, one of the benefits may be ‘free travel insurance’. This insurance could be adequate as long as you do not have, or have never had any medical conditions. Many people assume that this cover is comprehensive and do not check the terms and conditions.
It is only at the time when an individual needs to make a claim that they realise a policy is not fully inclusive.