How asthma could cost holidaymakers £45,000' - new research reveals

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Around 40% of Brits think breathing conditions and allergies do not need to be declared when taking out a travel insurance policy, yet failure to reveal these such as chronic bronchitis or any case of asthma could result in a void travel insurance policy and a bill of up to £45,000 to boot, specialist comparison website has revealed.

According to specialist comparison website, pregnancy complications, allergies and even depression are all medial conditions that need to be declared to your travel insurer. However, holidaymakers are unaware that not declaring such medical conditions could invalidate their travel insurance policy, therefore leading to possible hefty medical costs, despite being diligent enough to take out cover in the first place.

And it’s not just pre-existing medical conditions you need travel insurance for, as almost 15% of people have suffered from a NEW medical condition while on holiday according to the survey, demonstrating you never know what’s around the corner.

According to the Financial Ombudsman Service (3), it receives 45 complaints every week from holidaymakers unhappy their travel insurance provider has rejected their claim. It says one of the most common complains and rejections boil down to failure to declare pre-existing medical conditions.

Beth Macer, travel insurance expert at 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!” dispel the myths around travel cover:

Myth 1) 40% of Brits think that asthma and allergies do not need to be declared on a travel insurance form

Fact! Breathing conditions, including asthma and chronic bronchitis, are something that most insurers insist you declare even if you no longer receive treatment for them. This means regardless of how long ago it was diagnosed, or if you have not suffered any symptoms recently, it still needs to be declared to your insurer. Allergies such as nut allergies must be declared to the travel insurer and in particular anaphylaxis should also be declared to an insurer - 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 (bearing in mind in a foreign country, out in a restaurant with a foreign menu / language barrier, it would be possible to be given something you were allergic to, which could then result in medical treatment).

Myth 2) ‘I don’t need travel insurance because I have an EHIC card’: almost 1 in 10 wrongly think the EHIC is a replacement for travel insurance

Fact! People have the misconception that the EHIC will cover all eventualities and that is an alternative to travel insurance, however, bear in mind that the card ONLY covers you for necessary medical treatment from state healthcare providers, which may not always be free. It will not cover you for repatriation, should you need to be flown home, and will not cover baggage, cancellation or even having to miss your flights and other expenses, so it is really important to purchase both a travel insurance policy AND have the EHIC.

Myth 3) 80% of the nation don’t realise women need to declare any pregnancy complications they may have had in the past when applying for further travel insurance, to travel whilst pregnant again

Fact! Pregnancy is not classed as a pre-existing medical condition and (provided there have been no complications) does not need to be declared on an insurance policy. However, if you are one of the 250,000+ women (4) who have suffered complications when pregnant (eg. miscarriage, gestational diabetes, etc.) then these would be classed as pre-existing medical conditions and would need to be declared to your insurer if you are travelling while pregnant again.

Myth 4) Travel insurance is too expensive: almost 15% of people have missed out on the holiday they wanted because of travel insurance costs

Fact! It pays to shop around! The prices can vary hugely between different providers, even some who claim to be specialist for certain groups of travellers such as older travellers, so make sure you shop around to find the best available policy.

Top 10 medical conditions that travellers 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

Notes to Editors:

  •     Top 5 travel insurance myths that catch travellers out revealed
  •     10% of people think the EHIC is a replacement for travel insurance
  •     Over 6m people in the UK (2) suffer respiratory problems that could potentially invalidate insurance
  •     Revealed: the top 10 medical conditions travellers don’t realise they need to declare
  •     Financial Ombudsman Service receives 45 complaints every week about failed travel pay-out

Survey research was carried out by with Censuswide amongst 2,000 UK adults (nationally representative sample) people in the United Kingdom between 13th February 2015 and 19th February 2015.

1Taken from Foreign Office -
2Taken from NHS -
3Taken from Financial Ombudsman Service -
4Taken from Miscarriage Association -

About is a specialist consumer comparison website with telephone support. It compares a range of non-standard insurance products such as travel and life insurance as well as other financial services products including car insurance and annuities. was born to shake-up the current comparison and direct insurance landscape by providing first-rate customer service, products and quotes to consumers. The website was founded by industry veteran Michael Ward, who previously founded and sold ‘Direct Life’ to Cardif pinnacle for in excess of £20m. is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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