Anything to Declare: Staysure Urges all Travellers to Declare Pre-existing Medical Conditions to their Insurer

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Lack of understanding about which medical conditions to declare causing concern among mature travellers.

New research launched today by over 50s specialist insurance provider Staysure shows the majority of mature travellers are confused about which pre-existing medical conditions they need to declare when taking out travel insurance. Nearly a quarter of people (23%) thought they only needed to tell their insurer about any conditions for which they were currently receiving treatment, while a fifth (5%) thought they didn't need to tell their travel insurance provider anything at all about their medical history.

Worryingly the research reveals that less than one in five (19%) of over 50s were able to correctly identify that they needed to declare any medical conditions, injuries or symptoms that had given rise to any form of treatment or medication in the two years before taking out a travel insurance policy. Furthermore, just under a third (32%) were aware that the exception to this rule is any form of cardiovascular or circulatory condition, such as blood clots, which need to be declared to an insurer regardless of how long it is since they were diagnosed.

This lack of understanding has worrying implications as it could mean that over 50s are travelling without valid insurance which could result in claims being declined. For example, with less than half of over 50s (46%) aware of the need to declare asthma to their insurer, Staysure is warning of the dangers of travellers unwittingly rendering their insurance invalid.

Invalid travel insurance has the potential to be very costly; Staysure estimates the average bill for a hospital stay in a popular holiday destination such as Turkey or Spain can reach £4,000 for straight forward medical conditions and up to £12,000 for more serious conditions, requiring expensive investigations and treatment. In fact a sizeable minority of over 50s admitted they would not declare medical conditions to their insurer 1- perhaps linked to the fact that a third of people said they'd found it more costly to get insurance because of their medical conditions, which can be a false economy if you become ill and the illness is related to your medical condition.

Ryan Howsam, Chief Executive of Staysure, said: “Holidaymakers should be cautious travelling abroad without tailored travel insurance for their medical conditions. To make it easier and more cost effective for our customers, Staysure covers a huge variety of pre-existing medical conditions as part of our standard cover, so there is no need to avoid declaring conditions in a bid to keep the premium down. But our advice to any traveller is, if you’re in doubt, speak to your insurer so you can discuss what is classed as a ‘pre-existing medical condition’ and ensure it is fully covered on your policy. We urge everyone to declare their conditions at the point of purchase as it is far better to be safe than sorry and risk having a claim declined.”

Notes to editors:

1- 6% of those surveyed said they don’t / wouldn’t declare pre-existing medical conditions to their travel insurance providers

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Lucinda Devine/Abigail Sutton at Consolidated PR
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