Last week, reports of a British woman stranded in Turkey hit UK headlines as it was revealed that the 67-year-old mother was going to be charged £1,000 a day for medical treatment – and wouldn’t be flown back to the UK by the British Consulate unless she passed away.
The article explained how her travel insurance provider had refused to cover the cost of her treatment in Turkey as the insurer believed her illness was linked to a previous breast cancer diagnosis, that she did not tell them about when buying her policy.
In the end, the insurer agreed to cover the medical costs as, after investigation, the medical condition which caused the hospitalisation was deemed not to be linked to the non-disclosed breast cancer. However, the investigation did take a couple of days to complete, leaving the insured and her family very worried that they would not have any cover and without funds to cover the treatment themselves.
While in this case cover was provided, this isn’t always the outcome for those who need medical treatment abroad and have not fully declared their medical history.
It is crucial that any existing or previous medical conditions are declared to your travel insurance provider, no matter how big or small. Failure to do so could cause a delay in receiving emergency treatment, or worse, no cover altogether, leaving you to foot a hefty medical bill with no help from your insurer.
Many people fear telling their insurer about medical conditions as they worry that it will cause their premium to increase. However, despite consensus, the price of a policy doesn’t always go up as a result of declaring a condition. But what it does offer is peace of mind knowing that should anything happen, and your insurer need to review your medical records, you have declared everything and you’re fully protected.
There is so much confusion and misunderstanding about medical conditions and what you should and shouldn’t declare to your travel insurer. So, we’ve created a whole medical section on Travel Insurance Explained which explains everything you need to know about travelling with a medical condition and what we mean by medical expenses.