Many holidaymakers are having their travel insurance claims rejected due to their failure to declare pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure.
MedicalTravelCompared.co.uk, the specialist comparison site for stand-alone travel insurance for people with pre-existing conditions, has said that the Financial Ombudsman Service receives complaints every week from holidaymakers who have had their travel insurance claims rejected. Not being completely open with insurers when taking out a policy is the most common reason for their claims being turned down.
MedicalTravelCompared.co.uk says that holidaymakers are either reluctant to divulge medical conditions for fear of being charged a higher premium, or do not believe that they have to declare all their pre-existing conditions.
High blood pressure is the second most likely health condition people fail to declare when taking out travel insurance, but the company has said that it is crucial that insurers are told of the condition so that holidaymakers can ensure that they are covered should they fall ill and incur costs.
Vicki Moses, a travel insurance expert at MedicalTravelCompared.co.uk, said: “High blood pressure is often a condition that people don’t think to tell their insurance company about, often assuming that if it is normal and controlled with medication that you do not need to.
“Irrespective of whether your blood pressure reading is normal or not, however, you do need to declare it if you have been diagnosed with hypertension or prescribed preventative medication for it, when applying for travel insurance.”
“Because there are so many people that have high blood pressure, your premiums won’t necessarily change very much,” added Moses. “This will depend on other factors too, including your age, how many drugs you’re taking, and other aspects of your health history.”
A survey in 2014 found 1 in 20 holidaymakers aged over 50 failed to declare a medical condition in a bid to cut costs, while Foreign & Commonwealth Office figures suggest 1 in 7 holidaymakers in the over-50s bracket have travelled without insurance.
According to the British Heart Foundation, one in three adults in the UK suffers from high blood pressure and as many as eight million others may have the condition but are not being treated for it, making it one of the most common long-term health conditions in the UK.