Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Former MSE Rebecca
    • By Former MSE Rebecca 15th Apr 15, 3:47 PM
    • 113Posts
    • 96Thanks
    Former MSE Rebecca
    0 WOW
    Pre-existing Travel Insurance Guide Discussion
    • #1
    • 15th Apr 15, 3:47 PM
    0 WOW
    Pre-existing Travel Insurance Guide Discussion 15th Apr 15 at 3:47 PM


    Hi,

    We've written a new pre-existing travel insurance guide for the website and we'd love your feedback.

    How did you find the info? Was it useful? Do you have any other tips you would add?

    Thanks for your help,

    MSE Rebecca
Page 8
    • TwitTwoo
    • By TwitTwoo 8th Jul 17, 8:43 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    TwitTwoo
    Terminology Minefield
    I had cancer treatment 6yrs ago. One of my meds had a tendency to weaken the heart muscles so regular ECG's were required. My baseline ECG revealed a leaky valve (mitral regurgitation) which apparently 70% of population have to some degree AND which I may have had since birth! No symptoms or issues.
    All other ECG's during treatment showed no detrimental affect on the heart but, as the leak was found, I have had annual 'valve surveillance' scans. Still no issues.
    I have always declared history of cancer only - as I didn't perceive the medical criteria on electronic searches to be relevant to me . . . I haven't had treatment - just surveillance
    I rang LV to see if I could renew our lapsed policy but the operator's questions led me to mention the scans - for which a WW Annual renewal would hike from £132 to £890
    Obviously, I'm still of the opinion that I'm not receiving 'treatment' but that could fall into abyss of insurance terminology.
    I'd be grateful to hear your opinion on my reasoning or, if anyone else has come up against confusing terminology.
    • TwitTwoo
    • By TwitTwoo 9th Jul 17, 11:15 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    TwitTwoo
    Good News Update
    For anyone who may find this post - I followed some advice on previous posts regarding insurance companies but, I also did an online quote with 'Compare the Market'.
    I declared everything -none of which need treatment (only check ups) and there were a few good quotes.
    I rang 'Just Travel' who came out the best at £113.89 for single trip for a couple but after speaking to the advisor, the actual quote went down to £83.78
    Worth a look in my opinion
    • koru
    • By koru 9th Jul 17, 12:35 PM
    • 1,277 Posts
    • 646 Thanks
    koru
    ...My baseline ECG revealed a leaky valve (mitral regurgitation)
    ... I have had annual 'valve surveillance' scans.
    ...I haven't had treatment - just surveillance
    ... I'd be grateful to hear your opinion on my reasoning or, if anyone else has come up against confusing terminology.
    Originally posted by TwitTwoo
    I agree it is a stretch to say that investigations are treatment, but if they see it differently, there's not much you can do. In any case, the policy says:
    "We define the following as pre-existing medical conditions:

    If at any point in your life, you have suffered from:
    a heart condition
    a breathing condition such as asthma
    a circulatory condition such as strokes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes
    a gastrointestinal or digestive tract problem a bone or joint condition
    any form or type of cancer
    If in the last 12 months you have had, or been recommended to have, any:
    − medical investigation or tests for any conditions or symptoms that relate to a diagnosed condition
    − treatment or surgery for any conditions or symptoms that relate to a diagnosed condition
    − prescribed medication for any conditions or symptoms that relate to a diagnosed condition"
    I imagine they would say you have a PMC because your valve thing is a heart condition and because in the last 12 months you have had medical investigation or tests.
    koru
    • Tardis4
    • By Tardis4 17th Jul 17, 1:27 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 111 Thanks
    Tardis4
    I got a quote from LV but was unhappily surprised to have a previous Pulmonary Embolism (years ago, no further treatment) not covered by the policy. Has anyone else had this experience? In my opinion, the policy isn't worth the paper it is written on if it doesn't cover anything pertaining to an embolism - as air travel increases the risk of all blood clots!
    • midian
    • By midian 19th Jul 17, 6:28 PM
    • 90 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    midian
    What I noticed on the comparison websites is that Saga came top for me each time (I am 51). When I checked with Saga website directly they were significantly cheaper than the comparison websites. For example, I just got back from Egypt - Saga was £400, comparison websites were £600 - that's a huge mark up. So now I use the comparision websites but then go direct to the preferred provider.

    Also Saga allowed me to add the two 17 year olds travelling with me onto my policy for an extra £25 each. this way if any of us fell ill and needed to return it would be uncomplicated as it went through one insurer.

    I don't think I will ever be able to afford the States again.
    • MissConception
    • By MissConception 1st Aug 17, 9:16 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    MissConception
    Disability discrimination?
    Not too long ago insurance companies were forced to equalise the car insurance costs between boys and girls on the grounds of sex discrimination.

    Having suffered the indignity of explaining medical conditions to many call centre staff who have little or no medical training and who do not even understand their own questions, I strongly object to the direction in which insurance companies seem to be headed. The questions are increasing in quantity and becoming more and more intrusive.

    I would like to see a MSE campaign to change the way the insurance industry treats sub-groups of travellers. I believe that insurance should be about sharing risk within broad categories rather than targeting higher risk groups (a principle that could be applied across the whole insurance industry, not just travel).

    Maybe the disability discrimination act could be a way to exert pressure?

    Does anyone else feel insurance questions are becoming far too personal?
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 1st Aug 17, 10:41 AM
    • 6,395 Posts
    • 19,297 Thanks
    Doc N
    There's a useful CAB page covering some of these issues here:

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/discrimination-in-the-provision-of-goods-and-services/discrimination-in-the-provision-of-goods-and-services1/goods-and-services-what-are-the-different-types-of-discrimination/what-doesn-t-count-as-unlawful-discrimination-in-goods-and-services/insurance-services-when-discrimination-is-allowed/

    I agree entirely with your sentiments, and it would be a very useful field for Martin Lewis to get involved with, but in most cases I'd guess that insurance companies are acting within the law.

    Like most areas of insurance now, the concept of sharing risk has changed - that was the way it used to be when most insurers charged much the same price to most of their customers. Competition changed all that, and the drive to lower prices, so that the old cross-subsidisation that used to cover the higher risk customers has now all but gone.

    So if you genuinely are low-risk, insurers love you and charge you low premia. But God help you if you're in any way likely to make a claim - then the premia become prohibitive.
    • MissConception
    • By MissConception 2nd Aug 17, 10:57 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    MissConception
    Disability discrimination?
    I think whether insurance companies are acting within the law needs to be challenged.
    Under the 2010 Equality Act sex discrimination was allowed for insurance companies, however that was overturned by the ECJ in 2012. In the opinion paper it explains that discrimination should not be allowed under a wide range of classes including disability:
    7. Title III of the Charter of Fundamental Rights contains provisions relating to equality. Article 20 of the Charter, headed ‘Equality before the law’, provides:

    ‘Everyone is equal before the law.’

    8. Article 21(1) of the Charter contains the principle of non-discrimination, which is worded as follows:

    ‘Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.’


    I'm no lawyer, just hopeful that this is worth pursuing before we Brexit.

    Apart from the intrusive nature of the questions (a person's health is traditionally one of their most private matters - a doctor will not even reveal anything to one's life partner - yet insurance companies feel they can ask any question they like with impunity).
    Furthermore, I really object to questions like "Have you ever had........" for example raised cholesterol levels.
    Who would know that without asking someone to trawl through their medical records? Especially if, yes, you once had it 10 years ago and what is the relevance of that to risk assessment? I would wager none but it could help the company defeat a genuine claim if it had not been disclosed.

    I'll stop now in case this topic raises my blood pressure :-)
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 2nd Aug 17, 11:28 AM
    • 2,442 Posts
    • 1,626 Thanks
    EssexExile
    If they can't discriminate on health grounds when selling health insurance (with a few other bits tagged on) then the vast majority will be paying a little more & a few will be paying a lot less. Being one of the few it would get my vote!

    It would make the insurance industry's job a lot easier as they would only have to work out the risk for people in general, not for each individual. So prices would generally come down (or profits would generally go up).
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • koru
    • By koru 2nd Aug 17, 5:32 PM
    • 1,277 Posts
    • 646 Thanks
    koru
    I think whether insurance companies are acting within the law needs to be challenged.
    ...
    8. Article 21(1) of the Charter contains the principle of non-discrimination, which is worded as follows:

    ‘Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.’[/I]

    I'm no lawyer, just hopeful that this is worth pursuing before we Brexit.
    Originally posted by MissConception
    The CAB webpage says that insurers are allowed to discriminate on grounds of disability. I can't see how a medical condition could fall in any other category in the list of grounds.

    But I agree it would be nice if the law was changed so that medical conditions were ignored in setting travel insurance premiums. It would lead to a small increase in cost for the healthy, but the less healthy would be able to afford to travel. And it would remove a huge amount of hassle going through screening and arguing about claims. That would reduce insurers' admin costs, partially offsetting the extra claims, and would make life a lot easier for those with PMCs.

    Perhaps the problem would be that lots of people who are at a high risk of falling sick and currently can't afford the premiums would decide to take the risk of travelling, knowing that the insurer would have to stump up. Claims costs might rocket.
    koru
    • Ganga
    • By Ganga 2nd Aug 17, 7:16 PM
    • 824 Posts
    • 400 Thanks
    Ganga
    The CAB webpage says that insurers are allowed to discriminate on grounds of disability. I can't see how a medical condition could fall in any other category in the list of grounds.

    But I agree it would be nice if the law was changed so that medical conditions were ignored in setting travel insurance premiums. It would lead to a small increase in cost for the healthy, but the less healthy would be able to afford to travel. And it would remove a huge amount of hassle going through screening and arguing about claims. That would reduce insurers' admin costs, partially offsetting the extra claims, and would make life a lot easier for those with PMCs.

    Perhaps the problem would be that lots of people who are at a high risk of falling sick and currently can't afford the premiums would decide to take the risk of travelling, knowing that the insurer would have to stump up. Claims costs might rocket.
    Originally posted by koru
    I think that should read " Claims costs would rocket "
    Also as premiums woul also get a lot higher the healthy punters would be on forums like this one complaining that they were subsidising the not so healthy.
    ITS NOT EASY TO GET EVERYTHING WRONG ,I HAVE TO WORK HARD TO DO IT!
    • steveandlou
    • By steveandlou 21st Aug 17, 6:06 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    steveandlou
    What should be declared?
    Just renewed our annual European multi trip policy with Staysure (we have a holiday home in Brittany so go there 3 or 4 times a year). We are 67 and 69 respectively and have cover for our osteoarthritis, high cholesterol etc - but earlier this year a routine blood test to monitor cholesterol levels for my husband showed that his white blood cell count had increased. Dr is not concerned, asked for another check later this year as everything else was fine. So I told Staysure in May, it was noted But on renewing today I was told that I hadn't needed to tell them about this as there's "no outcome" ie nothing has been diagnosed and there's no ongoing treatment. So i'm confused - I thought we had to report any changes in our history? And it's made me realise that 37 years ago I was diagnosed with epilepsy (petit mal) and was on medication for about 7 years, but haven't had any tablets now for 30 years and no attacks for 36 years. Should I have declared this? Don't want to risk invalidating the policy as we travel a fair bit, but must admit I feel a bit anxious in case Staysure cancel the policy!
    • Ganga
    • By Ganga 21st Aug 17, 6:54 PM
    • 824 Posts
    • 400 Thanks
    Ganga
    Just renewed our annual European multi trip policy with Staysure (we have a holiday home in Brittany so go there 3 or 4 times a year). We are 67 and 69 respectively and have cover for our osteoarthritis, high cholesterol etc - but earlier this year a routine blood test to monitor cholesterol levels for my husband showed that his white blood cell count had increased. Dr is not concerned, asked for another check later this year as everything else was fine. So I told Staysure in May, it was noted But on renewing today I was told that I hadn't needed to tell them about this as there's "no outcome" ie nothing has been diagnosed and there's no ongoing treatment. So i'm confused - I thought we had to report any changes in our history? And it's made me realise that 37 years ago I was diagnosed with epilepsy (petit mal) and was on medication for about 7 years, but haven't had any tablets now for 30 years and no attacks for 36 years. Should I have declared this? Don't want to risk invalidating the policy as we travel a fair bit, but must admit I feel a bit anxious in case Staysure cancel the policy!
    Originally posted by steveandlou
    Now that you have told them about your husbands new problem if anything comes of it you can always say you notified them and they can listen to the phone recording which proves it.
    As for your problem most insurers ask if you had problems in the last 5 or 10 years so you are well over this.
    ITS NOT EASY TO GET EVERYTHING WRONG ,I HAVE TO WORK HARD TO DO IT!
    • 1kevfp
    • By 1kevfp 22nd Aug 17, 5:26 AM
    • 39 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    1kevfp
    Honesty is the best policy
    Having previously worked in the insurance industry for 17 years and having had to go to the ombudsman to settle a claim after surviving the Asian Tsunami, I 100% agree with Ganga. If you tell them all, then the likelihood of a disputed claim is dramatically reduced and again as Ganga said most companies have time limits on medical condition declarations
    • koru
    • By koru 22nd Aug 17, 8:49 AM
    • 1,277 Posts
    • 646 Thanks
    koru
    Just renewed our annual European multi trip policy with Staysure (we have a holiday home in Brittany so go there 3 or 4 times a year). We are 67 and 69 respectively and have cover for our osteoarthritis, high cholesterol etc - but earlier this year a routine blood test to monitor cholesterol levels for my husband showed that his white blood cell count had increased. Dr is not concerned, asked for another check later this year as everything else was fine. So I told Staysure in May, it was noted But on renewing today I was told that I hadn't needed to tell them about this as there's "no outcome" ie nothing has been diagnosed and there's no ongoing treatment. So i'm confused - I thought we had to report any changes in our history? And it's made me realise that 37 years ago I was diagnosed with epilepsy (petit mal) and was on medication for about 7 years, but haven't had any tablets now for 30 years and no attacks for 36 years. Should I have declared this? Don't want to risk invalidating the policy as we travel a fair bit, but must admit I feel a bit anxious in case Staysure cancel the policy!
    Originally posted by steveandlou
    As is always the case, it depends on your policy. The Staysure policy has a two year cut off for most PMCs, but no cut off for cardiovascular and circulatory conditions. As long as epilepsy isn't one of those, then it isn't a PMC under your policy.

    Your policy also says:
    The insurance will also NOT cover you for any of your pre-existing medical conditions whether diagnosed or not, if you have any undiagnosed symptoms that require attention, or investigation in the future (that is symptoms for which you are awaiting investigations/consultations, or awaiting results of investigations, where the underlying cause has not been established), or are awaiting any medical procedure, surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or dialysis.
    I would have thought a raised white blood cell count would count as an undiagnosed symptom, so I would say it was sensible to disclose it.
    koru
    • Tardis4
    • By Tardis4 22nd Aug 17, 10:02 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 111 Thanks
    Tardis4
    I posted before about travel insurance with pre-existing conditions (many) and have now found cover, but I'm concerned about the price and process. I was quoted £127 by Aviva, fantastic for worldwide cover especially as it covered 15 (!!) pre-existing conditions for the 4 of us, including pulmonary embolism, epilepsy, blood disorders, not small things! The strange thing is though, that the extra charge for the pre-existing conditions was refunded the next day? meaning that I only paid £73? Surely this cannot be right? I phoned and asked about it and they just say that I was overcharged. Am I being paranoid, or would anyone else feel skeptical about this situation? Luckily the documents all seem in order with the p-e conditions being covered. But still.
    • steveandlou
    • By steveandlou 22nd Aug 17, 11:22 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    steveandlou
    Thanks you to those who've replied to my question, Very helpful, and I think I'm going to phone Staysure for further clarification. And Tardis4 - wow! That price does seem quite incredible for world wide cover - is it an annual policy? We've just paid £172 for an annual European cover with Staysure!
    • steveandlou
    • By steveandlou 22nd Aug 17, 11:37 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    steveandlou
    Tardis4 - I've just done a quick check on the Aviva travel insurance website - and my quote for the 2 of us (67 and 69) for an annual European trip was £154! That covers our osteoarthritis and high cholesterol. Yours sounds like a bargain to be honest.
    • steveandlou
    • By steveandlou 22nd Aug 17, 12:42 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    steveandlou
    Well now - here's the thing.I have phoned Staysure to clarify the situation, particularly regarding my epilepsy from all those years ago.Happily, that's not an issue which is a relief.However, the information I was given yesterday about my husband's white blood cell count not having been needed to be mentioned as there is,as yet. no "outcome" or diagnosis, is absolutely incorrect! Koru, you are right in saying that it seen as an undiagnosed condition and until he has a further blood test in October, his pre existing medical conditions have been removed from the policy. I am really really annoyed that I was given this mis information, especially as I was so pro active in bringing it to the insurer's attention back in May.
    • Tardis4
    • By Tardis4 22nd Aug 17, 2:57 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 111 Thanks
    Tardis4
    Tardis4 - I've just done a quick check on the Aviva travel insurance website - and my quote for the 2 of us (67 and 69) for an annual European trip was £154! That covers our osteoarthritis and high cholesterol. Yours sounds like a bargain to be honest.
    Originally posted by steveandlou
    Yeah - I'm worried that it is a mistake rather than a bargain, and how that could affect us if we need to claim. But I've done my bit as far as I can tell, of questioning it and making sure the paperwork is all in order and fingers crossed all will be well!
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

59Posts Today

3,878Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @TfLTravelAlerts: Oxford Circus and Bond Street stations now both reopened and all trains are stopping normally.

  • RT @metpoliceuk: We have not located any trace of suspects, evidence of shots fired or casualties. Officers still on scene. If you are in a?

  • My hopes and prayers are that this turns out to be nothing. Stay safe.

  • Follow Martin