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What happens if you don’t declare medical conditions for travel insurance?

Written by: Lydia Crispin | Travel Insurance Expert
Last updated: 21 September 2023 | Created: 24 January 2022
What happens if you don’t declare medical conditions for travel insurance - AllClear Travel

Not all health conditions are long term. Consequently, many people are not aware that they need to declare their pre-existing medical condition when buying Travel Insurance. Then again, many people just forget.

Our Summer Survey found that 90%* of our customers have at least one medical condition, with 56%* having two or more, so you’ll probably need to let us know about at least one medical condition.

However, failure to disclose a pre-existing medical condition could have a devastating impact…

The consequences of not declaring your pre-existing medical conditions

If you don’t disclose you’re pre-existing medical conditions your Travel Insurance policy may become invalid. This could result in you having to pay extensive medical bills should the worse happen.

If your policy is invalid – you’ll have to personally pay the costs for:

  • Medical treatment
  • Medication
  • Consultation
  • Repatriation

To provide some perspective, with regards to the cost of medical bills abroad, the average cost of hospital stay for a stroke patient ranges from $20,396 to $43,652 in the USA. Given that 100,000 Brits have stroke each year – it wouldn’t be unlikely for a Brit to suffer this misfortune while on holiday.

The GHIC scheme, covers some medical costs without the need for Travel Insurance in EU countries. However, not all elements of medical treatment are covered. For example, the only way to cover the costs of repatriation is with comprehensive Travel Insurance.

Typical costs of repatriation

  • USA to UK air ambulance – £50,000
  • Caribbean to UK air ambulance – £60,000
  • South America to UK air ambulance – £70,000

What is classed as a pre-existing medical condition?

For the purposes of travel insurance, a pre-existing medical condition is any illness or injury you’ve experienced symptoms, treatment, investigations, surgery, or medical appointments within the last 5 years.

A few examples of common pre-existing medical conditions include:

You’ll also be asked a few questions about your condition when taking out Travel Insurance – such as:

  • How many medications do you take?
  • If you’re awaiting surgery?
  • Have you had any unplanned hospital admissions?

When buying Travel Insurance, it may be worth phoning your chosen Travel Insurance provider. That way they’ll be able to help guide you through the screening process.

How AllClear can help you travel safely

AllClear is a specialist medical travel insurance provider. Therefore, we can offer cover for medical conditions that other providers can’t. So far we’ve covered 1300 different conditions and over 3.5 million people.

CEO of AllClear Travel Group, Chris Rolland, states: “Travel Insurance provides freedom but only if it’s valid. Declaring you’re pre-existing is essential. It’s good to ask if at any point you’re unsure with regards to what counts and what doesn’t. After all, safety is a top priority.”

Discover how AllClear’s Medical Travel Insurance could help you have peace of mind on every journey you take.

Author notes

Written by Lydia Crispin, MA Content Creator at AllClear
Edited by Letitia Smith, M.Sc. Content Manager at AllClear

*AllClear Summer Survey 2022 – 3,370 responses