ITIJ has reported recently that many consumers in the UK and beyond feel that finding travel insurance that will cover them for pre-existing conditions is difficult. As a result of this, many decide not to declare their conditions, potentially leaving them open to the refusal of claims based on their non-disclosure.
In response to this issue, Aquarium Software, a UK-based provider of software solutions to the insurance industry, has suggested that customers need to look beyond price comparison websites, and that the industry needs to make it easier for customers with specific health requirements to find specialist cover, rather than approaching the purchase of insurance in the traditional way. The company advises that customers search for specialist providers that cover pre-existing medical conditions, rather than using the default option of a price comparison website (PCW); this allows for more nuance in a search, and more accurate assessment of the risk posed by – and to – an individual. Advances in technology have made it much easier for insurers to quote on this basis, so why not try to push more customers in this direction?
“Seeking travel insurance with a pre-existing medical condition can be like online dating after a divorce,” said Mark Colonnese, Director of Aquarium Software Director. “A bewildering and overwhelming number of sites, yet it feels like there is no one out there for you. People need to realise the PCW they used previously may not be the place to find that perfect match now, especially if they have a pre-existing condition. You need to look at niche providers to find your perfect travel policy.”
While this can cost a traveller more upfront, Colonnese admits, this could be ‘a blessing in disguise’. Travellers frequently go for the cheapest option when it comes to travel insurance – for obvious if frustrating reasons – but this could leave them open to shelling out considerable more money down the line. “A bespoke policy,” said Colonnese, “is more likely to include those options we should all have as standard. An annual European policy for a family of three, including an adult on DVT medication, for example, can cost as little as £70. Hardly a fortune, when the average family holiday costs £4,792.”