Advice for travellers with pre-exes

A diabetic traveller.
Travel insurance

UK-based travel insurance comparison website Compare Cover has offered some advice for travellers with pre-existing medical conditions, suggesting that these customers may be better served by taking out single-trip policies rather than multi-trip. This option could, the site advises, provide them with a wider choice of quotes.

“Some people with pre-existing conditions seek annual multi-trip cover as they want the comfort of knowing they have travel cover for the year,” explained Simon Williams, Compare Cover’s Travel Insurance Product Manager. “Yet in many cases – depending on the condition declared and the destination they are travelling to – a single-trip quote would provide more options for both cover and price.”

The reasoning behind this, Williams said, is that when a customer takes out an annual multi-trip policy, the insurer doesn’t necessarily have all of the information about the customer’s plans for the year. They could make any number of trips, and if they are suffering from a debilitating condition that is steadily worsening, properly judging risk becomes a significantly more complex task for the insurer.

“Compare that with a single-trip policy quote,” said Williams, “which has set dates, destinations and costs. Asking for a single-trip quote means that the insurer can far more easily judge the risk and increases the likelihood of obtaining cover at an affordable price.”

Williams also pointed out that for travellers with a very serious pre-ex, while they may not be able to purchase a multi-trip policy at all, they may well have more luck with the single-trip option.

Compare Cover’s data suggests that the most regularly declared pre-existing conditions when seeking quotes for travel insurance are the likes of asthma, diabetes, arthritis and mental health issues, i.e. conditions that people live with and manage daily. And while these customers – and those with more serious conditions – undoubtedly pose a statistically higher risk to insurers, there is no reason why they should not be able to obtain coverage (and no reason why that coverage should be so expensive that it requires taking out a second mortgage).

“It’s important to stress to anyone who has a pre-existing condition, no matter how serious or severe, and is seeking travel insurance, that there is likely to be someone out there who can help them,” added Williams. “The key for those who can’t get quotes online is to speak to a specialist.”