Research conducted by medical travel insurance comparison website Medical Travel Compared has revealed that large numbers of British travellers are foregoing travel insurance due to steep pricing and perceived insufficient cover options.
The study surveyed 1,000 British citizens with pre-existing medical conditions, including those with high blood pressure, asthma, Type 2 diabetes, depression and anxiety; it uncovered that 32 per cent of people claimed to have found it difficult to obtain travel insurance and 34 per cent found the price too expensive after declaring their medical conditions. Indeed, the study also stated that 18 per cent of British travellers with pre-existing medical conditions felt that they had been ‘mis-sold or misled’ when purchasing travel insurance.
As a result of this, 21 per cent of people declared that they did not travel at all due to difficulties obtaining travel insurance and 24 per cent admitted that they would occasionally forego buying travel insurance at all when holidaying outside of the UK.
Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director of Medical Travel Compared, warned that ‘failing to disclose key medical conditions, or skipping travel insurance entirely, could result in a hefty bill in medical expenses should something happen before or during a holiday’. Should a trip need to be cancelled before departing, travellers who do not invest in travel insurance are taking a huge financial gamble.
Lloyd continued: “One in three of the UK population have a pre-existing medical condition, meaning a significant number of travellers need be aware of the importance of choosing a travel insurance policy that fully protects them from the moment they book a trip. At Medical Travel Compared, we aim to help travellers compare the cover offered by different providers, so they have a clear understanding on what they are buying and can choose the most comprehensive policy at the best price, avoiding any travel nightmares.”
Contrary to perceptions, there are a plethora of options for travellers with pre-existing conditions looking for coverage, and many initiatives in place to signpost these customers towards them. However, the fact that so many customers are reporting the kinds of experiences uncovered in Medical Travel Compared’s research shows that the travel insurance industry’s message is still not being communicated as effectively as would be desirable – which should be a cause for concern.