Consumer watchdog, Which? have uncovered a travel insurance loophole which could leave travellers without adequate cover when they jet off on their summer holiday this year. A little known clause which is found in 10 out 12 of the leading traveller insurers in the UK, the “ongoing medical warranty”, means that policyholders who fall ill before travel may not be covered by their travel insurance.
While it’s a well established fact that policyholders need to notify their insurer of any pre existing medical conditions before applying for a travel insurance policy, what happens if a consumer develops a medical condition after the policy has been taken out but before they travel is something of a grey area.
Following an investigation by the consumer watchdog, Which? it found that 10 out of 12 of the largest travel insurance providers in the UK do carry a ongoing medical warranty in their terms and conditions. However, the way in which each insurer deals with the issue varies from company to company. Some will continue to offer the insurance, although they may request an additional payment once the policyholder has disclosed their condition. Other insurers may refuse to insure the person altogether and will refund the policy while others may advise you to put a cancellation claim in on your holiday.
The advice from the consumer watchdog for travellers who may be concerned about this issue is to use an insurer that doesn’t have an ongoing medical warranty clause such as Axa and Age UK.