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Ask six key questions before buying travel insurance

World First Travel gives travel agents guidance on selling pre-existing medical condition cover

World First Travel Insurance is asking all travel agents with Appointed Representative (AR) status to encourage customers with pre-existing medical conditions to ask six key questions before buying travel insurance. These questions will ensure that ARs make sure all customers get the right policy for them – particularly when they suffer from long term and chronic conditions.

“ARs need to make sure that the insurance they sell meets the demands and needs of not just the client in front of them or on the phone, but of everyone who is travelling in the party,” comments Martin Rothwell, Managing Partner World First. “If any members of the party have a pre-existing condition they will need to declare their conditions and, if they can be insured, will probably have to pay an additional premium."

Rothwell continues: “If everyone in the party buys their insurance from the same insurer (whether or not they have a medical condition) they will all be covered in the event that the holiday is cancelled due to a medical problem. This is often not the case if members of the party are insured by several insurers. I see many cases where a spouse has had to remain overseas whilst their partner is repatriated due to illness because they travelled on separate policies or where clients cannot get any money back because they were not adequately covered."

Travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions can be confusing, which is why World First, which is an expert in this area of cover, has drawn up six key questions for agents to pass on to their customers. The six questions travellers must ask themselves are:

  1. Have I declared all the medical conditions for every member of my party? If you don’t, you will not be covered.
  2. Have I remembered to declare all my medical conditions? Some people forget that they have one. For example, if you are over 65 and been taking blood pressure or cholesterol tablets for the last ten years, this constitutes a pre-existing medical condition. If you do not declare it you will not be covered.
  3. Have I told the insurance company that I have a medical condition under review, regardless of whether you take medication? If you forget you will not be covered.
  4. Have I told insurers about any injuries I have had in the last 12 months that may be exacerbated by activities I am planning during my trip? If not you may not be covered.
  5. Am I making sure everyone in the party is buying insurance from the same company? If you don’t not everyone in your party will be covered should one of you be forced to cancel the holiday due to a pre-existing medical problem.
  6. If you are pregnant, have you checked the exclusions? Some insurers will not cover claims if the holiday is in the last 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Alternatively, World First has a solution for travel agents and tour operators who offer travel insurance to their customers and which can easily tackle the medical condition issue on their behalf, especially when existing insurers will not cover travellers. ‘Trade Routes’ (www.trade-routes.co.uk) offers a co-branded website where travellers can buy travel insurance online under an agency’s own brand. It can easily run alongside an AR’s existing travel insurance programme where agents do not already offer their clients the opportunity to buy online travel insurance. World First also provides retail/wholesale schemes for operators looking to collect the premiums and issue travel insurance themselves at the point of sale.

Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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