Moneycontrol
May 18, 2017 10:21 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Why you must disclose your pre-existing ailments while buying travel insurance

From your medical history to existing health situation, it is wise to inform your insurer about your pre-existing condition.

Why you must disclose your pre-existing ailments while buying travel insurance

Dhruv Sarin

Choosing travel insurance could be difficult in case you have pre-existing medical conditions due to the scarcity of insurance plans available for such scenarios. Many consumers even try to hide their medical history from their insurers in order to get better or less costly travel insurance. What you need to know is that disclosing your pre-existing diseases (PED) would not result in premium loading, there is no premium loading per se but the insured member has to undergo a pre-policy check-up. An undisclosed medical condition can severely affect your insurance coverage in case of a claim for medical reasons.

If you are suffering from PED and going on a holiday, treat your insurer as the doctor who needs to know everything about your disease. From your medical history to existing health situation, it is wise to inform your insurer about your pre-existing condition.

While travelling to a foreign land, getting the right kind of travel insurance is necessary. Travel insurance ensures that you get the best quality care and treatment if and when necessary but any small evidence of fraud can land you in big trouble.

Telling your pre-medical condition will only help you get the best plan basis your need. For example, if you are a heart patient and need medical attention far away from your homeland then it could prove to be a high-priced affair.

But for some special medical condition if you have a PED covered travel insurance then the same condition could have met with much efficiency and financial assistance. Disclosing a pre-existing disease while opting for travel insurance can help you in many ways, like:

Can save you from claim rejection

There is a very well known fact in the insurance industry; if you hide anything important from your insurer and try to make a claim for same, chances are, it might get rejected. If you are having any pre-existing disease, you are expected to unveil it while opting for insurance and your premium will be fixed accordingly.

Hiding will only be unlawful and can result in claim rejection. Travelling basically takes you from one kind of atmosphere to another, this could escalate some of your diseases at a fast pace and therefore it is advisable to take travel insurance cover which includes coverage for your pre-existing disease if you don’t have any other kind of existing policy. Also remember, travel insurance is not a replacement of health insurance policy or life insurance policy nor should it be treated like one.

It is necessary to give a full run-down to your insurer because different insurers have their own list of conditions and informing them beforehand could save you from a lot of trouble. For example, a normal heart surgery can cost you nearly around USD 12,000 in a country like the US which charges USD 8,713 per capita for medical services.

If you have full information, in the beginning, you could choose a plan with appropriate coverage depending upon your PED. Therefore, always choose a travel insurance policy according to your needs and do not try and hide condition like a pre-existing disease which might get your claim rejected.

The following table highlights the medical cost of various ailments and their treatments in different countries as compared to India.

ped

(Source: www.policybazaar.com)

Guidance to nearest specialized medical facility

Every insurer has a network of specialized medical facilities spread over its reach zone. This means that for any critical illness which exists as a pre-existing one or not, you will have guidance or a list of hospitals to go to in case of emergency. This could help you get better medical treatment providing the facility of either cashless hospitalization or reimbursement. But in order to get all these benefits, you need to be true with your insurer. Tell them about your situation and requirement properly so that your insurer can offer you the best insurance plan.

Travel insurance is not a substitute for any kind of existing insurance policy that you may have but it plays an important role when you don’t have one and travelling on a long route for a longer time. Also, it is better to be doubly secured as atrocities can hit you anytime, what you have to make sure is that don’t try and ignore to mention the pre-existing disease (PED) while taking the policy.

If you choose not to tell your insurer about the PED then it will remain excluded under your policy. It is wise to stay honest with your insurer in order to protect yourself from losing out on a good product.

(The writer is Head of Health and Travel Insurance of Policybazaar.com)
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