Make sure that you’re registered with a GP; be open and honest about your medical history when you buy travel insurance and don’t drink excessively on holiday. This is the advice for winter holidaymakers from Dr Tim Hammond, Chief Medical Officer at CEGA, the claims and global assistance providers. Ignoring it could invalidate a travel insurance claim for medical expenses.
Dr Hammond’s first warning is made more pertinent by NHS England plans that could see patients removed from GPs’ lists if they do not contact their surgery for five years. “Even if a visit to the doctor isn’t necessary, it’s important to keep in touch at least once every five years,” says Dr Hammond. “If a travel insurance policyholder is not registered with a GP, an insurer cannot check their medical history - and this could invalidate a claim for medical expenses.”
“It is also important”, explains Dr Hammond, “for holidaymakers to volunteer information about any existing or historic medical problems when they buy a travel insurance policy. They can then find out if their existing condition is covered by their policy, if they need to pay an extra premium or if they need specialist cover.”
Other common causes of holidaymakers’ medical claims being turned down, says Dr Hammond, include excessive drinking. “If an accident follows a session of heavy drinking, any related travel insurance claim may well be turned down,” advises Dr Hammond. “With most insurance cover there’s no need to be teetotal on holiday – just be moderate.”
Dr Hammond tells holidaymakers: “Always talk to your travel insurer before you set off abroad if you have any questions about your policy. Your travel insurance provides an invaluable safety net if an emergency strikes while you’re overseas.”