Travel Insurance with Medical Conditions

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By , July 15, 2013 2:19 pm
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If you’ve had treatment for any medical conditions in the last couple of years or have an on-going medical condition such as diabetes, asthma or depression buying the right travel insurance with these medical conditions covered is very important.

You will no longer just be able to pick the cheapest travel insurance from a price comparison site and hope that it provides the travel insurance cover you need.

If your medical conditions aren’t covered you risk facing large medical bills

Many of the very cheap travel insurance policies will exclude cover for anything related to an existing or previous medical condition completely.  Which means that if you became ill and it was related to a medical condition which you had suffered symptoms of previously you would not be covered for cancellation (if the illness prevented you from travelling), or emergency medical treatment (if you became ill whilst you were away), which could leave you seriously out of pocket.

The cost of medical treatment abroad can quickly amount to many thousands of pounds and you should be aware that if don’t have travel insurance at all, or if your travel insurance doesn’t cover your existing medical conditions you would be liable to pay these costs yourself.

Travel insurance providers need to know your medical history – Why?

The primary reason for buying travel insurance when you travel overseas is to protect you against the cost of unplanned medical treatment if you fall ill or have an accident whilst you are away.

It is for this reason that buying travel insurance is similar to buying private medical insurance – in order for a travel insurance provider to fully cover you for medical treatment whilst you are on holiday they will need to know about your medical history.

If you don’t give your travel insurance provider an accurate picture of health, by declaring any existing medical conditions, you could find that your travel insurance is invalid just when you need it most.

There are many travel insurance providers who will cover mild medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure and a smaller number of specialist travel insurance providers who can cover more severe medical conditions such as heart conditions and cancer.

To ensure that your travel insurance covers your medical conditions you will need to declare your medical conditions when you get a travel insurance quotation. Make sure that you read all of the information carefully as it is your responsibility to answer the questions fully and accurately.

Getting travel insurance with medical conditions covered shouldn’t be difficult, but it will take a bit more time to make sure that you have listed all of your medical conditions correctly.

To make life easier some price comparison sites are now comparing travel insurance for medical conditions, to get the right quote look out for a link to travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions or make sure you answer ‘yes’ if you are asked about medical conditions, this will then take you a slightly different process from the standard, where you will be asked to list your medical conditions.

Remember, it is extremely unlikely that any medical conditions you have or have previously had will be covered your travel insurance unless you declare them.  If you haven’t been asked about your medical conditions when you buy travel insurance you should assume that there is a full exclusion for existing medical conditions in place.

Search on Google for travel insurance with medical conditions to find travel insurance providers who will be able to provide travel insurance with your medical conditions covered.

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Airline staff announce 15 days of strikes

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By , February 7, 2013 3:50 pm
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Staff at Iberia, the Spanish airline owned IAG, by the same parent company as British Airways, have announced 15 days of strikes in protest against the company’s plan to make 23% of the airline’s workforce redundant.

IAG have stated that the 4,500 redundancies are necessary to if the Iberia is to survive as an airline.

The industrial action which will be taken by ground staff and cabin crew will take place from February 18-22, March 4 -8 and March 18-22.

Travel insurance cover for strikes and industrial action

If your flight is affected by the planned strike action you may be covered under the travel delay and abandonment section of your travel insurance, so long as you booked your flight and bought your insurance before the strike dates were announced.

The travel delay section of a travel insurance policy usually pays a fixed benefit, anything from £10 to £30 for every 12 hours that you are delayed, after an initial delay of at least 12 or 24 hours.  The benefit is designed to help you cover the cost of additional food and drink expenses whilst you wait at the airport.

Many travel insurance also provide abandonment which would enable you to abandon your holiday and make a claim for the cost after a delay of more than 12 or 24 hours.

 

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Brittany Ferries suspends all services and advise customers to go to Dover

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By , September 24, 2012 2:27 pm
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Brittany Ferries have taken the decision to suspend all of its services to France and Spain as a result of industrial action by staff.

The only service which is continuing to run is the passenger service from Pool to Cherbourg which is operated on their behalf by Condor Ferries.

Brittany Ferries are advising passengers with tickets to drive to Dover or Calais where they have made arrangements with P&O Ferries and MyFerryLink to accept all Brittany Ferries tickets and enable passengers to cross the channel there instead.

There is no need for passengers to contact Brittany Ferries, simply travel straight to Dover or Calais and present your booking reference at check-in to travel with P&O Ferries or MyFerryLink free of charge.

Is there any cover on travel insurance?

The short answer to this is no, because there doesn’t need to be any cover on a travel insurance policy for this type of situation.

In this situation, where a ferry operator or airline cancels a service, it is their duty to offer you a full refund or provide an alternative way for you to reach your destination.

Brittany Ferries have cancelled their sailings and made alternative arrangements at their own cost to enable their customers to complete their journeys.

Travel insurance provides cover for cancellation in the event that you need to cancel your holiday, due to illness or redundancy amongst other things.

If the airline, ferry operator or tour operator cancels your trip, they have a legal duty to offer a full refund or provide alternative arrangements; therefore there is no need for it to be covered by a travel insurance policy.

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Strike disruption to easyJet flights today

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By , August 17, 2012 10:25 am
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Passengers traveling to and from France and Portugal with easyJet are at risk from strike disruption today.

In Portugal, easyJet have advised passengers departing on flights from Porto today to check in online wherever possible because of strikes by ground handling staff at Porto and Faro airports

Whilst in France pilots are starting their second day of a three day strike which has been called over a pay dispute.  French unions have called pilots out on strike from easyJet bases at Paris Roissy, Paris Orly, Lyon , Toulouse and Nice.

EasyJet managed to operate an almost full schedule on the first day of the strike (Wednesday) by drafting in pilots from other bases.

EasyJet have stated today  “We are confident all flights to and from France will operate as scheduled.” It warned of “a small risk there might be some late-notice disruption to flights”.

Hopefully any disruption to flights today caused by these strikes will be kept to a minimum and those people who are affected will only experience a small delay.

However, if you are worried about the prospect of strike action causing flight delays to your holiday plans you should buy travel insurance as soon as you have booked your holiday.

So long as you have bought travel insurance and booked your holiday before any strike dates are announced you should be covered under the Travel Delay section of your travel insurance policy if your flight is delayed by strike action.

Travel delay is usually a fixed benefit to help with additional expenses such as food and drink whilst you are waiting at the airport.

Plus, if you are experience a delay of over 12 or 24 hours you may also have the option to ‘abandon’
your holiday and make a claim for the cost.

If you don’t buy travel insurance until after a strike has been announced you will not be
covered.

This is one good reason why it pays to buy travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday.

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Volcanic ash disrupts flights in New Zealand: Can travel insurance help?

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By , August 7, 2012 10:36 am
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As an unexpected volcanic eruption in New Zealand causes an ash cloud disrupting flights and closing roads, we look at travel insurance cover for volcanic ash and whether it’s worth adding it to your travel insurance policy.

The most important thing to remember about travel insurance cover for volcanic ash is that you must have purchased your travel insurance before the volcano erupted in order to be covered.

A number of Air New Zealand flights have been disrupted due to the volcanic ash cloud which is currently heading east towards the Pacific Ocean.

Mount Tongariro is one of three volcanoes situated in the centre of the North Island. It became active last night, spewing rocks, steam and volcanic ash into the sky.

Local experts have admitted that the volcanic eruption has caught them by surprise this time. The volcano has been dormant for over 100 years and although they had detected a small amount of seismic activity over recent weeks, they were not expecting the volcano to erupt and produce a volcanic ash cloud.

The unexpected nature of this volcanic eruption and the disruption caused by the resulting ash cloud highlights the issue of what you can do if your flights is delayed or cancelled due to volcanic ash.

In 2010 the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud caused massive disruption across Europe, at the time this type of disruption was not covered by many travel insurance policies and travellers had to rely on their airlines and tour operators to get them home.

Since then, travel insurance providers have responded by making Volcanic Ash cloud or Natural Catastrophe cover available to add to their standard travel insurance policies.

These types of travel insurance add-ons generally provide additional cover so that you can cancel your holiday and make a claim for the cost if your flight is disrupted before you leave home, plus it can sometimes pay for the additional expense of finding alternative transport home if your airline does not provide you with something suitable.

Volcanic ash cover will vary with different travel insurance providers so you should always read the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy carefully to check exactly what is covered.

The most important thing to remember is that In order to be covered for volcanic ash cloud disruption you must have bought your travel insurance with the volcanic ash cloud cover before a volcano erupts.  So if you are about to fly to New Zealand’s North Island it’s too late to be covered for disruption from this particular eruption, but as you never know when the next volcano will erupt it could be worth adding volcanic ash cover to your next travel insurance policy.

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48% of Brits not aware that without travel insurance they risk large medical bills

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By , July 20, 2012 10:08 am
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New figures from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) highlight common misconceptions over who will foots the bill for medical treatment abroad.

A survey of 2000 British holidaymakers, conducted on behalf of the FCO, showed that almost half (48%) did not realise that without travel insurance they would be liable to pay for their own medical bills if they were injured or taken ill abroad.

Plus, when asked about their ability to cover medical costs for a loved one who had travelled without insurance, 78% of people admitted that they would not have the money to hand to cover a £10,000 hospital bill.

A medical emergency abroad can be extremely expensive and if you don’t have valid travel insurance in place, medical bills can quickly mount up to thousands of pounds.

Foreign Office staff witness a number of distressing cases every year involving families having to raise vast sums of money to pay hospital and repatriation bills for their loved ones who did not have travel insurance to cover cost of their medical treatment abroad.

Increase in hospitalisations abroad – 1o Brits hospitalised abroad every day

The FCO has also just released the latest of their annual British Behaviour Abroad which provides figures on the numbers of British nationals they have provided assistance to over the course of the year.

This year’s report has highlighted a significant rise in the number of hospitalisations of British travellers in popular holiday hotspots including Spain, Greece and Egypt. During the year from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2012 approximately 70 British travellers per week were hospitalised abroad – that’s 10 people every day!

Without travel insurance you could be left with a large medical bill

The FCO are hoping that by highlighting this information they can increase awareness amongst the British travelling public about the importance of having comprehensive travel insurance every time they travel abroad.

British nationals who have travelled without travel insurance or have invalidated their travel insurance by not declaring a pre-existing medical condition, or taking part in a sport or activity which was not covered by their policy, will find themselves or their families facing large medical bills if they are hospitalised abroad.

Foreign Office staff are there to offer assistance if you become ill or have an accident, but they do not cover the cost of medical treatment. If you don’t have travel insurance or are not properly covered by your travel insurance you or your family will have to cover the cost of medical treatment.

Jeremy Browne, the Minister for Consular Services said:

“ Whilst the prospect of ending up in a foreign hospital may be the last thing on your mind as you head overseas for a summer break, sometimes things do go wrong on holiday and many people deeply regret not taking out comprehensive travel insurance.

We witness many cases where people have invalidated their policy – perhaps by not declaring a pre-existing medical condition or not checking their policy covers a particular activity, such as hiring a moped. Unfortunately they are then surprised that the Foreign Office cannot pay for their bills and flight home”

Travel Checklist – Don’t go away without doing these 4 things:

– Buy travel insurance

– Declare any pre-existing medical conditions

– Check that any activities or sports are covered by your travel insurance

– Check the latest travel advice from the FCO before you leave the UK

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Portugal Air Traffic Controllers Strike Called Off

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By , June 29, 2012 10:12 am
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Great news for travellers to Portugal, the air traffic controllers strike that was due to start this weekend has been called off. The walk out was due to last from today until Tuesday, but thankfully the planned industrial action has been cancelled.

EasyJet said all its flights to and form Portugal will now operate as originally scheduled. It had put in contengency plans to fly into Spanish airports during the strike period.

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More strikes in Italy and Portugal threaten to disrupt holiday flights

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By , June 22, 2012 1:03 pm
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As austerity measures continue to have an impact across Europe two more strikes are announced that threaten to disrupt our hard earned holidays this summer.

Italian airport handling staff are striking today, 22 June, causing delays and flight cancellations at Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa and Venice airports.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has told passengers who are due to fly to or from these airports to expect delays and/or cancellations and have recommended that passengers check with their airline before travelling. Other airports in Italy appear to be unaffected at the moment.

Easyjet have announced that they have been forced to cancel 14 flights to and from Milan Malpensa and have warned of possible disruptions on services to Venice.

You may also be affected by strike action if you are flying to Portugal in the next few weeks. Unions representing Portuguese air traffic controllers have announced that their members will be taking part in strike action from 29 June to 3 July.

British travellers who are planning to travel to Portugal during this time should be aware that their travel plans may be affected. The Foreign and Commonwealth are advising British Nationals who are travelling to Portugal to stay in touch with their tour operator or airline for the latest information.

If your travel plans are affected by strike action you should be covered under the travel delay section of your travel insurance policy, so long as you booked your holiday and bought your travel insurance before the strike dates were made public.

The travel delay section of a travel insurance policy is designed to help you cope with the cost of additional expenses whilst you are waiting at the airport. There is generally a fixed benefit payable for every 12 or 24 hours which you are delayed – this will vary with different policies so you should check the terms and conditions of your own travel insurance for full details.

Many travel insurance policies also give you the option to ‘abandon’ your holiday after a delay of 12 or 24 hours. This means you can choose not to travel on your holiday and make a claim to recoup the cost.

As well as providing travel insurance cover for strikes, the travel delay section of a travel insurance provides cover if you are delayed due to adverse weather or mechanical breakdown. For more information see the terms and conditions of your own travel insurance policy.

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Travelling to Greece? Protect yourself against risk of insolvency & strike

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By , May 31, 2012 1:04 pm
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Although most travel experts are saying that Greece is still a great place to go on holiday this summer and even if it does leave the Eurozone the airlines will still fly and the beaches will still be there, it is understandable that people who have a trip booked will be concerned about how the political and economic uncertainty will affect their holiday.

There are some increased risks in travelling to Greece this summer, but there are going to be risks wherever you choose to go on holiday. You can help protect yourself and your money against these risks by getting the right travel insurance cover.

What if my hotel or accommodation supplier becomes bankrupt and closes?

Find out if your holiday is protected or if you need travel insurance with insolvency cover

Find out if your holiday is protected or if you need travel insurance with insolvency cover

The numbers of holidaymakers heading to Greece, particularly British and German, has dropped significantly over the last couple of years and as the economic and political crisis deepens this trend looks set to continue.

This drop in visitor numbers means that small hoteliers and local companies who provide services for holidaymakers are struggling, resulting in an increased risk of them becoming insolvent and closing. Earlier this year the Sunday Times reported that as many as 1000 Greek hotels could close or be put up for sale this year.

There are a couple of ways that you can protect your holiday against the risk of insolvency; one is to make sure your holiday is ATOL Protected by booking a package or flight plus from a travel agent or tour operator.

Use our quick check diagram to see if your holiday is protected >>

Find out more about ATOL Protection >>

Travel insurance with insolvency cover/end supplier failure

If your holiday is not ATOL Protected, for instance if you have booked elements of your holiday direct from different suppliers, or have booked anything direct with an airline, you can protect your holiday against the risk of insolvency by making sure you have the right travel insurance.

If you book your holiday independently, make sure that your travel insurance includes cover for the insolvency of an airline or other holiday supplier. This is often called Scheduled Airline Failure or End Supplier Failure. Some travel insurance policies include it as standard, some travel insurance policies have the option to add it to your cover and some travel insurance policies don’t provide it all, so you do need to check.

Scheduled Airline Failure, End Supplier Failure or Dynamic Packaging Cover as it is sometimes also known provides cover for the financial failure of an airline or holiday supplier. If the failure happens before you go on holiday the travel insurance will allow you to make a claim to recoup the cost, enabling you to use the money to rebook that element of your holiday with another supplier.

If the insolvency happens whilst you are away the travel insurance should provide cover for additional expenses for alternative accommodation or alternative transport home if necessary. The terms and conditions of this type of travel insurance cover does vary so you should always read the terms and conditions.

Find out more about travel insurance with insolvency cover >>

What if my holiday is affected by strikes?

Another consequence of the hard times that people in Greece are experiencing at the moment is an increased risk of strike and industrial action which can impact public services, including transport, airports and air traffic control.

Most travel insurance policies provide cover for travel delay caused by strike action. To ensure you get the benefit of this cover it’s important to buy your travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday. For a strike to be covered by your travel insurance, you must have booked your holiday and bought your travel insurance before the strike was announced.

The travel delay section of a travel insurance policy generally provides a fixed benefit for every 12 hours you are delayed; it is designed to help cover additional expenses such as food and drink.

In the event of a long delay many travel insurance policies also give you the option to ‘abandon’ your holiday and make a claim for the cost. This type of cover is good to have because it gives you more freedom if you do experience a long delay. Although abandoning the holiday may be disappointing it might be a good option for shorter trips where the delay could eat into a significant percentage of your holiday. Check your terms and conditions for the full details.

Find out more about travel insurance cover for strikes >>

Keep up to date on the situation in Greece

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes continually updated information on the situation in Greece along with advice for British Nationals who are visiting the country. This includes information on planned strikes and demonstrations which could impact your holiday.

Check the latest information before you travel.
Travel advice from the FCO: Greece

What will happen if Greece does leave the Euro?

If Greece does leave the euro it could mean that electronic banking might freeze for a couple of days as they change currency. ABTA, the Travel Association have advised holiday makers heading to Greece to take plenty of cash, in the form of low-denomination euro notes.

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7 days of strike action at Stansted set to impact Jubilee weekend

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By , May 23, 2012 11:10 am
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Baggage handlers at Stansted airport are set for 7 days of strike action, starting today which looks set to impact the busy Jubilee weekend, when many UK travellers will take advantage of the extra bank holiday and head overseas.

The strike has been called by the GMB Union who represents the baggage handlers in a dispute over new rosters with their employer Swiss Port.

Strikes are planned at the following times:

  • 24 hours from 0530hrs on Wednesday 23 May
  • 48 hours from 0530hrs on Saturday 26 May
  • From 0530hrs on Saturday 2 June to 0529hrs, Wednesday 6 June

Stansted Airport and Swissport have both stated that they have contingency arrangements in place and plan to operate a full schedule.

Swissport serve the following airlines: Ryanair, Atlasjet, Thomson, Thomas Cook and Belleair.

Passengers who think that their flight may effected should check with their airline.

If your flight is delayed or cancelled due to strike action your first point of call should be your airline or tour operator. You have a contract with them to get you to certain destination at a certain time, if they are unable to do this they are legally required to look after you, this includes providing refreshments and/or accommodation if necessary.

Travel insurance cover for strikes

If your travel plans are affected by strike action you should have cover under the travel delay section of your travel insurance policy, so long as you booked your holiday and bought travel insurance cover before the strike dates became public knowledge.

The level of cover for strikes provided by travel insurance will vary from policy to policy, so you should check the terms and conditions of your own travel insurance policy for details. However, in general the travel delay section of a travel insurance policy allows you to claim a benefit for every 12 or 24 hours that you are delayed. You should also get the option to abandon your holiday and make a claim for the cost if the delay exceeds a certain amount of time.

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