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A Guide to Online Medical Screening for Travel Insurance

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What You Need to Know

  1. Some providers will offer insurance, whatever your age or your physical condition, though you will most probably be required to complete an online medical screening.
  2. One major advantage of online medical screening is the fact you can be open about your medical history and about current conditions in relative anonymity.
  3. Additionally, online screening usually lets you know right away if you have been accepted for cover and, if so, provide you with an instant quote.
  4. However, Just as some people may be wary of speaking to a stranger about their medical history, others may in fact be more comfortable speaking to a real person rather than going through the screening process online.
  5. Going through an online medical screening is specifically-designed to be as easy and stress-free as possible; simply follow the step-by-step process.
  6. Note that, even if you are taking medication and have a condition under control, you will still be required to declare it; failure to do so could lead to your insurance policy being invalidated.
  7. Many insurers won’t provide cover for problems arising from ailments you had before travelling. If you need to cover such an eventuality we recommend you seek out specialist cover for pre-existing medical conditions here.

What is Online Medical Screening?

The majority of travel insurance providers will either completely refuse to insure you if you have any number of existing medical conditions or else charge extremely large amounts for such cover.

However, a small number of insurers do operate in this niche market, often setting no upper age limit on their cover and usually willing to provide cover for the vast majority of existing medical conditions. In order to get covered, you will most probably be required to submit to a medical screening process, with most insurers now allowing you to do this online.

Benefits of Online Medical Screening

For many, the major advantage of online medical screening is the fact you can be open about your medical history and about current conditions in relative anonymity. That is, while in the past, if you had a medical condition that required you to take out specialist travel insurance you would have needed to phone an insurer’s call centre or even visit an office in person and share personal details with a stranger – something many people are understandably uncomfortable with – thanks to online screening, you are able to get screened at a time of your own convenience, in the comfort of your own home and without any feeling of embarrassment.

One other notable advantage of online medical screening is that, in many cases, you will be informed right away whether you can be covered and, if so, you will be given an instant quote, giving you more time to spend planning your actual holiday.

Potential Drawbacks to Online Medical Screening

Just as some people may be wary of speaking to a stranger about their health issues, others may in fact be more comfortable speaking to a real person rather than going through the screening process online.

With this in mind, many insurers also offer access to call centre staff specialising in guiding you through the screening process and answering any questions you may have. Speaking to someone either in person or over the phone may also be the best option if you have a particularly-complicated condition or have special needs that an insurer may want to take into consideration.

How it Works

Going through an online medical screening is specifically-designed to be as easy and stress-free as possible. Simply follow the step-by-step process, ensuring that all the information you give is as accurate and up-to-date as possible.

If you do get stuck, then don’t panic and don’t try and skip a section as failing to declare something could lead to problems further down the line. In most cases, an insurer will offer a special helpline, so make use of this if you have any doubts or questions.

What You Need to Declare

Quite simply, while specific rules and regulations may vary between insurers, as a rule, you will be required to declare all current, and some past medical conditions.

As a general guide, you should be prepared to declare:

  • Any cerebral, heart, circulatory, liver, kidney or respiratory conditions that you have received treatment for.
  • Any disease, illness or injury you have received specialist treatment (ie surgery or in-patient care) for over the past two to five years.
  • Any cancer for which you have received a diagnosis or treatment within the past five years.

Note that, even if you are taking medication and have a condition under control, you will still be required to declare it; failure to do so could lead to your insurance policy being invalidated.

Pregnancy

As well as declaring all existing medical conditions, you may also be asked in the online screening process to state if you are pregnant. Again, honesty is the best policy here; while a policy may cover you should unforeseen complications arise during a trip, you will most likely not be covered for normal costs of pregnancy or childbirth, such as going into labour in a foreign country.

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