Mark Harrop Business Development Manager

Jun 16

Is it ok not be covered by travel insurance? Don’t bet your house on it

Dear editor

Is it ok not be covered by travel insurance? Don’t bet your house on it.

A stark warning was delivered at the Travel and Health Insurance Industry Conference (ITIC) on the very real consequences for holidaymakers withholding health information from insurers.

Including ‘failure to disclose a pre-existing condition puts your house at risk’ on policies was suggested as one way to get the seriousness of the situation across.

27 percent of Brits travelled with no insurance or without declaring medical conditions in 2017, meaning 9.9 million of us risk a claim being turned down should we need help.

The Foreign Office doesn’t pay hospital bills for Brits abroad or arrange repatriation, leaving sick travellers with no insurance seriously out of pocket.

Yet dire warnings alone will not encourage truthful travellers if obtaining cover is not as simple as possible.

At ITIC, Aquarium showed how technology can help. Integration with online medical services allows medical screening in real time; while smartphone services encourage honest and informed disclosure.

 The Independent’s Simon Calder was right to highlight travellers risk bankruptcy via non-declaration, but with travel insurance viewed as a ‘necessary evil’ by 54 percent of over 55s, the industry must do more to make the risks of travel without cover clear; with four out of five UK adults with a smartphone and 56 percent of us wanting to see better websites and mobile apps, the sky’s the limit on what technology can now deliver.

Yours faithfully

Mark Colonnese, Director, Aquarium Software
(Based Manchester and Oxford, UK, and USA)