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How to buy travel insurance when you have a sick relative

and how to protect yourself financially if you have to cancel or curtail a holiday

Posted on 31. January, 2014

Don’t be surprised if when you buy travel insurance you are asked “Are you or any traveller to be insured, aware of any medical condition affecting a relative, business associate, travelling companion or someone you are going to stay with, which could result in your trip being cancelled or curtailed?”

Before you say No, think about the health of those closest to you and whether they have any medical concerns that you are aware of, and if their condition worsened whether you would have to cancel your holiday, or curtail your holiday and return home.

There is one very key word in the above paragraph “aware” that needs some explanation.

Consider the following hypothetical scenario :
You book a holiday and at the time that you book, you know that your Father-in Law is not in good health, he’s got a few health problems. Would it be reasonable to consider that his health may deteriorate sufficiently and require you to cancel or curtail your holiday?

To some extent the answer will be determined by what those conditions are and whether they are stable and well managed. What recent history has there been of undergoing tests, visiting Doctors or even hospital admittances. What diagnosis has he received, is his life expectancy limited?

Why should you consider this answer very carefully?

If you answer No to the above question and purchase travel insurance and before you are due to travel, he takes a turn for the worse and you decide to cancel your trip, the medical records for your Father-in-Law will be requested before any claim can be settled. If there is any indication in the medical records that at the time you purchased your travel insurance his condition was worsening, he was undergoing tests, or a diagnosis had been given of a life limiting condition, or the records indicate that Next of Kin have been advised of a condition, then you as his relative stand a very good chance of not having a claim settled.
You would have to prove that you were not “aware” of his medical condition at the time. Simply not living nearby or not having regular contact is not acceptable, as a relative you would be expected to know. Certainly he might have received a terminal diagnosis and decided not to mention it to anyone and to refuse treatment, this decision would potentially be covered in the medical records and would help your claim.

If on reflection, and in light of your own situation, it is better to answer Yes to this question. Some travel insurance providers are able to cover not just your medical conditions, but also the medical conditions of those people on whom your trip may depend. Yes, you may have to pay some additional premium to have their conditions covered, but this will always be a very small price to pay, in comparison to finding your cancellation or curtailment claim will not be paid at a later date.
Before you buy any travel insurance – carefully check the Policy Wording or ask – will this policy cover me if my Father In Law’s condition deteriorates?. Look for phrases such as: This policy will not cover the health of non-travelling relatives or business associates on whom your trip may depend. Or, this policy does not cover the health of people not named on the Schedule of Insurance. This type of information is usually in the Policy Conditions or Policy Exclusions sections in the Policy Wording. Check before you buy.

Onestop4.co.uk have a cruise travel insurance scheme that can offer cover for non-travellers who have health conditions. You will need to be prepared to answer some questions about the health of someone on whom your trip will depend. It’s a good idea to make sure you have all the facts about their conditions before you make contact, ideally have a list of their conditions and know about what treatment has been received or is being administered for each condition, how many hospital admittances there have been in the last 3 years. Including whether tests are proposed and what medications are being taken, also importantly if medications have been altered in the last three months or new medications prescribed.

A team of friendly travel health experts are available to guide you through this and subject to acceptance, the health of non-travellers could be covered on your travel policy. So if the worse does happen, you are financially protected if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday.
www.onestop4.co.uk or 0800 848 8448 or 01689 892 228

onestop4 is a trading name of International Travel and Healthcare Limited who are authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. No. 433367