17 million UK holidaymakers travel abroad each year, and one in four of them fall ill, leading to doctor's office visits abroad, and in worst case scenarios, a hospital stay. While some sicknesses, such as the common cold, are commonplace, some illnesses are the direct result of existing health problems, which can pose a serious problem.
Post Office research has recently revealed some travel insurance policies will not cover policyholders - or anyone else on the health travel insurance document - who have episodes of illness abroad but have not informed their travel insurance company about predetermined health problems, or a recent serious illness.
For example, Post Office travel insurance stipulates that prior to being offered travel insurance, everybody on the policy must answer several questions in a health declaration, with any positive responses requiring the applicant to call a medical screening line.
You will then be asked some specific questions and be informed if you can still be provided with cover on the travel insurance policy. Existing conditions cover may cost more.
If still unsure about an existing health problem, recent hospital treatment or check-ups, or if your health status changes after the travel insurance has been purchased, but before travel, it is worth checking with the provider. It could prevent holiday heartache.
Travel insurance: News update: 03/08/2009