a choice of medical screening tools

everything you are comes from your choices

a choice of medical screening tools to help you find the best policy

declaring a medical condition can feel like a tedious task when finding travel insurance cover. after all, planning a holiday is an exciting time, so often the last thing you want to think about is any health issues.

but making sure you have the right protection in place for any medical conditions is one of the most important things that you can do to make sure you’re fully protected when you go abroad.

let’s be honest. we’ve all heard of the horror stories where people have fallen ill while on holiday and been forced to either re-mortgage their house or crowdfund online, to help cover the cost of their medical bills – sometimes even when they have travel insurance in place.

so, how do people end up in this situation? and why is declaring a medical condition to your insurer so important?

medical history

if you’ve ever taken out travel insurance, you’ve probably been asked something along the lines of “do you have a medical condition or significant medical history to declare?”. if you do, you’re then presented with a series of questions to get a better understanding of your condition. if you don’t, you’re then forced to tick a box to show that you understand that if you’re found to have not declared any existing conditions, then this could cause problems at the claim stage.

the reason that travel insurers ask this is so that they can get a better understanding of your health, and to calculate how much of a risk your medical condition could be if you were to fall ill during your trip and need medical assistance. after all, travel insurers have to be prepared to cover any medical bills as a result of a declared (and accepted) condition.

naturally, some health problems pose larger threats (and therefore higher medical bills) than others. that being said, most common health conditions won’t make much of a difference to your overall policy price.

the problem is that often what an insurer classes as a medical condition, can differ from what an individual classes as a medical condition. and that’s where issues can occur.

common conditions

the most commonly declared conditions are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breast cancer, and in the last three or four years, anxiety and depression. 

in addition, the very act of travelling can in itself affect some conditions which will then need to be explored further when declaring medical history. for example, if you have had a brain tumour you may not be covered as flying, coupled with the steroids that are used in some cancer treatments can cause dangerous swelling. even if your doctor believes that you’re perfectly ok to take a plane, your insurer may take a different view from an insurance perspective and decide not to cover you.

there are two main medical screening tools that are used throughout the travel insurance industry. these are Verisk and Protectif.

two different screening tools

verisk is a commonly used ‘condition-led’ screening tool, which uses a short set of questions to understand a medical condition. the screening system, however, relies on you (as a consumer) to declare the medical condition in the first place.

it is very widely used by many of the big brands in travel insurance and the one that is used if you decide to use a price comparison website like compare the market or go.compare. for some types of condition, it may produce better results than Protectif – but it is very difficult to generalise as each case is slightly different.

Protectif, on the other hand, is a ‘medication-led’ screening tool and is relatively new in the market by comparison. the team behind protectif worked with a pharmacist to create trigger questions based on the most common conditions and the risks they pose from both a medical perspective and at claims stage.  

this screening tool aims to reduce the risk of accidentally under declaring a medical condition by asking you to name any medication you take, almost acting like a prompt to help you fully declare your medical history. this approach links the medication with a medical condition, which allows insurers to get a more accurate picture of the individual’s overall health.

which to choose?

but the best medical screening tool for you will entirely depend on your health and individual circumstances. for example, common and well controlled conditions like asthma may benefit from screening through a brand that uses verisk, as it tends to ask fewer questions and can be cheaper.

however, those with more complex conditions may find the Protectif screening tool offers a better price, as it asks in-depth questions that paint a more complete picture of an individual’s health. in some cases, the Protectif screening tool will also offer a 1-2-1 screening with an advisor and enable the insurer to create a bespoke policy if needed.

albert & eddie is the first site ever to offer both screening tools, meaning you can choose to declare medical conditions by either telling us about your condition or letting us know what medication you take. either way, we’re doing our best to limit the number of people who travel abroad without the right cover – meaning that you won’t have to create a gofundme page to pay your medical bills if you fall ill while you’re out there.

much like how medical treatments these days are constantly evolving, the medical screening tools used are always changing too. the aim of the game is to make travel insurance accessible to everyone. so, watch this space as albert & eddie continues to advance medical screening systems to help you (the customer) and make travel insurance a whole lot simpler.