Declare medical history or risk huge bills

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Islanders risk huge medical bills and being stranded overseas if they fall ill while travelling and haven’t fully disclosed medical conditions to their insurer.

The warning from Rossborough Insurance comes after a UK man was reportedly left stranded in a Mexican hospital after falling ill on holiday and his family left facing a £40,000 bill because he had not disclosed his high blood pressure when taking out the policy.

‘It’s essential people ensure they are able to agree to the policy medical declaration when taking out travel insurance.

‘If they are unable to agree to the declaration, then they should call the medical declaration number.

‘Ahead of the summer holidays, it’s a popular time for islanders to take out policies and for whatever reason, we are aware that people don’t always give all the relevant information for every person covered by that policy,’ said Tim Rattray, managing director of Rossborough Insurance in the Isle of Man.

‘If people haven’t disclosed their history and then need medical care, then the insurance company can legally refuse to cover any costs or pay any claims.’

Mr Rattray added islanders needed to check the conditions of their policies and know what the process is if they fall ill while away. ‘An important detail to check is that any repatriation is to the Isle of Man as some policies may only cover travel back to the UK. Using a reputable and experienced broker based in the Isle of Man will help ensure that islanders have the cover they need and are there to help should a claim be needed,’ he said. ‘That can make an enormous difference as it can be incredibly stressful when a loved one falls ill away from the island. As the recent media coverage has shown, medical care can quickly reach tens of thousands of pounds and so having the right travel insurance policy should be considered as important as remembering your passport.’

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