Phoebe Slim
Author: Phoebe Slim, Marketing Executive

Phoebe is a keen traveller, always looking to add to her list of cultural destinations.

Originally posted: 8th Jul 2019

Don't 'break' the bank this winter

Brits across the UK will be starting to count down the days to their summer/winter sporting holidays, but what they might not have realised, is that if you have suffered a broken bone in the last two years which resulted in hospital treatment, they may not be covered by their medical travel insurance.

When do travellers need to declare broken bones:

  • If you have been prescribed medication, received treatment or attended a medical practitioner’s surgery
  • If you have attended a hospital or clinic as an outpatient or in-patient
  • If there were any complications (infections, nerve or blood vessel damage due to surgery, or DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and the above was applicable to you, then the condition should also be declared. DVT would be classed as a circulatory condition, which should always be declared.

With 79% of British travellers incorrectly identifying what they need to disclose when purchasing medical travel insurance. Travel insurance comparison site Medical Travel Compared are urging holidaymakers to ensure they are correctly covered should anything happen when they’re abroad. With a specialist panel of over 40 insurance providers, Medical Travel Compared ask customers a series of questions relating to their health to determine whether they need to disclose any pre-existing medical conditions as part of a quote application. These medical history questions are representative of those asked by the wider travel insurance market.

Ski season often means a few broken bones around the world, it’s part of the risk winter sport enthusiasts are happy to take to get on fresh powder slopes. If you have taken out medical travel insurance the consensus is that those unforeseen costs will be covered, but what happens if the injured party has previously broken a bone and it’s not been declared to the policy provider. There’s a chance the traveller won’t be covered and will be at risk of paying hefty medical bills abroad.

Bones can break from any number of reasons including trauma where there was a large force or injury, for example by a car, motorcycle, sporting accidents and falls from heights. Injury can also cause bones to break if they have been weakened by a disease such as cancer, tumours, bone cysts or osteoporosis. Sometimes, repetitive overuse of the leg such as movements in distance running can result in a stress fracture. It’s important to know what to declare when purchasing.

If you suffer from bones which have been weakened by disease, the main condition must be declared where any of the warranty questions are answered yes and the broken bone will then have to be declared separately. Occasionally providers will fail to quote. This can happen if a broken leg has occurred within the last three weeks and further hospital or clinic appointments are needed. However, cover will be provided if a broken bone is three weeks to four months old and a hospital or clinic visit is still needed, however if a claim is made, travellers will need to confirm their doctor or consultant was happy for them to participate in winter sports and were not travelling against medical advice. If a broken bone is caused by osteoporosis, providers will decline cover of winter sports.

Travellers with broken bones should consider if their cast is approved by their airline and if the mobility aids are protected under the baggage cover.

Medical Travel Compared works with over 40 specialist providers to help travelers compare the best deals from providers offering comprehensive cover for those with pre-existing medical conditions.

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