Sabtu, 07 Januari 2012

Epilepsy Travel Insurance

Whether you live with well-managed epilepsy or suffer regular seizures, the very fact that you have been diagnosed will be of interest to your travel insurer. Declaring epilepsy does not necessarily mean you will be charged extra but failing to mention it could invalidate your policy.

There are hundreds of travel insurance providers and it would be wrong to assume that all travel insurance policies are the same. When it comes to epilepsy travel insurance, the onus falls upon the customer to ensure the policy purchased meets individual needs. To avoid any shocks, the dreaded small print is always worth a look.

Insurers medical declarations vary. Some will ask if you have suffered seizures requiring hospital treatment in the last 12 months, and if not, wave you through on a standard policy. Others will want to know if you have 'ever' suffered seizures. Either way, if you fall outside of the medical declaration, you will be subject to a medical screening (risk assessment) and asked questions about your health status. When applying for epilepsy travel insurance, you will be asked questions like:

1. If awake do you normally lose consciousness during a fit/ seizure?
2. How many fits/ seizures have you had in the last four/ six months?
3. How many unplanned hospital admissions you have had for epilepsy in the last 12 months?
4. How many different types of medication you are prescribed for epilepsy?
5. How long ago was your first fit/ seizure?
6. If another medical condition caused the epilepsy i.e. brain tumour?

The answers an applicant provides will have an impact on the premium outcome, for example, a person who has suffered more than three seizures losing consciousness in the last four weeks will be charged more. In this instance, the insurer may take the view of unstable epilepsy and a higher risk of claiming and therefore, load the premium. If the insurer feels the risk is too great, they may even decline cover. The rates insurers charge can differ, so get a few epilepsy travel insurance quotes before you commit.

Although including cover for epilepsy is optional, it's highly recommended that full cover be taken out, no matter how confident you are that complications will not arise from epilepsy whilst on holiday. The purpose of travel insurance is to protect you should the unthinkable happen, so it doesn't make sense to pay for a policy that has exclusions. Policies often state, unless your medical condition is covered, anything relating directly or indirectly to the condition will not be insured.

For further advice about travelling with epilepsy, contact one the many epilepsy charities such as the National Society for Epilepsy, who offer a helpline for epilepsy sufferers.

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