We are often asked:
”Do I need to declare aniridia when applying for travel insurance?”
This is often accompanied by outcry at an exorbitant quote when doing so. Regular travel insurance companies often charge a hefty premium to cover medical conditions.
Well the risk is that if there was any kind of accident especially one that impacts upon the person’s sight or where it might have been a factor, and the insurance company was not informed of it, they may use it as a reason not to pay out. It is of course unlikely but on that basis we’d not take out insurance at all for foreign expensive healthcare and medical transport.
So what are your options?
First consider whether you want to be covered for pre-existing medical conditions or not. Some insurers will have an option to not be covered, in exchange for a cheaper premium.
If the application form does not require you to list all the pre-existing conditions and you don’t want to be covered for then this is simple.
Of course this means you carry the risk of any problems with whilst on holiday. Consider riskiness of your planned activities where you’ll be.
For example If your only medication is eye drops available in chemists, you may feel you could easily replace your own supply if necessary. But you wouldn’t be covered for at least related eye treatment or repatriation. A need for specialist eye drops however could make insurance worthwhile.
If the application form does ask for all pre-existing medical conditions, then even if you don’t want cover for them, you should include aniridia to avoid the risk of invalidating the whole policy. Check its wording.
When filling in travel insurance applications online there is usually a pre-defined list of medical conditions to choose from. Aniridia will usually not be one of them. Instead, there will probably be a space to type in the name of your conditions.
If the insurance company does not already have information on aniridia they may simply refuse to cover you.
Other companies may do some research, including phoning you, before deciding whether and what price to quote.
There are insurers that specialise in covering people with medical conditions. These usually have lower rates than others. Some examples are below. Find more by searching online for ‘travel insurance for existing medical conditions‘
Consider that “aniridia” in some ways only refers to the absence of the iris. The symptoms and complications people with aniridia face are unique to them but are actually medical conditions in themselves.
Insurers may be unfamiliar with aniridia but may know about cataracts, glaucoma, dry eye, cornea scaring, nystagmus, etc. You may also be able to select ‘visually impaired’, ‘partially sighted’ or ‘short-sighted’ from the available options as a catch-all.
So you may feel you can encompass everything without mentioning aniridia.
Again we can’t be sure this would be sufficient if a claim were made.
Some people will take the risk and just do that online or by phone. If you want to go further:
- Speak to insurance companies for guidance and check the wording of their policies carefully.
- If in doubt declare aniridia as a pre-existing condition,
- Shop around, try the specialist providers.
- Phone the insurer instead of doing an online application so you can explain your condition and holiday plans, and argue for a lower quote.