The most common reason a travel insurance company will void a policy is non-disclosure. Basically, if you conceal secrets or lie to an insurance company, even if it’s only about something trivial, and the insurance company discovers it, they have grounds to void the entire policy.
What counts as non-disclosure? Most commonly, it applies to lying about a pre-existing medical condition. When an insurance company agrees to cover someone, they take into account everything. Other than the age of the applicant and the risk of certain trips, health is an important factor. If you have a pre-existing medical condition and the company knows about it, they’ll decide whether or not to extend coverage based on how well your doctor says you are doing.
If you cover up a serious or even not so serious medical condition and you proceed to purchase a travel insurance policy, and something happens as a result of that condition, the company is well within its rights to void the policy. Since the condition is not disclosed to the travel insurance company before they provided coverage, the whole travel insurance agreement is considered fraudulent. This is almost always a disaster for the people whose policy is voided because they will end up dealing with massive medical bills out of their own pockets.
Why would a company do this? An insurance company is a business entity where everything is set in black and white. This is why they demand to know about any and all pre-existing medical conditions before they agree to extend a policy. Some people are just too high-risk to insure, especially if they are putting an already ill body under the stress of travel. When travel insurance companies insure someone who has a pre-existing condition, they will almost always raise the premium because the person is considered “high-risk.” If you do not disclose any pre-existing condition, you are actually cheating the insurance company because you are supposed to be paying a higher premium.
This applies to any kind of insurance you obtain. Single trip travel insurance, which covers only a single trip, works the same way. Annual trip insurance, which covers multiple trips within a yearlong period, also has non-disclosure clauses. Even long stay travel insurance, which covers people on trips between 3 and 18 months long, can be voided for non-disclosure.
When the travel insurance company discovers that you have a pre-existing condition, it’s important to know they can void the policy, even if you don’t get sicker while on the trip. Even if you know you aren’t likely to suffer any serious illness despite your medical condition, it absolutely has to be disclosed to the travel insurance company or you risk having the policy voided.
It’s also important to get a check-up before a trip because insurance companies classify any illness occurring between 60, 90, or 180 days depending on the company as pre-existing. If you don’t know about a certain condition and it’s discovered later, it’s still grounds for the company to void the policy.