Insurance premiums/excess for AF sufferers - AF Association

AF Association

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Insurance premiums/excess for AF sufferers


I am newly experiencing AF and still awaiting test results, but am travelling to USA on May 1st for 3 and a half weeks. I have been in touch with my insurance company, they say they will cover me with no increase in premiums but I will have to pay an excess of £750 for any claims arising from this condition. Was pleased about no premium increase but wonder if this excess is a normal amount or should I try another insurance company? This policy was only taken out on March 23rd ready for my trip, my first AF episode was 29th March. The company is Holiday Safe. (website address is Thanks in advance,


19 Replies

I believe AFA have some sympathetic companies who will not load like that so try ringing the hotline.


angiek in reply to BobD

Thank you -will try them .

Angie, I am insured with Holidaysafe. They are one of the 'Which' recommended insurers for existing medical conditions. They do have their own website along with a telephone number.

Infinity Insurance are an insurance brokers so are probably more expensive. My excess is £100 but all cases are different so not really comparable.

'Awaiting test results' could be the factor that increased your excess.



Hi Angie

Can I just check what I am reading, you took out the insurance on the 23rd March, but were not diagnosed, and did not know about the condition until the 29th March?.

I'm no lawyer but ring them back and tell them to remove the excess as the condition was not present at the time you took out the policy, and they have already insured you for the information available at the time. You did not lie or mis-represent any detail at the point of applying for the policy, and therefore the insurance remains in place under the orginal premium and with the original conditions.

This is NOT a "pre-existing" condition, but a condition which has come to light after you applied for and were granted insurance, you presumably paid for it, so this is a contract under law and they must abide by it.

There can be no excess applied, and in fact they have to cover you to the full extent of the policy for any claim arising for any reason whatsoever.

Do let us know what happens, but frankly they would appear to have a "damn cheek" to be applying an excess after the fact. Of course for any future insurance you have to declare and accept any premium amendment.

Be well


angiek in reply to Beancounter

Yes I took out and paid for policy on 23rd and had no idea I had any health problems whatsoever until first episode of AF which came out of the blue and landed me in hospital on 29 th March! Makes sense what you say though - will give it a try tomorrow!

Offcut in reply to angiek

They could argue that even though you were not aware that you had the condition it might well be in the small print that if your condition changes before you go on holiday that they need to be informed. Which would be better than them saying that as they were not informed they will not pay anything! (USA Mega Medical Bills)

The condition wasn't pre-existing at the time the contract was made but it is pre-existing at the time the travel, for which the insurance is designed to cover, is embarked upon. Unlike other routine insurances, eg car, home, life etc. which are usually valid the moment you take them out, I wonder if travel insurance only becomes valid on the date of travel you stipulated. I don't know and Ian may well be right but I too will be very interested to hear the outcome.

Offcut in reply to RobertELee

I was on the understanding that the holiday insurance is for the period stated.

BeancounterVolunteer in reply to RobertELee

Yes I agree with both of you and it's going to depend on what the insurance policy says, if it says this is a policy for you to travel between say 1st and 30th June, then perhaps they might (only might) be able to argue that changes prior to travel are notifiable, if however the policy is (as many are and certainly mine were) for say 3 months from date of purchase for travel for any 3 weeks within it, then the date of contract is a date of purchase and in my view, this is then not a pre-existing condition.

I would happily go through the fine print on this to check.


Most certainly try not another, but other companies. If these people though you were a risk they would either hit your policy for six or give you no cover at all. My opinion is they are just leaving your purse or wallet open in the unlikely event that something happens so they can put their hand into your pocket. What kind of treatment can be had in the States for £750.00? (not a lt). Enjoy your stay. James H.

I usually pay a smaller increase in the premium on an annual policy with a reputable company. I took mines out last year with RSA motability insurance. I have also used the AFA listed insurers and they have been fine.

You raise a really important issue which I have raised with the Equality Commission, FOS, FCA and Office of Fair Trading. A couple of years ago I went to the USA for 5 weeks holiday with stable paroxysmal AF. The flight cost £1050 return and my insurance premium was £1634.

I complained about it on return and eventually got the money back.

The exact same inequitable situation exists with private health care. When your diagnosed with AF you can't transfer your policy to a cheaper provider because your deemed to have a pre-existing condition. The cost of the increase in premiums increase between 8% and 15% a year at commercial rates.

There is regulation of this practice in other countries but the UK insurance lobby have heavily resisted any attempts to introduce fairness measures never mind regulation.

I get holiday insurance through my bank (co-op) recently they changed companies and I had to pay an excess of £30. This year I was on one less drug (Warfarin Atenol & digoxin) and was told no excess since I was only on 3 drugs so no excess! Like with AF no definative rules apply!

So....literally a whole day on the phone and laptop wasted, and no progress! None of the other companies I tried (from the list emailed to me by AFA) will insure me because I am awaiting test results after a first episode and am not therefore properly diagnosed with AF (somebody right at the start of my investigations did say this would probably be the case!) and so I am stuck with using the company who I originally insured with just before my first AF episode. I have not rung them to challenge their ridiculously high new excess (£750) because they did not even ask me (when I rang them to declare the 'post purchase policy declaration') if I was awaiting any test results, and they have not increased the premium.

I am so fed up with the whole thing and am sure that in the event of needing to make a claim they will find some way of wriggling out of paying -for two hoots I would cancel the insurance altogether but the sensible part of me is just about making it's presence felt, hoping I will in fact still be covered for all other eventualities besides AF related.

.....This time next week I will be in Denver.......and what will be will be....;-)

angiek in reply to angiek

p.s.... in my case stress does not appear to unduly aggravate AF!

CDreamer in reply to angiek

So frustrating, I had similar probs 'awaiting tests'. Have you tried the AllClear site? I and a few others on this forum had good response from them, despite travelling within 2 weeks of ablation.

Sorry to hear of your problems. The whole system appears to be a minefield with insurance companies appearing to make up the rules as they go along! Last year I was insured with Holidaysafe after reading the recommendation on Martin Lewis's website. At the time I had experienced a spinal stroke and felt the premium was fair. I was later diagnosed with AF , which I duly informed them of, and was then told I would have to pay an excess if I needed to claim because of it!

This year I'm with Goodtogo at a slightly higher rate but I'm awaiting a hospital procedure which again complicates things! I do hope you manage to sort something out and enjoy your time in Denver and the beautiful Rockies. You deserve it after all that stress!

Thanks all, will try those 2 companies this morning- then I really must focus on my holiday prep- at this rate the insurance won't be needed, I haven't even sorted getting to Heathrow! ;-)

angiek in reply to angiek

Neither of these will cover me for AF as I am awaiting test results! So will have to go with what I have already and hope I don't need to use it- the £750 excess will make it a very expensive holiday! Then hopefully after I have had test results I can look again at some of these. Wish I had only bought a single trip policy, bad timing or what?!

They said that in the small print it says changes in health at any time during the policy period have to be notified and they reserve the right to increase premium and/or withdraw cover- I didnt have time to check this or argue with them, cancelled this policy (lost a chunk of the premium, much more than pro rata for the few days cover I had used) and went with HolidaySafe. They seem to offer what I need and premium is reasonable, low-ish excess. But of course unless I need to make a claim I will never know how good/bad they are!

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