Travel insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition

If you have a medical condition, or you’ve ever had a serious illness, travel insurance can be hard to get. Find out how to get the cover you need at the right price.

Travel insurance if you have a medical condition

It can be difficult to know where to start looking for travel insurance if you have a medical condition.

For contact details of providers who specialise in providing travel insurance for people with serious medical conditions, use our Travel Insurance Directory

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What’s considered a medical condition for travel insurance?

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Commonly known as a ‘pre-existing medical condition’, this term covers a lot – from allergies to broken bones.

Different insurance companies have different definitions. But your insurer is likely to consider any of the following a pre-existing medical condition:

  • any condition you’re waiting for an operation on
  • any condition that you’re currently awaiting test results for
  • any condition, even a minor one, that you’ve seen a doctor about in the past year
  • any serious condition – cancer, heart trouble, respiratory problems – you’ve ever had.

They’ll also want to know if you’re taking any medication.

You’ll need to declare all existing medical conditions when buying travel insurance.

If you’re not sure whether to declare, it’s important not to assume it’s covered. Always ask your insurance provider, otherwise you risk any claim you need to make being rejected.

Some policies or insurers won’t cover your medical condition. While others will give you cover but exclude your particular condition or charge extra for it.

Where to get travel insurance if you have a medical condition

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What is a ‘serious condition’ for travel insurance?

‘Serious conditions’ are conditions that carry a high risk of needing some form of medical treatment while you are on your trip. Or ones that might flair up before you travel, meaning you have to cancel.

Have you had problems getting travel insurance in the past at an affordable price? Then you might need to consult a specialist.

However, different companies have different views on which conditions are ‘high-risk’, and it’s worth trying more than one.

Example of conditions where you might need a specialist travel insurer are:

  • cancer (particularly if you’re still having treatment)
  • a stroke or serious heart condition
  • respiratory conditions
  • conditions that have been diagnosed as terminal.

What is a ‘less serious condition’ for travel insurance?

Less serious conditions or conditions well-controlled by medication (for example mild asthma), usually should still be declared. But they shouldn’t affect your ability to get insurance.

However, even if you feel your medical condition is not serious, it’s still worth trying a provider on our Travel Insurance Directory as well as a mainstream company to compare prices.

Can you afford travel insurance?

Insurance that provides full cover when you have a medical condition can be expensive, but that’s why it’s worth trying a few firms to find the best deal.

If shopping around is too exhausting, you can ask an insurance broker to do this on your behalf. You’ll only have to provide your details once, which the broker will send on to several different insurers.

An insurance broker can also support you if you have to make a claim.

You can find an insurance broker through the British Insurance Brokers’ Association website

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Travel insurance if you’re travelling in the UK

Even if you’re not travelling abroad, it’s still a good idea to have travel insurance.

Most policies include cover for:

  • lost or stolen bags
  • emergency medical expenses
  • the costs of cancelling, delaying or cutting your trip short (some policies will cover if it’s coronavirus-related)
  • personal liability, in case you’re sued for damaging property or causing injury.

Is travel insurance worth it?

Travelling without insurance, particularly if you have a serious medical condition, could end up far more expensive than the cost of a policy.

It could mean not getting the treatment you need quickly, or being faced with huge medical bills or high costs to get you home.

So, it’s important not to risk travelling without insurance.

What should I do if I can’t get travel insurance?

It might not be possible to get cover for the trip you had set your heart on, either because of age or medical reasons.

However, you might have more chance if you switch:

  • to another location – possibly one nearer home, or
  • from a multi-trip policy to a single trip.

It’s worth persevering as the risks of travelling without insurance – particularly if you have a medical condition – aren’t worth it.

For contact details of companies who specialise in providing travel insurance for people with serious medical conditions, check our Travel Insurance Directory.

Travel insurance and coronavirus

The current pandemic has changed travel insurance policies, and what will and won’t be covered.

Most travel insurance policies being issued now will have some sort of coronavirus cover included. But it’s important to always read the terms of the policy carefully.

For example, if coronavirus cancellation cover is included in the policy, this will usually only apply if the policyholder tests positive for the virus. If you have to cancel because you have to self-isolate or are in quarantine, most policies currently won’t pay out.

If you already have travel insurance policy, check the terms carefully to see whether: you’re covered:

  • if you test positive for coronavirus before you travel, or
  • while you’re on your trip.
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MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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