Travel insurance for people with medical conditions

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Here's our guide on everything you need to know about travelling with a medical condition: what you need to disclose to your insurer, getting the right cover for you and some frequently asked questions. 

What’s a pre-existing medical condition?

We define a pre-existing medical condition as an illness or injury that:

  • has been identified by a doctor
  • is under investigation by a doctor
  • is known to you before your policy starts or when you book a trip (whichever is later)

Some examples of conditions could be:

  • cancers
  • heart conditions (irregular heartbeat/angina/heart disease)
  • diabetes
  • circulatory issues (strokes/high blood pressure/high cholesterol)
  • bone or joint conditions
  • gastrointestinal or digestive conditions (Crohn’s disease/IBS)
  • terminal prognosis 

Is pregnancy a pre-existing condition?

No, pregnancy doesn’t count as a pre-existing medical condition.

You don’t have to declare it to us unless you’ve had any complications in your pregnancy so far or you have any medical conditions caused by the pregnancy, such as:

  • gestational diabetes
  • high blood pressure

If you’re over 28 weeks pregnant, the airline you’re travelling with might need a letter from your doctor confirming it’s safe for you to fly.

We have more detailed information on pregnancy travel insurance.

Can I get travel insurance if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

Yes, you can get travel insurance with a medical condition. 

But you must declare your condition when buying your policy, either online or over the phone.

There are some conditions we can’t cover, but it’s best to speak to us to check if you’re unsure.

If we’re unable to provide cover, you can use the MoneyHelper directory to find specialist travel insurance.

What do I need to tell my insurer about my medical condition?

In general, we need to know about any medical condition you’ve had within the last two years.

With some conditions, we need to know if you’ve ever been diagnosed with them – these include:

  • heart or respiratory conditions
  • circulatory conditions (like strokes or high blood pressure)
  • liver conditions
  • cancers

You need to tell us:

  • about advice, treatment or prescriptions from a doctor
  • any ongoing investigation into your health or if you’re waiting for a diagnosis
  • if you’re on a waiting list for inpatient treatment or know you need inpatient treatment.

Why do I have to tell my insurer about my medical condition?

You need to disclose your condition so we can provide the right cover.

If you don’t tell us and need to claim for any medical expenses caused by your condition while you’re away, we won’t cover all or some of the costs.

Claims are denied for people who:

  • travel against the advice of a medical professional, or don’t seek advice knowing they would have been advised against it
  • travel for the purpose of receiving treatment abroad
  • don’t take the necessary medication for their condition

Everything is entirely confidential, it’s simply to protect you financially if anything goes wrong while you’re on holiday.

Will my insurance be more expensive if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

The cost of your cover will always depend on a few things:

  • how many travellers are on your policy
  • where you’re going
  • how long you’re going for
  • what you’re going to get up to
  • the nature of your pre-existing condition

You might have to pay an additional premium for a condition to be covered. This varies between conditions and you’ll need to get a quote to find out.

Am I fit for travel?

Being fit for travel means you’re healthy enough to travel without concern.

If you’re unsure, contact your doctor for advice. We won’t cover you if a medical professional advises against travelling.

Airlines also expect you to be ‘fit to fly’ – this means:

  • you don’t expect to have any medical complications while on the plane
  • your pre-existing conditions aren’t likely to get worse
  • there’s no danger to other passengers (for example, infectious diseases)

I’ve been diagnosed with a condition after I bought my insurance – am I still covered for my holiday?

Usually, yes, as long as:

  • your doctor says you’re fit for travel
  • you’ve told your insurer about the health change

When you disclose your new condition, we may charge an additional premium to cover it.

If we can’t cover you or you don’t agree with any changes to the terms and conditions, you can cancel your policy if you haven’t started your trip. You should get a full or partial refund, as long as you haven’t already made a claim or are intending to make a claim. 

Can I make a claim once I return home?

Ideally, you should make your claim while you’re on holiday when the event happens. Retrospective claims aren’t usually considered, although we will consider medical expenses less than £500 on a pay or claim basis if you’re not going to hospital or cutting your trip short.

As soon as you need medical care abroad, contact your insurer’s emergency service as quickly as possible. Our 24-hour emergency assistance helpline is at +44 (0) 292 010 777.

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