Travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions

If you’re planning on jetting off to warmer climes this summer and have a pre-existing medical condition, obtaining travel insurance can seem like a frustrating process.

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This is because not all travel insurers will cover you and, if they do, premiums can rocket.

On this basis, it may be tempting to ignore or simply not declare your condition. But this could leave you with an extortionate bill for medical care if you were to fall ill or have an accident while abroad.

For example, it may shock you to discover that a hip fracture in the USA could set you back more than £22,000 or a heart attack in Spain around £35,000. 

Make sure you are covered

This is why, if you suffer from a pre-existing medical condition, it is more important than ever to make sure your policy would protect you.

It is likely that you will have to shell out slightly more than you would on a standard policy as you will be considered a higher risk and therefore more likely to make a claim.  However, as long as you shop around to find a policy that suits your needs, it doesn’t have to cost the earth.

For example, MoneySupermarket found that a 45-year-old female with asthma taking a seven-day holiday in Europe could pay as little as £12.70 for a policy.

And even a couple in their 50's with one partner suffering from a severe heart condition could pay just £68.16 for seven days in Cyprus.

Don’t take risks

Clearly, the premium you pay will depend largely on the severity of your condition and insurers will ask a series of questions to determine how much potential risk your application poses.

It is absolutely vital that you tell the provider exactly what condition you are suffering from, even if you feel it is something insignificant such as mild asthma or high blood pressure.

Bear in mind that, while it may be tempting to withhold certain information to obtain a cheaper premium, insurers have the power to access your medical records in the event of a claim.

This could therefore be deemed invalid and you could be left with disastrous financial consequences.

James Clarke, travel insurance expert at MoneySupermarket said: “The cost of being declined on a travel insurance claim where you haven’t declared a pre-existing condition could be severe. 

“For example, if you were to have a car accident abroad and haven’t declared a pre-existing condition, you may be liable for medical bills and repatriation costs which could potentially run into tens of thousands of pounds.”

How to get the best deal

Shopping around and comparing policies is absolutely key to making sure you get the best possible policy for you. MoneySupermarket’s specialist pre-existing medical conditions travel insurance channel will help you to find a policy which covers your condition and will allow you to search a range of options from a variety of insurers.

Options to keep the cost of your policy down

If you are still finding that the cost really is too high then there are steps you can take to find cheaper insurance.

Considering a different destination could significantly bring the cost down and even determine whether or not you are offered travel insurance. Avoid America, the Caribbean and Canada for example as these countries are renowned for having some of the most expensive medical care in the world. If you haven’t already booked, bear this in mind.

Opting to pay a higher excess could also save you money on a policy – just be sure that if you did need to make a claim you could cover this.

So, although you would rather be choosing which sunglasses to take than weighing up travel insurance policies, a few minutes’ research could potentially save you thousands and prevent a relaxing week away from becoming an expensive nightmare.

Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing.

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