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Cystic Fibrosis Travel insurance

How to find travel insurance for people with Cystic Fibrosis?

Alicia Hempsted
Written by  Alicia Hempsted
6 min read
Updated: 13 Mar 2024

Travel insurance with a pre-existing condition like Cystic Fibrosis can be complicated. Cover can vary, and sometimes you might need more than a standard policy. Our guide outlines how to find the right cover if you've been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.

If anyone with Cystic Fibrosis plans to travel outside the country, they will need to factor in their medical needs when planning for the trip. This also includes choosing the right travel insurance to ensure they have appropriate cover for their condition.

However, not all insurers offer cover for Cystic Fibrosis with a standard policy. When you apply for a standard travel insurance policies, some providers may exclude the condition from your cover. In worst case scenarios, some insurers may refuse to sell you a standard policy altogether. But there are other options available.

Can I fly with Cystic Fibrosis?

Yes, you can fly if you have Cystic Fibrosis, but it is advisable to consult your doctor first and take note of what you’ll need on the plane.

With some airlines, you’ll sometimes need to have an assessment of your health carried out by your GP prior to flying. If you’re healthy enough to fly, you’ll receive a fit-to-fly certificate, so make sure you check ahead of your trip whether your airline requires this. Not only that, but some insurers will also require a letter from your GP or consultant that you are fit for travelling, so it’s sensible to check this in the policy.

However, some destinations are considered more of a risk to others, due to infections that Cystic Fibrosis sufferers could face. Areas like South East Asia are particularly high-risk and it’s not recommended that those with Cystic Fibrosis travel here, so it’s a good idea to research the risks of your chosen destination.

It’s also worth researching the medical provision of the country you’re visiting, so you can then be confident that if anything does happen while you’re away, you know what procedure to follow.

Remember, if you are taking medication in your hand luggage or it needs cold storage, this will likely mean contacting the airline and arriving early at the airport.

Can I get travel insurance if I have Cystic Fibrosis?

Yes, you can get travel insurance if you have Cystic Fibrosis.

If you have Cystic Fibrosis, travel insurance is still possible – but you should fully disclose your condition and check specifically what you’ll be covered for by the proposed policy. As mentioned above, the insurer may need a letter from a GP or a consultant as proof that you are fit to fly.

While it may be possible to take out standard travel insurance, specialised travel insurance for pre-existing conditions may offer additional cover better suited to your needs. This can include additional cover for prescription medications and medical equipment.

If you're still struggling to find suitable cover, the MoneyHelper website provides a list of specialist insurers to help you get adequate cover, or you can call the British Insurance Brokers Association on 0370 950 1790.

Make sure you buy your travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday, as this enables you to claim for cancellation in the event that you’re unable to travel. Give yourself enough time to compare options before your trip and thoroughly read the terms and conditions to find the policy that is right for you.

Is Cystic Fibrosis considered a pre-existing medical condition?

As Cystic Fibrosis is inherited, it is classed as a pre-existing medical condition. So when you’re taking out travel insurance, you need to declare this.

It’s important to inform your insurer as it determines whether they can cover you. Cystic Fibrosis increases your risk of an incident, and you won’t be able to make any claims you need to make as a result of the condition if you don’t declare it.

Without declaring your condition, whether you need to purchase medication or require medical assistance in hospital, you would be responsible for paying the full costs.

What do insurance providers need to know?

There are a number of questions you may be asked in relation to having Cystic Fibrosis, and it’s important you answer them honestly or it might invalidate any claim. You may be asked:

Questions could include:

  • What type of medication do you take for Cystic Fibrosis

  • How many hospital admissions for treatment have you you have had in the last 12 months

  • Whether you are on a waiting list for a lung or liver transplant

You should also disclose any other conditions that might be caused by having Cystic Fibrosis, such as diabetes, chest complaints, liver complications and arthritis.

What will my Cystic Fibrosis travel insurance cover me for?

Cystic Fibrosis travel insurance covers you for a variety of different things that could save you a lot of stress and a fortune in medical bills. These might include:

  • Cancellation, delay, or curtailment of your holiday

  • Emergency medical treatment

  • Cost of additional medication or antibiotics

  • Extended cover, should you need to stay longer to recuperate under doctor’s advice

  • Expenses for a friend or relative to fly out if you fall ill and need support

  • Repatriation costs

  • Cover for your personal belongings

Cover can vary depending on your provider and the policy you've chosen. You can review your policy documents to learn more about your cover.

What happens if my medical condition changes after I take out Cystic Fibrosis travel insurance?

If you’ve taken out Cystic Fibrosis travel insurance but your condition changes, you should immediately contact your insurer to advise them of this. They can then update the policy to reflect this.

If you don’t tell your insurance provider, you risk invalidating the policy.

Do I need a Global Health Insurance Card?

A Global Health Insurance Card is an extra precaution you can take before your trip. Although it is called ‘Global’ it is only actually for use in the EU.

The GHIC is free and available through the NHS site. It entitles you to free or discounted state-provided healthcare when on holiday in EU countries.

But the GHIC is not as comprehensive as travel insurance, and won’t cover you if you need to be brought home in an emergency, for example.

How much does Cystic Fibrosis travel insurance cost?

As you are more at risk of making a claim which results in a pay out, insurers offering Cystic Fibrosis travel insurance may charge you more than if you were taking out a standard policy without declaration of any condition. But while you should expect to pay more, there’s not a set cost.

The price can vary across insurers depending on your medical history, such as hospital admissions and conditions you suffer from as a result of Cystic Fibrosis. But you can cut the cost down by increasing the voluntary excess on the policy, or even selecting an annual multi-trip policy rather than separate policies if you’re a frequent flyer.

More tips for travelling with Cystic Fibrosis

  • Keep details of your Cystic Fibrosis travel insurance provider handy in case you need to make contact in an emergency.

  • Ask your doctor to supply you with the correct prescriptions and documentation to see you through your break.

  • Check whether high altitude, air pressure, and oxygen concentration on the flight might affect your condition.

  • Pack extra medication in case any is lost or your trip is delayed.

  • Contact your airline in advance if your medication needs to be stored or if you need nebulisers or oxygen during the flight.

  • Arrive at the airport early, so you can explain any medication you need to take on the plane. This is especially important if you have diabetes as a result of your Cystic Fibrosis and need to store your insulin and glucose monitor in your hand luggage – a doctor’s note might help here.

  • Work out how crossing time zones might affect when you take your medication and make provisions to suit.

  • Where possible, appoint someone to assist you. If you can trust someone else to help with logistics, it can reduce your stress load.

  • Relax. Holidays should be a chance to put your feet up and take it easy, and being tired and rundown can exacerbate the symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis.

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