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Travel insurance for epilepsy

Epilepsy and travel insurance

Kim Staples
Written by  Kim Staples
Alicia Hempsted
Reviewed by  Alicia Hempsted
5 min read
Updated: 12 Mar 2024

When you have a pre-existing medical condition like epilepsy, travel insurance is an essential – but it can also be more expensive. Here’s everything you need to know about finding insurance and travelling with epilepsy.

Can I get travel insurance if I have epilepsy?

Yes, you can get travel insurance if you have epilepsy. Epilepsy is classed as a pre-existing condition in insurance terms, so you’ll need to declare it and answer some questions about your condition.

The level of coverage can vary between different insurance providers – it means you may have fewer options of insurance packages available to you, and usually means higher costs too.

On the other hand, it’s also possible to find cover from an insurance provider or policy that specialises in pre-existing conditions, which can give you better value and ensure you’re covered for everything you need.

What if I can’t find a travel insurance provider to cover me?

It may be more difficult to find travel insurance that covers a condition like epilepsy, but it is generally available. Compare travel insurance quotes for pre-existing medical conditions with MoneySuperMarket and we’ll show you what’s available for your trip from our partners.

If you find you’re struggling to find an insurer, MoneyHelper has a wealth of resources including a directory of travel insurance providers for pre-existing conditions.

It can be more difficult to find cover if you have more complex needs, or are taking a particularly high-risk trip (a winter sports vacation, for instance). But you may have more of a chance of finding good cover if:

Do I have to disclose epilepsy on my travel insurance?

Yes, you will need to disclose any pre-existing condition such as epilepsy on your travel insurance when you sign up.

If you don’t, you may invalidate your insurance, and it may mean that any claims will be rejected. You could be on the hook for any costs of medical treatment you incur abroad, for instance.

Do I need to declare epilepsy even if I no longer have seizures?

Yes, you’ll still need to disclose epilepsy as a pre-existing condition, regardless of how frequent your seizures are. You’ll also need to disclose any medication you take.

Not declaring it can invalidate your insurance and lead to your claims getting rejected, especially if you end up needing medical treatment abroad for an epilepsy-related issue.

It’s worth noting that many insurers do factor in the severity of your condition when calculating your premiums. So if you haven’t had seizures in a long time, that could mean lower insurance costs than if you have them more frequently.

What questions will I be asked about my epilepsy during the medical screening?

When you compare or get a quote for travel insurance, you’ll be asked a few questions about your medical history. You can do this online, though in some cases you might need to speak directly to the insurance provider’s medical department in advance.

For epilepsy, the questions may include:

  • How often do you have seizures?

  • How many seizures have you had that caused loss of consciousness in the last 6 or 12 months?

  • How many unplanned hospital admissions have you had for epilepsy in the last 6 or 12 months?

  • What medications do you take?

Can I get travel insurance if my doctor has advised me not to travel?

No. Providers will not cover you for travel insurance if you’re under medical advice not to travel. If you choose to travel anyway, you’ll invalidate your insurance.

If you’ve been advised not to travel after you’ve already taken out your insurance, you may be covered for any trip cancellation costs.

Will I pay more for travel insurance if I have epilepsy?

Yes, it’s likely that you will have to pay more for travel insurance with a pre-existing condition like epilepsy, because it presents a higher risk.

The exact cost will vary, depending on things like the severity of your condition, including the type and history of your seizures, all of which insurers take into account.

Other factors can affect the cost of your travel insurance too – such as the length of your trip, the type of trip you’re taking (e.g. if you’re skiing or backpacking, for instance), your destination, how many people you want your policy to cover, and how far in advance you’re booking your insurance.

The best thing to do is shop around and compare travel insurance to find the best deal for your situation.

Tips for travelling with epilepsy

  • Talk to your doctor first: The Epilepsy Society recommends doing so at least eight weeks before your trip

  • Check FCDO travel advice: Check the current travel guidance on Gov.uk for anything you need to know about your destination

  • Check your medication: Pack a little more than you’ll need in your luggage, just in case, and bring it in its original packaging with your name on it, preferably with your original prescription too. But most importantly, check travel guidance for the country you’re visiting – many epilepsy medications are controlled drugs and there’s a chance you may not be able to travel with them

  • Bring your GHIC: Apply for a GHIC card if you’re travelling in Europe. It means free or reduced cost medical treatment for most UK residents

  • Stick to your normal routine as much as you can: The Epilepsy Society advises that tiredness, disturbed sleep patterns, taking medication at different times, and of course the excitement and anxiety of a holiday can all potentially trigger seizures

  • Inform the airline: If you’re flying, inform the airline and flight staff in advance, to make sure you have the support you need, especially if your travel is disrupted

  • Stick together: It’s best to travel with someone who knows about your epilepsy and what to do if you have a seizure - such as a partner, family member, or friend

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