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Travel insurance with medical conditions

Compare travel insurance for pre-existing conditions from £3.34*

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*Data based on the minimum price of travel insurance sold through MoneySuperMarket with medical cover 1 month ago

Compare holiday insurance quotes from 38 trusted UK providers1

Find tailored travel insurance for medical conditions by comparing deals from the UK’s leading insurance providers.

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1Accurate as of April 2024

Can I get travel insurance for a pre-existing condition?

Yes, you can get travel insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition, although it might be more expensive than standard travel insurance. This is because an insurer sees you as a higher risk of making a claim on the policy. However, there are still lots of policies to choose from for those with pre-existing conditions. They cover a wide range of health problems and there are also specialist insurers who can help. 

What is considered a pre-existing medical condition?

Pre-existing medical conditions are usually defined as an illness or injury you had before or when you take out a travel insurance policy. This may include but is not limited to: 

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    Mental health issues

    Mental health issues need to be declared as much as physical ones. These includes bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety. 

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    Diabetes

    Type 1 and type 2 diabetes can affect your health in many ways and need to be disclosed 

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    Heart conditions

    There is a myriad of heart conditions that if you have you will need to disclose, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure 

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    Chronic illnesses

    Chronic illnesses such as Crohn's disease, cancer, and IBS can come under long-lasting chronic health issues 

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    Asthma and Respiratory issues

    Asthma can range in terms of severity, but other airway conditions such as cystic fibroisis also need to be disclosed 

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    Joint and bone inflammation

    Joint issues such as arthritis or gout issues can cause you some problems while you're travelling 

How does medical travel insurance work?

Medical travel insurance can cover you for any pre-existing health conditions while you’re away. To buy it, you will need to tell your insurer about your health condition and in some cases may need to show details of a recent medical exam. It’s important to be honest with your insurer, as if you leave something out and then make a claim, it may be rejected. 

If you’re being quoted a high cost, it might be cheaper to buy a single policy, instead of an annual travel insurance policy. If a standard insurer can’t help, a specialist provider may offer you cover. The Money Helper website has a list of specialist providers that may cover your condition or you can call the British Insurance Brokers Association on 0370 950 1790. 

How to get travel insurance with a pre-existing condition?

The process is similar for buying travel insurance if you have a health condition to those who do not, although there are a few extra steps you’ll have to go through:  

Application:

List any conditions you have, or anyone on your policy has, and give details of recent medical treatment for the condition. If you have a terminal illness, list it here. 

Choose a policy option:

You can choose a policy, insurer, and level of cover here. Read all the small print so you know exactly what you are (and aren’t covered) for with your existing health conditions. 

Get covered:

When you buy cover, you set the date it starts from. If anything changes to do with your health before you go away, let your insurer know and be as honest as possible. 

Can you get travel insurance approval with a pre-existing condition?

You can get travel insurance if you have a pre-existing condition but you may need to pay more for it, and some insurers may exclude your health condition from claims. Here are some of the potential policies you may be able to buy: 

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    Standard coverage:

    Your health condition might not affect your insurance, and you could receive the same cover as someone without it 

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    Exclusion of pre-existing condition:

    The insurer may cover new health issues during your trip but exclude your existing condition 

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    Restricted coverage:

    You could be offered insurance with limitations or you may need to pay a higher excess if you make a claim 

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    Higher premium for full coverage:

    Insurance that includes your pre-existing condition but has a significantly higher premium 

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    Application rejection:

    There's a chance the insurer might not provide coverage at all. 

Why compare travel insurance with MoneySuperMarket?

At MoneySuperMarket, we’re here to make sure your holiday planning is as easy as possible. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Flexible to suit your plans

    Get fully comprehensive cover for as long as you need it, whether that's one day or a few months

  • Best coverage for you

    You may be asked for additional questions or a health check to ensure your insurance policy best suits your needs.

  • Rated highly

    Thousands of happy holidaymakers say they’d use our services again – so why not try it now and see how much you could save?

Kate Hughes

Our expert says

"

There’s no denying that you’ll probably pay more for your travel insurance if you have a pre-existing condition. But failing to declare your medical history could have serious implications if that condition flares up while you’re away, potentially leaving you without valid cover when you need it most. It’s not worth it. The application process will make it clear what you need to disclose, and always ask for help if you’re unsure.

"
- Kate Hughes, Money & Savings Expert

How to find cheaper deals on medical travel insurance

The cost of your travel insurance will depend largely on where you’re going, what you plan on doing and the severity of your condition. As you would expect, the more adventurous you’re being and the longer you’re away are key considerations. There are things you can do to reduce the cost of your quote, however:

  • Shop around

    Comparing quotes from a range of providers lets you find the best deal at the best price, with the add-ons you need

  • Buy in advance

    The longer you leave it to buy travel insurance, the more it costs – and you won’t be covered for cancellations

  • Consider multi-trip cover

    If you plan on travelling three or more times in 12 months, an annual policy may work out cheaper overall

  • Pay more excess

    Asking for a higher excess fee tells insurers you’re less likely to claim, so it'll often mean a lower premium

Get quotes on medical travel cover with MoneySuperMarket

  • It doesn’t take long

    Give us details on where you’re going and what you’ll be doing, and a little about your medical condtion and you’ll be able to compare travel insurance quotes

  • We’ll search for savings

    We’ll show you which travel insurance quotes are the cheapest along with info on claims experience, a quality score and cover level, as well as any extras you may need

  • Get covered

    Once you’ve found a policy that suits your medical and travel needs, you can call or click through to apply for your insurance policy directly with the insurer

If you go on holiday with a standard travel insurance policy and don’t inform your insurer of your medical circumstances, there’s a very real danger that any claims you make – especially those of a medical nature – are rejected. The worse the condition, or the more directly it is involved in claims you make, the more chance there is that your insurer will investigate your medical records and reject your claim.

In a standard travel insurance policy, £5m is considered a decent level of cover for medical expenses. For most people, this will be enough to cover treatment for pre-existing conditions, but policies for people suffering from the most complex or severe might have a higher threshold – for a higher price.

Your travel insurance is likely to be approved in all but the most serious circumstances, though there’s a good chance you might have to pay more than the average traveller. 

If your condition is mild or well-managed, you may not see any bump in premiums at all.

UK residents can still use a valid European Health Insurance Card, or the new replacement – the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). The GHIC is not as comprehensive as good quality travel insurance so holidaymakers should have both. It does not cover treatment in private hospitals overseas and it doesn’t cover repatriation costs, for example.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition you should still be able to find travel insurance, but you might need to take out specialist cover as not all standard policies will offer the right level of protection. 

Your destination is a major factor that travel insurance providers consider, and it can be particularly important if you have a pre-existing condition – for two main reasons:

  • Medical treatment costs: The cost of medical treatment in some countries, such as the USA, can be very expensive, so you may need to pay more for cover

  • Local diseases: Some areas also carry high risks of disease – for example, malaria in tropical countries 

If you need medical treatment while you’re abroad, you should contact your insurer as soon as possible and get them to agree on coverage of any treatment before you receive it. However, this may not be possible if you’re in a medical emergency.

You may be required to pay upfront for your treatment – in this case, you’d claim back the cost when you get home, so remember to get a receipt for any medical costs you pay.

If you develop a condition after buying travel insurance you should tell your insurer as soon as you can. They may have to adjust your policy, and it could affect the overall price you pay – but better than voiding your policy completely. 

If you’re waiting for a diagnosis for a medical condition you shouldn’t take out travel insurance until after you’ve received the diagnosis. 

Terminal illnesses will still be classed as pre-existing conditions, and whether or not they will be covered will depend on your insurer.

If you are on any over the counter pain killers or anti-biotics, it is unlikely that you will need to disclose that to your insurer however, if you are on blood thinners or any medication for any mental health issues or chronic health problems, you will need to disclose that on your insurance application as it will likely be highlighted on your medical health check as well.

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