Do you have (or have you had) pre-existing medical conditions and would like to get travel insurance for your coming trip in case you face medical expenses abroad?
Travel insurance that covers pre-existing medical conditions can be hard to find or very expensive. But you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we will explain everything you need to know about pre-existing medical conditions travel insurance: is travel insurance compulsory if I have medical conditions? What specific medical cover should you get if you have or have had pre-existing medical-conditions? What are the best pre-existing medical conditions travel insurance companies and how much will you pay?
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Why do I need travel insurance if I have (or have had) medical conditions?
Travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions patients is not compulsory.
However, you should know that your national healthcare cover, your European Health Insurance Card (if you are travelling in Europe), your credit card travel insurance or any other kind of assistance you would have as a country resident or citizen, may not be sufficient to cover any medical expenses you may have abroad.
Some countries may ask for valid proof of travel insurance to deliver visas, whether you have pre-existing medical conditions or not.
Much more than a nice-to-have, travel insurance is one of the highest value-for-money insurance products, especially for people with pre-existing medical conditions.
A recent study from Which has shown that in around 10000 UK travellers in 2018, 64% of them have already had medical treatment while travelling abroad. The average spend of medical care abroad is around £1300. But it can be much more.
As someone suffering from pre-existing medical conditions, you may especially face expenses such as:
|What if…||What you will pay without travel insurance (outside Europe)||What you will pay without travel insurance (in Europe with EHIC card)||What you will pay with travel insurance|
|My trip is cancelled due to an unexpected medical appointment due to my pre-existing medical conditions||£10000||£10000||£0|
up to trip cancellation limit (minus excess)
|I need specific medical treatment abroad||£30000||£0||£0|
up to medical compensation limit (minus excess)
|I need to be repatriated to the UK because of my pre-existing medical conditions||£100000||£30000||£0|
up to repatriation compensation limit (minus excess)
Travelling in Europe, what does my European Health Insurance Card cover?
If you have pre-existing medical conditions, always remember that while travelling in Europe, your first ally is your EHIC card.
Your EHIC card will cover for any treatment you may need abroad, including any treatment linked to a pre-existing medical condition (what may not be covered as standard in travel insurance).
|What is covered by EHIC?||What is not covered by EHIC|
Remember that your EHIC will only cover you until 31/12/2020, the time of Brexit. Make sure you have both EHIC and travel insurance before travelling. Many insurers will ask you to get your EHIC if travelling in Europe, and would waive the excess if you have a valid card with you.
If you are going to Australia or New Zealand, the UK also has specific healthcare system cooperation programs.
For any specific information on the European Health Insurance Card, check out the NHS website.
Can I easily get travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions?
If you have medical conditions, whether you are in remission or not, you may find it difficult to find cheap travel insurance that will cover you for your trip without major exclusions.
Getting travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions can indeed be very time-consuming and you could end up paying three or four times the price people without a medical history would pay for a standard cover policy.
Unfortunately, insurers will see you as being at higher risk of making a claim such as:
- Cancelling your trip for reasons because of your pre-existing medical conditions, such as an important medical appointment being postponed
- Needing expensive medical treatment linked to your medical conditions while travelling abroad
- Needing repatriation to the UK.
We all agree that this is unfair, especially, for example, if you are in a very stable condition. But don’t worry, some insurers – fortunately – have agreed to cover people at higher risk. You could get travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions either through:
- Companies that will provide you with standard cover as they would do for any other tourist, but may invalidate any claim due to your treated pre-existing medical condition (if you are sure about your recovery and only need cover for a few days trip, for example);
- Or specialised travel insurance for pre-existing medical condition sufferers.
We are here to help you find the best and cheapest travel insurance depending on your current medical condition, your age, the length and destination of your trip, etc.
What are the best pre-existing medical conditions travel insurances?
You will find below a list of specialist travel insurance policies for people with pre-existing medical conditions – who will provide you with good cover and dedicated assistance.
|Travel insurer||Price||Features||Get quote|
All the above insurers are specialists in covering pre-existing medical conditions. Unless it is clearly mentioned in the features, they all use the Verisk screening system and apply a change in health disclosure in their policy which will allow them to inflate premiums and change or cancel your travel insurance policy if an unexpected event related to your healthcare occurs before your trip.
Find out more cheap travel insurance for people with medical record with our 100% anonymous tool.
Do I need to declare pre-existing medical conditions for travel insurance?
You are required by law to declare any pre-existing medical condition when purchasing an insurance policy.
A pre-existing medical condition is typically one for which you have been diagnosed and have received treatment before you apply for any travel insurance policy, regardless of whether this is short- or long-term.
Not disclosing your medical condition could invalidate your claim as well as your entire travel insurance policy.
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How does medical condition screening for travel insurance work?
If you have pre-medical condition, you are more likely to be screened before applying for a policy.
On insurers’ websites, you’ll be asked to answer a set of questions administered most of the time by the Verisk medical screening system before getting quote results. Some insurers may have their own set of questions and may attribute their risk rating based on your answers.
Those questions are the most common ones you may find on insurer’s websites. In the case that there is no screening system on an insurer’s website, you will need to disclose any health condition by contacting your insurer directly.
How much is pre-existing medical conditions travel insurance?
Here are some indicative quotes for single trip and annual travel insurance for patients with pre-existing medical conditions.
|7 days’ trip to Europe*|
|18-35 years old||£20,09|
|36-55 years old||£25,61|
*Quotes above are only indicative and for patients pre-existing medical con with no recent complications.
It is quite difficult to give precise ranges of how much medical condition care travel insurance is. Prices are based on a wide range of criteria and will not only depend on your pre-existing medical condition, but also:
- Your age and destination
- If you’re going for a single or annual multi-trip, as mentioned above
- If you’re subscribing to upgrades such as cruise, business or gadget cover
- The length of your stay abroad
- If you’re travelling alone, with your partner, a group or your family
- The financial limits you’d like to get in case of a claim
- The excess amount you’re willing to pay
- What you will be doing abroad (e.g. winter or extreme sports).
What is usually covered by pre-existing medical condition travel insurance?
Insurers covering a pre-existing medical condition often provide a high compensation amount for medical expenses, trip cancellation and repatriation.
Here is a typical list of what you should pay attention to while applying for pre-existing medical conditions travel insurance cover:
|Compensation||Average||What you should pay attention to|
|Medical expenses compensation amount||From £5M to £10M|
depending on your medical situation and your destination
|Repatriation compensation amount||Real fees|
|Trip cancellation||£5000 – £10000 depending on your destination|
Besides compensation limits, you should also go for a company including specific healthcare upgrades as standard such as:
- Bespoke medical screening before applying for travel insurance: the possibility to easily talk to someone and find the right cover for your needs (especially for terminal illness)
- UK-based 24/7 assistance helpline while you’re abroad: dedicated free-of-charge landline to get healthcare advice and help in finding the right doctor or hospital abroad, reactive assistance, etc.
If you are about to make a medical claim while you are abroad, we advise you to get your insurer to accept it first and pay upfront. In the case you need to pay up front, always keep receipts and submit your claim as soon as possible.
What is not covered by pre-existing medical conditiond travel insurance?
That will vary from one insurer to another.
Besides the main exclusions usually found in insurers’ policy booklets (terrorism, strikes, natural disasters, claims related to drug, alcohol, etc.), regarding pre-existing travel insurance, your claim may be invalidated:
- If you are travelling without your doctor’s consent
- If you have been told you have a terminal illness and you have applied for travel insurance without saying so
- If you are waiting for a diagnosis or medical treatment at the time of applying.
What if I am diagnosed with medical conditions after having applied for travel insurance?
When it comes to medical condition travel insurance, insurers often add an ‘ongoing duty of disclosure’.
It basically means that if any important change related to your healthcare occurs after you applied for travel insurance policy, they have the right to either:
- Screen you again;
- Raise your premiums;
- Change your policy contract;
- Cancel your policy.
Most of the time, if your health condition changes, insurers will either:
- Provide you with new travel insurance for your new health condition with an additional fee;
- Provide you the same insurance but the new condition will be excluded;
- Or simply offer no cover, as they consider your condition too risky.
Ask for a pro rata refund or full refund if they cancel or change your policy before you make any claim.
Can you travel abroad with pre-existing medical conditions?
The short answer is yes, of course.
However, here are some tips we would advise you to carefully read:
- Get your doctor’s consent and advice before travelling with past or current medical condition.
- Get any vaccinations needed.
- Get the right medical condition travel insurance for your trip, covering treatment linked to your disease and any medical care you may need abroad, and carefully read your policy booklet (exclusions, limits and deductible amounts, etc.)
- If you are not in remission, be sure that the trip will not be too much effort and not too tiring for your medical condition.
- Remain prudent and take with you your doctor’s phone numbers and local emergency contact details. If possible, travel with someone.
- Make a list of needed medication and keep them in their original packaging (for customs) and store them safely. Prepare back-up meds.
Top 5 tips to get cheaper travel insurance quotes for pre-existing medical conditions victims
If you have or ever had medical condition, here are some tips you may like to use to lower your insurance premiums:
- Use our comparison table to find out which companies are the best and the cheapest for patients with pre-existing medical conditions.
- Take your phone and try to speak to humans! If you have someone on the phone, they are more likely to understand your medical situation and find you the appropriate cover.
- Go for single trip cover rather than annual multi-trip. You’ll be seen as a lower risk traveller as you will only need cover for a defined stay.
- Change your destination and opt for European trip rather than a roadtrip across the USA’s legendary Route 66! You’ll be less likely to make a very high medical care claim, which could see your premium go down.
- Benefit from a joint travel policy discount, insuring both your partner or family and yourself.