Travel insurance if you have a medical condition

If you have a medical condition, or you’ve ever had a serious illness, travel insurance can be hard to get. Find out how to get the cover you need at the right price.

Travel insurance if you have a medical condition

It can be difficult to know where to start looking for travel insurance if you have a medical condition. Our Travel Insurance Directory has contact details of providers who specialise in providing travel insurance for people with serious medical conditions.

What is considered a medical condition for travel insurance?

Commonly known as a ‘pre-existing medical condition’, this term covers a lot – from allergies to broken bones.

Over 65?

Read our guide on finding travel insurance if you are over 65.

Different insurance companies have different definitions, but your insurer is likely to consider any of the following a pre-existing medical condition:

  • Any condition you are waiting for an operation on
  • Any condition that you’re currently awaiting test results for
  • Any condition, even a minor one, that you’ve seen a doctor about in the last year
  • Any serious condition – cancer, heart trouble, respiratory problems – you have ever had

They will also want to know if you’re currently taking any medication.

You’ll need to declare all existing medical conditions when buying travel insurance.

If you’re not sure whether to declare, don’t assume it’s covered, always ask your insurance provider, otherwise you risk any claim you need to make being rejected.

Some policies or insurers will not cover your medical condition, while others will give you cover but exclude your particular condition or charge extra for it.

Where to get travel insurance if you have a medical condition

Our Travel Insurance Directory has contact details of companies who specialise in providing travel insurance for people with serious medical conditions.

What is a ‘serious condition’ for travel insurance?

By ‘serious’ we mean conditions that carry a high risk of needing some form of medical treatment while you are on your trip, or which might flair up before you travel meaning you have to cancel.

If you have had problems getting travel insurance in the past at an affordable price, that’s a sign that you might need to consult a specialist.

However, different companies have different views on what conditions are ‘high risk’ and it’s worth trying more than one.

Example of conditions where you might need a specialist travel insurer are cancer (particularly if you are still undergoing treatment), a stroke or serious heart condition, respiratory conditions or conditions that have been diagnosed as terminal.

What is a ‘less serious condition’ for travel insurance?

Less serious conditions or conditions well-controlled by medication (for example mild asthma), usually should still be declared but shouldn’t affect your ability to get insurance.

However, even if you feel your medical condition is not serious, it’s still worth trying a provider on our Travel Insurance Directory as well as a mainstream company to compare prices.

Can you afford travel insurance?

Insurance that provides full cover when you have a medical condition can be expensive, but that’s why it’s worth trying a few firms to find the best deal.

If shopping around is too exhausting, you can ask an insurance broker to do this on your behalf. You will only have to provide your details once which the broker will send on to several different insurers.

An insurance broker can also support you if you have to make a claim.

You can find an insurance broker through the British Insurance Brokers’ Association websiteopens in new window.

Travel insurance if you’re travelling in the UK

Even if you are not travelling abroad, it’s still a good idea to have travel insurance.

Most policies include cover for:

  • lost or stolen bags
  • emergency medical expenses
  • the costs of cancelling, delaying or cutting your trip short (some policies will cover if it’s coronavirus-related).
  • personal liability, in case you’re sued for damaging property or causing injury
Find out more about everything a good travel insurance policy should cover in our guide.

Is travel insurance worth it?

Travelling without insurance, particularly if you have a serious medical condition, could end up far more expensive than the cost of a policy.

It could mean not getting the treatment you need quickly or being faced with huge medical bills or high costs to get you home.

So, don’t risk travelling without insurance.

What should I do if I can’t get travel insurance?

It might not be possible to get cover for the trip you had set your heart on, either because of age or medical reasons.

However, if you switch to another location – possibly one nearer home – or from a multi-trip policy to a single trip - you might have more chance.

It’s worth persevering as the risks of travelling without insurance – particularly if you have a medical condition – are just not worth it.

Make sure you check our Travel Insurance Directory which has contact details of companies who specialise in providing travel insurance for people with serious medical conditions.

Travel insurance and coronavirus

The current pandemic has changed travel insurance policies and what will and won’t be covered.

Most travel insurance policies being issued now will have some sort of coronavirus cover included but, as always, read the terms of the policy very carefully.

For example, if coronavirus cancellation cover is included in the policy this will usually only apply if the policyholder tests positive for the virus. If you have to cancel because you have to self-isolate or are in quarantine, then most policies currently won’t pay out.

If you already have travel insurance policy, check the terms carefully to see whether you are covered if you test positive for coronavirus before you travel, or while you are on your trip.

Read our full guide on travel insurance and coronavirus.

Did you find this guide helpful?