If you have a disability or medical condition, you may find it difficult to obtain standard travel insurance. Even if you do manage to find insurance, the cost may be more than the price of the trip or holiday. Insurers define a pre-existing medical condition as one that exists when you take out the insurance policy.
Insurance companies operate under a system known as “full disclosure”. This means that if an individual does not declare that he has a pre-existing medical condition, the insurance company can legally refuse to pay any claim. It is therefore important to make full disclosure of any medical condition when you buy insurance for any trip or holiday.
Medical certificates Insurance companies may ask you to provide a medical certificate from your doctor. Be aware that most doctors’ surgeries charge for this service.
A number of specialist insurers will be happy to provide quotations for travel insurance if you have a medical condition. These include MIA Online and Orbis. If you’re over 60, SAGA and Age UK offer competitive rates. Insurepink offer insurance for women who have breast cancer.
Annual policy or single trip?
If you’re planning to take more than one trip, it may be cheaper to take out an annual insurance policy. Be aware that you are under a duty to tell your insurer of any changes to your medical condition during the course of the policy. A single trip policy may be cheaper if your medical condition is likely to be temporary, or if you are only planning to travel once during the course of a year. Bank accounts Some bank accounts provide free insurance as part of the package of benefits. Even if their policy excludes medical conditions, it may be worth contacting the bank to add cover for your particular condition. This may turn out to be cheaper than taking out a separate UK travel insurance policy.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles anyone in the European Union to medical treatment in any other EU country at the same cost paid by locals. If you’re travelling to Europe, apply for an EHIC card. Remember that it’s only valid if you have it with you.