Travel Insurance With A Pre-existing Medical Condition

How to get travel insurance with a pre-existing condition

By Matt Fernell, Editor-in-Chief at Last updated 30th April 2024.

Matt Fernell

It's important to get travel insurance when you go abroad because it provides protection if things were to go wrong on your trip.

When getting travel insurance, there are a lot of factors that determine how much you'll have to pay, such as where you're going, how long you're travelling, and what you have planned while away - like if you're partaking in extreme sports.

However, one thing that can affect to your premiums the most is if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.

If you have suffered or currently suffer from medical conditions, insurers may deem you as a higher risk individual, because you may be more likely to make a claim than someone with no medical issues. The increased prices can put off people with medical conditions from getting travel insurance - which is a huge risk - or put them off from travelling entirely.

Here's a look at how to get the best out of your travel insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

Why you must declare pre-existing conditions

It may be tempting not to disclose any conditions if you're getting quoted much higher travel insurance premiums due to pre-existing conditions.

Not only is it misleading, but if you need to make a claim while on a trip that's related to your medical condition, your insurance provider may not payout, leaving you with no cover.

Even if you need to claim for something unrelated to your current health issue, some providers may still not payout if you're found to have withheld information on your insurance application.

Where can I get cover with a pre-existing medical condition?

Most popular travel insurance providers should provide cover for those with medical conditions. However, not all of them will, and depending on your specific condition and severity of it, some may refuse you cover.

As well as from the standard providers, you can get insurance from a provider that offers a specialised service for those with medical conditions. Although these will still likely be more expensive, you may get better coverage that suits your specific needs and requirements.

What is a pre-existing health condition?

Some common conditions you need to declare are:

  • CancerArthritis
  • Heart conditions
  • Diabetes
  • IBS or Crohn's disease
  • Psychological issues
  • Asthma

For some of these conditions, you'll have to disclose if you're still under treatment or in remission. For example, if you're in remission from cancer, you'll still have to pay higher travel insurance. The longer your remission period, the lower your insurance should become.

You'll also need to disclose if you've had surgery in the last five years by most providers.

For the majority of insurance providers, pregnancy is not considered a health condition. This means if you need medical assistance on your travels when pregnant, you should get covered on a standard insurance policy.

Needing to wear glasses or hearing aids is also not considered a medical condition.

What can I claim?

When you take out travel insurance with a pre-existing medical condition, you should be covered for any claims that occur directly or indirectly from the conditions you have declared. For instance, you will be covered if:

  1. You experience breathing difficulties and have a chest infection that needs medical treatment abroad.
  2. You endure high blood pressure, having a heart attack or stroke on your holiday.

As well as medical cover, you should also be able to claim for other issues that may happen on your travels. These include:

  1. Cover for cancellation or travel disruption
  2. Personal liability
  3. Lost baggage

All of this should be covered in one travel insurance policy, and you shouldn't have to take out another policy to cover you for non-medical situations.

How to save money on travel insurance with a pre-existing medical condition

Compared to regular travel insurance, you'll likely have to pay more for cover if you have a medical condition. However, there are things you can do to help you get the best deal for your situation.

The first is to shop around and compare quotes. By comparing premiums offered by various providers, you'll be able to identify the insurance that provides the best value for money for you.

It's also a good idea to buy your travel insurance in advance. The longer you leave it, the more you'll be charged, so by being organised and proactive, you can save money and get cover for any cancellations that may happen too.

If you're travelling more than once a year, getting multi-trip cover may be worth getting. This can be a lot cheaper, but you'll need to learn more about annual travel insurance to figure out if it's best for you.

Finally, paying more in excess may help you reduce the premiums because doing this tells insurers you're less likely to make a claim.

Doing all of this can help you get the best prices on insurance if you have a pre-existing health condition.

The information provided does not constitute financial advice, it’s always important to do your own research to ensure a financial product is right for your circumstances. If you’re unsure you should contact an independent financial advisor.