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Medical travel insurance

Get cover for a specific medical condition

  • Compare travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions

  • Travel with peace of mind knowing you’re covered

  • Compare quotes from insurers like Admiral and Saga

Covid-19 - Important information 4th October 2021

On 4th October, the travel traffic light system is being replaced by a simplified set of rules for international travel. These rules tell you what you must do when returning to England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland from a red list country.

Before buying travel insurance, you should think about what could happen if your destination moves to the red list. You may face extra costs and face travel restrictions that won't be covered by your travel insurance policy.

It's important to check both your destination's entry requirements and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice for travelling there.

If you travel against the FCDO advice, you won't be covered by any travel insurance policy you buy.

A few insurers do offer cover if you're an essential traveler, but if you have any questions, you should check the policy wording or contact your chosen provider before you buy.

What is medical travel insurance?

Medical travel insurance covers the same things as standard travel insurance but has extra cover for certain pre-existing medical conditions like an illness or condition.

If you’ve got a pre-existing medical condition, you’ll know that medical treatments can be expensive and footing a medical bill on your holiday is the last thing you want to do.

The main differences between a standard and a medical travel insurance policy are a pre-existing medical policy will cover you for one or more specific conditions that you already have, giving you peace of mind that if anything were to happen, your medical costs would be covered.

What does pre-existing medical travel insurance cover?

If you have a pre-existing condition, it’s important you have the cover you need in place before you travel. You can usually get cover for the following conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Heart, kidney, liver circulatory or cerebral problems
  • Psychological condition
  • Respiratory issues
  • Stroke or central nervous system disorders
  • Terminal illnesses

If you’ve got any doubts about your medical condition being covered with a policy, contact the insurer before buying, as they’ll confirm if you’ve got the right level of cover.

How do I get cover for a serious, pre-existing medical condition?

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you can still use our site to get a quote. These conditions could include cancer, stroke, serious heart, respiratory and terminal conditions.

Some insurers may not cover you if you already have a serious medical condition, or if you have a number of conditions. Others might only offer insurance at a much higher price. If you’re unable to find suitable cover, the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) has also set up a directory of insurers willing to cover customers with pre-existing medical conditions.

You can find their directory of insurers on the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) website or you can phone them on 0800 138 7777 for free impartial advice.

What do I need to get a quote?

Getting a quote only takes about 3 minutes. Having this information to hand makes it easier:

  • Name, age, address
  • Where you're travelling
  • Any medical conditions

There are questions about your general health as well as your medical conditions, so we can show you quotes with the most accurate level of cover.

You just need to be registered with a medical practitioner in the UK and ensure you declare all medical conditions when getting a quote. Depending on how serious your condition is, you may need to have a medical exam. Other than that, you shouldn’t need anything from your doctor.

Compare medical travel insurance quotes

How much does medical travel insurance cost?

The cost of your policy is likely to be more than a regular travel insurance policy. This is because you’re covering a specific medical condition and the cost of any emergency treatments you may need.

Here are some examples of average annual policy costs for those with pre-existing medical conditions1:

Destination Average annual premium1
Europe
£75.77
Worldwide exc. US, Canada and Caribbean
£144.77
Worldwide inc. US, Canada and Caribbean
£135.68

Or you can see how much a medical travel insurance policy costs for one week in some of the most popular destinations around the world2:

Destination Average premium price2
Spain
£34.52
USA
£55.25
France
£25.58
Germany
£10.42
Italy
£19.53
Greece
£24.76
UAE
£27.97
Portugal
£19.90
Egypt
£15.74
Netherlands
£11.50
UK
£15.30

1 & 2. Confused.com travel insurance data – August 2020 to October 2020

Do I need medical insurance to travel to Europe?

You don’t have to have medical insurance to travel to Europe, but it can help protect against cancellations, accidents, theft or loss of belongings and lots of other things that could happen while on holiday. It’ll also cover you for any medical conditions or illnesses that you declare for that policy.

If you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) you can use it to access to necessary state-provided healthcare while on holiday in Europe. This includes things like emergency treatment and visits to A&E or treatment for a pre-existing condition which in some cases could be free. However, since the UK left the EU on 31st December 2020, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will only be valid until it expires.

The good news is the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) has replaced it, and it works in the same way as the EHIC used to. However, if your EHIC has expired, you’ve not yet got your GHIC and you’re planning on travelling abroad, you’ll need to add a medical travel insurance policy to ensure your covered for any pre-existing conditions you have.

Both the EHIC and GHIC provide access to necessary medical cover but to ensure you’re fully covered, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should get a dedicated medical travel insurance policy.

What isn’t covered by medical travel insurance?

Much like a standard travel insurance policy, there are certain things that won’t be covered under your policy. These usually include:

  • Any pre-existing conditions that you didn’t declare when buying your policy
  • Incidents involving drugs and alcohol
  • Travelling against FCDO advice
  • Optional extras including cruise cover, business travel and winter sports

The most important thing when buying a pre-existing medical policy is to ensure you’ve got the right level of cover for your specific condition. This includes how much an insurer will pay out if you get ill abroad and how much excess you’ll need to pay on your policy. Policies can vary, so be sure to check the details of your policy before you buy to make sure you’re happy with the level of cover.

Compare medical travel insurance quotes

Need more help?

Is pregnancy a pre-existing medical condition?

No, most insurers don’t consider pregnancy a pre-existing medical condition, so you don’t need to buy a medical travel policy to cover it.

You can still buy a pregnancy travel insurance policy to be sure you’re covered for anything unexpected while on holiday. There are certain limits on policies, for example depending on how far along in your pregnancy you are, or whether you’re having twins. Check the details of your chosen policy with the insurer in more detail before you buy.

What do I do if I’m refused a quote?

Unless it’s a particularly serious condition, it’s unlikely that you’ll be refused a quote. We work with a specialist panel of insurance companies who give quotes for many declared serious medical conditions. If for any reason you do struggle to get a quote, the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) have set up a directory of insurers to help cover pre-existing conditions.

You can find their directory of insurers on the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) website or you can phone them on 0800 138 7777 for free impartial advice.

Am I covered if I develop a condition after I buy my travel insurance policy?

If the medical condition wasn’t declared when you bought the original policy, then you won’t be covered. All conditions must be declared at the time of buying a policy.

Can I exclude a medical condition from my travel insurance?

If you don’t disclose a medical condition on your policy but then go on to try and claim, it’ll most likely be rejected by your insurer. You must disclose any medical conditions that you have before travelling, otherwise you run the risk of having to cover any medical bills yourself.

Can I travel if I have a terminal illness? Will I be covered?

Terminal illnesses are included in the pre-existing medical condition category, but you’ll still need to check with your insurer to see whether you’re covered. It’s also a good idea to get advice from your doctor before you decide to travel.

How much medical cover should I get?

This will depend on your condition and what level of cover you’ll need for any associated medical expenses. Most medical travel insurance quotes provide around £5m worth of cover, which is normally more than enough. If you have any doubts about your level of cover, contact your insurer.

How can I get cheaper travel insurance with a medical condition?

The best way to get a cheap medical travel insurance policy is to buy your policy with plenty of time left before you travel. You should also declare any medical conditions before buying, to avoid the risk of a claim being rejected in the future.

How long you’re away for, where you’re travelling and what activities you’re doing can also affect the cost of a policy.

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What our travel insurance expert says

We all know medical bills abroad can be expensive. People don’t realise it, but it takes just 3 minutes to get a medical travel insurance quote and you can go ahead and enjoy your holiday knowing you’ve got cover for your condition.
Jac Morris signature

Jac Morris

Travel insurance Product Executive

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