Independent advice on private healthcare
Travel insurance for existing problems
- Common questions
- Travel insurance for cosmetic surgery
- Travel insurance for those with a disability
- Travel insurance and the EHIC card
- Exclusions and restrictions
- Travel insurance for medical tourism
- Travel insurance for other specialist needs
- Buying travel insurance from a travel agent
- Travel contingency
- Why do you need travel insurance?
- Travel insurance for older people
- Travel insurance for expatriates
- What should the policy cover?
Travel insurance for those with pre-existing conditions
Depending on the person, the condition, and the trip, you may find that standard travel insurance will offer cover on request, for an extra premium, and sometimes with limitations and restrictions on cover. The alternative is to look for a specialist. This may be needed if your condition is a serious one. There are several specialists who offer or can arrange specialist cover to people with illnesses, even including cancer and HIV.
Even with specialist cover you must tell your insurer if your medical condition changes after buying the policy.
- Insurance for those with arthritis
- Insurance for those with cancer
- Insurance for those with cystic fibrosis
- Insurance for those with diabetes
- Insurance for those with HIV/Aids
- Insurance for those with multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Insurance for those with muscular dystrophy
- Insurance for those who have suffered a stroke
Insurance for those with arthritis
There are more than 200 types of arthritis and rheumatic disease. More than 7 million people in the UK have a long-term medical condition connected to arthritis. It affects children as well as adults.
Insurance for those with cancer
Having cancer obviously makes you a greater risk for a travel insurance company as they see you as someone much more likely to need medical treatment when abroad. However, many companies are prepared to look at individual cases.
If you have cancer some travel insurance companies will give you medical insurance if you have a certificate from your doctor saying you are fit enough to travel. You should be able to make claims on your insurance for emergency medical care abroad, even if that treatment is necessary because of your cancer. But to claim, you must have told them about the cancer when you applied for the cover. If they have knowingly taken this risk, they must pay according to the policy.
If you have had treatment for cancer during the 12 months before your trip, companies may only insure you for treatment or emergencies unrelated to your cancer. So you can get travel insurance, but if you need treatment as a result of the cancer, you will have to pay for it yourself. If you have had cancer in the past, many companies will provide medical insurance as long as you have a certificate from your doctor confirming that you have had no cancer treatment in the last 12 months and you are fit enough to travel.
You should be able to claim for emergency medical care abroad, even if that treatment is necessary because of your cancer. Again, this depends on you disclosing your medical history fully to the insurance company when applying for the cover. If they have knowingly taken the risk, they must pay according to the policy. It is important to check your policy carefully to ensure that it is appropriate for your particular situation.
Insurance for those with cystic fibrosis
Families of those with cystic fibrosis often get quoted premiums higher than the cost of their planned holiday. It is not unusual to also exclude from the cover, the person who has cystic fibrosis.
Insurance for those with diabetes
More than 2 million people in the UK have diabetes. Diabetes is a condition brought on by having too much glucose (sugar) in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. Sufferers can then find they have a greater risk of developing other serious health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, nerve damage, circulation problems and damage to the eyes and kidneys.
By controlling blood glucose and blood pressure levels and by taking regular exercise and eating a healthy diet, sufferers can greatly reduce their risk of developing these complications. Smoking greatly increases the chance of developing serious health problems for diabetes sufferers so it is very important to stop if diagnosed with diabetes.
Insurance for those with HIV/Aids
Anyone who is HIV positive will probably find it difficult getting insurance to go abroad from his or her travel agent. Those who have developed Aids should also consider the medical facilities in their country of destination. Countries such as China and Russia do not even recognise they have sufferers of the disease.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition such as HIV, travel insurance policies often withdraw certain medical and emergency benefits, or worse still, impose blanket restrictions. This practice is applied particularly to those living with HIV even when you are well and your HIV is well managed.
A lot of travel companies will simply refuse to offer cover to HIV+ travellers and cite it as a pre-existing medical condition. With those companies that do provide cover, it is sometimes limited to just European travel.
You will probably have to undergo a medical screening to ascertain the extent of the illness. This can lead to having to deal with a number of different call centres and impart information to several different parties.
Some specialists conduct in-house screening by specially trained staff, respecting your privacy and sensitivity in what can be a very impersonal process. Their policies can be specially tailored to the individual needs, taking into account age, health, destination and type of cover required.
Insurance for those with multiple sclerosis (MS)
MS victims are not easy to insure as it is a wasting but irregular disease where sudden random attacks may happen.
Insurance for those with muscular dystrophy
Individuals with muscle disease, their families, friends and carers have difficulty getting insurance.
Insurance for those who have suffered a stroke
Having a stroke can affect your chances of getting adequate insurance cover, or you may find yourself facing huge premiums because of your stroke.