Specialist policies

You or a member of your family may need extra travel cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition. You may need to shop around more but don’t be tempted to omit any medical conditions as the insurance company won’t pay out if you need to make a claim.

Find out how to get the cover you need at the right price and use our Buying insurance checklist which sets out what you need to think about.

What is a 'pre-existing medical condition'?

This term covers a lot – from allergies to broken bones. Different insurance companies have different definitions, but your insurer is likely to consider any of the following as a pre-existing medical condition:

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

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

You may also be asked whether any of your relatives or close business colleagues have medical conditions – even if they are not travelling. (If they do and you have to cancel your trip because of their condition, you will probably not be covered.)

You'll need to declare all pre-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 company. Otherwise you risk having your claim rejected.

Some policies will not cover your medical condition. Others will give you cover but charge extra for it.  

Where to get travel insurance if you have a medical condition

See insurance recommendations for people with medical conditions on the Which? website.

Check the Cover for pre-existing conditions section on the MoneySavingExpert website.

If you're still having trouble finding a policy, an insurance broker may be able to help. Find a specialist broker on the British Insurance Brokers' Association website or the SIIAP website.

What to watch out for when buying travel insurance covering your medical condition

If you're buying online, most insurers will ask you to call a number or fill out a form giving your medical history. Always call if you are unsure about anything.

  • Check whether any medical equipment you’re taking with you is covered.
  • Make sure you get a 24-hour helpline to call in case of a medical emergency abroad.

Making a claim

Read your policy so you know what's covered and what isn't before you need to make a claim, find out how to make a claim and what to do if your claim is rejected in the Insurance claims section. 

Last reviewed: 16/07/2018