If you suffer from a long-term medical condition and are planning a trip away somewhere, there is plenty to think about. You will probably be doing lots of research about your destination and accommodation to make sure it fits your needs, you will want to consult your doctor and order all your meds in advance so you feel reassured you will cope.
All of this is manageable. What doesn’t help is hearing stories of people being refused travel insurance because of a medical condition or, just as bad, being quoted eye-wateringly high premiums. That just adds unnecessary stress to your travel planning.
Getting travel insurance for a pre-existing medical condition need be neither difficult nor expensive. Here’s what you need to know.
Why is there an issue?
The highest value cover travel insurance policies provide is for potential medical costs. If you need medical care in another country, as a foreign citizen you won’t qualify for whatever free or subsidized healthcare happens to be available. That means you have to pay – and it can be very, very expensive.
Travel insurance provides cover for things like routine doctor’s visits, emergency care, even getting you home. But most providers are careful about managing the risk they take on. If someone travels with a pre-existing medical condition, the chances of them making a claim are seen as higher and the costs of the specialist care they might need much higher. Many insurance companies just don’t want to take this on.
You need to be careful about making a full disclosure about your medical needs. Not telling an insurance provider you have a pre-existing condition – or even failing to make a full and accurate disclosure – can invalidate your cover. That could land you in financial hot water if you did need to make a claim and it was refused.
What can you do?
The best advice if you do suffer from a long-term medical condition is to go straight to a specialist provider which offers a specific service for your needs. There are plenty out there. What they do is underwrite potential medical costs linked to different conditions, so in effect, you end up with a bespoke insurance policy for a heart condition, for diabetes, for lung disease and so on.
You might have to pay a little more than a standard policy, but it will be no way near as much as the sky-high premiums a general provider will add, and it is well worth it both for the financial protection and the peace of mind.