The best travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions

13 min Read Published: 29 Apr 2022

the best travel insurance for pre-existing conditions

Booking your trip abroad is exciting but the task of finding travel insurance can be mundane and at times expensive, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), travel insurers paid 471,000 claims in 2019, worth a total of £377m to travellers who needed help whilst they were abroad of which £197m was to cover the cost of emergency medical treatment. Despite this, ABTA found that in the same year 1 in 5 holidaymakers chose to travel without insurance because they thought that it wasn't required or they decided to take the risk to travel without it. These figures are alarming, particularly as the cost of medical care when abroad can rack up quickly and even more so if you have a pre-existing medical condition which could require treatment whilst you are away. 

In this article, we look at the best medical travel insurance providers and how much travel insurance for pre-existing conditions costs.

Can I get travel insurance for pre-existing conditions?

It is possible to get travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions but the severity of the medical condition you have will determine how easy it is for you to get cover. For more information on whether travel insurance covers pre-existing conditions read our article, 'Does travel insurance cover pre-existing medical conditions?'

What is considered a pre-existing condition?

The exact definition of a pre-existing condition does vary per travel insurance provider but in most cases, it is defined as:

  • a condition that you have received treatment or medication for in the last year
  • a condition that you are awaiting an operation or test results
  • any diagnosis of a serious medical condition e.g cancer or heart problems

Nowadays it is possible to get cover for the majority of pre-existing medical conditions with a range of well-known travel insurance providers by completing a simple online medical screening process when getting a quote. Once you have completed the medical screening you will be notified if your medical condition is covered by the insurer. If the pre-existing condition is covered it is likely that you will be charged an additional premium, alternatively, the insurer may offer you travel insurance cover but with the pre-existing condition excluded. It is generally easier to get cover for less serious pre-existing conditions that are well controlled with medication e.g mild asthma. With more serious medical conditions or a terminal diagnosis it may be harder to get covered. If you find that your condition has been excluded, or you cannot get cover, you can shop around to get insurance from an alternate provider or you may be able to find insurance with a medical travel insurance specialist listed on the MoneyHelper website.

Always declare every pre-existing medical condition as not doing so could mean a claim is not paid.

The best travel insurance for pre-existing conditions

In the following comparison table, we have compared some of the best medical travel insurance providers. This list is not extensive and other providers can be compared on comparison sites such as MoneySuperMarket*. For medical travel insurance specialists check out the MoneyHelper directory.

Compare the best medical travel insurance providers

In the following comparison table, we have compared the most comprehensive medical insurance with each of the below providers. It is possible to get other medical travel insurance policies from the providers but the amount of cover you can get will vary depending on the policy you choose.

All Clear Travel  Avanti  Holiday Extras Post Office  Staysure   Virgin Money 
Excess £0-£500 £0 £50 £50 £65 £50
Emergency medical cover  £15m Unlimited £15m £10m Unlimited £15m
Cancellation cover £25,000 £7,500 £5,000 £5,000 £5,000 £7,500
Baggage cover  £3,000 £3,000 £2,000 £2,000 £2,500 £3,000
Covid cover tick tick tick tick tick tick
Age limit (exclusions may apply)  cross cross cross cross cross cross
Defaqto rating  5 and 3 star policies 5, 4 and 1 star rated policies 5, 4, 3 and 2 star rated policies 5, 4, 3 and 2 star rated policies 5 and 3 star rated policies 5, 4 and 3 star rated policies

How much does travel insurance for pre-existing conditions cost?

In this section of the article, we have compared the cost of the various pre-existing medical conditions on travel insurance policies. The cost of your travel insurance policy for pre-existing conditions is likely to vary depending on your age, the condition you have and where you are travelling to but we have provided examples to show that it is possible to still get insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition. The following quotes are based on a single trip policy for a 7 night trip to Spain.

How much does medical travel insurance cost for a 20-year-old with asthma?

The following quotes are based on a 20-year-old with mild asthma that has not had any hospital visits in the past 12 months but takes regular inhaler medication.

All Clear Travel  Avanti  Holiday Extras Post Office  Staysure   Virgin Money 
Excess £75 £0 £50 £50 £65 £50
Emergency medical cover  £15m Unlimited £15m £10m Unlimited £15m
7-night European stay 20-year-old with asthma £25.97 £23.78* £22.21 £17.03 £17.81* £15.61

(Quotes correct as of 29/04/22) *includes online discount 

How much does medical travel insurance cost for a 30-year-old with breast cancer?

The following quotes compare the cost of travel insurance for a 30-year-old individual that has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The breast cancer has been removed and has not spread to any other part of the body. The holidaymaker last received treatment for the condition over 12 months ago and currently takes preventative medication for the condition.

All Clear Travel  Avanti  Holiday Extras Post Office  Staysure   Virgin Money 
Excess £75 £0 £50 £50 £65 £50
Emergency medical cover  £15m Unlimited £15m £10m Unlimited £15m
7-night European stay 30-year-old with cancer £17.65 £29.06* £40.12 £15.37 £24.19* £25.25

(Quotes correct as of 29/04/22) *includes online discount 

How much does medical travel insurance cost for a 40-year-old with Crohn's disease?

The following medical travel insurance quotes for Crohn's disease are based on an individual that has had more than 2 operations and at least one in the last 5 years. The individual receives regular drugs or infusions for the condition but has not had a bowel obstruction.

All Clear Travel  Avanti  Holiday Extras Post Office  Staysure   Virgin Money 
Excess £75 £0 £50 £50 £65 £50
Emergency medical cover  £15m Unlimited £15m £10m Unlimited £15m
7-night European stay 40-year-old with Crohn's disease £106.52 £82.98* £111.61 £57.36 £74.15* £65.07

(Quotes correct as of 29/04/22) *includes online discount 

How much does medical travel insurance cost for a 50-year-old with Type 1 diabetes?

The following medical travel insurance quotes are based on a 50-year-old individual that has Type 1 diabetes and takes insulin regularly. The individual has not had any unplanned hospital visits in the last few years and is a non-smoker that does not take medication for high blood pressure or cholesterol.

All Clear Travel  Avanti  Holiday Extras Post Office  Staysure   Virgin Money 
Excess £75 £0 £50 £50 £65 £50
Emergency medical cover  £15m Unlimited £15m £10m Unlimited £15m
7-night European stay 50-year-old with diabetes £16.87 £25.66* £38.95 £37.24 £20.27* £25.57

(Quotes correct as of 29/04/22) *includes online discount 

How much does medical travel insurance cost for a 60-year-old with Coronary Heart Disease?

The following table compares quotes for a 60-year-old individual that has coronary heart disease. They have not had a heart bypass and have only had 1 heart attack. They are a non-smoker with no record of high blood pressure or cholesterol.

All Clear Travel  Avanti  Holiday Extras Post Office  Staysure   Virgin Money 
Excess £75 £0 £50 £50 £65 £50
Emergency medical cover  £15m Unlimited £15m £10m Unlimited £15m
7-night European stay 60-year-old with heart disease £87.38 £64.95* £103.05 £167.66 £56.48* £63.89

(Quotes correct as of 29/04/22) *includes online discount 

How much does medical travel insurance cost for a 70-year-old who has had a stroke?

The following medical travel insurance quotes are based on a 70-year-old that has suffered a stroke in the last 6 months. The individual did not require surgery, uses no mobility aids and has not suffered any further strokes since. They do not smoke but regularly take blood thinners to prevent further strokes.

All Clear Travel  Avanti  Holiday Extras Post Office  Staysure   Virgin Money 
Excess £75 £0 £50 £50 £65 £50
Emergency medical cover  £15m Unlimited £15m £10m Unlimited £15m
7-night European stay 70-year-old with stroke history £128.45 £127.23* £167.99 £212.23 £92.55* £110.69

(Quotes correct as of 29/04/22) *includes online discount 

How to buy pre-existing condition travel insurance

One of the easiest ways to compare medical travel insurance is via a comparison site such as MoneySuperMarket* or GoCompare as this allows you to enter the details of your medical condition and only be shown quotes which are relevant to you. Comparison sites aren't usually whole of market, however, which means that you may not be getting the best deal. The best way to buy travel insurance for pre-existing conditions is by shopping around and getting quotes from numerous providers.

It is best to compare travel insurance providers from both the high street and specialist medical travel insurance providers so that you have a good opportunity to compare costs and find the best deal. MoneyHelper's directory has a good list of specialist travel insurance providers that are likely to cover most pre-existing medical conditions. The directory also lists the online medical screening process that each insurer uses which will save time when comparing insurers as those that use the same one may mean you get similar quote results.

When shopping around for the best travel insurance for pre-existing conditions you may have to telephone some providers directly to discuss your quote. This is the case for travel insurance providers Direct Line and InsureCancer. If you are finding it difficult to purchase medical travel insurance and have exhausted most travel insurance providers then you may have more luck if you change your travel destination or the length of your trip. You could also try changing the type of insurance policy as it may be easier to get medical travel insurance for a single trip rather than an annual multi-trip policy.

 

 

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