Everybody looks forward to their holidays because they’re our chance to unwind, but if you have a pre-existing medical condition, it’s likely that your travel insurance premiums will be higher than average. While you might think this is unfair, it’s because the insurance companies assume you’re at a higher risk of having to make a claim – it’s the same reason why people with points on their driving license or a history of claims have to pay more for their car insurance.
The good news is that with a bit of research and a lot of comparing quotes, you can find cover for an affordable price, and you certainly won’t have to avoid booking holidays as a result of slightly higher insurance premiums. Travel insurance for medical conditions can be both comprehensive and affordable, and it’s always better to have it than run the risk of paying expensive medical bills should something go wrong, no matter how unlikely that may be.
However, the price isn’t the only thing you need to take into consideration when buying travel insurance. This article will tell you all you need to know about finding and purchasing travel insurance as a person with a medical condition.
Check Whether You’re Already Covered
It almost goes without saying that you should check whether you’re already covered before going ahead and buying something you don’t need. However, you might have travel insurance without even knowing via your bank account, with many leading banks – including Nationwide – offering free insurance as an included benefit with certain types of current account.
You should, however, be sure to check whether your cover – should you already have it – is still valid with your medical condition. You might have to tell your bank first for them to make any adjustments to the cover, though they should have checked for that kind of thing before providing you with free insurance in the first place.
Don’t Pay Too Much
There’s no escaping from the fact that your travel insurance is going to be a little higher for you due to your medical condition than it would be for somebody without one, but that doesn’t mean you should be scared into paying too much. Even people without a medical condition might be tempted to pay extra for premium packages, but the increased price is rarely worth it. According to a study by the Association of British Insurers, the average claim in the year 2013 worked out to around £930, and that makes it rather pointless upgrading to a package that offers up to £10 million in medical cover.
Of course, it’s worth thinking about what kind of activities you plan to do while you’re abroad. If you’re going skiing in an isolated area, the cost of an airlift will no doubt be quite high. Still, you can imagine that racking up a medical bill of anywhere near £10 million would be rather difficult.
Group Policies Aren’t Always Cheaper
You might be tempted to think you can make a saving by insuring the whole family on one package, however, that’s not always the case, especially if you have a medical condition. In most cases, group insurance premiums are based on the oldest person in the group. So, for example, if you are the oldest with a condition such as diabetes, you’ll likely find it’s cheaper to insure yourself separately and the rest of your family under one package. It’s worth investigating and experimenting with quotes to see if you could make a saving.
It’s Better to Buy Insurance Sooner rather than Later
It’s always better to purchase travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday, and that applies to everybody regardless of whether they have a medical condition. Most types of travel insurance cover more than just potential medical bills abroad, they can also cover things like cancellations and lost luggage.
However, it’s especially important to purchase insurance as soon as possible if you do have a medical condition because the process of buying the cover is likely to take slightly longer than it would for those with a clean bill of health. In addition, you can look for packages that cover bouts of illness before you actually travel, but you’ll miss out on perks like that if you leave it until last minute.
Make Sure you Declare your Condition
It’s not a good idea to think you can save some cash by not declaring your medical condition when applying for insurance. Of course, you might be able to purchase cheaper cover, but your insurance will be void in the unfortunate and unlikely situation you need to use it if you weren’t honest upfront.
Not all insurers request you tell them about any and all medical conditions, but the most common ones they’ll want to know about include:
- Ongoing stomach problems
- Any heart conditions
- Asthma, or a different condition that affects breathing
- Bone and joint conditions
Even if you browse through the list of medical conditions the insurer wants to know about but don’t see yours, you might want to contact the company directly to make sure it isn’t going to cause any problems. That last thing you want is to buy cover and then find it you can’t use it no matter who is to blame.
Final Word: Don’t Forget to Purchase Insurance
Just because you don’t expect to need insurance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy it. At the end of the day, insurance is only there to make sure you’re prepared for the worst, and even though we all hope we don’t have to use it, we’d be glad we purchased it if we happened to get into an accident or became severely ill.
As we’ve mentioned, travel insurance packages can vary wildly in price, so it’s definitely worth comparing a number of quotes from a number of providers before you make a purchase. And, of course, make sure it covers your medical condition. You probably won’t even need it, but you’ll be able to relax better on your next holiday knowing you’re insured.