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Sally Wilson

Sally is a key member of the MoneyMaxim editorial team. She is a frequent hire-car user and often goes on holiday with her family. With an interest in getting great value for money, Sally shares her hints and tips for travelling and insurance.

Put a holiday within reach with travel insurance that covers pre-existing medical conditions

We offer a few tips to help you travel safely when undergoing medical care

wheelchair user and companion

It is well known that a holiday can have a positive effect on not only our physical wellbeing but our mental health too. Living with a medical condition should not prevent you from enjoying a break away from home. With travel insurance that covers pre-existing medical conditions you can have a fantastic holiday with the added security of knowing you are covered should your health decline whilst you are away.

When you take out travel insurance and need cover for a medical condition you are likely to go through a medical screening process. This will just be a few questions about your condition. Have all your records to hand as this can make it a lot easier to answer any queries.

Consider covering all your party or at least one travelling companion under the same insurance. If you have to cut short your holiday and they have a separate insurance, they may not be covered for any losses should they decide to return home with you. Read all terms and conditions of any policy carefully and, if you are planning any activities, ensure you have cover for those too.

Foreign travel is not out of reach for those suffering from a medical condition - it just may require a little more careful planning. Here are a few tips to help make sure your well-earned holiday goes more smoothly.

  1. Always check with your doctor before organising a holiday to make sure you are safe to travel. Will you be able to fly after surgery? Are any vaccinations going to interfere with your medication or vice versa?

  2. Find a destination that is suitable for your situation. For example, an all-inclusive hotel may be beneficial if walking long distances is difficult. The checklist from ABTA for less mobile travellers may help with this. By understanding your own needs you can tailor your holiday accordingly.

  3. Take out travel insurance that will cover medical conditions such as yours as soon as possible. Once you have paid out any money, you will want to be able to claim it back should you have to cancel the trip. You can compare companies that offer travel insurance for pre-existing travel conditions through MoneyMaxim

  4. Make sure you are prepared for your journey. You may well be taking medication for your condition and, if so, you will need to make sure you have enough to take on your trip. There are also regulations on how any medicines can be carried and where. More information on travelling with medication is available from the NHS. If you will need assistance on the plane or at the airport, contact your airline as soon as possible.

  5. Know what to do in an emergency. Hopefully your holiday goes without a hitch but it is better to have information ready just in case. Find out what the local emergency number is (the equivalent of 999). You should also know where the nearest hospital is and ideally a local doctor or pharmacy too. In the most serious cases you can contact the British embassy who will provide you with any necessary assistance.

You may be unable to find an insurer who will cover your medical condition. It is possible, in this circumstance, to take out travel insurance which will cover you - but not for any claims related to your pre-existing condition. You could be covered for unrelated illnesses or accidents, and features such as lost or delayed baggage would be unaffected by your medical status.

EHIC cards are currently still valid but these will only provide you with the same level of care as a resident of the country would receive. It is not a substitute for travel insurance nor will it provide you any assistance outside of Europe.