This is surprisingly, a topic that I get a lot of messages about. People panicking about getting travel insurance when they have a current medical condition, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or an ostomy. My stoma has never stopped me travelling, and I always ensure I have good insurance, we are so lucky here in the UK to have top notch medical care for free, I can’t imagine being stuck somewhere abroad without being able to get the care I need, or to just get home and be treated here.
Panic not, it is a relatively simple job, I always use Money Supermarket, a comparison site that looks at all different insurance covers and compares them on price and policy. They “teamed up with the top specialist travel insurance companies” and using their comparison tool you can compare travel insurance companies that cover medical conditions as part of their policies.
People who have a greater risk of claiming are forced to pay more for their insurance premiums, so folk like us may end up paying a lot more, regardless of this, it is really important to declare all of your medical conditions when applying for your insurance.
Money Supermarket says “When searching for an insurance company that covers pre-existing medical conditions you will be often asked a number of in-depth questions and will be required to submit detailed and sometimes very personal answers. You will be asked about a range of conditions both physical and mental such as depression and anxiety.
Whilst this can be a frustrating process it is necessary so that the insurance company can tailor your policy to your specific needs and determine any risk you may impose.
Failure to declare a medical condition to an insurer could result in any claim being rejected and force you to cover any medical costs yourself. It may be tempting to withhold certain information in order to obtain a cheaper premium, but in the event of a claim the insurance company can access your medical records.
No matter how minor a medical condition may be it is always worth declaring this to the insurer just to be sure that you are fully covered.
Once you have answered all relevant questions there are a number of potential outcomes, these are:
- Offer a standard travel insurance policy depending on the severity or type of condition
- Exclude medical cover for certain pre-existing conditions
- Offer the insurance to you but at a much higher price
- Refuse to insure you at all
- Impose certain restrictions, exclusions, special terms or higher excess payments”
So head over to Money Supermarket, click to say whether it is Single Trip or Annual cover and let them know where you are going.
Fill in all medical questions and diagnosis you have along with any treatment you’re having, had recently or on a waiting list for, view the results and choose your cover.
It does seem really unfair that disabled people face extra costs when it comes to travel insurance, it limits people’s ability to travel as anyone else. Some people face cover that is hundreds and hundreds of pounds more than if they were non-disabled.
It’s always worth looking at the time restraints, I’ve found that insurance within 6 weeks of a surgery goes up massively, and also the country you’re visiting varies in cost a lot (America I’m looking at you!)
But whether it’s right or wrong to charge such extortionate fees for some people, travel insurance is so vital to make sure you’re going to get the proper care you need in the case of an emergency.
My ostomy bag hasn’t stopped me travelling, if anything it brought me more freedom as I have more control than when I was in a flare up. I’ve been to Vietnam, Australia, Lanzarote, India and we are off on an American road trip this year, I’ve embraced my wanderlust. Yes I have to be a bit more prepared and plan for days when I’m struggling but I know my heart is happy when I’m visiting new places and exploring and so I’ll keep going as long as I can.