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Date: 26/09/2012

Travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

Pre existing medical insurance

For many people, purchasing travel insurance simply means finding the best deal on the market and paying for the cover. However, holidaymakers and travellers with a history of medical problems often have a very different experience.

Finding an insurer who is willing to not only provide protection, but also cover any pre-existing health problems can seem almost impossible. Of course, in many cases, travelling without the necessary insurance for an existing medical condition can make a trip too risky to consider.

One option is for individuals to accept that cover for pre-existing conditions is not worth purchasing, so they can simply opt to travel without protection. This means that if the worst happens they must foot the entire bill themselves.

Any trips to a member country of the EU enjoy a limited amount of protection under the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme. This is not comprehensive and not necessarily free if you need to get treatment, but the costs will be lower than private healthcare and you may be able to receive the attention you require.

However, not all conditions are covered by the EHIC and, in addition, extra expenses such as repatriation or medical evacuation to the UK may be excluded. Any journeys further afield without pre existing medical insurance offer no protection at all for UK citizens, meaning even the smallest injury or illness could be very expensive.

Can you risk not having pre existing medical insurance?

With an estimated four out of five travel insurance claims involving medical issues, the idea of travelling without insurance is not recommended, just in case you are one of the unlucky ones.

If you have a history of health problems, you could still be able to take out travel insurance that includes protection for your pre-existing illnesses by applying for a medical screening policy. This does not provide blanket cover, but instead tailors the insurance to your individual needs to ensure that you get the protection you need at the most competitive price.