Exclusions Relating to Health and Medical Conditions – Should You Worry?

10 Sep 2019 by Olga Brighton

Travel Insurance Tips

There are a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t ignore a pre-existing medical condition when arranging your holiday insurance with medical conditions, not least of all because a medical problem could result in the single most eye-wateringly expensive bill you’ve ever seen.

Did you know that most travel insurance has exclusions relating to health and medical conditions? So if you have certain medical conditions, you may not be covered for claims related to those condition.

Why should you worry?

Medical treatment

Medical treatment abroad can quickly run into hundreds if not thousands.Globelink Travel Insurance recently covered a customer’s medical costs and an air ambulance in excess of a hundred thousand pounds. That’s not the kind of money that anyone has to hand. Even a repatriation home with a doctor will set you back over £10,000.

It’s easy to assume that your medical conditions won’t cause you a problem while away, but doing so can have disastrous repercussions. Even if you are well and your condition is stable, going away could change that – the added stresses and strains of travelling, a rapid change in climate or altitude and even the food could all impact your health. Unless you have purchased the right holiday insurance with medical conditions cover, you could find yourself in the kind of deep water you want to avoid.

Read also: Key Facts You Didn’t Know About Travelling with Diabetes

What type of medical exclusions apply?

Each travel insurance policy is different, but odds are that the cheapest options available on the big market comparison websites may only offer very restricted cover in relation to pre-existing medical conditions, or none at all.

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

Pre-existing medical condition

Generally speaking, it’s an illness or medical condition that you have already had symptoms, advice and/or treatment for. The exact definition and insurance declaration requirements vary significantly by Travel Insurer so check carefully before you buy. Never be tempted to withhold details of a medical condition, or you might find this invalidates your policy, or that you’re not covered for anything linked to that condition. This could cost you dearly in both stress and hard earned cash.

Often exclusions relating to health and medical conditions include very common ailments, like cholesterol, high or low blood pressure, asthma and diabetes, so it’s important that you check and comply with the rules set by your chosen travel insurance company.

Typical conditions you have to declare when buying travel insurance include:

  • Cancer
  • Heart conditions, like angina
  • Diabetes
  • Stomach and bowel problems, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Crohn's disease
  • Breathing problems, like asthma
  • Arthritis

What does the EHIC cover?

EHIC Cover

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), can cover costs of state-provided treatment if travelling within the European Economic Area (EEA). Be warned however, state healthcare varies and may be limited in some locations. A lot of costs aren’t covered by the EHIC, like repatriation, or a doctor or nurse escort and certainly not an air ambulance. After Brexit, UK nationals won’t be entitled to EHIC cover, unless a future mutual arrangements are reached.

How to get cover for pre-existing conditions

It depends on your condition. Some companies have a list of ‘accepted medical conditions’. Globelink cover 50 pre-existing medical conditions – more than ever before - including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, gastric-reflux and more. We offer a Medical Screening Service to assess any conditions that are not on our standard list to see if can offer cover for an additional premium or revised terms. Other specialist providers may also offer Travel Insurance for more serious conditions. If you have a serious medical condition that isn’t typically covered by travel insurance, your best bet is to try an internet search on your particular condition and travel insurance and check the best provider available by carefully reviewing cover and customer reviews.

Give yourself the peace of mind you deserve on holiday and think twice before travelling without checking your pre-existing medical condition is covered by your travel insurance. Or your heavenly holiday could quickly turn into a traumatic trip before you know it.

Read also: What’s Most Important to You When Buying Travel Insurance?

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