Travel insurance with medical conditions

Need a little extra care? We’ll help you find the right cover.

Man waiting at the airport gate with his luggage


Health issues can make life more complicated, but they shouldn’t stop you from getting peace of mind when you travel.

Travel insurers will still cover you for most conditions. But your medical history may mean you’ll have fewer providers to choose from.

If you’ve had a health problem, you’re considered to be more likely to make a claim. So your premium will usually be more expensive than travelling without a medical condition.

As well as covering medical expenses, you’ll also need travel insurance to protect you against other things that can impact your trip - like having to cancel your holiday or losing your suitcase. So it’s important to find the right cover before you travel.

Woman playing with her daughter in a pool

How does specialist medical travel insurance work?

Standard travel insurance may only cover you for treatment and accidents that aren’t related to a pre-existing medical condition. And some won’t cover you at all.

But specialist medical travel insurance takes your health issues into account - it’s designed to cover any treatment you might need while you’re away.

Our panel includes travel insurers that provide cover for lots of different medical conditions - so you should still be able to compare quotes.

And if you have more complex medical issues, Money Helper has launched a directory of specialist insurance providers who may be able to give you a quote over the phone.

You can find the directory at Money Helper.

What health conditions will I need to declare?

When you’re taking out travel insurance, you’ll need to let your insurer know about any medical conditions or illnesses you’ve been diagnosed with or treated for.

This typically applies to any condition, injury, or surgery that you, and anyone else covered under your policy, have had in the last five years.

Even if you’re cured and feeling fighting fit, you’ll still need to declare health issues if they fall into any of the categories listed by your insurer.

You should declare any of the following:

Terminal conditions

Insurers need to know about terminal illnesses, like motor neurone disease and Parkinson’s disease

Heart conditions

Provide details about your heart condition and any medical kit you might need


Tell your insurer if you’re living with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes

Asthma and respiratory problems

Inform your insurer about any medical condition that affects your breathing

Chronic illnesses

These are long-term illnesses that may not have a cure, like Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis

Joint and bone inflammation

Declare any conditions that cause problems with your bones and movement, like arthritis

Circulatory conditions

For example, problems with blood flow, including strokes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol


Insurers need to know if you have cancer, whatever stage it is or whether it’s in remission

Psychological conditions

For example, anxiety, depression, eating disorders and drug or alcohol abuse

Conditions you’ve had tests for

Tell your insurer if you’re waiting for investigations or tests for something that hasn’t been diagnosed yet

What don’t you need to declare?

You’ll need to answer all the questions relating to your medical conditions, but you won’t need to declare:

  • Pregnancy - It’s not considered a pre-existing condition unless you have complications - but you may not be covered to travel if you’re more than 29 weeks pregnant. It’s best to check with your insurer before you depart
  • Contraceptive treatment - You don’t need to declare any contraceptive medication or implants

How to get travel insurance with a pre-existing condition

  1. Get a quote

    Tell us the type of cover you’d like, details about your trip, and your medical history

  2. Compare options

    We’ll show you quotes from a range of providers to help you compare prices and cover

  3. Apply

    Choose the policy that’s right for you and your medical needs, and click to apply

How can I get cheaper travel insurance with a pre-existing medical condition?

Although you’ll usually need to pay more to cover existing health problems, there are things you can do to help reduce the cost:

Start early - The earlier you buy cover, the more protection you’ll have for cancellation and the less it’s likely to cost you

Consider annual cover - If you’ll be going away two or more times in 12 months, an annual policy usually works out cheaper than taking out cover each time

Pay a higher excess - If you choose to pay extra on top of the compulsory excess, you’ll usually get a better price. Just make sure you can afford it

Shop around - Compare quotes from several different insurers to help you find the best deal for you and the right cover

Frequently asked questions

You should be able to travel anywhere that someone without a pre-existing condition can. You'll just need to pick between European or worldwide cover when you take out travel insurance.

Having pre-existing medical conditions will make your cover more expensive. But it’s worth it when you consider what you might have to pay if you needed treatment while you’re away, especially in countries outside the European Union.

If you end up needing medical care, you or someone you’re travelling with should contact your insurer as soon as possible - most will have a 24-hour helpline (this will be detailed in your policy documents). If it’s a medical emergency and there’s no time, you may need to pay for treatment upfront. Keep the receipt and use this to claim back the cost from your insurer when you get home.

Yes, but this simply means answering questions about your medical history. Insurers won’t access your medical records, but they may ask you to contact your GP if they need more information to answer their questions.

Travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions is likely to cost more if you’re travelling somewhere with a high level of private healthcare, like the USA and Hong Kong. So it’s worth comparing the cost for different destinations. You won’t be covered for travel to countries the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises against.

Depending on your condition, your insurer may want to know what medication you’re taking or any treatment you’re having or are expecting to have.

If you don’t tell your insurer about a medical condition, it can invalidate your cover. This means any potential claim you might make will be rejected. Even if your condition is under control and not giving you any trouble, your insurer will still need to know about it.

No, once your application for travel insurance has been approved, you won’t typically need a doctor’s sign-off to travel. Although, in some circumstances, your airline may require one. But if you decide to travel against your doctor’s advice it’s likely to invalidate your cover.

If you’ve had symptoms and are waiting for tests, investigations, or a diagnosis, you should hold off on going away and taking out travel insurance. Wait to do this until after your medical condition has been identified and confirmed, if possible.

No, it’s not considered a medical condition unless you’ve been experiencing complications during pregnancy. It’s still possible to travel and get cover, but there may be a maximum limit on how many weeks into your pregnancy you can travel.

Yes, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or the newer Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) only covers state-provided urgent medical treatment in Europe. You’ll need travel insurance to cover you for things like repatriation, trip delays and cancellations, and lost or stolen belongings.

You’ll need to let your insurer know if there are any changes to your health after you’ve taken out travel insurance. You might need to pay more to add the condition to your policy. But it means you’ll get the cover you need, and your policy will stay valid.

Last reviewed: 10 May 2023

Reviewed by Jasmine Hembury

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