Having Crohn’s disease doesn’t have to stand in the way of you enjoying holidays abroad.
With a little forward planning and appropriate travel insurance in place, you can relax and enjoy a break away knowing you’re prepared should the unexpected happen.
If you’re taking a holiday and have Crohn’s disease, it’s vital you consider taking out travel insurance that covers your condition.
Without it, you could be liable for medical and travel costs amounting to thousands of pounds if you fall ill.
A travel policy that covers Crohn’s disease will protect you for all the things that standard travel insurance does (like lost or stolen luggage, flight delays or cancellations and medical cover in case of an accident).
But importantly, it will also cover you for any claims that are the result of your condition.
Without Crohn’s disease travel insurance in place, you would have to pay for medical treatment or emergency flights home , which can be very costly.
Also, if you need to cancel a holiday because your Crohn’s disease flares up, your policy should cover that too.
It’s likely you’ll have to pay more for your travel insurance than a standard policy, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind.
When you apply for a quote for travel insurance, the provider will ask that you declare any pre-existing conditions.
These are physical or mental health conditions that you have been diagnosed with, have had previously or are awaiting treatment for.
Pre-existing conditions can be anything from heart or lung disease to diabetes, high blood pressure and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s.
If you don’t mention your Crohn’s disease to your insurance provider when arranging a policy, you won’t be covered for any claims relating to your condition. Things like hospital treatment or emergency travel home, as well as if you need to cancel due to your condition flaring up before you go on your holiday.
This could set you back tens of thousands of pounds, especially if you’re travelling in a country with high medical costs, such as the USA.
Insurance providers will have their own medical screening process for Crohn’s Disease.
But, generally, the sort of questions you can expect include things like:
It depends on the insurance company and how severe your condition is.
For example, it might be a little more difficult to get cover if you’ve recently had surgery or been admitted into hospital, or if you’re awaiting test any investigation results.
Once your insurer knows more about your condition, how serious it is and if it’s well controlled, they’ll either decide to:
If you find it difficult to get travel insurance for Crohn’s disease, then the government’s MoneyHelper travel insurance directory of specialist providers could help.
It’s important to be as prepared as possible when travelling with a pre-existing condition. You may want to:
In theory, you can travel anywhere in the world. But there are certain things you may want to consider before you book a trip when you have Crohn’s disease.
You should check with your doctor that you’re fit to travel. Travelling against your doctor’s advice could invalidate your insurance.
It’s wise to get a letter from your doctor or medical team which explains your condition, plus all the medication you’re taking so you can show it to customs officials or to medical staff if you fall ill.
If you’re visiting a European Union (EU) country then a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) gives you access to medically necessary, state-funded healthcare for free or at the same rate as a resident of that country.
The GHIC is replacing the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), but a current EHIC remains valid until the expiry date on the card.
A GHIC/EHIC card isn’t a replacement for travel insurance, though. It won't cover you for things like getting you back to the UK if you fall ill.
And it only covers EU countries. So if you’re travelling to anywhere else in the world - including countries like the USA where healthcare is very expensive - then travel insurance is essential to protect you from large medical bills, should something happen.
Even if your Crohn’s disease is well controlled, it’s important that you still declare it to your travel insurer.
If you need medication or treatment for Crohn’s when you’re away, you won’t be covered under your policy if you haven’t told your insurer about it.
It might be a little more difficult to get cover if you’re awaiting treatment, tests or results. You may find that many insurers will only offer you limited cover. It’s worth comparing with multiple providers.
Data so far doesn’t indicate that people with Crohn’s disease are more likely to contract Covid-19 or to develop more serious issues because of the medications they take.