Epilepsy and travel insurance

Take peace of mind with you. Get travel insurance for epilepsy.

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Can I get travel insurance if I have epilepsy?

Yes, you can still take out travel insurance and enjoy getting away if you have epilepsy. It’s just important to find the right cover to match your needs.

Insurers have a list of what they classify as pre-existing conditions. These are medical issues you’ve had in the past, or that you have at the time you’re taking out travel insurance.

If you’re going away, it’s important you’re covered for any medical treatment you might need because of your epilepsy. However, the conditions covered will differ between insurers. So, you may have fewer options to choose from and you might need to pay more for a policy.

Our panel includes travel insurance providers that cover a range of medical conditions. So, you should still be able to compare quotes and find the right policy to help you travel with confidence.

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What if I can’t find a travel insurance provider to cover me?

Sometimes, if your condition is complex or more serious, it can be difficult to find a travel insurance provider.

Because of this, MoneyHelper has launched a directory of trusted specialist travel insurance providers who may be able to give you a quote over the phone.

These providers specialise in covering people who are much more likely to need medical treatment while they’re away. The cover may be more expensive, but it’s worth it to make sure you’re protected.

Do I have to disclose epilepsy on my travel insurance?

Yes, you’ll need to declare epilepsy along with any other pre-existing medical conditions you have when you take out travel insurance.

If you don’t tell your insurer, it’s likely to invalidate your cover. This means any claim you might make will usually be rejected, potentially leaving you with large costs to pay for yourself.

Do I need to declare epilepsy if I no longer have seizures?

Even if your last seizure was a very long time ago, your insurer will still need to know about your epilepsy.

With the right treatment, epilepsy can be well managed - so your seizures may be under control. But it’s important to tell your insurer about any medication you’re taking.

If you don’t declare these things, there’s a chance you won’t be covered for any medical emergencies that might be caused by or related to your epilepsy.

What questions will I be asked about my epilepsy during the medical screening?

When you apply for travel insurance, you’ll be asked to complete an online medical screening questionnaire.

If you declare epilepsy as a pre-existing medical condition, you’ll be asked more questions about this.

Insurers can vary in what they ask, but you may need to provide details about:

  • The frequency of your seizures
  • When you last had a seizure
  • The severity of your seizures - for example, whether you normally lose consciousness
  • The number of seizures that have caused you to lose consciousness in the last six months
  • Any known cause of your epilepsy - for example, a brain haemorrhage or stroke
  • How many unplanned hospital admissions you’ve had for epilepsy or seizures
  • Any medications you take to manage your epilepsy

Can I get travel insurance if my doctor has advised me not to travel?

If you’ve been advised not to travel, insurers won’t be able to cover you.

So, if you decide to go anyway, you could end up facing eye-watering costs if something goes wrong on your trip.

On the other hand, if you’re advised not to travel on medical grounds after you’ve bought travel insurance - you should be covered for cancelling your trip.

Will I pay more for travel insurance if I have epilepsy?

Yes, you’re likely to pay more for travel insurance than if you didn’t have any health issues. The cost will also depend on the type of seizures you have and when you last had one.

But if you shop around and compare quotes you can find the right cover at the right price.

There are also a number of other things you can do to help reduce the cost. For example, buying travel insurance as early as possible after you’ve booked your trip is likely to be cheaper. Plus, it’ll give you more protection in case you need to cancel your holiday.

And if you’ll be going away more than once in 12 months, an annual multi-trip policy usually costs less than buying cover separately for each trip.

Tips when travelling with epilepsy

There are some simple steps you can take to help your travel plans go smoothly:

  1. Talk to your doctor

    At least eight weeks before you set off, get medical advice on how best to manage your epilepsy when you’re travelling and while you’re away.

  2. Research your destination

    Find out whether any vaccinations or anti-malaria tablets are needed that could interfere with your epilepsy. And plan how to stay hydrated and avoid sudden temperature changes, like not having the air conditioning on too low.

  3. Prepare for your flight

    Sometimes seizures can be triggered by anxiety or excitement. It’s best to tell the airline about your epilepsy when you book so the cabin crew can be made aware.

  4. Plan your medication

    Factor in changing time zones, so you can take medication on time. Carry it in your hand luggage and make sure you have enough to last your trip. And take a copy of your prescription with you.

  5. Check entry requirements

    Some epilepsy medications are controlled drugs and you’ll need a letter from your doctor to take them in or out of the UK. Some countries have entry restrictions for medication, so check the relevant foreign embassy website in the UK.

  6. Get a GHIC

    If you’re travelling in Europe, make sure you get a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This will let you access emergency healthcare in state hospitals for free or at a discounted rate.