Advice on buying travel insurance if you have a medical condition

Where can I find a travel insurance provider who will cover me?

The thought of finding travel insurance when you have a medical condition can be a daunting one, but you’d be surprised at just how many options you have. In fact, providers like Insurancewith specialise in offering bespoke travel cover to those with medical conditions like diabetes, asthma and heart disease.

Finding your provider

The best place to start is by speaking to or visiting the website of a charity that supports people with your medical condition – it may be one that you’ve had contact with before. They should be able to offer advice, and may even have recommendations as to which provider is best.

A quick internet search might help too. There will likely be forums full of people who have been in similar situations – they could offer advice and suggestions.

What medical information do I need to provide?

You’ll need to give your insurance provider details of your condition, and the more information you can offer, the better. We advise that you tell them everything so they can decide what is and isn’t relevant – you won’t necessarily be charged more, it just means you’ll have the right level of cover should anything happen. Holding details back could cause the policy to be void when you need it most.

Why do I need a specialist policy?

Having a specialist travel insurance policy can make a world of difference if you have a medical condition, especially in an emergency situation. With the right knowledge and a wealth of experience, a good provider will be able to offer invaluable help in a foreign country, assisting with things like translation and the transferring of important medical records.

They can speak to your treating doctor in the UK and liaise with the doctors in the foreign hospital, ensuring you have the appropriate treatment when you need it most. Arranging such care without the help and support of a trusted insurer could be both difficult and costly.

What about insurance for other people in my party?

We would always recommend that your whole travelling party is included on the same policy, so if something does happen that causes you to cancel the whole trip, nobody is left battling with their provider for a pay-out. If everyone’s together, you should all be protected, even if the medical condition only affects one person.

When you’re looking for travel insurance, it’s important to remember that it’s not all about having millions of pounds worth of medical cover; your priority should be the level of support you receive from your provider. This is especially true if you have a medical condition, as this can make problems more complex.

Be sure to do your research and choose carefully – knowing you did will provide invaluable peace of mind on your upcoming trip.


Travelling with a medical condition

Travelling with a medical condition can be really daunting, but we cover 1000 of people like this every year.

When I was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, I found planning our first holiday abroad made me feel really anxious, the cancer and the treatment had really knocked my confidence, but after chatting to my Doctor I realised all I had to do was plan. So if you are planning to travel abroad and either you or a member of your family has a medical condition, your first port of call should always be your treating doctor.

Leave yourself lots of time and it’s really important to have a check list. Some of the things you will find really useful are to learn some key phrases in the language of the country you are travelling to:

Your condition
Your medication
How to ask for help in an emergency

And a letter from your Doctor could really get you out of trouble at the airport, it will explain your condition and why you are carrying certain prescription medication.
I really can’t emphasize enough the key to a stress free holiday is planning.

So if you want more information about travelling with a medical condition go to our web site

Travelling to a hot climate with a medical condition

Travelling can be a daunting experience when you have a medical condition – you’re venturing into the unexpected. The truth is, though, we provide specialist cover for thousands of holidaymakers every year

Ensuring your trip goes without any hassle needn’t be difficult; you just need to plan ahead properly. Preparation is the key wherever you’re going, but it’s particularly important if you’re visiting somewhere with a hot climate, as there are a few things you’ll need to address.

If you’re not used to the heat, you’ll need to watch out for the following:

Sunstroke: This is when a person’s body is no longer able to cool itself (known as heatstroke) due to prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. Body temperature becomes dangerously high and the effects can take hold in minutes. Symptoms include tiredness, dizziness, fainting, nausea and heavy sweating.

You can help prevent sunstroke by staying in shady areas, enjoying cold food and drinks, and avoiding extreme physical exertion.

Dehydration: This happens when the body loses more fluid than it takes in, usually through sweating. When your body’s water content drops like this, it upsets the balance of minerals and affects the way you function.

Keeping dehydration at bay is simple: you just have to make sure you’re drinking water regularly. Your intake will be higher than you’re used to at home if the weather’s particularly hot, as you’ll likely sweat more.

Insect bites: Insects, like mosquitos, midges and fleas, pose a threat to everyone travelling in hot climates, but they’re a particular concern for those with existing conditions, due to the risk of infection.


Most bites and stings are treated by washing the area with soap and water, and a cold compress can be used to reduce swelling. Tea tree oil is another common remedy, due to its soothing and cleaning qualities. Prevention is difficult, but covering up will certainly help. You can also buy insect repellent from your local chemist.


Be safe!

If you do decide to go somewhere hot this year, the general advice is to just be careful! Take all of the normal precautions – know where the closest pharmacy is, take the right medicine with you and arrange the appropriate travel insurance – and you’ll be just fine!

Flying with a medical condition

If you’re living with a medical condition, the prospect of flying can seem scary, as there are a number of issues that could occur. Don’t let that stop you from getting on that plane, though. We insure thousands of people every year who jet around the world with no problems at all – so long as you prepare and look after yourself, you too should have an enjoyable flight.

Here are some of the problems you may run into and what to do to avoid or cope with them.


Dehydration is a real risk when flying, especially if you’re on a long-haul flight, or have a long-term health condition such as diabetes. Not only can dehydration lead to serious health problems, it also worsens jet lag, so make sure you drink enough before and during your flight. You don’t want to feel awful on the first day of your holiday!

We recommend sticking to water, squash and juice, as they will hydrate you the most. Avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, and be sure to keep an eye on the colour of your urine. If it’s dark, then you’re probably dehydrated.

Confined space

If you suffer with claustrophobia, flying can be a nerve-wracking experience. Planes are a common trigger of anxiety attacks, due to the lack of space and number of people on board. If you do experience a panic attack on the plane, here’s what you can do to help it pass:

  • Stay where you are, if possible
  • Remind yourself that the symptoms you’re experiencing will pass soon (most attacks last between five minutes and half an hour)
  • Find something comforting to focus on, such as the hands/numbers on your watch
  • Breathe slowly and deeply (try counting to three on each intake and outtake)
  • Think about something positive – anything that makes you feel relaxed will do
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine as these can contribute to your attacks.

Disabled access

Unless you’re travelling to a very small airport, you’ll likely have to do quite a bit a walking between the check in desk and departure gate. Therefore, if you have mobility issues, it’s a good idea to book at wheelchair before your visit. This is easy to do – just inform your travel agent or airline of your requirements at least 48 hours before your flight.

For more information about travelling with a medical condition, visit our Travel Tips & Advice page


Travelling to a cold climate with a medical condition

Travelling with a medical condition can be really daunting, but we cover 1000 of people like this every year.
You don’t have to rule out a skiing holiday, there are just a few more things you need to consider, for example:

High altitude and lack of oxygen
The cold climate
Far more exercise than you are actually used to

A friend of mine was diagnosed with asthma years ago, she had an inhaler at the back of a drawer that she never used. When she went on a skiing holiday the combination of the cold weather, the extra exercise plus the lack of oxygen caused an asthma attack, unfortunately she lost 2 days of her holiday. A bit of forward planning by her, checking with her doctor, could have solved all these problems.

For more tips and advice for travelling abroad to a cold climate with a medical condition, visit our web site

InsuranceWith Awards