Preparing for a holiday often means stocking up on sun cream and paperbacks. However, if you’re counting down the days until your next trip, there’s one element of holiday planning that’s arguably more important than any other – travel insurance.
What’s more, travel cover is even more important for people with pre-existing medical conditions or disabilities. There can be more to think about when arranging medical travel insurance, so we’ve created the following checklist (also available to download and/or print here) to help you ensure your travel insurance ticks all the boxes.
1. When should you purchase medical travel insurance?
Travel insurance, especially specialist cover for existing health conditions or disabilities, should never be left until the last minute. If anything were to happen during the run up to your holiday that means you cannot go, such as a worsening of your health, you could lose any money you’d already spent on your travel plans, such as flight and accommodation expenses.
That’s why we strongly recommend taking out travel insurance as soon as you have booked your trip, so that you have the benefit of cancellation cover straight away. You’ll be covered if you need to cancel your holiday from the moment your policy is in place, or, with an Annual Multi-trip policy, on the date you choose*.
2. Does your policy allow you to include travelling companions?
The ability to add those you will be travelling with to your travel insurance policy means that they too will be covered if you need to cancel your holiday because of your medical condition or disability, or if your trip had to be cut short due to your health*. At Free Spirit, we can include your entire travelling party on your policy.
3. Does your insurance provider understand your health needs?
When you have an existing health condition or disability, standard travel insurance policies tend to be limited in the cover they can offer. A specialist provider like Free Spirit will be more sympathetic to your unique medical needs. Our travel insurance policies are specially designed for people like you.
4. Are there any limits to where you can travel?
If you are well enough to travel to your dream destination, and more importantly, your doctor is happy for you to go, we believe you should be covered to do so. Our specialist travel insurance covers most places in the world excluding those where the FCO advice against travel.
We aim to cover your medical condition(s) or disability(ies) for trips in Europe, as well as the USA, Canada or the Caribbean (although these countries mean higher premiums).
We will ask you to go through a simple medical screening process when applying for cover, however we have designed this to be as quick and straightforward as possible.
5. Does the policy include wide-ranging travel cover?
Make sure your policy includes cover for cancellation and emergency medical expenses, including repatriation back to the UK, as well as for your luggage, travel documents, medication and medical aids (more on this below).
A complete travel insurance policy should also include cover in the event of journey delays, personal accident and legal expenses. Free Spirit medical travel insurance includes all this and more, although as with all travel insurance policies, terms and conditions will apply.
Most importantly, Free Spirit will, subject to medical screening, provide full cover for your medical conditions and disabilities.
6. What medical questions should you expect to be asked when applying for a quote?
In most cases, travel insurance providers won’t need to see your formal medical records when you apply, but they may request them if you make a claim.
At Free Spirit, we will ask you a series of questions relating to your specific medical condition or disability when you apply for a medical travel insurance quote. Please ensure that you have all information to hand when you apply.
Obtaining medical travel insurance with us is quick and simple. Speak to one of our friendly expert team based in the UK from Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm (closed Bank Holidays) on 0800 170 7704 or get a free quote online.
7. Is cover for terminal conditions included?
Many travel insurance providers will refuse to cover people with terminal conditions. However, here at Free Spirit, we are proud to be one of the few specialist providers that can offer cover for people with terminal or life-limiting conditions. To obtain a quote, please call us on 0800 170 7704, Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm (closed Bank Holidays).
8. Are you covered to take part in activities during your holiday?
Having an existing health condition or disability needn’t stop you from participating in new activities and experiences when you’re on holiday. Specialist travel insurance policy will often include cover for a number of activities provided your doctor is happy for you to do so. Please check the policy wording or contact the provider to make sure you are covered before you travel.
At Free Spirit, we provide cover for over 100 activities free of charge.
9. Does your policy include cover for medical aids and medication?
Travelling with a medical condition or disability means that you may need to take medication and/or medical aids with you, so make sure that your travel insurance covers these. Our policies include cover for loss or damage to medical aids up to £1,000 with ‘Super’ cover, and up to £2,000 with ‘Super Duper’ cover. We include cover for loss or damage to prescribed medication of up to £250 with ‘Super’ cover, and up to £500 with ‘Super’ Duper cover.
10. Still have questions about specialist travel insurance? Ask Mary!
Free Spirit Manager, Mary Holt is a recognised expert in medical screening and in underwriting travel insurance for people with medical conditions.