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Your questions answered

We’ve put together some commonly asked questions to give you more information about Free Spirit and the cover we offer.

If you intend to travel during the coronavirus pandemic, please read our coronavirus travel advice, complete with relevant FAQs.

We also have a Q&A page where Mary Holt, Free Spirit Manager, answers some specialist medical travel insurance questions. Visit the Ask Mary page.

You can find common questions about the coronavirus pandemic on our news post, which is updated on a daily basis.

If you have a question that you can’t find the answer to, please use the contact us page.

NOTE: Clicking on the question will reveal the answer.


Existing medical conditions

I already have a policy but have recently been diagnosed with a new medical condition, what should I do?

If there is a change in health of anyone insured under an existing policy you must contact our Medical Screening Service on 02392 419 080 as soon as possible. We will tell you if your change in health will affect your insurance and if cover can continue.

If your health changes after you purchased your policy but before you commence your trip (or in the case of Annual Multi-trip cover before booking your next trip) or pay the balance or any further instalments for your trip, you must tell us about these changes, if:

• you have seen a medical practitioner because you develop a new medical condition, your prescribed medication changes or an existing medical condition deteriorates;

• you have seen or been referred to a consultant or specialist;

• you are waiting to receive treatment (including surgery, tests or investigations) or the results of tests and investigations, or have been admitted to hospital.

We will then tell you if we can cover your medical condition(s) free of charge or for an additional premium.

If we cannot cover your medical condition(s), or you do not want to pay any additional premium quoted, we will give you the choice of either:

• making a cancellation claim for any pre-booked trips; or

• cancelling your policy and receiving a proportionate/partial refund, provided that you have not made a claim or are about to.

A change in health includes any changes to your health which you are aware of and for which you may need to seek professional medical advice, any new medical conditions or symptoms which may or may not yet have been diagnosed, changes to any existing medical condition already declared or a change to your treatment or prescribed medication (which can include a change in dosage which may be an increase or decrease in the amount of medication that you take) or you are waiting for tests or test results, or have been placed on a medical waiting list.

If you are not sure whether something is relevant you must tell us anyway.

Why do I need cover for existing medical condition(s)?

Medical costs abroad can be very expensive especially if you have to be repatriated home. Without appropriate insurance cover you could be left severely out of pocket. You must therefore read the ‘Medical Warranty’ that is shown as you progress through this website in getting a quote and to accurately declare all medical conditions. If you give incorrect answers or forget to tell us about a medical condition, this could lead to a claim not being paid.

What existing medical condition(s) do I need to declare?

So that you (and anyone to be insured under Free Spirit) can be covered for existing medical condition(s), you must include all relevant medical history as shown below.

A: Any treatment in the last 5 years (including prescribed medication) for: – any respiratory condition (relating to the lungs or breathing), any heart or heart related condition, any circulatory condition (relating to the blood or circulation), any kidney or renal condition, any liver condition, any condition relating to the pancreas e.g. diabetes, any cerebral or neurological condition (relating to the brain), any type of cancer, any type of stroke, any central nervous system disorder, any psychiatric or psychological conditions.

B: Any surgery, inpatient or outpatient treatment, any tests or investigations in a hospital or clinic or any specialist consultation within the last 2 years.

C: Any prescribed medication for any medical condition in the last 2 years.

Can I buy a policy if I have a terminal condition?

We cannot cover terminal conditions on this website as we need to provide you with an individual assessment. Please contact us on 02392 419 080 and we will discuss your requirements to see if cover can be provided.

I am on a waiting list for treatment/investigation, can I apply for cover?

Yes, we may be able to offer cover. The condition that your treatment / investigation relates to must be diagnosed, and you must declare this during the medical screening on your quotation application. This also applies if you have knowledge of the need for one of the following:

  • surgery
  • inpatient treatment
  • investigation
  • referral to a specialist consultant.
I’m taking medication to control my medical condition; do I still need to declare it?

Yes, the Underwriters need to be aware of all medical conditions including those that are under control by medication. This is important as otherwise a claim may be invalidated if medical conditions are not disclosed.

Are you able to quote and provide cover for a condition that has not yet been diagnosed?

We can only medically screen a condition that has been diagnosed by the medical profession and therefore, we cannot provide a quote or offer cover until such time as your medical condition has been diagnosed.

In 2 week’s time I will have finished my treatment, can I say ‘no’ to the question concerning ongoing treatment?

No, you must declare the position as of today.

Single Trip Insurance FAQs

How do I work out my travel dates?

The start date of your policy should be the day that you leave home. Your end date should be the date you return home. Note that this could be a different day to the day you leave your holiday destination.

Cancellation cover and Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (Super Duper only) starts on the date you purchase your policy so even if your holiday/trip is some time away, you will be covered for cancellation until the day your trip starts.

Is there an age limit on Single Trip policies?

There is no upper age limit.

What is the maximum duration of a Single Trip policy?

The maximum duration of any single trip is 94 days (although for persons aged 76 years and over the maximum duration is 45 days). If you are travelling for longer than 45 days and you are aged 76 or over, please call us on 02392 419 080.

Can I take out a Single Trip policy in the UK?

Yes, in fact some features on our policy are specifically for travel within the UK. For example, you will benefit from up to £10,000 for indirect medical costs if you are injured or fall ill while away.

Find out more on the travel insurance UK page.

What are the Geographical Areas on a Single Trip policy?

You will not be covered if you travel outside the area you have chosen, as shown on your Policy Schedule.

United Kingdom – England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man.

Europe 1 – including: United Kingdom and Austria, Azores, Belgium, Bulgaria, Channel Islands, Corsica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark (and the Faroe Islands), Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Russia (west of the Ural mountains), San Marino, Sicily, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Sweden.

Europe 2 – including Europe 1 shown above and the remaining countries west of the Ural mountains and Andorra, Balearics, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Greece, Morocco, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia and Turkey.

Australia & New Zealand – including: Europe 2 shown above and Australia, including Territory of Cocos (Keeling Islands, The Territory of Christmas Island, Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island) and New Zealand, including the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau (including up to 48 hours stopover in a country within a Worldwide area).

Worldwide – including Egypt and Israel but excluding Canada, Caribbean, China, Hong Kong, USA, Afghanistan, Liberia and Sudan.

Worldwide – including Canada, Caribbean, China, Hong Kong and USA but excluding Afghanistan, Liberia and Sudan.

Full details of countries covered are shown under ‘Geographical Areas’ in the Definition of Words’ on page 5 in the Insurance Policy.

Do you cover one-way trips?

No, Free Spirit only covers round trips that start in and return to the United Kingdom or the Isle of Man. However, please contact us on 02392 419 080 as we may be able to offer an alternative policy.

Can I extend my policy if I decide to stay longer?

Subject to Underwriters agreement, we can extend a Single Trip policy providing you let us know BEFORE your policy expires and that at the time of requesting the extension you are not intending to make a claim.

Please note – this is subject to the total trip duration including the extended period not exceeding 94 days (45 days if aged 76 years or over), which is the maximum trip duration of the Single Trip policy. You will be advised of the additional premium at the time of the request.

Please contact us on 02392 419 080 to discuss your requirements.

Annual Multi-trip Insurance FAQs

What start date should I choose?

Cancellation cover begins on the date you choose to start your policy. If you already have a trip booked and you want to be covered immediately, you should select today’s date. You can choose to start your policy later (up to 31 days from today’s date) but there would not be any cancellation cover between now and the start date you choose.

Is there an age limit on Annual Multi-trip policies?

There is no upper age limit.

How many times can I travel and how long can each trip be?

You can travel as often as you like within the 12 month period. There is a limit of 31 days (Super) and 45 days (Super Duper) for any one trip.

Does an Annual Multi-trip policy cover me for travel in the UK?

Yes, your cover applies not only in your chosen geographical area, but also in the UK for trips of 2 or more nights.

In fact, some features on our policy are included with domestic travel in mind. For example, up to £10,000 cover is available for indirect medical costs if you are injured or fall ill while away.

Read more about the cover you can benefit from on our travel insurance UK page.

What are the Geographical Areas on an Annual Multi-trip policy?

You will not be covered if you travel outside the area you have chosen, as shown on your Policy Schedule.

Europe – Austria, the Azores, Belgium, Bulgaria, Channel Islands, Corsica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark (and the Faroe Islands), Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Russia (west of the Ural mountains), San Marino, Sicily, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Andorra, Balearics, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Greece, Morocco, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey and United Kingdom.

Worldwide – excluding Canada, Caribbean, China, Hong Kong, USA, Afghanistan, Liberia and Sudan but including Australia, New Zealand, Egypt & Israel.

Worldwide – including Canada, Caribbean, China, Hong Kong and USA but excluding Afghanistan, Liberia and Sudan.

Full details of countries covered are shown under ‘Geographical Areas’ in the ‘Definition of Words’ on page 6 in the Insurance Policy.

Can I extend my policy if I am abroad and want to stay over the maximum trip limit?

We are not able to extend the Annual Multi-trip policy. The maximum duration for any one trip is 31 days (Super) and 45 days (Super Duper).

If you exceed the maximum trip duration, any claims during your holiday will not be covered.

Will I receive a renewal?

If you have Annual Multi-trip cover, we will contact you prior to the expiry of the period of insurance as shown on your Policy Schedule. We will give you at least 21 days written notice before the expiry date.

On receipt of the reminder, we will ask you to complete a new application as we need to make sure that your details are based on your health at the time of taking out a new policy for the next 12 months.

Under an Annual Multi-trip policy, can children travel independently of an insured adult?

No. Adults may travel independently but children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an insured adult.

24-hour Medical Emergency Service

Do you have a 24 hour medical emergency service?

Yes, the Free Spirit policy has a 24-hour medical emergency and repatriation service provided by:

Free Spirit – 24 hour Medical Emergency Assistance
+44 (0)203 829 6745

Further details of this service are shown in your Insurance Policy.

Staff are on call 24 hours a day throughout the year. They will, when necessary, guarantee medical bills, arrange repatriation and, if required, provide a medical escort.

In the event of a medical emergency whilst abroad, do I have to pay my medical bills myself?

If you are asked to pay a small bill for medicines and/or outpatient treatment it is often easier to settle your bill direct, keep all receipts and claim for the costs incurred on your return home.

If you are admitted as an inpatient, or you require outpatient treatment which is likely to exceed £500, then you must contact the 24 hour Medical Emergency Assistance prior to receiving treatment.

Making a Claim

I’m on holiday and my camera has been stolen, what do I do?

If an item you took on holiday, personal money or your travel documents get lost or stolen you must notify the police as soon as possible and obtain a written report and reference number from them. You also need to report the loss/theft to your tour operator’s representative or hotel/accommodation manager and (if possible) get a written report.

You should wait until you return home to make a claim. Full details on how to make a claim and what supporting documentation you need are in your Insurance Policy.

How do I make a claim?

Full details of what you need to do to make a claim are also shown in your Insurance Policy.

How quickly will you settle my claim?

We aim to provide a first class claims service and undertake to respond within 5 working days of receipt of correspondence.

Buying Online

Is your website secure?

Yes. The security of your personal information and payment details is of utmost importance to us. We use 128-bit encrypted SSL to help keep all of your data safe.

How can I pay for my policy?

You can pay by debit or credit card. We accept Mastercard and Visa.

How will I receive my travel insurance policy documents?

Once you have purchased your policy, you will receive an email from Free Spirit with instructions on how to access your policy documents.

Please note – if you have not received your email after a few hours, please check your spam email.

What can I do if I cannot access my policy documents?

Please ensure you have set up an account. If you have not already done this, you can create an account by clicking this link. You will need to provide your first name and last name, date of birth and email in order to activate your account.

Please note, please ensure you use the same details to create your account that you used when obtaining a quote and purchasing your policy online.

Do I need to take my policy documents with me on holiday?

Yes, you should print a copy of your Schedule of Insurance and Insurance Policy and carry them with you during your trip.

The Insurance Policy includes important telephone numbers including the 24-hour medical emergency service that is available for assistance, making arrangements for hospital admission, repatriation and authorisation of medical expenses as well as full details of the cover provided and what to do in the event of a claim.

Can I get my money back if I want to cancel?

If you are not completely satisfied with the cover provided and have not already travelled and are not making or intend to make a claim, you may cancel your policy within 14 days of purchase and we will refund your full premium.

Other Common Questions

What can I do with my policy if I am no longer travelling and have received a refund for my holiday?

At the moment, for any policyholders requesting refunds for single trips outside the 14 day cooling-off period Insurers require us to keep to the Terms and Conditions of the policy which limits the refund to 50% of the original premium.

However, we wish to help our customers as much as possible, especially during such a testing time. If your travel plans have been cancelled we are happy to freeze your policy until the time comes that you are able to re-book your travel arrangements; at which time we can re-commence your policy. Please note that if the destination, duration or your current medical situation changes, this may affect the premium.

For Annual multi-trip policies, we can also provide a proportionate refund of 5% for each full remaining month left on cover. Refunds are provided on the understanding that there have been no claims made or intending to be made.

If you wish to discuss this with us, please give us a call on 02392 419 080.

Can I extend my cover if I am currently on a trip?

Unfortunately, if you are on a trip and want to extend your cover we will be unable to do so. The policy will expire at the originally agreed date. The only exception to this is if you need to extend your policy following a change in travel plans as a result of the airline reduction and border closures.

In which case, you may extend the policy if:

  • It hasn’t expired
  • No claims have been made or are to be submitted
  • There has been no change in medical conditions, up to 7 days.

However, only a maximum of 7 days will be granted and no further extension will be given. If you have a valid insurance claim the usual criteria applies, with regards to your insurance extended as part of the assistance case or travel delay after checking in baggage.

Transfer of trips

On a single trip policy, if you have had your trip dates moved and you are not making a claim, then you may transfer the insurance to the new trip dates. You can do so by completing our online form.

If however there is a change of destination or additional duration then you will be charged the appropriate AP. If your health has changed you may need to rescreen or reconsider cover. Additionally, your new trip cannot be within 90 days from 20th March 2020.

Who are Free Spirit?

We are one of the UK’s largest specialist travel insurance providers for people of any age with medical conditions and disabilities.

Free Spirit was the first insurance of its type specifically created for people being refused cover elsewhere simply due to their health, disability or age.

Free Spirit is a trading name of travel insurance specialists P J Hayman & Company Limited. For further details click here.

How does the situation with Brexit affect Free Spirit?

Please refer to the recent update from our underwriters, Travel Insurance Facilities.

Will you cover my cruise?

Free Spirit covers all types of cruises on both Single Trip and Annual Multi-trip policies, including Caribbean cruises, Mediterranean cruises and short break cruises.

If you are visiting multiple countries on your cruise, please make sure you select the correct geographical area when getting a quote.

Visit our Cruise page for more information.

What do I do if my passport is lost or stolen abroad?

You must report any loss or thefts of passports to the local police as soon as possible. You will need the crime reference details which they will provide you with. You also need to report the loss or theft to the British embassy, consulate or high commission of the country you are in. They will be able to provide you with an emergency travel document. You can get details of your local British embassy, high commission or consulate by calling +44 (0)20 7008 1500 or by visiting the GOV.UK website. Please contact the British embassy, high commission or consulate before arranging travel to see them as you may need to book an appointment first.

Do I need vaccinations before I travel?

You should check the GOV.UK website at least six weeks before you travel to see if you will need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You may also like to speak to your G.P.

Please note that we will not cover any expenses incurred as a result of a tropical disease where you have not had the recommended inoculations and/or taken the recommended medication.

How do I retrieve my quote?

When you saved your quote, you will have been sent an email with your saved quote details and a link to retrieve your quote. Click on the link within this email and you will be taken to your saved quote.

If you have any problems retrieving your quote, please call us on 02392 419 080 and we should be able to retrieve your quote for you.

Who are the Insurers?
The insurance is underwritten by URV, Branch Office of Union Reiseversicherung AG for the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Registered in England & Wales. Company No. FC024381 Branch No. Br006943. A public body corporate with limited liability.

Registered Office: Maximilianstrasse 53, D-80530 Munich, Germany. Registered with Amtsgericht Munich, Germany Registered Number: HRB 137918.

Union Reiseversicherung AG are authorised in Germany by BaFin and subject to limited regulation in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority and in the Republic of Ireland by the Insurance Regulator.

Union Reiseversicherung AG are members of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Administered in the United Kingdom and Ireland by Travel Insurance Facilities plc. Registered Office: 1 Tower View, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4UY. Registered in England Registered Number: 3220410.
Travel Insurance Facilities plc are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Details of the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available on request.

You can check this information on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA website or by phoning either of the following phone numbers: 0800 111 6768 / 0300 500 8082.

Are there countries that are not covered?

Free Spirit will cover all countries and areas except for Afghanistan, Liberia and Sudan and those countries which the Travel Advice Unit of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office or the World Health Organisation (WHO) or similar body has advised against all or all but essential travel.

Can I take out a policy for my child aged under 18 years of age?

Children aged under 18 must be insured with an accompanying adult on the same policy.

Do all travellers, including those without existing medical conditions, need to be insured on the same Free Spirit policy?

We suggest that all travellers are insured on the same Free Spirit travel insurance policy. Free Spirit also covers people without existing medical conditions which means you can insure your travelling companions on the same policy. As well as reduced premiums for those without medical conditions, you will ensure there are no gaps in cover that could arise if separate policies are purchased. For example, if you had to cancel your holiday due to your medical condition, your travelling companions on the same policy would also be covered for cancellation which may not be the case if they had taken out a policy elsewhere.

Can we exclude certain sections of cover for premium discounts?

No, you can not delete cover.

Can I delete the standard policy excess?

Yes, if you have paid the additional premium for ‘Excess Waiver’, the excess would be reduced to Nil in the event of a claim. Note: any excess imposed by us following your call to the Medical Screening Line will still apply.

How do I know what I’m covered for?

Please read the Insurance Policy for details of the cover. If you have any questions regarding the cover, please contact us on 02392 419 080.

Do you cover Winter Sports activities?

Free Spirit includes cover for a range of Winter Sports activities on payment of an additional premium. You must ensure that your usual treating G.P. is happy for you to participate in any winter sports activity. You must also follow the safety guidelines for the activity concerned and where applicable use the appropriate and recommended safety equipment. Please read the Insurance Policy for details of the activities covered.

Am I covered for sport and leisure activities?

Free Spirit automatically covers a wide range of activities. You must ensure that your usual treating G.P. is happy for you to participate in any sport or leisure activity. You must also follow the safety guidelines for the activity concerned and where applicable use the appropriate and recommended safety equipment. Please read the Insurance Policy for details of the ‘Acceptable Activities’ covered as standard.

Do I need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

An EHIC entitles you to reduced-cost, sometimes free, medical treatment that becomes necessary while you are in a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland. The EEA consists of the European Union (EU) countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The card gives access to state-provided medical treatment only. Remember, this might not cover all the things you would expect to get free of charge from the NHS in the UK. You may have to make a contribution to the cost of your care.

You may apply for an EHIC online or by calling 0300 330 1350.

Please note: An EHIC is no substitute for travel insurance cover. If you are admitted to a private hospital, the EHIC will not cover your treatment costs, nor will it cover any repatriation costs to get you back home.

Can you resend my policy to me?

Please contact us with your policy number (if known), the lead name and the address (for verification) and we will then resend the policy.

Do I need to register for the Medicare scheme if I’m travelling to Australia?

If you are travelling to Australia you can enrol in Medicare which will entitle you to subsidised hospital treatments and medicines. You can do this by contacting a local Medicare office in Australia. All claims for refunds under the Medicare scheme must be made before you leave Australia. Visit the Medicare website or email them directly

I use a wheelchair/mobility aid, is it covered?

Yes, wheelchairs/mobility aids are covered for loss or damage up to £1,000 (Super) or £2,000 (Super Duper).

Will I be covered if my airline goes out of business?

If you have to cancel your holiday/trip due to the financial failure of the airline providing your scheduled flight. Super Duper cover provides up to £2,500 for irrecoverable costs under Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance. Please note there is no cover for Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance under Super cover.

Last updated: 21st May 2019
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