Travel insurance for muscular dystrophy
Muscular dystrophy (MD) is the collective name for a group of conditions that affects the muscles, causing them to become progressively weaker over time. There are many different types of muscular dystrophy. Each has varying symptoms, but all are caused by changes in the genes that look after the way the muscles work.
In many cases, muscular dystrophy is hereditary. There are roughly 70,000 people in the UK that have muscular dystrophy or a related condition. There is currently no cure, though the symptoms can be minimised through mobility exercises, surgery and medication.
What are the different types of muscular dystrophy?
Some of the more common types of muscular dystrophy are:
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy – with approximately 2,500 cases in the UK, this is one of the most common types of MD. Duchenne muscular dystrophy tends to affect boys more than girls, to be less acute in girls and to develop early in life. It progresses quickly, meaning that children and young adults with the condition struggle to walk, run and climb stairs and eventually have trouble breathing.
- Myotonic dystrophy – this type of MD can develop at any age, but in general, the later it appears, the less severe symptoms may be.
- Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy – this is a slow-progressing form of MD, and often affects the muscles in the face, shoulders, arms and legs.
- Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy – this causes weakness in the arms and legs, around the ‘girdle’ of the shoulders and hips. In most cases, it develops during late childhood or early adulthood.
- Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy – This tends to affect people over the age of 50 and affects the muscles in the eyes and throat.
Why it’s important to have cover for muscular dystrophy
If you have muscular dystrophy, or you have a child, friend or family member who does, you may have found it difficult to find travel insurance from a standard provider that covers the condition. At Free Spirit, as long as your doctor is happy for you to go, we believe everyone should be able to travel. We specialise in offering travel insurance for almost any existing medical condition to people of all ages, including muscular dystrophy.
With the correct cover in place, you can head off on your holiday safe in the knowledge that, in the event of an emergency, or you need treatment while you are away, you will receive the care you need, and your MD travel insurance will cover the cost. It’s never worth taking the gamble of travelling uninsured; overseas medical care can be extremely expensive.
Muscular dystrophy travel insurance includes cover for any mobility aids and medication you need to take with you. It also covers costs relating to delayed or disrupted flights, and for your important travel documents. Your policy will start from the moment it’s confirmed, which means that if you or your family member were to become too unwell to travel, you won’t lose out on all the money you’ve already spent on flights and/or accommodation*. Look at the full list of benefits included with all of our specialist travel insurance policies, and our two levels of cover: Super and Super Duper.
How can I get travel insurance for muscular dystrophy?
It couldn’t be easier to get a no-obligation quote for muscular dystrophy travel insurance from us. You can call and speak to one of our friendly, UK-based travel insurance specialists from Monday to Friday on 0800 170 7704 – lines are open from 8am – 6pm, everyday other than Bank Holidays. Or, you can apply for muscular dystrophy travel insurance online, using our simple online application system.
We will need to ask you some questions about how muscular dystrophy affects you or your family members. That way we can offer the most suitable level of cover. In most cases, these questions will include:
- How long has it been since the diagnosis of muscular dystrophy was made?
- Do you currently use any mobility aids, such as a walking stick or frame, or a wheelchair?
- Do you require assistance with eating, dressing or washing?
- Has this condition led to any difficulties with breathing?
- Has this condition caused any difficulties with swallowing?
Tips for travelling with muscular dystrophy
If you or someone in your family has muscular dystrophy, the most important thing to do when thinking about a trip is to speak to your doctor first. It’s important that they are satisfied that your travel plans are suitable for you and won’t adversely affect your, or your family member’s, health. For example, if you plan to travel by air and muscular dystrophy affects your breathing, your doctor may need you to complete a ‘fit to fly’ test.
Your doctor will also be able to prescribe more than enough medication to cover your time away from home, as well as a doctor’s letter explaining what your medicine is, and giving you permission to carry it with you, if need be.
When it comes to choosing a destination and a type of holiday, as long as your doctor is happy, it really depends on how muscular dystrophy affects you or your family member personally. For example, destinations at high altitude may not be a good idea if you have trouble breathing. If you use a wheelchair, make sure your hotel or accommodation provider is wheelchair-friendly, with lifts to any upper floors, accessible parking and no steep hills or terrain to tackle.
Look for rooms with raised toilet seats and roll-in showers – these are much safer and more comfortable than a shower that just has grab bars. Some hotels may even offer the hiring of wheelchairs or other mobility aids, to save you having to take your own. Think about taking a cushion with you for when you sit in a café or restaurant too; sitting in a slightly raised position can make it much easier to stand up again.
If you will be flying, speak to your airline ahead of time to make sure you can take any wheelchairs and/or ventilators with you on the plane. There may well be help you can access at the airport too, such as getting to and from your departure gate and help with luggage, call ahead to organise this if necessary. For more information, muscular dystrophy UK have put together a guidebook about flying with a neuromuscular weakness like MD, click here to download it.
While many standard travel insurance companies decline to cover pre-existing conditions such as muscular dystrophy, a specialist provider like Free Spirit is dedicated to offering medical travel cover. Our travel insurance can cover people of any age with medical conditions*.
In many parts of the world, it often does not take much to run up large medical costs, should the unexpected happen. Therefore, Free Spirit travel insurance specifically designed to cover muscular dystrophy is essential. You need to be certain that you will be able to access the healthcare you might need wherever your travels take you, and that you will not be left with the bill. Our policy also provides, as standard, cover for cancellation, repatriation, cutting short your trip, personal possessions, passport & documents, travel delay and missed connections.
Contact us today to find out more about our travel insurance for muscular dystrophy. You can apply for a no-obligation quote online or, if you’d rather speak to someone, call our friendly team of UK-based travel insurance specialists on 0800 170 7704 (Monday – Friday, 8am – 6pm, except Bank Holidays).
*subject to terms, conditions and limits of the insurance policy.