Mental health travel insurance
Although they are largely invisible, mental health conditions can be incredibly debilitating and are extremely widespread. A mental health condition can affect anyone in any walk of life, including adults and children.
The mental health charity Mind has reported that roughly one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. That’s a vast number of people who may feel that they cannot travel abroad due to their mental health, when in fact a trip away can provide much-needed rest and relaxation.
Having a mental illness can make travel seem daunting or even completely out of the question, but as the Family Holiday Association have noted, taking a holiday can have several mental health benefits, including reducing stress and lowering levels of proteins linked to depression. As long as your doctor is happy for you to travel, there’s no reason why living with a mental health condition should stop you from exploring another part of the world.
Our market-leading specialist travel insurance for mental health covers many different types of existing medical conditions and disabilities. As one of the UK’s largest specialist travel insurance providers, we are specifically dedicated to people with a past medical history of mental illness and mental health issues. Where you may have found it difficult to find cover for your mental health condition before, we are proud to offer a different approach, creating a tailored travel insurance policy based on your unique mental health needs.
Mental health cover from Free Spirit gives you the protection you need when you travel abroad because your mental health condition will be fully covered*. Our travel insurance for mental health includes cover for cancellation, emergency medical expenses, repatriation where medically necessary, and much more. Click here for further details.
What mental health conditions do you cover?
Here at Free Spirit, we specialise in travel insurance for mental health conditions, including:
If you feel that you may have a mental health issue that’s as yet undiagnosed, the first thing to know is that there is help available. Speak to your GP as they will be able to guide you in the right direction.
Why do I need travel insurance for a mental health condition?
Taking out specialist travel insurance for a mental health condition may not spring to mind as immediately as it would do for a primarily physical condition, such as cancer or diabetes. Yet, travelling with mental health issues can be just as unpredictable, and a mental illness can have just as much impact on your travel plans as any pre-existing medical condition.
The symptoms of many mental health conditions tend to be irregular and can be made worse by external factors that may be hard to control. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to stop a mental health condition worsening during the run up to a holiday, which is why it’s crucial to arrange cover as soon as you’ve made a travel booking. This way, should you be unable to travel and have to cancel, you won’t lose the money you’ve already spent on your trip, such as on flights and/or accommodation.
A high number of standard travel insurance providers may refuse to offer this kind of cover if you have a mental health condition, or will decline to offer cover for your declared condition.
Thankfully, medical travel insurance for mental health conditions is different. We are able to provide full cancellation cover* and pay for your emergency medical expenses should you need it*; protecting you from potentially high medical costs that can be incurred, as well as a wealth of other non-medical cover benefits.
Arranging travel insurance with mental health cover
We want taking out travel insurance for a mental health condition to be as straightforward as possible, so we’ve made the process quick and simple.
To get a quote for mental health cover any time of the day or night, you can apply on our website by entering your trip requirements and answering a few questions about your mental health condition(s).
Alternatively, you can call us and speak to a friendly member of staff in our UK-based call centre on 0800 170 7704. Our office hours are 8am to 6pm Monday – Friday (closed Bank Holidays).
What questions will we ask you?
In most cases, whether online or over the phone, we’ll ask the following questions about your mental health condition, although these may vary depending on your condition:
- Have you had a compulsory hospital admission for treatment of your mental health condition in the last 10 years?
- Have you been admitted to hospital for this condition in the last two years, and if so, how many times?
- Has your doctor prescribed you any medication for this condition?
- Have you taken medication for this condition at any time during the last two years?
- Have you ever cancelled a planned trip due to this condition?
On some occasions, particularly if you choose an annual multi-trip policy, we may not be able to provide a quotation online, so we will ask you to call us to see if we can provide cover.
What’s included with Free Spirit mental health travel insurance?
The most important aspect of mental health insurance is that it can provide the right overseas emergency care for your mental health condition if you need it, and that the costs are covered*. But that’s not all specialist mental health cover should include. Our travel insurance for mental health is a complete package, offering many other essential travel protections including cancellation, curtailment, loss of personal possessions, loss of passport and loss of medication.
We can also provide cover for your travelling companions on your policy, whether they have an existing medical condition or not. The main advantage is that, if you had to cancel your holiday due to your mental health condition, your travelling companions on the same policy would also be covered, which may not be the case if they had taken out a policy elsewhere.
Free Spirit policies also include cover for aftercare at home following hospitalization abroad, personal accident, personal liability, loss of documents, missed or delayed departure and legal expenses.
Key benefits of Free Spirit mental health holiday insurance:
- Most mental health conditions and disabilities covered
- No upper age limit on Single trip and Annual Multi-trip
- Choice of two cover options – Super and Super Duper
- Single trips up to 94 days (45 days if aged 76 years or over)
- Annual Multi-trip provides cover for unlimited number of trips – up to 31 days per trip (Super) and 45 days (Super Duper)
- Online medical screening
- Journey disruption / Airspace closure cover (included with Super Duper cover only)
- Loss or damage to medical aids and prescribed medications
- 24-hour medical emergency helpline open 24-hours a day, 365 days a year
Travelling with a mental health condition
Time away can really help to ease the symptoms of a mental health issue, but it’s really important to take a few preparations in order to get the most from your holiday.
Talk to your doctor before you book anything, just to make sure they feel your travel plans are suitable and so that they can offer any health advice or extra medication to cover your holiday if need be.
Certain medications are restricted in some countries, so depending on where you’re planning to go, your doctor may need to provide you with a note that will enable you to carry your medication, or to offer an alternative.
Although it’s proven to be greatly beneficial for mental illness, travelling can still be stressful, particularly getting from place to place. Take some time to plan your journeys in order to mitigate this, and prepare yourself for the fact that things outside of your control can affect your plans. You might also feel reassured with a good knowledge of your destination, so make time to research if you feel it will help.
Keep your friends and family at home in the loop throughout your trip, perhaps with pre-arranged times to call, especially if you will be travelling alone. It can also help to maintain a sense of routine while you’re away. Also remember to stay hydrated and away from excess alcohol particularly if you take medication. .
There’s more advice about travelling with a mental health condition on the Fit to Travel website.
Mental health travel insurance FAQs
1. Do I need to declare my mental illness when applying for travel insurance?
Yes. By telling us about your mental health condition(s), you will enable us to create a personalised travel insurance policy for your specific mental health needs. Not making us aware could mean that if you need to make a claim related to your mental health, you may not be covered.
2. Can a travel insurance policy cover more than one medical condition?
Absolutely, provided you tell us about them. We aim to offer medical travel insurance for almost any existing medical condition or disability, and we can tailor a policy to suit you and your unique health requirements.
3. What happens if my state of health changes after getting my travel insurance?
You must let us know as soon as possible if there are any changes to your health after you have taken out your policy, such as a worsening of your condition or any new medication you may have been prescribed. If we don’t know about the change in your state of health, we may not be able to cover you if you need to make a claim. We should be able to make the changes to your policy, although there may be an additional premium to pay.
Last updated: 23rd March 2018.