Money Advice Service

You may need extra travel cover if you’re over 65 or if you have a pre-existing medical condition. Find out how to get the cover you need at the right price.

Travel insurance if you have a medical condition

What is a ‘pre-existing medical condition’?

This term covers a lot – from allergies to broken bones.

Different insurance companies have different definitions, but your insurer is likely to consider any of the following as a pre-existing medical condition:

  • Any condition you are waiting for an operation on
  • Any condition that you’re currently awaiting test results for
  • Any condition, even a minor one, that you’ve seen a doctor about in the last year
  • Any serious condition – cancer, heart trouble, respiratory problems – you have ever had

They will also want to know if you’re currently taking any medication.

You might also be asked whether any of your relatives or close business colleagues have medical conditions – even if they are not travelling.

(If they do and you have to cancel your trip because of their condition, you will probably not be covered.)

You’ll need to declare all pre-existing medical conditions when buying travel insurance.

If you’re not sure whether to declare, don’t assume it’s covered, always ask your insurance company.

Otherwise you risk having your claim rejected.

Some policies will not cover your medical condition.

Others will give you cover but charge extra for it.

Where to get travel insurance if you have a medical condition

What to watch out for when buying travel insurance covering your medical condition

If you’re buying online, most insurers will ask you to call a number or fill out a form giving your medical history.

Always call if you are unsure about anything.

  • Check whether any medical equipment you’re taking with you is covered.
  • Make sure you get a 24-hour helpline to call in case of a medical emergency abroad.

Travel insurance for over 65s

Over 65?

Which? research shows the importance of shopping around if you’re over 65, as some policies can be more than double the price of similar cover.

By spending a little extra time on research, you can usually find a policy that offers generous cover at a good price, even if you’re over 65 and have a pre-existing medical condition.

How to get the best deal on travel insurance for over 65s

  • Depending on how often you travel you might want to consider a multi-trip ‘annual’ travel policy as these policies could work out cheaper in the long run.
  • If you’re taking a cruise, a cruise policy might work out cheaper than a single trip policy – and can have higher age limits than standard insurance.
  • If you’re having trouble finding a policy you might get cover if you have a premium bank account that offers free travel insurance. Check the age limit and that it covers pre-existing medical conditions. Just make sure the annual charges on the bank account don’t add up to more than the cost of a travel insurance policy.
  • Do some thorough research online – don’t just head to comparison sites as many travel insurers don’t use them and you might not be able to get quotes if you have existing medical conditions.

Where to get travel insurance if you’re over 65

If you’re still having trouble finding a policy, an insurance broker might be able to help:

See Which? best buy tables for travel insurance for over 65s:

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.