With all this talk of Brexit, booking a holiday is tempting. But while travel insurance is often the last thing on your mind when booking a holiday, it's probably the one essential for every holiday destination, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition. And even more so with the uncertainty around Brexit. So how do you buy the right cover at the right cost? And how do you avoid a holiday dream becoming a holiday nightmare?
AllClear Travel Insurance, a specialist in travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions, has put together its six top tips on how to buy smart:
Don't rely on EHIC – The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) should not be considered an alternative to travel insurance because it only provides access to the state healthcare available in any given country (this may be a considerably lower standard than what you are used to with the NHS), and it does not cover repatriation. Repatriation, especially when a doctor or nurse is required as an escort, can easily cost thousands of pounds, even when travelling in Europe.
Research before you go– the cost and what you are covered for will vary considerably by destination. For example, the high cost of medical treatment in the US (which can be as much as $10,000 per night in hospital) will mean higher premiums. Closer to home, the cost of private medical treatment in Spain is greater than anywhere else in Europe, so don't be caught out and do your research.
Compare prices– Various specialist sites are available to help you compare prices, including the AllClear Travel comparison site which compares up to 56 prices to meet a wide range of budget and cover options, with every policy specifically designed to cover travellers with medical conditions, their travelling companions, families and carers.
Declare all medical conditions– It's essential your insurer understands your medical situation in order to provide comprehensive cover. Failing to declare all conditions may cost you more in the long run if you need to make a claim and it is rejected or only partially paid. If in doubt, spell it out!
Consider what you need cover for– You can save money on your premium by opting for a larger excess, or restricting activities you might not need, such as winter sports. If it's a last-minute holiday then cancellation cover may not be appropriate, so excluding this could also lower your premium.
Be wary of packaged bank account travel insurance– Cover within 'bundled' packages may not cover pre-existing medical conditions, and therefore if a related claim arises you would not be covered. These packages can be a false economy, so it's vital to check the details of your policy, and ensure you are happy with the level of cover provided.
Cover your travelling companions– If you are travelling with friends who have their own travel insurance policy, it is highly unlikely that they would be covered for cancellation if they also chose to cancel their trip when you did because of your medical condition. It's worth looking into add-ons such as AllClear's 'Travelling Companion cover', which will cover their cancellation costs without a specialist policy.
Chris Rolland, AllClear CEO, says finding travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions can be daunting, "We work with numerous heart, cancer, stroke, kidney and disability charities and understand there is considerable confusion about what to do when mainstream insurers will not provide cover, or people feel they have been priced out the market.
"We know that no one is uninsurable, and passionately believe everyone has the right to travel. It is our duty as an industry to provide travellers with pre-existing medical conditions with advice and the necessary support."
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