Travel insurance at affordable premiums

Travel insurance and pre-existing conditions

Any insurance is based on an insurer’s assessment of the risks involved. This is just the case with travel insurance and especially as it relates to individuals who may already have suffered from or continue to be suffering from a pre-existing medical condition.

The simple fact is that, if you have already had some medical problem or illness, an insurer is likely to consider that the risks are therefore greater of your suffering a similar problem during the course of your travels.


It might seem a fairly straight forward question when an insurer asks if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, yet the issue may prove rather more complex, might have you asking just what is a pre-existing condition and eventually determine whether or not you are covered for the medical emergencies you might encounter whilst travelling.

It is no accident that the Financial Ombudsman Service – which investigates consumers’ complaints about insurance in general – describes questions involving pre-existing medical conditions as “one of the most difficult problems” commonly raised by travel insurance.


One of the reasons for this being a troublesome subject is because different insurers may have different definitions for pre-existing medical conditions. Some of those most commonly defined by insurers are:

  • cancer;
  • diabetes;
  • heart conditions – usually including high blood pressure;
  • breathing conditions – such as asthma, for example;
  • problems with your bones or joints; and
  • gastrointestinal problems and illnesses.

If you suffer from any of these, including any others that might be identified by an insurer, you are likely to find that any incident involving such a condition is excluded from the travel insurance you are offered.

Quite naturally, any such exclusion is likely to be the source of considerable worry and unease if you are wanting to travel.

The solution

The solution lies in specially designed insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions. This may be available from specialist insurers, such as ourselves at Bengo Travel, who are likely to go out of their way to establish just what kind of pre-existing medical conditions you may have and to tailor your travel insurance accordingly.


Here are just a few tips about arranging travel insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition:

  • arrange your specialist insurance as soon as you have made and paid for your travel – if you fall ill before you are expecting to travel, your insurance is likely to cover cancellation costs, advises the Money Saving Expert;
  • if you are travelling in a group, remember that the insurer is likely to focus on the member of the group with the pre-existing medical condition and raise the premium for the whole party accordingly – it is likely to be cheaper for the group as a whole, therefore, if you arrange separate cover for yourself;
  • if you have a pre-existing medical condition, you may find that annual multi-trip travel insurance is more expensive than normal, so you may be better off arranging single trip cover only.

In the normal course of events, therefore, all is not lost if you have a pre-existing medical condition and still want to travel. Remember, however, to disclose any condition about which you are asked from the outset – failure to do so may invalidate your travel insurance cover.

Finally, check out our Guide to travelling with existing health conditions.