When you already have a health problem before buying travel insurance, travel insurance providers call this a pre-existing condition.
Providers typically consider pre-existing conditions to be:
- any serious condition such as cancer, heart trouble or respiratory problems
- any conditions you have seen a doctor about in the last year, including minor ones
- any condition you are waiting for test results for
- any condition you are waiting for an operation on.
You should tell travel insurance providers about any of these that apply to you and ask for their guidance. If you don’t tell them about any health problems, whether related to cancer or not, they may later refuse any claim you make.
Depending on the travel insurance provider and your situation, they may charge you more if you have a pre-existing condition.
Sometimes, they may not offer to insure you at all. Providers will differ about whether they can insure you and how much it will cost. They will use the information you’ve given them to make these decisions. You may find it particularly difficult to get insured if you are currently having cancer treatment, or if you are terminally ill.
When deciding whether to cover you and how much to charge, insurance providers will try to predict:
- how likely you are to cancel your holiday due to illness
- the potential cost of treatment you might have abroad, especially in the USA where treatment is more expensive.
You may want to apply through an insurance broker if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. Brokers can take your details and then search insurance providers on your behalf.
Even if you had cancer a long time ago, it is important to let the insurance provider know, although this may not necessarily affect the price you pay.
It’s important to speak with your doctor to make sure you are medically fit to travel. Some travel insurance providers may not offer cover even if your doctor has said you’re medically fit to travel.