The Perils of Travelling with a Medical Condition

Taking a holiday abroad should be an enjoyable experience, and most of the time, that’s exactly what it is, but if you have a pre-existing medical condition, there is always that worry in the back of your mind. Of course, you will have holiday insurance with your tour operator, which would cover many things, but not any costs incurred because of an existing medical condition. If the worst should happen, and you are taken ill and need urgent medical attention, the costs could be astronomical, and if you should require emergency medical transportation back to the UK, this could run into thousands of pounds.

As we age, we are all susceptible to disease, and if you have a history of a medical condition, you should inform your insurance broker, as failure to do so, could result in having no cover. Many people have taken a foreign holiday, unaware that any treatment necessary for a pre-existing medical condition will not be covered, and have ended up with a hefty bill.

Modern options

Years ago, obtaining the right holiday insurance that covers a pre-existing medical condition was not an easy task. Visits to the doctor for certification, then to the travel insurance office, and then a 3 – 4 day wait while the insurer considers your application. Today there are online brokers who specialise in all aspects of medical holiday insurance, and by answering a few simple questions, you can quickly receive several quotes, and be able to compare. They focus on you as an individual, and when they are aware of your circumstances, can tailor the perfect policy to cover you and your travel companions. Some brokers will actually send you a list of free quotations from several main insurers, based on the information you have provided, and if you decide to go ahead, simply pay online, and the policy is mailed to you, direct from the insurer, which couldn’t be easier.

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The over 65’s

Once we have retired, we deserve to enjoy our remaining years, and foreign holidays usually come high on the list of things to do. Obtaining insurance can be more difficult, so it is advisable to contact a holiday insurance broker, who will have access to many insurers, so can tailor a policy to suit your needs. Pre-existing medical conditions should always be declared, even if nothing has happened for a few years. If you answer the questions honestly, you can be sure that in the event, something happens, you will be covered. The insurance broker bases his quote on the information given, and with a few simple questions, they can provide a competitive price for the ideal policy.

It isn’t unusual for couples in their early eighties to travel around the world, and at that age, the right medical insurance is vital. A reputable broker would be able to source an insurer who would cover you, whatever your age, and without this essential cover, a person would be constantly worried that something might happen, and would not get the most out of the holiday experience.

Take sufficient medication

If you are travelling abroad with a medical condition that requires medication, make sure you take more than you need, just as a precaution. Don’t pack the entire supply in one location, rather split it into two and put them in separate bags, so if one of your bags were to get lost, you still have a supply of meds.

Copy all medical data

It always helps to have as much information about your medical history as possible. Perhaps a letter from your GP would prove helpful, in the event you required treatment for an existing condition. Often it is a problem when a foreign tourist is admitted to hospital, as the staff have no knowledge of the person’s medical history, and by carrying important information on your person, it will be of great help to the doctors that treat you.

Take prescriptions

In the event you lose your medication, and will need replacements, your prescription will be invaluable, so include them in your documentation bag, just in case.

Check for vaccination requirements

This should be one of the first things you do when planning a holiday abroad, as some vaccines need to be administered one month prior to travel. Given the right information, your local GP would be able to tell you if any vaccinations are needed. Older people have to be more careful about vaccinations, so follow the advice of your doctor. For those who would like more details about travelling with an existing medical condition, this site has a lot of relevant information.

Group cover

If you have an existing medical condition, and are travelling in a group, should you require hospital treatment, this is likely to affect your travelling companions in one way or another. By taking out a policy that covers the whole group, if someone needs to stay with you and fly home separately, this would be covered, as would a curtailment or cancellation due to your illness.

Don’t take chances

Some people consider the holiday insurance that comes with the package to be adequate, yet so many things can go wrong, and if you have no insurance cover, it could easily turn into a nightmare. If a person were to be suddenly taken seriously ill in a foreign country, emergency air transport might be required, and this could run to tens of thousands of pounds. It is wise to remember that not all the activities you take part in will be covered by your tour operator, and if a person fell from a horse they were riding along the beach, the tour operator isn’t liable, unless they were providing the horse ride as part of the package. Any third party vendor that supplies a service will not be covered by the holiday insurance that comes with the package, which is why it is better to take out a comprehensive policy that covers the existing medical condition, as well as any accidental injury, or unrelated illness.

An online broker can quickly provide you with a tailored policy, along with several quotes from established insurers, and you can holiday, knowing you are covered for any eventuality.