Martin Lewis travel insurance pre-existing medical conditions

Planning a dream vacation only to find out your pre-existing health condition excludes you from affordable travel insurance? You’re not alone. Many travelers with common conditions like cancer, diabetes, or asthma struggle to find comprehensive cover at a reasonable price.

Luckily, money saving expert Martin Lewis has provided invaluable tips over the years to help travelers get protected. His financial advice site offers an independent guide with key insights on finding deals even with pre-existing conditions.

This article will break down Lewis’ top recommendations for securing specialist policies that won’t break the bank.

What Counts as a Pre-Existing Condition?

Before diving into Lewis’ advice, it helps to understand what conditions fall under “pre-existing” when applying for travel insurance. According to most providers, this includes:

  • Any past or current medical condition that has been diagnosed, treated, or investigated in the last 5 years
  • Any symptoms or illness that existed before the policy start date
  • Any condition that requires monitoring or review
  • Ongoing or recurring conditions
  • Issues that need medical equipment like CPAP machines

Make sure to disclose all conditions when getting quotes. Failing to mention something could invalidate a claim.

Read More helpful guides on Financial Avenue

Shop Smarter With Martin Lewis’ Tips

Finding comprehensive cover starts with understanding what insurers classify under pre-existing conditions. Next, Lewis advises travelers to shop smarter by following these key tips:

Compare Quotes From Specialist Providers

Rather than waste time with standard comparison sites, go directly to specialist medical travel insurance providers like:

These insurers cater specifically to pre-existing conditions at affordable rates.

“Those with pre-existing medical conditions are not cash cows to be milked for excess profit.” – Martin Lewis

Be Upfront From the Start

Always disclose health history accurately no matter what. Trying to hide anything almost always backfires. As Lewis explains:

“Give details of all conditions & medications. If not, you risk claims being turned down.”

Insurers would much rather know upfront than discover something later.

Pick the Right Level of Cover

Consider if a single-trip or annual policy makes more sense based on upcoming vacation plans. Then determine if bronze, silver or gold tier protection is best. Higher tiers enable:

  • Coverage for more stable pre-existing conditions
  • Higher cancellation and curtailment limits
  • Lower excesses

But this extra coverage comes at a price. Find the sweet spot between sufficient protection and affordable premiums.

Martin Lewis Take On Travel Insurance

Holiday Tips – Get Travel Insurance as Soon as You Book | This Morning

Real-World Case Studies From Martin Lewis Readers

The MoneySavingExpert community forums provide great real-world examples of how travelers with conditions found deals using Lewis’ advice:

Beating Breast Cancer: Janice’s Story

After beating stage 2 breast cancer, Janice was struggling to find reasonably priced cover for her dream Caribbean cruise. She almost gave up until discovering specialist provider Insurance With.

They not only covered her cancer history, but did so for just £65 for a 17-day cruise policy. Janice says:

“I am so grateful to Martin Lewis for guiding me to an insurer that finally said yes!”

Budget-Friendly Protection: Mike’s Tale

As an insulin-dependent diabetic, Mike assumed he’d have to pay exorbitant premiums for sufficient travel insurance. After checking out Lewis’ tips, he shopped around and secured specialised cover for just £57 for a 3-week trip.

He admits:

“I expected to pay £300 or more for my condition. Martin Lewis’ advice saved me hundreds!”

Why Go It Alone? Consider a Broker

Rather than waste hours searching yourself, consider enlisting an experienced insurance broker specialising in pre-existing conditions. They have dedicated expertise, industry connections and access to policies you won’t find elsewhere.

One highly rated brokerage focusing on medical history is Insurancewith. The award-winning team has over 25 years combined experience catering to tricky conditions. They take pride helping securing protection once deemed impossible.

Handling Emergency Care Abroad

What if an emergency strikes while abroad requiring hospitalisation? How can travelers handle massive bills with pre-existing exclusions? Lewis suggests considering these options:

  • The GHIC Card – UK residents can apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) from the NHS for free emergency care across Europe. But coverage is limited, so additional insurance is still advised.
  • State-Run EU Hospitals – Travelling within the EU? State-run hospitals won’t charge upfront fees. But there still may be charges for treatment, tests or medicines.
  • Travel Insurance – Get quotes from specialist insurers who may offer emergency medical cover even with exclusions for pre-existing conditions. But limits may be lower.
  • Medical Repatriation – Insurers can at least arrange emergency transport back home for hospital treatment if needed due to an unexpected illness or serious injury.

While scary, understanding all options before travel can give peace of mind if care becomes necessary.

How to claim on travel insurance

Making a claim on your travel insurance starts with understanding your policy coverage. Carefully review which incidents and losses are covered before your trip. Keep all receipts and documentation related to any issues that arise.

As soon as a problem occurs, contact your provider’s claims department to open a case. You will need to submit a formal claim letter with supporting paperwork that demonstrates how the incident aligns with your policy’s protections.

It can help significantly to call in advance and ask exactly what materials the company requires for claims related to your particular situation. Be thorough and patient in providing everything requested.

How to complain about travel insurance

If your claim is denied, first appeal the decision through the company’s standard appeals process. Highlight relevant policy details that show the incident should be covered.

If that fails, escalate your complaint to the financial ombudsman service for an external review. Be sure to gather all correspondence with the insurer to demonstrate how your consumer rights may have been violated by the denial.

Make your complaint firmly but politely, focusing on the facts of your case. Having an advocate familiar with the appeals process can also help successfully dispute an unfair denial.

What to do if you can’t find travel insurance

For pre-existing medical conditions that make travel insurance difficult to find, try specialist brokers like Insurancewith or AllClear.

Their expertise with higher-risk applicants can prove invaluable. Those turned down can also appeal to their state’s high-risk insurance pool or seek group coverage if part of an organization that offers it.

In some cases, buying a separate policy just for medical coverage or emergency transport home may offer a last resort option.

For those truly unable to find any coverage, the key is to accept the financial risks and ensure accessible funds in case self-paying for medical care becomes necessary abroad.

Don’t Lose Hope in Finding Cover

Martin Lewis emphasises that affordable protection IS possible for pre-existing conditions if travelers know where to look and what questions to ask. While exclusions are common, having some coverage is better than none at all.

By turning to specialist providers, being upfront on applications, considering emergency care options and working with an experienced broker, most can secure suitable cover.

While extra effort is required, Lewis’ advice helps travelers gain financial peace of mind without breaking the bank. His MoneySavingExpert team offers a wealth of tips so policy hunts end successfully.

So take hope – and happy travels!

Frequently Asked Question

Here are the answers to some common FAQs:

Does travel insurance cover you for pre-existing conditions?

Yes, many comprehensive travel insurance plans do cover pre-existing medical conditions, through a waiver that you may qualify for if you purchase coverage shortly after making your initial trip payment, such as within 14-21 days.

Are pre-existing medical conditions covered?

Pre-existing medical conditions may be covered under travel insurance if you qualify for and purchase a “pre-existing medical condition exclusion waiver”. This extends coverage to pre-existing conditions but tends to cost more.

What counts as a pre-existing medical condition?

A pre-existing medical condition refers to any injury, illness or condition that required treatment, medication, or medical consultations in the 60 to 180 days prior to purchasing the policy. Even undiagnosed symptoms count.

What is pre condition in travel insurance?

A pre-existing condition in travel insurance refers to any medical issue for which symptoms were present or medical care was received in the months prior to buying the policy. This includes newly diagnosed conditions, recurring issues, or medical problems that require ongoing monitoring and treatment.

Leave a Comment