Travel insurance tips

How to find travel insurance, and a contacts list of insurance companies and brokers

An issue for anyone affected by a brain tumour is to find a travel insurer who accepts medical conditions. Pre-existing medical conditions are one of the most important exclusions in all travel policies unless they have been disclosed when you take out the policy and have been approved by your insurer. Some companies won’t cover pre-existing illnesses, and others increase premiums or excesses.

Don’t buy it with your holiday
Shop around for travel insurance. Be warned: Some companies are unwilling to cover medical conditions. Be wary of those quoting high premiums. Be patient and look elsewhere. There can be a marked difference in charges between companies.

Take a look at Which? Holiday magazine (pub: The Consumers Association), available in your local library or by subscription on line. Which? surveys the travel insurance market in March each year and regularly throughout the year.

Save time by asking your local insurance broker, Age UK Travel Insurance, or RIAS (Retirement Insurance Advisory Service – for over 50s} to find you the best value holiday cover. You don’t have to be over 50 or retired to use their services and they are very friendly.

Tell them about recent or planned treatment, and any other pre-existing medical conditions, otherwise these won’t be covered if you make a claim.

Be prepared for questions
You may be asked for the dates of your last or next hospital visit, what it was for, and about any proposed or ongoing treatment. For instance, if you are booked for surgery within a short time, you will pay more than if the condition has been inactive for a long time and no other treatment is proposed. You may be required to provide a letter from your GP or your consultant confirming your fitness to travel. This is particularly relevant for people with a newly-diagnosed brain tumours or who have had recent treatment.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) when travelling in Europe
Travelling in Europe? Make sure you take a EHIC. This card entitles you to free or reduced medical treatment within countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Insurers may waive excesses for medical treatment if you use your EHIC to get treatment. Keep it safe! It is now a permanent insurance card so there is no need to renew it annually.

The EHIC is available, free, to all residents of the UK. You can apply for it either online (, by phone (0845 606 2030), or by picking up an application form from the Post Office. You need to apply three weeks before travel. An EHIC is not a substitute for full travel insurance, and should not be considered as a cheap alternative. It provides cover in an emergency, and is only valid in EEA countries. For complete coverage you should always take out your own travel insurance policy as well.

Some useful insurance companies
Travel Insurance Medical on 0844 692 8449

Freedom Travel Insurance specialises in travel insurance for people living with pre-existing medical conditions including cancer. Contact them on 01223 454290 for a quote and they will donate a percentage of their fee to the International Myeloma Foundation (UK Branch).

Holiday Services on 01773 747426

Insure & Go on 0870 901 3674

Post Office on 0800 169 9999

Primary Direct on 0870 220 0634

RIAS on 0800 068 1655

The Insurance Surgery: “An Independent Financial Advisory service that has, since 1999, specialised in finding travel and other insurance for clients who have pre-existing medical conditions. On-line travel insurance quotes can be obtained 24/7 by using their Travel Insurance Wizard.”

Medici Travel Insurance: Cover for people with pre-existing medical conditions
“We provide cover for many pre-existing medical conditions and have made it easy for you to get a quick and comprehensive quote; you can get an easy instant online quote using our online medical screening process or alternatively you can call us on 0845 880 0168 and speak to one of our advisors who’ll be happy to help with your quotation.”

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