Having a disability should be no bar to enjoying a trip abroad with the knowledge you have proper travel insurance should anything go wrong.
But if you do have a disability or medical condition there are a few things to be aware of when shopping for travel cover.
Firstly, not all travel insurance policies are created equally. Some will have more generous contract wording, especially around the medical part of the policy, and it is worth checking this or getting a broker to check it for you.
For example, some insurance policies would cover the loss of expensive medication or medical aids such as wheelchairs, but others might not.
Other policies might cap payouts for medical expenses, or not cover the cost of being airlifted back to Britain in an emergency. This can be expensive. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) said it has seen a case in Spain where a traveller had to pay £15,000 after they broke their hip and were flown home for care.
You should be completely honest about your disabilities and conditions when filling out travel insurance medical declaration forms.
If you have a disability or poor health then this form-filling process can seem especially painful, and insurers may ask you extra questions.
It may be tempting to leave information out to secure a lower premium, but doing so could mean insurers refuse to pay claims or cap payouts.
As we get older, our health can decline. Those aged 65 and over should be aware that the cost of their travel insurance could rise, as insurers see them as more likely to make a claim.
Some insurers will not insure you at all after the age of 65. Once you reach your 80th birthday travel insurers can restrict their cover again.
If you have a serious medical condition, such as cancer or heart disease, you may find your insurer charges you extra or you can struggle to find travel insurance that covers what you want.
In these cases, it is worth contacting an insurance broker or a specialist travel insurer.
These firms will apply a special screening process, take the time to properly understand your situation and provide tailored insurance.
Graeme Trudgill, of the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) trade body, said: “For people that have a disability or a medical condition or any vulnerability that might increase risk, it would be useful to discuss their needs with a specialist broker or insurance provider to make sure that they are covered while travelling.
“Underwriters, perhaps using medical screening, will be interested in understanding the stability of a particular conditions and whether there has been any deterioration or change recently.”
If you require medication for your health, you should be aware that some countries have a very hardline stance.
Countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Thailand will not allow you to bring in certain prescription medications.
Dubai has even imprisoned holidaymakers for this, so research your destination if you are in any doubt. The FCO website has a list of what is and is not allowed.
You should also ensure you take enough medication to cover any delays returning home, as drugs available here may not be on sale elsewhere.
If you are going on a cruise, getting the right travel insurance is especially important.
Some cruises will require you to have full travel insurance as a condition of the trip.
It is worth considering specialist travel insurance designed for cruises. Many of these deals are very accommodating when it comes to pre-existing medical conditions.
You should also take your in-date European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you on trips to countries in the European Economic Area.
This card will give access to medical treatment at the same price that locals would pay.
If in doubt, speak to a specialist.
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