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It can be difficult to obtain travel, life and health insurance when suffering from diseases such as vasculitis. Often pre-existing conditions are excluded and, if covered, the additional supplements can be high. However, the cost of medical treatment, when travelling abroad can cost the patient requiring medical treatment, many thousands of pounds.
EHIC - European Health Insurance Card - Your EHIC lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you're not going abroad to give birth.
For full details and apply for an EHIC see: NHS Choices - EHIC
Companies specialising in travel insurance for pre-existing conditions
There are a number of companies specialising in travel insurance for patients with pre-existing medical conditions. The following companies have been used by Vasculitis UK members and we have received good reports on their services and conditions. Patients are advised to shop around for the best deals.
Vasculitis UK is always pleased to hear the personal experiences of members using other companies. Also, if you use the services of any of the companies mentioned below we would be pleased to hear of your experience with them and whether you would recommend the service provided.
Please note: Vasculitis UK are not recommending any of the following and do not have any links with these travel insurance providers. These details are given in good faith and for information only.
payingtoomuch.com (in conjunction with the Daily Telegraph) offer a comparison of insurance offerings. The site also includes useful editorial on EHIC and other issues
Staysure: Cover for pre-existing medical conditions up to age 85. www.staysure.co.uk/travel-insurance Phone 0843 249 7656.
Freedom Insurance Services Ltd offer a high level of service for those with pre-existing medical conditions. Contact: Freedom Travel Insurance, Richmond House, 16-20 Regent Street, Cambridge, CB2 1DS. www.freedominsure.co.uk/ Call 01223 454 290
Goodtogo Insurance have been recommended for offering a high level of cover for pre existing conditions at a reasonable price. www.goodtogoinsurance.com/ Phone 0844 334 0160
Also recommended by a member for their coverage of pre-existing conditions is insureandgo.com
JustTravelcover: Chris Newton and his staff offer “a service where member’s interests are paramount” whether this is cover for pre-existing medical conditions or for clients over 65. Please mention Vasculitis UK when requesting details from JustTravelcover: www.justtravelcover.com/ Phone 0800 294 2969
Medici Travel Insurance: Cover for pre-existing medical conditions. Recommended by two Vasculitis UK members. www.medicitravel.com/ Phone 0845 8800168.
The Post Office offers different levels of travel insurance. Like most insurers they have specific rules regarding pre-existing medical conditions which relate to the proposer and to any other member of the party to be travelling. Full details and application forms are available from the Post Office.
Virgin Insurance: Cover for pre-existing medical conditions and for over 65's.www.virginmoney.com/virgin/travel-insurance/ Phone: 0844 888 3900
Towergate Insurance are brokers who can help get quotes for pre-existing conditions
Many bank accounts offer special packages and often these include free holiday travel. Where pre-existing medical conditions exist many of these packages will carry a supplement payable to the actual company offering the insurance on behalf of the bank.
As with insurance providers, it is essential that the information given is absolutely correct. There have been instances where insurers have refused to pay because the illness or problem has not been fully disclosed. Where pre-existing conditions have been reported to the insurer it is best to request a written acknowledgement.
Companies offering health insurance, such as BUPA, each have their own rules regarding acceptance of persons with pre-existing medical conditions. Each company will differ and the proposer should contact the company with which they are seeking cover.
Mortgage protection/Loan protection/Occupational pension plans
As with all types of insurance, any pre-existing or previous illnesses will have to be declared. This may result in additional premiums being requested or claims involving these illnesses being excluded from the cover. Where long term insurance/protection is required the company may limit the cover available. Discussion with the representative of the company concerned is advised.
Genetic Alliance UK "Asking the relevant questions, Insurance Project Report, 2010" Genetic Alliance UK has undertaken some work on insurance and details can be found at: Genetic Alliance UK