Friday, 8 November 2013

Some useful tips for travelling with a chronic illness: travel insurance

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Travel insurance

First rule always take out travel insurance. The chances are that nothing will happen that will make you need to claim on it but you know what they say it's better to be safe than sorry. As chronic illness sufferers too we are in a more likely category that something could go wrong. For example you may be too sick to travel and need to cancel. On a basic level a good policy will also cover you for any loss of luggage or cash. Or in the event of a delay cover the cost of food or extra accommodation. It's always good to have that reassurance. So here is my tips relating to travel insurance:

* Look around for a good deal on your travel insurance. If you have access to the internet then use an insurance comparison site. Here is one that compares policies for pre-existing conditions

* Make sure that you choose a comprehensive policy that covers a range of things and has a larger medical allowances quote. These may not be the cheapest but ultimately will offer you more benefits should something happen. If you can find a policy with low excesses too then all the better.

* Note that some companies require you to telephone for a quote if you are aged over 65

* As you have a chronic condition it is advised that you take out the policy over the phone, to the medical screening helpline of your chosen company. Although some will let you do so over the internet, some from the link above for example. If  you already have a travel insurance policy, either through your bank account or a yearly subscription you will need to inform them of your condition via the phone for most companies. Because you are declaring a condition they will run you through a series of questions with yes or no answers to determine whether you can till be covered by their policy. If you want to download  copy of the possible questions, these are from the post office insurance, visit the link here
The main causes that would mean that you wouldn't be covered or would need to pay extra for your travel insurance are related to heart conditions, cancer and terminal illnesses. Or whether you are travelling against medical advise.

* Check the wording of the policy that you take out or ask the advisor on the helpline to read it out for you. Ideally you want a policy with a good amount of medical expenses and to ensure that should you not be able fly (or whatever transport you used) home that you are covered for someone to stay with you. Meaning they can claim back any additional accommodation costs or flight change costs. Some policies will also cover the cost of someone coming over to be with you in the event of an accident or illness. I think that this is important to have on your policy if you have a chronic illness, because of our obvious need for the additional support.

* It is always best to inform your insurance company of any existing medical conditions as it's always best to err on the side of caution, even if you are not likely to need to go into hospital. Let's face it hospital is the last place you want to be with ME and it's not as if they can do anything about it. However should you need to make a claim it is very easy for insurance companies to turn down that claim if they find out about a pre-existing condition. Doctors records for example or hospital appointments. I have heard of people being turned down as they have had an outpatients appointment. So it's best to be safe and most of the time it's at no extra cost.

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