A simples guide

Travel insurance for heart conditions

For most tourists travel insurance is a pretty simple deal – you find the policy that ticks your boxes for the right cover and price, then go for it. However that’s not always the case when you’re seeking travel insurance if you have a heart condition.

Whether you’re jetting off for a week of sun-kissed R&R or hopping over to Europe for a stylish city break, you’ll want a policy that takes care of your ticker should you get into trouble. After all, with the human heart being a particularly complex piece of kit, overseas medical costs can really add up if you don’t have the right insurance in place.


Can I get travel insurance with a heart condition?

Providing your doctor has given you the all clear to travel, then there’s absolutely no reason why you should miss out on your holiday – or not be entitled to adequate travel insurance.

When it comes to choosing that travel insurance, pre-existing heart conditions are usually best taken care of by an insurer that offers cover for pre-existing conditions. They can cover a who’s who of heart conditions, ranging from angina and cardiomyopathy, to cardiac arrhythmia and most things in-between. Whilst standard travel insurance may provide some support, travel insurance specifically for people with heart conditions is possibly best suited to deal with any worst-case scenarios that may arise. In addition to that they provide all the usual bells and whistles that regular policies provide – from lost bags to cancellations for example.


red heart
Travel bags at airport

Why do so many travel insurance companies exclude heart conditions?

The irony is that a holiday can be just what the doctor ordered when your health hasn’t been in tiptop form. Many non-specialist travel insurance providers, however, are reluctant to cover anyone with pre-existing medical conditions (anything that’s been diagnosed prior to seeking insurance), for the simple fact they’re deemed a greater risk of a making a claim.

Providers always ask that you specify any health conditions before taking out a travel policy, so if you do make a claim relating to a pre-existing health condition you didn’t mention, you won’t be able to claim and your policy may be invalid.



How can I safely travel with a heart condition?

Once you’ve got your heart condition travel insurance in the bag, it’s worth taking a few personal precautions during your travels to help keep you safe too.

- See the doctor: They’ll know whether you’re safe to fly and be away from home, and can do any necessary tests to put your mind at ease.

- Scope out the nearest hospital prior to booking: While a hospital doesn’t need to dictate exactly where you stay, it’s never a good idea to stay too far out of the loop just in case.

- Pack medication: While this may seem like a no brainer, it’s easily forgotten during that last minute money-tickets-passport packing scramble. Always bring extra medication and spread it between your suitcase and hand luggage, so you have plenty to tide you over in case one is lost.

- Pacemakers: For any type of pacemaker, you’ll need to notify the airport’s security staff so it doesn’t set off the metal detectors. Scanners with magnets should also be avoided, as they can sometimes interfere with a pacemaker’s technology. This should be fine, so long as you bring your documentation.

- DVT: Some heart conditions put you in the firing line for deep vein thrombosis. A pair of fetching compression stockings will usually help reduce the risk of blood clots, as will leg exercises once you’re in the air. Doctors are also able to prescribe blood-thinning drugs, so make sure you ask during your GP visit.

- Be kind to yourself: The downside to holidays is that you usually have to endure a gauntlet of stress before you get there. Try to keep calm, fed and watered, and don’t put unnecessary pressure on your heart by lugging heavy luggage or rushing for flight gates. Always seek assistance instead.

- Keep your travel insurance paperwork safe: It’s important, particularly in the rare event of an emergency. Pack two copies separately should you lose one.

- Relax: That’s why holidays were invented for after all!

Compare deals on travel insurance for heart conditions

At comparethemarket.com we know a thing or five when it comes to comparing things like holiday cover. We’ve sourced deals on travel insurance for people with heart conditions from many of the leading providers, and made them all simple to compare. Whatever your needs and budget, use our comparison service to help find your ideal policy in a heartbeat.

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