Travel insurance for heart conditions

Just because you’ve got a heart condition doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy peace of mind on holiday. Get the lowdown on finding the travel insurance that’s right for you in our guide.

Just because you’ve got a heart condition doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy peace of mind on holiday. Get the lowdown on finding the travel insurance that’s right for you in our guide.

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
3
minute read
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Posted 23 OCTOBER 2019

Can I get travel insurance with a heart condition?

Yes! Providing your doctor has cleared you for travel, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get insurance. The best place to start is with an insurance provider who insures people with pre-existing conditions.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 

A travel traffic light system has been introduced for international travel. From 19 July 2021, trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. However, you’ll still need to fulfil any pre-departure requirements, such as testing. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant local authority.

If a country is on the green or amber list, you still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. This is to ensure you’re aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and to check travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed at short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice for the latest information.

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red listed countries. Should you choose to travel against the FCDO rules, you will not be covered by any travel insurance policy you purchase. Some providers do offer cover for international travel if you’re travelling for essential purposes, however most do not. In all cases, should you have any queries please check the policy wording or contact your chosen provider before purchasing to ensure the cover meets your needs.

Travel within England, Scotland and Wales is permitted under the current guidelines. However, public health rules and lockdown restrictions continue to vary, including entry restrictions for Northern Ireland. Check the latest guidance from the official tourism boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Find out more here

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

Our panel includes insurance providers who quote cover for all medical conditions declared on our website, with no exclusions.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) has launched a directory of insurance providers on its Money Advice Service website that may be able to provide quotes over the phone, if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers’ Association on 0370 950 1790.

Isn’t standard travel insurance good enough?

Many non-specialist travel insurance providers are reluctant to give cover to anyone with pre-existing medical conditions – that is, anything that’s been diagnosed before you apply for insurance, such as having had a heart attack. It’s because people with pre-existing conditions are considered more likely to make a claim.

Providers always ask that you specify any health conditions before taking out a travel policy. 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.

The NHS also recommends declaring all past and present health conditions to make sure you get the specific travel insurance for your needs.

What can travel insurance for someone with a heart condition cover?

Providers that offer insurance for pre-existing conditions can cover heart conditions from angina and cardiomyopathy to cardiac arrhythmia and most things in between. And they also provide the same bells and whistles as regular policies – coverage for lost bags and cancellations for example.

How can I travel safely with a heart condition?

The NHS suggests prepping at least four to six weeks before you travel to sort out your destination, your travel insurance and any pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). To keep you safe, it’s also worth taking a few other precautions:

  • See your doctor – get advice from your doctor to make sure you’re getting the right coverage for your condition, and to make sure you’re OK to travel.
  • Check for local healthcare – scope out the nearest hospital before you book your trip. While a hospital doesn’t need to dictate exactly where you stay, it’s a good idea to stay close to a doctor, just in case.
  • Pack your medication – 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.
  • Bring any pacemaker documents – if you have a 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.
  • Avoid deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – some heart conditions put you at a greater risk of getting DVT while flying. You can get compression socks for your flight, which should reduce the risk of blood clots, as well as doing gentle leg exercises while you’re in the air. If you’re worried about your risk of DVT, speak to your GP before your trip, as they may be able to prescribe blood-thinning drugs.
  • Keep travel insurance paperwork handy – it’s important you know where your travel insurance documents are, particularly if there’s an emergency. Pack two copies separately in case you lose one.
  • Try to relax – to get to the holiday, you have to get through the travel first. Rest when necessary, stay hydrated, and where possible, get assistance to and from gates and planes.

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