Travel insurance after a stroke

Over 100,000 people a year in the UK suffer a stroke – an affliction that can make finding travel insurance a challenge. We’ll compare a range of providers to help you find the cover you need.

Over 100,000 people a year in the UK suffer a stroke – an affliction that can make finding travel insurance a challenge. We’ll compare a range of providers to help you find the cover you need.

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
4
minute read
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Posted 18 JANUARY 2021

Can I get travel insurance if I’ve had a stroke?

The short answer is yes. When you run a travel insurance quote with us, you’ll be asked to provide details of any pre-existing medical conditions, including whether you’ve ever suffered a stroke.

If you’ve had a stroke, you might be quoted a higher premium than would otherwise be the case. Depending on the severity of your condition, you might only be able to find cover with a travel insurance provider that specialises in pre-existing medical conditions.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 

From 17 May 2021, a travel traffic light system has been introduced and trips to green listed countries will be legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant local authority, which can be found here.

If a country is on the green 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 advises against all but essential travel to most amber and 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.

What do insurance providers need to know?

You’ll have to let your provider know how many strokes you’ve had and how long ago they were. You’ll also be expected to say whether you’re awaiting any surgeries or scans relating to your condition and if you’ve had any transient ischaemic attacks (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke.

If you take any medication to thin the blood, you’ll have to declare how much you take and how often.

Will an insurance provider approve my application?

Once you’ve disclosed your medical history, a travel insurance provider may decide to cover your pre-existing conditions at a higher premium or with a higher excess, or offer cover with very specific restrictions.

A provider may refuse to cover your pre-existing conditions but provide cover for any new issues that arise while you’re away. When you compare with us, we’ll return quotes on insurance providers that are willing to provide cover on the basis of the information you give in your quote.

How can a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) help?

If you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)** you can get free or discounted treatment in state hospitals in European Union countries and in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. It will also cover you for any treatment for pre-existing conditions, not just ones that have occurred when you were abroad.

However, it doesn’t carry the same range of benefits as travel insurance and it won’t cover you for treatment at a private hospital.

**After Brexit, and the UK officially left the EU with a deal in place, things have changed. You won’t be able to apply for an EHIC anymore, but, if you have one already, issued before the end of 2020, then it’ll still be valid until the expiry date.

However, the UK government has introduced a replacement called the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). If you don’t have an EHIC, or once yours expires, you can apply for a GHIC here, and it should arrive within 10 days. The GHIC will offer the same cover as the EHIC did in EU countries.

What should I consider before travelling if I’ve had a stroke?

Check with your doctor that you’re fit to fly before you book your holiday. You may be asked to avoid flying for the first few weeks after a stroke to avoid any further complications.

If you need to travel with medication, make sure you pack it in your hand luggage and take enough with you. Carry a letter from your GP stating the medication that you need. It’s always a good idea to get to the airport early to avoid any delays caused by issues around carrying your medication.

Check with your airline when you book, or a few days in advance of flying, to confirm any requirements relating to the equipment you’re taking. Most airlines will allow you to carry two mobility items for free. However, if you have a wheelchair, it will need to be checked in.

Keep your travel insurance provider’s details with you in case you need to contact them while you’re away.

Does it matter where I travel to?

When travelling after a stroke, it’s important to consider where you’re going to. If it involves taking a long-haul flight, this can slow the blood flow around the body, making it more likely to clot. Ask your doctor for advice about how to avoid a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Those who have had a stroke or over 60 are at a higher risk of developing DVT.

It’s worth finding out about medical facilities at your destination in case you need care while you’re away.

Compare travel insurance

We compare policies from some of the market’s leading travel insurance providers. Once you tell us about any pre-existing conditions, where you’ll be going and how long for, we’ll be able to show you what policies are available.

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