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. 

Wouter Van Rijn From the Travel team
minute read

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.

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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?

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)** is free via the NHS and provides you with 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.

**UK residents can use an EHIC card during the Brexit negotiations and until the UK leaves the EU. The UK Government has proposed a similar scheme to the EHIC in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. However, this is subject to EU countries agreeing to that proposal.

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.

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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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