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.

Written by
Kate Hughes
Last Updated
27 JUNE 2022
5 min read
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Can I get travel insurance if I’ve had a stroke?

Yes. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But it could cost you.

When you compare travel insurance 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 have, there’s no getting away from the fact that you may be quoted a higher premium than you otherwise would be. Depending on the severity of your condition, you might need to buy cover from a travel insurance provider that specialises in pre-existing medical conditions.

Customers with pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, your travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. Whatever happens, don’t lie to an insurance provider, because this could mean any claim you make is rejected. When you declare any medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show you quotes from insurance providers who will cover them, with no exclusions.

If your condition is more serious, MoneyHelper has a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone. You can call them on 0800 138 7777.

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 mini-strokes.

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. You could find they won’t cover your pre-existing conditions but will insure against any new issues that arise while you’re away.

When you compare travel insurance with us, we’ll show you insurance providers that are willing to cover you on the basis of the information you give.

Do I need travel insurance if I have a GHIC card?

The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which replaced the EHIC after Brexit, still offers state-provided healthcare in EU countries. But it certainly doesn’t carry the same range of benefits as travel insurance, and it won’t cover you for treatment at a private hospital or repatriation back to the UK if medically necessary.

And, confusingly, even though it’s called a ‘global’ health insurance card, the GHIC can’t be used outside of Europe.

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

First of all, check with your doctor that you’re fit to travel 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, for example, or advised to stay home immediately after a change in any medication.

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 or other travel provider 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. And take an electronic or paper copy of any correspondence from the airline or holiday provider confirming arrangements for your equipment or personal mobility needs, just in case you come up against a ‘computer says no’ incident and you need proof.

Top tip

Suffering a stroke shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a holiday. If a stroke means you have restricted mobility, don’t worry. A growing number of specialist travel agencies offer specific packages ranging from tailored accommodation, care and equipment, to organised activities and excursions.

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 for how long, we’ll show you which policies are available.

Frequently asked questions

Does it matter where I travel to?

Yes. If you’re taking a long-haul flight, the blood flow around your body can slow down, making it more likely to clot. Ask your doctor for advice on how to avoid a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Those who’ve had a stroke or are over 60 have 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.

Do I have to tell my insurance provider, even if I suffered a mild stroke?

Yes, your insurance provider needs to know about any illness or condition that could affect your cover and premium, including anything that’s currently under investigation.

It’s always best to be honest and fully disclose any medical condition, no matter how mild. If you don’t, your policy will probably be void if you try to make a claim that’s connected to your condition.

Do I need travel insurance if I’m holidaying in the UK?

If you decide to take a staycation closer to home, any medical treatment you may need will be covered by the NHS. However, travel insurance can still be useful if you want cover for cancellation, and baggage loss or damage.

Will travel insurance be more expensive after a stroke?

Travel insurance might cost you more after suffering a stroke, as there’s a higher risk that you may need to make a claim while you’re away. That said, there are ways to cut the cost of your premium:

  • Pay a higher excess – this could result in a cheaper premium, as you’ll be paying more in the event of a claim.
  • Buy annual travel insurance – if you’re a regular traveller, a multi-trip policy could work out cheaper than separate cover every time you travel over a 12-month period.
  • Shop around and compare – we can show you a range of quotes from travel insurance providers who cover medical conditions, saving you time and money. Once you find cover that suits you, organise your insurance as soon as you book your holiday. That way you’re covered in case of cancellation.

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