Where can I get travel cover for pre-existing medical conditions?

Sally Jaques
22 January 2019


I have been trying to find travel insurance for an 11-month stay in Italy while I take a career break. However, every company I have contacted for ‘backpacker’ travel insurance will not cover me because of my pre-existing medical conditions.

I have also looked at single trip cover, but many of the big insurance companies will not provide cover for more than 120 days. While some newer, less well-known companies do provide annual cover with my pre-existing medical conditions, the costs range from £750 to £2,000.

Do you have any ideas or recommendations on how much travel insurance should cost for longer periods of time?



As with any kind of insurance, some travel insurers will be more competitive than others for certain risks, so it is very important to compare quotes from plenty of providers.

Arranging travel insurance when you have a pre-existing medical condition (PEMC) can be more difficult, but there is a surprising number of insurers that offer it. Each application will be individually underwritten based on the condition or conditions declared, so premiums offered will vary. For example, The Idol, GoCompare’s provider, works with an organisation called Verisk Risk Ratings. It provides medical screening questions for customers who declare conditions during the online travel insurance application on GoCompare’s website. It currently has 40 providers on its panel, all of which quote for customers with PEMCs.

More than 99% of all quotes going through this process will get at least one result. The remaining less than 1% of customers who do not receive an online quote are signposted to two companies, Free Spirit and Fit2Travel, which specialise in higher-rated conditions, so even then customers may still be able to find the cover they need.

 Because you are looking for cover over a longer duration than standard and have multiple conditions to consider, I would recommend contacting Free Spirit or Fit2Travel to discuss your requirements in greater detail.

Sally Jaques from GoCompare Travel Insurance

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