Forum

Travel Insurance first time after diagnosis

Seasons Greetings...

 

An early forties, male, in generally good physical and health condition, I was taken poorly over the summer with a neurological condition which by late summer was diagnosed as Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. After two months sick leave I'm now back at work full time and taking Rebif.

 

My wife and I are planning to visit friends and family in Spain for a few days in the early New Year and are curious about our travel insurance options. Flights are booked with a budget carrier and everything else is arranged with friends and family – so minor cost implications.

 

Usually we take a basic annual travel policy to Europe for the two of us, mostly to prevent repatriation costs being passed on to surviving family. Now I've been introduced to MS I'm unsure what my travel insurance options are. Any advice or suggestions?

 

Thank you,

 

Peter Brookes

My experience is that the banks tend to be easiest to get cover for MS as a pre existing condition. In our case we have annual travel insurance with our bank account 'free'. MS is declared but we choose not to pay the excess to have it covered which means they can decline to pay out for anything related to MS including related issues which would include say wheelchairs.

I am not recommending you do the same since clearly you would be travelling partially uninsured but if you do not declare MS on a policy they could refused to pay out for anything i.e. just invalidate the policy if you have any claim.

The MS Society sells insurance so presumably you can buy an appropriate policy from them. The strange thing is in my experience it is difficult to get an appropriate policy from travel agents

Hi Peter,

I use a specialist insurer called All Clear, that insures all kinds of pre-existing conditions.

The danger of buying a policy on the high street is that unless they are explicit (in writing) that events connected with your MS will be covered, it may be the case that they simply sell you insurance, but minus anything to do with MS.  Telling them about a condition, and them still selling you insurance, does NOT automatically mean you are covered.  You might be covered for everything but that.

I don't have shares in All Clear, or anything to do with them, other than as a customer.  But I have found them quite reasonable for travel to Europe (never tried for long haul).  I'm not sure it was any more expensive than insuring without MS - if so, it can only have been marginally.

They ask you some quite simple questions, such as whether you have had any "attacks" (relapses) in the past 12 months, and whether your ability to care for yourself has deteriorated markedly in that time.  Answering "Yes" to one or both may increase the premium, although I don't think telling them I'd had a relapse affected mine at all, as it still worked out the same as if I didn't have MS.

I'm guessing that if you have problems caring for yourself, it begins to push the premiums up, but it still doesn't mean you can't be covered.

Tina

 

Hi I have used 'insureandgo' lately, which I did online. It was quick, simple and not expensive, they cover MS.

Lynne xx

 

Don’t forget get a EHIC card http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/Introduction.aspx

 

This is NOT insurance; does not cover for repatriation costs etc.  Good old PO I’ve found best and cheapest; they will cover pre-existing conditions http://www.postoffice.co.uk/

 

George

I travelled abroad last year and took out an extra insurance policy to cover anything to do with my MS.  Epilepsy and diabetes were covered in the insureance my other half has with his HSBC bank account, but MS wasn't.  As I have awful balance and am very good at losing my blance I though that it was likely that I wouldn't  be able to prove any injury wasn't due to my MS!  

So, I took out another insurance policy that covered my MS.  I got it through a link from the MS Trust website.  There was no problem, though I don't know how it compared on cost to other policys with the same coverage.  

Thank you all for the helpful advice.  I went with insure and go who we've used previously.  I've just taken single trip cover this time and will revisit the subject of insurance depending upon how the three day visit goes.

In the past we've taken out cover together as a couple.  Are there any advantages or disadvantages from continuing to do so - I'm the only one who has a medical condition to declare.

 

Best wishes,

 

Peter Brookes

Hi again Peter,

Sorry if I sound like a sales rep for All Clear (I'm not, I promise), but as far as I can recall, you do not have to be ill to insure with them, although they specialise in that.  So they will still insure a mixed group (or couple), some of whom are ill, and some not.

I assume the same would be true of other insurers.

Easier administratively to do everyone's insurance at the same time, and probably slightly cheaper too.

When I first had recourse to specialist travel cover for pre-existing conditions, it was when my dad was ill.  We wanted to take a family holiday.  Two of us were fine, but my dad was already known to be terminally ill, and I was ill enough to think something was wrong, but not know what it was - was being investigated for arthritis.

We insured all of us, in all our varying states of health, as one group.  You just fill in a form for each person, defining what their health problem is (if any).

It's quite telling, looking back, that I must have thought mine was serious enough to need insuring, even though MS had never been mentioned.

Tina

 

I'll check out All Clear next time.  My wife has taken out a separate annual policy.  Mine is just for this one short trip.  I didn't think the cost was prohibative and the only questions related to mobility, any decline in physical condition and any notable episodes in the last 12 months.  As I had one, the first I was aware of, over the summer I thought I'd defer an annual policy until the 12 months are up.

My only concerns with travelling relate to how well my body will cope with the loss of sleep caused by our itinery and trying to see everyone over a short three day visit.  Over the holidays at home I've lost several days due to tirednes induced headaches which I've not experienced previously while working.  At work I become tired in the evening and know to go to bed ready for the next morning.  On holiday I've being staying up too late and not getting enough sleep.  Lesson learned.

Best wishes,

Peter Brookes