Travel Insurance Hell!

Hi everyone!

The end of my degree is within sight (at last!) and want to take a holiday when I am done. However, I know NOTHING about travelling as an asthmatic as I haven't been on holiday in a very very long time...

I've searched this forum and the site for info on travel insurance companies, so I've had a look online and found only one company so far - Unique - that would insure me: at £230 for a week in Europe! My brittle asthma is my only health problem so this seems pretty steep to me! Companies such as the Post Office, Columbus, and Direct Line have refused to cover me.

Can anybody recommend any other providers? Although I have frequent admissions, home nebs, multiple meds etc (things that seem to drive a quote skywards) I have never been admitted to ITU (for asthma, anyway) and yet it seems impossible to even get a quote. I don't have home O2 either.

Please help if you can!

Thanks, Emz x

7 Replies

  • I used All Clear Travel Insurance for two separate trips recently.

    They wouldn't give a multi-trip policy, but their cover to include medical conditions was fairly reasonable (and a lot cheaper than most others) - I didn't have to claim though, so I don't know what they're actually like if there was a problem.

    I think I have fairly similar asthma issues/meds to you, but I also have quite a list of other disabilities/health conditions. All Clear gave me a policy covering all existing conditions for about £160 for three weeks in Australia - most other specialist insurers were quoting anywhere between £500 - £1000 and the non-specialist ones wouldn't cover my pre-existing conditions.

  • Look up 'world first' they specalise in insurance for people with existing medical conditions. I maganaged to get cover for 9 days in eurpoe for just over £60 when all other quotes had been £200 + . I had had 6 admissions in the last 12 months and been in ITU in June when I phoned them in Septemeber to get cover for very early October. I have also been med evacuated when on holiday before so I am very careful about getting adequate cover. I would also book it as soon as you book flights/accommodation for your holiday as the insurance also obviously covers you if you get sick and cant go. I have been caught out by this before- nothing worse than lying in hospital when you should be in a more exotic location AND paying for the holiday as well because you hadn't sorted out the insurance yet.

    Hope they manage to come up with a cheaper alternative for you!


  • Try Insure and Go. A few years ago I spent a whole day trying to get 'cheap' insurance, and had companies like Post Office refuse me. I've had yearly policies with Insure and Go for 3 years, and they've been pretty reasonable, although I've never claimed.

    The big questions for insurance companies are hospital admissions in the last year, ITU admissions in the last 5 years, regular nebs, home O2, and being able to walk 200m on the flat. The amount of drugs you take isn't too bad a question, because it goes something like 1, 2, 3-5, 6+ - so once you're over 6, you might as well keep going!

    I've learnt a ridiculous amount about traveling with asthma - over many trips I've developed lots of rules and techniques that I follow strictly. So if you want any general asthma travel advice, feel free to PM me. Always take twice as many drugs as you think you'll need and split them between two bags, wear Medic Alert with your insurance details, have basic details on you in the local language so a passerby could help, don't put Epi-pens in checked in luggage (the hold can get very cold), know exactly what you should do in an emergency with your insurance - at what point you need to contact them and whether you are responsible for bills and they reimburse you (because that means you need a healthy bank balance), be able to predict what a doctor would say in the UK if you were ill on holiday - I've had all sorts of arguments with doctors abroad who don't follow UK protocols (although I've never experienced this in Europe - only the US and Asia). I can go on for pages about this stuff... In fact all of the above sounds like a bit of a hassle, but if you are really well prepared, then you don't need to worry as much.

  • i have mine through the bank which is through axa and have never had had any problems

  • I also get mine through my bank (AXA) and I have never had any problems. I think the rule is if it's asthma then as long as it's your only medical condition, you are not awaiting any results or tests and your meds have not changed in the last six months then it's usually ok?? But I'm no expert and you would need to check that with your provider

  • Thanks to everyone who gave useful insurance contacts-am due to go on my first holidayfor 5 years

    soon and have at last sorted travel insurance from the advice given.

    Have a great holiday crazybaby

  • Having had to claim on travel insurance a few times (once with asthma) I would say it might be worth paying a bit more and going with a specialist insurer as at least they will be better equipped to deal with a medical 'emergency'.

    I used to use travel insurance we get with our bank account- but I wouldn't use them again, their medical assistance team were awful. I later learnt they had a bad reputation.

    Hope you have a fantastic holiday crazybaby.

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