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Travel Insurance

Yes I've got asthma, yes I'm on steroids, YES I am planning a holiday for the end of the month!

So I rang up Unique insurance as advertised on Asthma UK for reasonable travel insurance. I have a couple of other outstanding medical conditions too (osteoarthritis and a bad back), and was horrified to be quoted £131.73 for a Platinum travel policy, or £123.03 for a Gold policy. Hmmm... far too costly.

I went on the AA website get a quote for my healthy best friend, and it came out at £28.86, so I rang the AA up for a quote for myself, complete with all medical complications. I was quoted £81.78.

AA would save me £41.25 (if my maths is right).

I'm off to book a holiday, and then the AA will get my business, even if it means that Asthma UK won't get a donation from Unique (Heath Lambert). At that price, I could make a bigger donation myself.

28 Replies

Travel insurance comes up a lot on the forum - try searching in the Search Keywords box on left hand side to check the latest few posts. I remember someone was pleased with a cheaper quote they found.


Do an Internet search and try a few websites. I got quoted weird and wonderful quotes last year. Some wouldnt even quote ..... But I agree the one recommended by auk was the highest quote I got .... Happy shopping


I recently bought insurance for my upcoming 11-day US trip with Explorer Insurance: I'm 38 and their platinum policy covered me with no extra medical payment for just under £36, having completed an online medical assessment.

While I have no history of admissions and only have 3 prescribed asthma medicines, it may be worth your while looking at them since they seem to specialise in 'pre existing conditions' and 'senior' insurance, so are used to dealing with all manner of things that mainstream insurers shy away from.


I used Explore for my recent trip. It was quite difficult to get insurance because of the activities I wanted to do (you mean throwing yourself off mountains isn't normal??!) and my extensive list of conditions/meds/admissions, but they were really good. Not cheap, but less than others and very comprehensive which gave me the reassurance I needed.

One of the most important things to me that I ensured was included at a high level was medical repratriation so that you can be flown home and treated here if something awful did happen.


I found going through my bank was the best option after trying countless others for my son.


I once asked Unique to quote for a ski holiday to Canada and they wouldn't insure me as the premium would be over a £1000!

There are some cheaper companies out there, particularly if you are prepared to have a really high excess. I've learnt though that it is better to go with one with a good reputation in case you have to rely on them to get you home!!

If you are having trouble finding insurance for anything (not just travel insurance) the Association of British Insurers can help you find an insurer or broker that does the product you require.


Ooh lots of different answers, thank you. Well, I did it, I booked the holiday! Now I have 3 weeks in which I need to get rid of this asthma. Can it be done? My peak flow its really up tonight so maybe the prednisolone will get discontinued on Friday. Yippeeeee.

I can't sleep though! AA were going to call me in the morning to see if they can give me a better quote.



I can not help on the travel insurance advice you are after.

Just wanted to say I hope you have a lovely holiday


Thank you :-) hope so. Have to admit I am very nervous of going on holiday with asthma, but I am not being charged am extra seat for it so off I go :-)


maybe this may help


Here is a link to our Asthma page which you may find useful


hope it helps



i went to lanzarote last year and used a company called direct travel, i think it costed for 2 people both asthmatic and one with anaphylaxis and other medical probs £40, may be worth having a look at their site.

good luck with travel insurance and i hope you have a great holiday



in Europe I normally just get an E11 + Card as that gives you extra cover to get home etc, then a normal family policy. This year I went with Top Dog insurance for a weeks family skiing, they charged an extra £2.50 for my sons asthmas and £40 for me ( I take 3 asthma drugs, 4 Hypertension drugs and have diabetes!) compared to other companies this was really reasonable, most wanted to load me £200.


Confused...sorry for long post!

So I'm going to America at the end of May. Yay! But talking to uninsured Americans has made me paranoid, even though I've somehow escaped Costa so far, so I want to be sure the insurance is sorted in case I do end up in Costa there and suddenly find myself slapped with a huge bill for being told I don't wheeze and am fine.

I've tried the ones suggested on here. This is for asthma plus another condition which I just take medication for, get reviewed occasionally and has never given me any trouble. I almost thought about excluding it, but wanted to be careful in case I lose all my meds or something. And anyway it only seems to add about £3 judging by one quote thing which breaks it down.

AA - excludes pre-existing conditions so a non-starter.

World Direct (mentioned on another thread I think) - about £121

Explorer - £101.78

Direct - £79.47

These seem a bit high to me, given the quotes people have mentioned on here, for one 26-year-old who has not had any admissions for asthma, let alone been in ICU, doesn't smoke, hasn't needed oxygen etc etc. It would seem that the 'not being able to walk 200 yds without getting breathless' (well, I am SOB practically all the time so I had to say yes) plus the number of meds, frequent reviews and waiting for tests etc is pushing it right up...but it seems like people with more severe asthma and things like anaphylaxis which might well require emergency care are getting lower quotes?! Or am I just misreading your posts? It would seem the insurance companies think I'm in worse shape than most drs I've seen!

Also, seems several people have done well with AA...but the thing I have says they won't cover it...is there something I missed?


GetMy.com, on the other hand - £61.71. Not as low as some on here but better!

Second place (thanks islandmedic for PMing this one) - Medic Alert at £70.90 for lower or £75.84 for the 'Platinum'.

Has been pointed out to me that America may be more expensive. Not sure how the length of trip affects things - am going for about 2 weeks or just under.


Philomela I got my travel insurance two years ago with virgin

Online they said no phoned up did a med questionaire ect ect gave it to me easy I can't remember the figure but it was under fifty I no that much frustrating tho the girls I was with got deals for like a cover oh to be of perfect health ! X


Thanks! Will look into them.

Someone called StaySure has just emailed me reminding that I didn't buy and their price is a great bargain...£172! haha yes amazing bargain I'm sure.

There is one company which I've now forgotten that includes asthma for free BUT you have to not have ever had any admissions and be on no more than 2 meds which probably cuts out most people on here.


Hi philomela,

If you are ' awaiting hospital tests' a lot of insurers either won't touch you are will add on extra premiums. This is because they see it as an ' unknown risk'.

Can you tell I work in travel..... :-)



I wish my insurance was so cheap! I went to the US last year and the cheapest I could get was £550 with Free Spirit and that was with a discount as I have used them before! If you have had admissions, been in ITU and are on oxygen 24 hours the premiums go through the roof and you cannot get an annual policy!


Ah that must be it Angelica - I did wonder when I was answering no to all the ITU, oxygen questions etc. The walking thing doesn't help - and tbh it's (actually luckily for me) not geared towards my weird sort of asthma.

Dawn, though it sucks makes sense that it would be so high if you've been in Costa, ITU etc - it just seemed like people on here who seem like they're worse (not that I'd know for sure but they have had admissions etc) were managing to get better quotes from these insurers they mentioned (who did you use?). But I may be misreading things!


Do you have one of those lovely bank accounts that includes free travel insurance? I do and in preparation for my cruise up the Danube I contacted them to ask for a quote to cover my asthma. They asked how many medications I'm taking for it and when I said I've only got Symbicort they told me I'm covered but that if I'd had more than one medication for the condition they would be looking for an additional premium. Result!


Hi Philomela,

Tried all the ones mentioned on here but they will not even ensure me. Tried the ones recommended by asthma uk but these were asking for over £1000 for two weeks. That's what comes with loads of admissions to ITU, loads of drugs, a central line and 24 hour oxygen! Holidays in the US works out expensive with insurance and hiring oxygen for the time away!

Happy holidays to all that are going away.



Dawn - wow yes, that would be something of a headache! Was thinking if I'm getting these (what seemed like) high quotes then what would happen if I had been in ITU etc - not easy to get away anywhere!

Annista - thanks, hadn't thought of that! I'm with HSBC and Halifax so will check them out - can't do online but it says you can discuss with them.


Bumped up for Happy Mum.


please dont forget that the EHIC card only works in Europe and only works to provide the traveller with healthcare like that of a resident of that country. this means that if citizens pay for part or all of their treatment or consultation whether that is in primary care or acute care, then you as the traveller will also be expected to pay. it is always preferable to have some form of travel insurance with a health component, especially in regards to repatritation costs, if for example a traveller is admitted to a hospital and then they decide to fly you home to your local NHS trust. it is unlikely that the NHS or the country that was sending you home would pay for the costs of this.

good luck with finding travel insurance, we recently used Direct-Travel, for a single trip to Lanzarote (Spain) with a very reasonable quote to include two asthmatics and one with severe anaphylaxis (allergic reactions).

take care xx ><>


Bumped up for EllieO.

Also, in case anyone comes across this thread in the future, I was reading the MoneySavingExpert newsletter and these guys were recommended for pre-existing conditions. No idea what they're like compared to others, haven't used them or got a quote to compare but thought it was worth sharing in case they work out cheaper for someone.



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The only insurer who was willing to insure me, was AllClear. They cover all preexisting conditions of which I have many they consider high risk. The last holiday, I ended up in hospital three times and required emergency oxygen both ways, so it was well worth the money and peace of mind!!

Lynda :)


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