Pre-existing medical conditions can make travelling abroad a difficult prospect.

When you are planning your next trip abroad, you want to feel safe in the knowledge that you’ll be protected if anything happens, especially if you have medical conditions that you need to be cautious of.

We recognise that the thought of purchasing travel insurance can be a worry when you’ve set your heart on going on holiday but have no idea whether you’re going to qualify for travel insurance. However, at Columbus Direct, we have some excellent travel insurance policies designed to protect you, and we can cover many pre-existing medical conditions at a click of a button, subject to medical screening. After all, we value the importance of living life to the max and want to help you harness the freedom that such adventures can offer.

What are pre-existing medical conditions?

A pre-existing medical condition is any illness or medical condition that has required medication, tablets, treatment, surgery, reviews and check-ups, tests or other investigations in the 12 months prior to getting your policy. This can include both severe and more minor conditions like asthma or taking tablets for blood pressure, as well as psychological conditions like anxiety and depression.


Our online quotation and medical screening process will provide you with all the tools you need to complete your application for cover. Our screening system includes hundreds of medical conditions, many of which are available at no extra cost. If we are able to offer you cover, then purchasing travel insurance can take just minutes.

Once we’ve confirmed that you’re eligible for cover, you will then have access to all of the usual benefits of our standard policies.

  • Cover can be offered up to the age of 85 for single trip policies.
  • Cover for up to £15 million of medical costs available.
  • Insurance for unforeseen medical emergencies and repatriation is provided.
  • Cancellation cover up to £5,000 with a gold policy.
  • 150 sports and activities are covered for free.
  • Original ski and winter sports cover.
  • Free 5 day unlimited global Wi-Fi access.
  • Airport lounge access if your flight is delayed for more than 1 hour.
  • Cover can be offered up to the age of 85 for single trip policies and up to the age of 74 for annual multi-trip policies.

We’ll do what we can to help you, so why not start the ball rolling by filling out the online quotation and see for yourself within minutes if we can provide the cover you need? If you’d rather speak to one of our agents and go through the screening process over the phone, we’d be more than happy to assist you. You can call us on 0800 068 0060, where one of our advisers will take you through the process step by step. (Opening hours between 8am-8pm Mon- Fri, Sat 9am-6pm and Sun 10am-4pm).




Terms and conditions apply:

(1)Where discounts are offered they do not apply to Columbus Direct products purchased through third parties. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, discount or promotion.

What happens if you don’t declare medical conditions for travel insurance?

If anything arises from a pre-existing medical condition that you didn’t tell us about, then you will not be covered. You should tell us about all conditions when arranging your cover, and it will then only be valid if we have agreed to cover it. If we are unable to cover a pre-existing medical condition, then you will not be protected for any directly or indirectly related claims arising from the condition.

You should also notify us if you have been taking any medication or tablets, or if you have had surgery, received any treatment or undergone any medical investigations or consultations. These could require you to pay an additional premium, but not declaring them may invalidate your cover.

What if I have a new medical condition after taking out a policy? 

If you experience a change in health after you have secured a policy with us but before you travel, then you should declare it if you want it to be covered by your travel insurance. You need to notify Customer Services as soon as you are aware of your change in health, and it would then need to be accepted by us, otherwise your claims could be declined.

If we are unable to give you cover for your change in health, then you have the option to either make a cancellation claim for your trip or cancel your policy with us and receive a pro rata refund depending on the length of time remaining on your policy. Full details of this are available in your policy documentation.

Do I need to declare pregnancy as a medical condition? 

Pregnancy is not a medical condition and you don’t need to declare it when getting a travel insurance policy with us. Before your holiday, you should still check with your doctor or your midwife to verify that they are happy for you to travel abroad.

You are covered for complications of pregnancy or instances where you were unaware that you were pregnant when buying your insurance and are advised not to travel by a medical practitioner.

You can travel at any stage of your pregnancy and still be covered by us, providing you are not travelling against the advice of a medical professional or against any provider’s own travel restrictions. It’s worth checking with your airline or travel provider ahead of the holiday to check whether you would be allowed to fly.

Over 60’s with pre-existing medical conditions 

Travellers can get single triple travel insurance up to the age of 85, as well as annual multi-trip insurance up to the age of 74.

No matter your age, you should declare any pre-existing medical conditions that you are aware of when arranging your policy, to ensure that they are included. We offer cover for many conditions, subject to medical screening.

Do I need travel insurance for Europe holidays if I have an EHIC? 

If you are travelling to Europe, it is worth getting an EHIC, but you should still get travel insurance to cover you for your trip.

With an EHIC you can receive medically necessary state-provided healthcare for free or at a reduced rate, but you could still end up paying some costs. Health services vary for each country in Europe and you could face costs for things like transport and repatriation. Also, if the UK leaves the EU with no deal, then the EHIC could become invalid for UK citizens.

Getting travel insurance ensures that you are covered for potential costs for medical treatment, while you also have protection for cancellations and travel delays, as well as your luggage getting lost, stolen or damaged.

All of our policies include cover for 150 sports and activities, and you can also get medical costs covering up to £15 million.

What travel insurance policies can I get? 

If you are planning to travel more than once over the next year, then annual multi-trip travel insurance might be the best option for you. It ensures that you are covered for as many trips as you want to take, as long as none of them are longer than your agreed trip limit.

If you have just one holiday planned, then you can get single trip travel insurance. If you do this you need to specify the time period that you want the policy to cover, and your protection will end once you return from the holiday.

Columbus Direct covers 150 sports and activities for free, but there are various optional extra that you can add to your policy to get more cover. This includes winter sports cover if you plan to go skiing or snowboarding during your holiday, as well as the adventure add-on if your planned activities aren’t already covered in your policy. The adventure pack includes protection for additional activities such as deep sea fishing, white water rafting, and mountain biking.




Travel insurance cover for specific pre-existing medical conditions

Couple on holiday

Do I need to declare asthma for my travel insurance cover?  

If you have been diagnosed with a form of asthma, then you should declare it when entering your pre-existing medical conditions. A standard policy would not cover you if you experience an asthma attack, or if your inhaler gets lost or damaged.

We have a few options that you can choose from when adding your condition online – asthma, mild asthma and cardiac asthma. Once you have selected the condition, you will be asked a few questions to help determine whether we can offer cover for your condition and if you are required to pay additional costs for the cover.

If you can’t find an accurate match for your condition online, you can get in touch by calling us on 0330 024 4479.

Do I need to declare diabetes for my travel insurance cover? 

An estimated 4 million people in the UK are living with diabetes and many travellers will be concerned that they might not be protected if they experience complications while travelling abroad.

You should get diabetes included as a pre-existing medical condition in case you end up needing medical attention because of your condition while travelling abroad, you might not be protected by a standard travel policy.

There are several options to choose from if you are looking to get diabetes included in your travel insurance cover. You can choose either type 1 or type 2 diabetes during the online screening process, as well as diabetes insipidus, diabetes mellitus and sugar diabetes.

You will then need to answer a few medical screening questions to help determine whether we are able to cover your condition and if you would be required to pay a premium for the cover.

Can I get travel insurance after having a heart attack or other heart conditions? 

You can get travel insurance cover with us if you have previously had a heart attack or other heart-related conditions, depending on certain requirements.

Whether your medical condition is accepted by us will depend on the outcome of the screening process.

When applying for travel insurance online you will be asked some questions about your condition and this will help us determine whether we are able to cover your medical condition.

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Travel Insurance tailored for you

Why Columbus Direct?

  • FREE airport lounge access if your flight is delayed for more than 1 hour
  • Over 150 sports and activities covered free
  • Award-winning products and services
  • Over 15 million customers since 1988


awards 2017