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Martin Lewis Travel Insurance Pre Existing Medical Conditions

Martin Lewis and MoneySavingExpert.com share some really good points about travel insurance and here's what you need to know

A photo of Daniel Sharpe-Szunko, the author

By Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Published on: 4 July 2023

14 min read

Martin Lewis travel insurance pre-existing medical conditions

Most people will only buy travel insurance once or twice a year at most and it’s easy to get confused with all the different options that are available. if you have a medical condition, it can be even trickier to work out who’s going to offer you the best price or if they’re going to cover you at all.

When UK consumers are looking for advice about insurance products they quite often turn to Martin Lewis and what he has to say on the topic. This goes for products like life insurance, health insurance and travel insurance too.

The question is why do people care what Martin Lewis thinks and trust his opinions? Martin Lewis is closely associated with consumer advice for financial products like travel insurance and is often asked about his views. Consumers tend to believe that they should trust what Martin Lewis has to say because of his good reputation and strong background in financial journalism.

Martin Lewis and his website (MoneySavingExpert.com) actually share some really good points about travel insurance that we agree with. We’re not saying he’s going to have all of the answers, but he does give some pretty solid advice that some consumers might find helpful.

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60-Second Summary – Martin Lewis travel insurance pre-existing medical conditions

In this guide, we’re looking at what Martin Lewis has to say about travel insurance and giving our opinions. Martin Lewis is a respected and trusted public figure, but ultimately he is simply a person sharing his views on a particular product (travel insurance) and it’s pros and cons.

  • Travel insurance is designed to protect you financially if anything goes wrong with your holiday (and this includes before you go away).
  • You should buy travel cover ASAB (As Soon As you’ve Booked) your holiday for the best protection. Travel insurance protects you against the unexpected and unexpected things (e.g. illness) can happen before you even step foot out of your own house.
  • If you have any health conditions, it’s worth speaking to a travel insurance specialist to make sure you get the right policy and best price. You can check price comparison sites but this may not give you the whole picture.
  • There’s only one full guide to travel insurance with medical conditions on Martin Lewis’ website MoneySavingExpert.com. This is a little disappointing, as with such a large platform they could definitely be doing more to offer helpful resources in this area.

The main reason Martin Lewis talks about products like travel insurance is because people ask his opinion. This is mainly due to his background in financial journalism and his work fighting for better consumer rights, both personally and through his website MoneySavingExpert.com.

It’s fair to want to know a bit more about him, before trusting his opinion about travel insurance and whether it is worth it. Here’s some of the key facts about Martin Lewis:

  • In 2003, Martin Lewis’s launched what is now the UK’s biggest free financial advice website (MoneySavingExpert.com) for just £100.
  • Martin Lewis has been awarded a CBE for contributions to consumer rights and broadcasting for all of his work fighting for financial education and consumer support in the UK
  • Martin Lewis even has his own charity the MSE Charity, which which provides funds to nonprofit organisations that are dedicated to providing financial education

Should I trust Martin Lewis’ opinion on travel insurance?

Martin Lewis has the right background and a solid platform for providing free financial advice. This means that most people tend to trust what he says – even if it’s only because they believe that they should.

Should I always follow Martin Lewis’ insurance advice?

Martin Lewis isn’t an insurance broker or provider which means he can only know so much about travel insurance and what policies are available. While his advice surrounding travel insurance is generally good and makes sense, I’d still suggest looking into things more yourself.

It’s not wise to base financial decisions solely on one person’s opinion, even if it’s someone that is viewed as an expert. Shop around and do some research to get a feel for what insurance policies are out there and how much you might pay.

Will Martin Lewis’ advice save me money on my travel insurance policy?

To be honest, Martin Lewis’ advice on travel insurance isn’t groundbreaking but it is sensible. The main suggestion is that you should buy travel cover as soon as you book a holiday in case anything goes wrong before you leave.

While this won’t affect how much you pay for your policy, it could help you save a significant amount of money overall. Travel insurance is designed to protect you financially if something unexpected happens while you’re on holiday or before you leave like:

  • Your flights get delayed or cancelled
  • Your luggage gets lost
  • You need to replace lost or stolen medication
  • Covering the cost of emergency medical expenses
  • An item of value is lost or stolen
  • You need to cancel your trip due to illness or family emergency

You should definitely look at multiple opinions before you buy any type of insurance policy including travel insurance. It’s always useful to get an idea about what other people think of a particular policy or provider.

the best place to look would be an independent review site such as TrustPilot, where you can read reviews from other consumers about their experiences. This can help give you a feel for if the insurer often receives complaints and how they deal with them if they do.

What does Martin Lewis say about travel insurance?

Most of the guidance from Martin Lewis about travel insurance comes from interviews that he has done on TV and radio shows. In this clip from ITV talk show ‘This Morning’, Martin Lewis discusses one particular example of someone who lost a lot of money because she did not have travel insurance.

Holiday Tips – Get Travel Insurance As Soon As You Book | This Morning

The person in question was diagnosed with breast cancer and needed to cancel her holiday because she would have been having treatment when she was due to travel. She lost a lot of money as she wasn’t insured, having planned on buying her insurance in the weeks before she went.

What does MoneySavingExpert.com say about travel insurance with medical conditions?

Martin Lewis’ website MoneySavingExpert.com does have some guides on travel insurance, but only one page about getting travel insurance if you have a medical condition. Martin Lewis did not write this page, but as it’s published on his website it’s safe to assume that these are views that he agrees with.

To be honest it’s actually quite disappointing that there’s only one proper MSE guide about buying travel insurance for someone who has medical conditions. Medical conditions can make things a little trickier when you buy travel insurance as you need to make sure you’re getting the right level of cover for your own health.

There is some discussion about this topic in the forum section of MoneySavingExpert.com, where UK consumers can share their own thoughts and experiences on various topics to try and help other people.

Martin Lewis travel insurance pre-existing medical conditions: 5 need-to-knows

Below we’re going into more detail on the ‘need to know’ points about buying travel insurance with pre-existing conditions that are highlighted on MoneySavingExpert.com.

1. Buy travel insurance ASAB (As Soon As you’ve Booked)

We fully agree with this point that Martin Lewis has made. Travel insurance protects you from the moment you buy it, not the moment you start travelling. Here’s one of the main quotes from an interview where Martin Lewis talks about travel insurance and it’s completely true.

“Half of the point of travel insurance is to cover you before you go away, in the event that you are ill, a family member dies or something happens where you can’t go on holiday”

Too many consumers lose money on holidays when they just don’t need to. The point of travel insurance is to protect you against the unexpected and unexpected things can happen before you even step foot out of your own house. ASAB is an easy way to remind yourself that as soon as your holidays booked, you should be at least thinking about travel insurance.

2. You need to double check that your policy covers where you’re going

It may sound silly, but your policy might not cover the country you’re travelling to even if you think it does. The most ridiculous example of this that we know of is where some travel insurance providers won’t cover a country like Spain as part of their European cover.

This makes no sense at all and we don’t understand why this is something that happens. You also might find that countries near to Europe will be covered under European cover (which will be cheaper for you than Worldwide).

Basically, double and triple check everything before you try and submit a claim and realise your policy does not cover the country that you’re in. This would mean you’ve lost out not only on the cost of the policy but also on the money that you could have claimed if you had the right cover.

3. Family or group policies aren’t always cheaper (neither are single trip policies)

You might think it’s easier or more cost effective to buy one travel insurance policy for the whole group. This might be the case sometimes, if you’re all around the same age and no one has any medical conditions.

If one traveller is older or is seen as a higher risk for claiming (e.g. they’ve recently had a heart attack), everyone’s price would go up. Even if it’s a bit of a hassle to deal with multiple applications, it could work out a lot cheaper overall.

It’s also a bit of a myth that single trip cover is going to be cheaper every time. If you travel a lot, annual cover can sometimes be a better (and cheaper) option because it covers you for multiple trips within the same year.

4. Your bank might already have you covered (check that it’s enough cover though!)

You might already have travel insurance and not even know about it. A lot of mainstream banks will add on extra benefits like travel insurance at no extra cost for their customers. This could be great news if you’re a bit strapped for cash and don’t want to pay out for travel insurance.

Our main warning would be that these policies aren’t always going to be the best fit depending on your own situation. They’re likely to be basic travel insurance policies, which won’t generally offer enough cover for people who have medical conditions.

If you have a milder condition like asthma, you might be fine just sticking with your bank’s travel cover. Assess your own situation and how likely you think you will be to claim for medical reasons to work out if specialist cover might be a better option for you.

5. You need to talk to the airline first if you’re claiming for the cancelled flights

A lot of people don’t realise that you’re going to need to speak to your airline directly before you can even think about submitting a travel insurance claim for cancelled flights.

Frequently asked questions about travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions

Everyone’s got the right to have enjoy your holiday whether they have health issues or not. Here’s the answers to some of the main questions we hear about travel insurance (and travelling in general) when you have medical conditions.

How does travel insurance with pre-existing conditions work?

Don’t worry, travel insurance can feel really complicated but the application process is normally pretty straightforward. You just need to be prepared to answer some simple questions about where you’re going and your medical history (medical screening).

Examples of medical questions you might be asked include:

  • Have you been diagnosed with any medical conditions?
  • Have you had any referrals or consultations for a medical condition in the last five years?
  • Are you waiting on results from any scans tests or investigations?
  • Are you scheduled for scans tests or investigations that you haven’t had yet?

We get that a lot of the questions might feel a bit personal, but it’s important is that you’re honest in your answers. The reasons that insurers ask questions like this is to make sure you end up with the right price and the right level of cover.

Is travel insurance pre-existing medical conditions important?

Yes, I would say it’s pretty important to get travel insurance if you have a medical condition. travel insurance is useful the most people but people with health issues might need it even more.

If you had a flare up of symptoms or medical emergency, this could cost you hundreds or thousands of pounds while abroad. Travel insurance is designed to support you financially if this happens so you’re not left with mountains of debt or scrambling to find the funds you need before getting treatment.

Do I have to declare medical conditions when I buy travel insurance?

Yes, if you’ve experienced a medical condition within the last five years your travel insurance provider will want to know about it.

It’s definitely tempting not to mention things like this on the off chance it makes your policy a bit cheaper. It really isn’t worth it though as you could end up with your policy not paying out right when you need it to. If you need medical treatment for a condition you haven’t disclosed, the insurer might rule your policy to be invalid and leave you with huge medical bills to pay.

Is it worth buying expensive travel insurance?

To be honest I wouldn’t say it’s so much about cost over policy as it is about finding the right level of cover. If you have a medical condition, the key things to think about when buying travel insurance are:

  • Have you got enough cover to protect you if you need medical treatment in the country you’re travelling to?
  • Do you have long term symptoms that could flare up or get worse while you’re travelling?
  • Do you need to take medication or equipment with you that would be expensive to replace?
  • Could you afford to cover some of the cost yourself if you needed medical treatment on holiday?
  • Do you have any other financial protection in place or any other support (e.g. a global health insurance card) that could help reduce the cost of medication or treatment?
  • Does your health insurance cover include emergency medical costs when you’re travelling (if you have health insurance)?

What should I do if I can’t find travel insurance because of my health?

You might be finding it really difficult to find a fairly priced travel insurance policy if you’ve got a serious medical condition on multiple conditions.

How to claim on travel insurance

MoneySavingExpert outlines a few key steps for claiming on your travel insurance policy.

Here’s the main things you need to know if you need to submit a travel insurance claim. The claims process can be pretty similar for most insurers and these are some of the main things to watch out for:

  1. You need to claim ASAP – Contact your insurer as soon as you can if something goes wrong while you’re away. This will help you get things sorted much more quickly and should be a smoother process.
  2. Get your claim approved before getting medical treatment – Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your insurer is going to pay out, especially if it’s not emergency treatment. It’s always best to double check you’re covered or you risk ending up with a big bill to pay for yourself.
  3. Insurers want to see police reports – If you’re claiming for something that’s lost or stolen, many insurers will want a crime reference number from the local police.
  4. Make sure you don’t bin those receipts – It’s often possible to claim for food expenses and other costs if your flights delayed or cancelled. Keep hold of any receipts you have as proof of how much you spent and when.
  5. Complain if you have to – If you insurer is refusing to pay out and you think this is unfair then you should definitely submit a complaint. If the insurer won’t listen to you, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service for extra support.

It’s common for people to complain about insurance policies that they’re unhappy with either because they think they’ve been mis sold or the policy won’t pay out and they think it should.

If you’re not happy with your travel insurance policy or provider you can contact them directly about your complaint. There will normally be contact details available on their website and a process in place to support their customers if this happens.

We all know that insurers don’t always get things right, and if you’re still unhappy you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for more help and support. They are an impartial service designed to help UK consumers if they have issues with financial services businesses.

Financial Ombudsman Service contact details

Tel. 0800 023 4567 (or 0300 123 9123)

Tel. 0207 964 0500 (overseas)

What do I do if I can’t find travel insurance?

It can be more complicated to find the right travel insurance when you have medical conditions, which can definitely feel unfair. The good news is that there are options and extra support available in these situations.

One of the main organisations you can contact if you are struggling is BIBA or ‘The British Insurance Broker’s Association’. They have a special service known as the ‘Find Insurance’ service which can help to pair you up with one of BIBA’s recommended insurance brokers who may be able to help. This business cover all insurance services in the UK including travel insurance.

British Insurance Broker’s Association (BIBA) contact details

Tel. 0370 950 1790 (Insurance Help)

Tel. 0344 7700 266 (General Enquiries)

Email – enquiries@biba.org.uk

You can’t buy Martin Lewis travel insurance because it’s not a policy that exists. Martin Lewis doesn’t sell travel insurance and he didn’t and isn’t an insurance provider. He simply a well known and respected financial journalist who’s often asked his thoughts on policies like travel insurance.

What are MoneyPeopleOnline ‘s views on travel insurance?

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about Martin Lewis and MoneySavingExpert’s views on travel insurance – but what do we think over here MPO? For the most part, we agree with everything that’s been said about how important travel insurance can be in supporting you financially if anything goes wrong.

We do think Martin Lewis and MoneySavingExpert.com could provide more resources than they do specifically around medical conditions and travel insurance though. Here’s our thoughts about travel insurance for people who have pre-existing conditions:

  • Travel insurance is a useful policy to have regardless of if you have any medical conditions. If you fall ill on holiday, lose your luggage or your flights are cancelled, travel insurance will help cover the costs.
  • Standard travel insurance policies might not offer enough coverage for someone with a serious medical condition.It’s worth checking out what specialist medical travel insurance is available, as this could provide a better level of cover.
  • We do fully agree with Martin Lewis his point that you should buy travel insurance ASAB (as soon as you’ve booked). A lot of people don’t realise just how much can go wrong before you go on holiday and travel insurance can help protect you if you need to cancel due to illness or any other reason.
  • You shouldn’t worry as most people with medical conditions will be able to get some form of travel insurance. The key is to do your research and make sure you’re looking at the right providers so you don’t end up paying too much.
  • It’s important that you tell you travel insurance providers if you have a medical condition. It’s really not worth risking your policy not paying out when you need to for the sake of saving a couple of £s. You could end up losing a lot more money overall by doing this.
  • It’s helpful to speak to a travel insurance specialist if you have pre-existing conditions, as they will help you find insurers that will offer the right level of cover at the fairest price.
What is the best travel insurance Martin Lewis sells for people with medical conditions?Martin Lewis does not sell travel insurance himself and merely gives his opinion when asked about it.   There isn’t a ‘best’ type of Martin Lewis travel insurance as Martin Lewis travel insurance isn’t a product that exists.
What travel insurance does Martin Lewis recommend for people with pre-existing conditions?Martin Lewis would recommend doing your research and potentially speaking to a specialist if you need pre-existing conditions travel insurance.
Can you compare travel insurance with Martin Lewis?No, Martin Lewis and MoneySavingExpert.com don’t work as comparison sites, though they may occasionally post about good deals.   If you want to compare travel insurance quotes, you can use websites like Go Compare or speak to an expert travel insurance broker.

Martin Lewis is constantly talking about financial products and various types of insurance policies. This is across MoneySavingExpert.com and various different interviews and if you want to find out more about what he has to say we’ve put together some handy guides Martin Lewis advice on various topics.

If you want more information about travel insurance, you’re in the right place. Here is a list of some more of our top MPO travel insurance guides to help you save money and find the right travel cover.

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