It’s approaching that time of year when people start jetting off on their summer holiday’s. There are often posts written as holiday season kicks off talking about how to handle holiday anxiety, and ensuring you have the best time you can have. But one thing that is not often talked about is travel insurance.
Many people are like me, and having a holiday is really good for their mental health, getting away from the things at home which trigger anxiety, and cause stress to get away to somewhere that they can relax, eat good food, and take a break with friends, or family can be really good for them.
One thing many people with mental health conditions don’t realise is the importance of declaring their condition on travel insurance, nor the difference to the quote that will make. The thing is it is also vital to ensure you are properly covered and I say this as the voice of experience.
Many moons ago I worked as a holiday rep for a year, whilst it was a great job in a wonderful place, I saw a lot of what happens when insurance gets involved, and when it doesn’t. People getting sick and injured where they had adequate cover, brilliant, they were looked after, flown home if needed, all perfect, especially for those with pre-existing conditions who got sick while away. In a couple of cases a few with pre-existing conditions got sick and hadn’t declared on their insurance, which refused to cover them and they had to cover medical expenses out of their own pocket and this can get expensive.
Now the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will cover you for so much, but not everything, so insurance really is needed in most European countries.
Even I ended up in hospital, in intensive care, so my own insurance, had to kick in!
What I’m saying is, in most cases you don’t need to use your insurance, but IF you do have to use your insurance, then you’re going to want it to cover you…and now comes the tricky part!
If you go to the usual places and start entering things like Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, Schizophrenia… into their pre-existing conditions boxes the quotes you are going to get will be extortionate. Here is an example of what I get when I run through my details doing this through gocompare.com one of the standard comparison sites:
When I run the same details through Medical Travel Compared, a comparison site which only searches travel insurance companies who specialise in medical cover, the quotes reduce significantly.
The point is that you can get adequate travel insurance cover, for your mental health condition when you go away on holiday, but you might have to dig a bit deeper. I also found that when I searched a couple of months ago for the same time period even the quotes through Medical Travel Compared were significantly higher but by hanging on and refreshing the quotes every now and then I was able to save some money, so if you have some time and haven’t booked you may be able to save by waiting a little while.
Ultimately, have a great holiday, get all of this kind of thing out of the way as early as possible so that you can look forward to going and being away!
The Foreign & Commenwealth Office have put together a useful guide on travelling abroad if you have a mental health condition, it covers insurance, medication, and where you stand legally if you were to get unwell. It’s a very useful read and has a useful checklist aswell.