Do I need to tell my insurance provider about my mental health?

Diagnosed medical conditions of any kind need to be disclosed to your insurance provider, this includes health conditions relating to your mental health.  If you are receiving treatment, of any kind or have a medical condition that is being investigated you should tell your insurance provider both when you are obtaining your quote but also, just as importantly, during the policy period, if your health status changes.

Will I be able to get cover if I have a mental health illness such as depression or anxiety?

There is no reason why travel insurance should not be available to you with many providers offering comprehensive cover.   Some more severe mental health conditions may not be covered as standard and will likely require you to speak with a more specialised insurance broker to help you find a suitable policy.

If you have a severe medical condition, then it may be helpful for you to speak to a specialist insurance broker before you book your trip as many factors including the destination and duration will affect your insurance premium and cover.  Discussing this early with a specialist insurance broker will allow you to factor the insurance cover available and the cost into your trip at the very beginning of your planning.

Since 2022 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) made it a requirement for any travel insurance provider who cannot offer terms because of a medical condition or charges an increased premium of £100 or more because of the condition, to l let that customer know about a Travel Medical Directory that meets FCA qualifying criteria which will help you find a specialised insurance broker.

BIBA has such a directory. For those people wishing to speak with someone, BIBA’s Find insurance Service can be reached by calling 0370 950 1790.

Will I be charged more because I have a mental health condition?

The cost of travel insurance depends on many factors including your health, both mental and physical, your age, where you are travelling to and how long your trip lasts. In order to establish the level of risk you will be asked some specific questions relating to all of these elements.  Where conditions are stable, well medicated and considered mild forms of mental health illness, there is often no additional or very low amounts of additional premium added. Insurers price the policy according to each individual’s specific circumstances, which will give them an idea of the risk or likelihood of a claim being made, and how much that claim may cost. It is worth remembering that most travel insurance claims are made for emergency medical expenses or cancellation, and these can often run into thousands or even hundreds of thousands of pounds. So, for the price of an appropriate travel insurance policy for your circumstances, you can have both financial protection should a medical emergency occur while abroad, and peace of mind.

What would happen if I don’t declare my mental health condition to an insurer?

It’s vitally important that you are honest and answer all the questions fully about your health when taking out your policy.  It could result in you facing hefty medical bills if you withhold details of a medical condition and subsequently have to make a claim as a result of that medical condition.  It is very likely that in these circumstances a claim will be rejected leaving you having to pay for the cost of your treatment yourself.

Will I be insured if I change my mind and cannot travel due to anxiety?

Unfortunately deciding that you no longer want to travel (called disinclination to travel) is not covered under travel insurance.  A travel insurance policy covers many unexpected scenarios, but it cannot cover you if you change your mind about your trip.   Cancellation is likely to be covered under travel insurance if a medical professional deems you unfit to travel owing to your anxiety and in circumstances such as an unexpected medical emergency occurring that stops you from travelling.

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