Tommy Lloyd
Author: Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director

Tommy has over 15 years experience within the insurance industry, and his primary focus is helping travellers find the right cover for their medical conditions.

Originally posted: 1st Sep 2022

Why declaring high blood pressure is important to your policy

If you have been diagnosed with hypertension (more commonly referred to as high blood pressure), it’s important to get the right type of travel insurance to ensure you’re fully covered when on holiday. 

Although standard travel insurance will have a limited amount of cover for medical expenses, a policy including specialist cover for high blood pressure is probably the best option for you - and you’ve certainly come to the right place!

Medical Travel Compared enables you to compare cover for pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure all in one place - so you don’t have to waste time shopping around and entering your details into a range of sites.

We work with over 30 leading providers to give you a great range of competitive quotes to compare, so come and explore our quick and simple online comparison tool today.

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Medical screening for travel insurance with high blood pressure

If you have high blood pressure, it’s easy to declare this after you’ve entered some personal details about you and your trip(s). 

Before comparing cover, you might be asked some questions about your high blood pressure. It’s important to ensure that these are answered as accurately as possible as this helps travel insurance providers gain a better understanding of your medical history. 

This means that they can offer you a policy including cover options that are relevant to your needs.

What’s typically covered in an insurance policy for hypertension

A travel insurance policy with specialist cover for high blood pressure or other health conditions will usually include:

  • Lost, Stolen or Damaged Personal Belongings - this could include any medication you rely on to manage high blood pressure.  
  • Emergency Medical Expenses and Repatriation - this will cover any medical costs, or even more extreme things like medical repatriation back to the UK.
  • Cancellation and Curtailment - the insurance provider will cover you in the event of needing to cancel or cut short your holiday as a result of your condition.
  • Personal Liability - if you cause accidental damage to another person or someone else’s property - cover is provided.

It’s wise to ensure that these things are included as a minimum before purchasing a policy.

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Dr Sarah Jarvis, MBE

Top tips for travelling with high blood pressure

Dr Sarah Jarvis is the Clinical Director of the Patient Platform, an active medical writer, broadcaster, and the resident doctor for BBC Radio 2.

High blood pressure very rarely causes symptoms, so you don’t usually know you have it unless you have your blood pressure checked. Left untreated high blood pressure is a major risk factor for a heart attack and stroke.

Having high blood pressure shouldn’t stop you from travelling (including by air) or enjoying a holiday if it’s controlled. However, you should speak to your doctor before you book if your blood pressure readings have been very high or unstable.

Here are my top tips for travelling safely if you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure:

  1. If your blood pressure is well controlled, you don’t necessarily need a blood pressure check just before you travel. However, if your most recent readings have been raised, or you haven’t had a blood pressure check for over six months, it's wise to see your GP or practice nurse for a reading before you travel.
  2. While you’re flying, avoid alcohol, keep hydrated with non-alcoholic fluids and move around the cabin regularly.
  3. Alcohol and exotic foods may feel like they’re an integral part of being on holiday, but remember that both alcohol and salty foods can raise your blood pressure.
  4. Some blood pressure medicines are diuretics – they get rid of excess fluid, bringing your blood pressure down, but these medications may make you more prone to dehydration if you’re in a very hot country or have diarrhoea and/or vomiting. Your pharmacist can advise how your blood pressure tablets work.
  5. Most people with high blood pressure can use saunas and hot tubs safely. However, they can cause your blood pressure to drop as blood vessels on your skin dilate to cool you down. So, look out for signs of low blood pressure, such as feeling light-headed, dizzy or faint.
  6. Most holiday activities are fine if your blood pressure is well controlled. In general, keeping fit with regular exercise is actively encouraged if you have high blood pressure. However, as at home, you should avoid exercise which may cause sudden extreme increases in blood pressure, such as squash, boxing or lifting heavy weights.
  7. Scuba diving involves rapid changes in the pressure on your body, which can affect your blood pressure. You may need a medical examination to clear you to dive if you have high blood pressure – always check beforehand.
  8. Order your repeat prescription well in advance.
  9. Make sure you have enough tablets to last your whole trip and a little longer, in case of delays – you may need to order your repeat prescription early.
  10. If you’re going on a longer trip, check the expiry date of your tablets to make sure they’ll stay in date for the whole time you’re away.
  11. Take a copy of your repeat prescription with you, packed in your hand luggage with your tablets in their original packaging. Find out more about travelling with medication.
  12. Consider getting a letter from your doctor about your medication, your latest blood pressure and if relevant your most recent blood test results. This can make it easier if you’re stopped at airport security or have a medical emergency while you’re away. Remember your GP may charge for this letter.
  13. If you’re flying across time zones, adjust the timing of your medication gradually, so you’re not taking your tablets too close together or too far apart. Your pharmacist can advise.
  14. When buying travel insurance, you need to declare if you’ve ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure – even if it’s now controlled. Failure to do so could invalidate your insurance.
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You can count on us to help you find a suitable policy in minutes, which means you’ll be back planning the more exciting parts of your trip before you know it. 

And, with a range of leading specialist high blood pressure insurance providers to choose from, you’ll have all the peace of mind to enjoy your holidays as you should once you arrive at your destination.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, we'll need to know if you or any traveller on your policy has ever suffered from any circulatory conditions. So, this could be a condition that is present now or a condition that you've had in the past and have made a full recovery from. But don't worry, we'll ask you a set of questions relating to your condition to take your individual circumstances into account.

It is simple and quick to do! After you've told us about your trip details and answered some medical history questions you can add your pre-existing conditions, one by one, for each traveller. You'll only need to enter your details once, it's all online and there's no need to call, or provide details of your conditions in writing.

Once you've declared all of your relevant pre-existing medical conditions, we'll only show you quotes based on the conditions you have told us about.

No, we are unable to provide cover with any of your pre-existing medical conditions excluded.
Nearly all insurance policies will come with cancellation cover included. Cancellation cover will start as soon as you buy your single trip policy, or your policy start date for an annual trip (so you may want to start this cover as soon as possible). Cancellation cover will help you with the cost of your trip, including flights, accommodation and, in some cases pre-paid excursions. The cover limits will be the amount per person.

* Price is based on 1 traveller aged 61, who has declared High Blood Pressure and is travelling to France for 7 nights. The price is correct as of April 2024. Prices may vary according to your individual requirements.

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If we're unable to help you find cover for a pre-existing medical condition, the Money Helper Directory has listings of companies that may be able to assist you. Further details can be found on their website.