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: 18th May 2021

Guide to mental health travel insurance

We understand how important mental health travel insurance is for travellers who may suffer with one or several different mental conditions.

We also appreciate the fact that booking a trip abroad can be a daunting experience for those who suffer with mental illness. But, with the right type of specialist travel insurance – there’s a reassurance and peace of mind that you’re covered should anything untoward happen on your trip.

We don’t want anyone to feel hindered by their condition before or during their holiday. We want people to feel safe in the knowledge that they can find suitable travel insurance for a variety of different mental disorders – which is why we make it easy for you to find and compare quotes from a list of highly reputable, specialist insurance providers.

COVID-19 Medical Cover

We’ll only show you quotes from providers who cover emergency medical expenses (including repatriation to the UK) if you catch the virus whilst travelling abroad.

Enhanced COVID Cover

Extra cover that'll give you & your holiday even more protection against COVID-19. Compare quotes from leading providers with this additional cover today.

What does mental health travel insurance cover?

You can expect a mental health travel insurance policy to include a number of different cover benefits.

Essentially, a standard medical travel insurance policy is likely to cover you for:

  • Cancellation
  • Curtailment
  • Lost/stolen personal belongings
  • Personal accident
  • Emergency medical expenses and repatriation
  • Personal liability
  • Legal expenses
  • Travel delay

A specialist mental health travel insurance policy is also likely to include all these benefits – however, some of them may be extended to factor in the likelihood of certain situations.

For example, the cancellation limit may need to be higher if the person in question is particularly prone to cancelling trips due to feeling too anxious to travel.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, MBE

Dr Sarah Jarvis answers your questions

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

Question: If I’ve previously sought assistance from the doctor regarding mental health, is there anything I should consider before going abroad?

This partly depends on what mental health problem you've had. For instance, depression severe enough to need medical help affects at least one in 10 people in a lifetime, but many people have only one or two episodes which could last for just a few months.

Whatever your past mental health issue, you need to consider:

  • Whether your condition is stable, and your symptoms are under control. It's never advisable to travel if your symptoms have recently gotten worse.
  • If you're taking medication, how to ensure you continue to take it regularly during your trip (having enough supplies for the whole trip, taking time zone changes into account etc).
  • What you would do if your situation deteriorated while you were away.
  • Whether your mental health condition prevents you from recognising how unwell you are when it's bad.
  • Whether you have the correct travel insurance to cover care if you need it.

What mental health conditions can I get cover for?

There are a variety of different mental disorders that qualify as pre-existing medical conditions.

Here is a list of some of the mental health conditions you can declare when you go through the application process. As you scroll down further, you’ll see that we’ve provided a little more detail on some of the more severe mental health conditions you can get covered for.

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic Attacks
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia

Depression travel insurance

Declaring depression as a condition is vitally important in terms of getting the right level of cover to suit your specific situation while you travel.

In order to determine how much cover you need, you’ll be asked a number of questions relevant to your condition. You’ll need to specify whether you have had a compulsory admission to the hospital as a result of depression within or beyond the last five years – and you may be asked to specify how many times you have been to hospital during this time.

You may also be asked whether you have been referred to or treated by a psychiatrist and whether your depression has ever caused you to cut short any previous travel plans in the past. In this case, for example – the policy limits for cancellation may be enhanced.

It can often be a common misconception that living with depression, or any other pre-existing medical condition for that matter, is likely to make your travel insurance much more expensive.

This is not necessarily the case. It depends on your own personal circumstances, including how much medication you’re taking, or what type of depression you have (you can search quotes for depression or manic depression, where the symptoms can be more severe).

Regardless of the premium – it’s always advised to consider the overall policy benefits over getting the cheapest deal. By taking this approach, you are effectively ensuring that you’ve got cover should something go wrong.

Bipolar travel insurance

Although bipolar disorder was once affiliated with the wider condition of depression – it’s actually a separate condition you can declare when you go through the quote application process with us.

Much like declaring depression – if you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, we will ask you some questions to determine your medical history and find you the best possible cover based on certain factors.

Specialist bipolar travel insurance cover is a must if you suffer with bipolar disorder – since the symptoms can be brought on suddenly and episodes can last for weeks.

Schizophrenia travel insurance

Schizophrenia travel insurance cover is not necessarily something you’d have thought you’d be able to access – but there are certain specialist providers out there who can insure people who’ve been diagnosed with the condition.

Schizophrenia is often stigmatized as an intensely severe mental condition. In some respects, this is true (depending on the patient and the severity of the personal schizophrenic episodes they experience), however it doesn’t mean that someone living with the condition shouldn’t have access to sufficient travel insurance cover like everybody else.

Anxiety travel insurance

There are wide range of different specialist providers offering travel insurance for those diagnosed with anxiety disorder.

Besides from the broader condition of ‘anxiety’ – which covers a number of different mental disorders – travel anxiety is a common aspect of the condition, for many reasons.

Compare quotes for mental health travel insurance

If you’ve been diagnosed with a particular mental health condition and aren’t sure whether you’ll be able to find appropriate cover before travelling – our straightforward application process is a good opportunity to find specialist mental health travel insurance providers.

It costs you nothing to get a quote. All you need to do is search for your condition when you go through the process. It’s important to bear in mind that not all conditions can be covered – but it’s always worth a check.

The cost of your premium will fluctuate depending on the level of cover you need based on the severity of your condition, but you should always consider cover over cost.

Complete the online quote application and compare quotes in minutes today.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ll only show you quotes from providers who are able to cover emergency medical expenses (including repatriation to the UK) if you catch the virus whilst travelling abroad.

Some of our providers are able to offer additional cover, such as cancellation cover should you catch COVID-19 or have to self-isolate because of suspected symptoms before departure. We’ll make it clear who these providers are when you’re comparing quotes so you can choose the policy that is right for you.

This doesn’t apply to all insurance providers, so unless otherwise stated, for all other sections of cover, you wouldn’t be covered if making a claim as a result of COVID-19.

For more information, we recommend reading our full guide here.

If the FCDO are advising against all, or all but essential travel to your destination at the time of your trip, there will be no, or extremely limited cover provided by your policy.

You can still choose to take out a policy now for a future holiday, but it is very important to note that if the FCDO are still advising against all but essential travel to your destination at the time of your trip, your cover will not be valid.

For more information, we recommend reading our full guide here.

Yes, we'll need to know if you or any traveller on your policy has ever suffered from a diagnosed psychiatric condition. 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's really 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 anxiety and is travelling to Spain for 7 nights. Price is correct as of December 2019. Prices may vary according to your individual requirements.

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Don't just take our word for it...

If we're unable to help you find cover for a pre-existing medical condition, the Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) have launched a new directory listing companies that may be able to assist you. You can find out more information on their website.