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: 29th Jun 2023

If you're off on your holidays with your loved ones, whether it's your family or friends, it's an incredibly exciting time. However, if you or any of your fellow travellers happen to have a pre-existing medical condition, it's highly advisable to explore the option of your entire group obtaining the same travel insurance policy.

This ensures that everyone is adequately covered and protected throughout your journey, granting you peace of mind and allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the delightful experiences that lie ahead.

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Why should I consider a group travel insurance policy?

If you or a travelling companion has a pre-existing medical condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, it's important to ensure that everyone is covered by the same travel insurance policy. This not only provides more comprehensive coverage but also offers potential cost savings in the long run.

While you might initially consider saving money by covering healthy travellers on one policy and the traveller with medical conditions on a separate policy, this approach could leave you with a potential gap in your travel insurance coverage.

By having everyone insured on the same policy, your cancellation cover will also account for all travellers in relation to your travelling companion's medical condition. This provides great relief for those travelling with pre-existing medical conditions, as it guarantees peace of mind for both you and your friends or family, especially in case the condition should flare up around the time of your holiday.

Having all travellers covered on a single travel insurance policy ensures that the cancellation cover is comprehensive and takes into account the needs and potential risks associated with pre-existing medical conditions. It's a smart and practical approach to safeguarding your travel plans and ensuring that everyone can enjoy their holiday worry-free.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, MBE

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

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

A pre-existing medical condition means a condition that you have been diagnosed, or treated for, prior to you taking out your travel insurance policy. This may be a health condition you have now or one that you no longer suffer from, but have had in the past. Whilst you’ll need to tell us about most pre-existing health conditions if you have been diagnosed or treated for them (including repeat prescriptions) within the last 2 years, some conditions, such as heart or respiratory-related conditions, we’ll need to know if you’ve ever had them.

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What if I'm the only one with a pre-existing condition?

The last thing you want is to be forced to cancel a long-awaited holiday with your dear friends or family due to your pre-existing medical condition. It can be truly disheartening for both you and your group to find out that, in such unfortunate circumstances, they will be unable to make a claim to recoup the cost of the trip.

Unfortunately, a separate travel insurance policy is unlikely to provide cover for cancellation specifically due to pre-existing medical conditions. This is because travel insurance providers typically do not have prior knowledge of your medical history and therefore cannot offer cover for such situations. It's always wise to have a backup plan in place to ensure peace of mind and protect yourself financially in case of unexpected events.

My friends/family already have cover elsewhere?

It's important to note that if your companion has recently purchased a policy within the last 14 days, they have the right to cancel and receive a refund, as long as they haven't travelled or made a claim.

It's also worth mentioning that the presence of multiple policies is not an issue; what truly matters is ensuring that your travel companions are adequately covered for any pre-existing conditions. This way, they won't be left out of pocket if they ever need to make a claim.

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How do I add people to my travel insurance policy?

The most effective approach is to include your friends and/or family when you apply for and purchase your travel insurance policy, keeping things straightforward and hassle-free.

However, if you find yourself reading this and realising that you need to add your friends to your existing policy, don't worry! Just get in touch with your travel insurance provider and inquire about the possibility of adding them to your policy.

They will be able to guide you through the process and provide you with all the information you need to make the necessary adjustments. Remember, it's always better to be safe and ensure that everyone is adequately protected during your travels.

What’s the difference between group and family travel insurance?

Travel insurance providers typically define a family as a parent or parents travelling together with their child or children who are under 18 years old, for whom they are the legal guardians, and who all reside together in the same household.

This means that if your children are older or have already moved out, you may need to consider a group policy if you want to ensure that everyone is covered under the same insurance policy.

Taking this into account can help you make an informed decision when choosing the most suitable insurance coverage for your family's travel needs.

When should I not choose group travel insurance?

Sometimes, opting for individual travel insurance instead of group coverage may be more appropriate. It's important to note that if your group is not travelling altogether, then not all members of your group may be covered under the group insurance policy. Therefore, it is always recommended to carefully review the policy details to ensure everyone's protection.

Furthermore, if you have plans for other trips throughout the year without your group, it might be more cost-effective to consider an annual travel insurance policy rather than solely relying on group coverage. This way, you can enjoy comprehensive coverage for all your individual journeys, providing you with peace of mind throughout the year.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You must have a permanent UK address, have lived in the UK for the last 6 months and be registered with a medical practitioner in the UK. All trips must start and end in the UK and you must purchase the insurance before you depart for your first trip.
Annual and Single policies can be arranged for individuals, couples, families and groups. An individual policy provides cover for one person only. A couple is two individuals living at the same address. A family is either one or two parents travelling with their child or up to 10 children (under 18 years) for whom they are legal guardians and who all reside together.  A group is 2 or more people travelling together, regardless of their relationship, up to a maximum of 12. Check with your insurance provider whether everyone insured on an Annual policy must live at the same address.
Yes, on an annual trip policy, anyone named on the policy can travel separately.

A pre-existing condition is a diagnosed medical condition that existed before taking out a policy. We'll ask a series of questions about the medical history for you and any travellers on your quote. If you answer yes to any of these, you will need to tell us about the traveller's conditions. This could be a condition that a traveller has now or has had in the past. If you are not sure what conditions you need to declare, we have online support available to help you 24/7!

No. We can search for travel insurance quotes for all ages. However, the number of annual multi-trip quotes for older travellers may be limited due to age restrictions imposed by the providers that we search. If you are unable to get an annual trip quote, try a single trip quote instead.

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