Simon Bentley
Author: Simon Bentley, Head Of Customer Interaction

Simon has over 15 years experience in the insurance industry and looks after our website, making sure our customers have the best experience possible!

Originally posted: 26th Aug 2020

If you’re off on your holidays with family or friends it’s a really exciting time, with so much to look forward to. But if you, or one of your travelling companions has a pre-existing medical condition you may want to look into your group getting the same travel insurance policy.

Why should I add my group to my policy?

If you or a travelling companion has a pre-existing medical condition, anything from high blood pressure to diabetes, you could get more travel insurance cover by making sure that you are all covered on the same travel insurance policy.

You may think that you can save money by covering the healthy travellers on one policy and the traveller with the medical conditions on a separate travel insurance policy, but it may cost you more in the long term because it leaves you with a potential gap in your travel insurance cover.

So, when you are all insured on the same travel insurance policy your cancellation cover should also take into account cancellation for all travellers in relation to your travelling companions medical condition, as long as the condition was declared when you purchased the travel insurance. This is a great relief for many travelling with pre-existing medical conditions, as it gives both you and your friends/ family the peace of mind, just in case your condition should flare up around the time of your holiday.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, MBE

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

Sarah is the Clinical Director of the Patient Platform, an active medical writer, broadcaster, and is 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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But my companion doesn’t have any medical conditions?

The last thing you want is to be forced to cancel a holiday with your friends due to your pre-existing medical condition and for your group to find out that they will be unable to make a claim to recoup the cost, should they choose to cancel too.

A separate travel insurance policy is unlikely to provide cover for cancellation due to your pre-existing medical condition because travel insurance providers would not have known about the pre-existing conditions and therefore not provided cover for such circumstances, so it’s always good to have it as a back-up.

My friends/ family already have cover elsewhere though?

It’s also worth knowing that if your companion has paid out for a policy within the last 14 days, they have a right to cancel and get a refund, providing they have not travelled or made a claim against the policy. It doesn’t matter if two policies are in place, but the important thing is that your travelling companions are covered for your pre-existing conditions and not left out of pocket if they need to make a claim. 

Matt Heaton Awu2de0kt S Unsplash

So how do I add people to my travel insurance policy?

The best way is to include them at the time you apply and buy your cover, plain and simple. But, if you’re reading this and thinking… “I really need to add my friends to my existing policy!”  Then simply contact your travel insurance provider to see if they can be added to your policy.

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

Travel insurance providers usually define a family as a parent(s) traveling together with their child or children (under 18 years) for whom they are the legal guardians and who all reside together.

So if your children are older, or already flown the nest, you'll probably have to consider a group policy if you're looking to get covered on the same policy.

When should I not choose group travel insurance?

Sometimes getting group travel insurance isn’t the best option. If you and your group are on separate flights you may not all be covered under group insurance, it’s best to double-check the policy details to be sure.

If you’re off on other trips later on in the year, without your group then it may be cheaper for you to get an annual travel insurance policy, rather then just group cover for your joint trip.

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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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