Find travel insurance that can cover Epilepsy
Travelling with a pre-existing medical condition like epilepsy requires planning, especially with regards to medication. It's crucial to be adequately prepared in the event that you have a seizure overseas and this includes having the right travel insurance in place.
Get quotes for travel insurance that considers all pre-existing conditions
How do I get cover?
Most travel insurance policies provide automatic cover for certain pre-existing medical conditions like epilepsy but will usually carry requirements such as:
- No change in your medication regime over a certain period of time e.g. the last 12 months
- No hospitalisation for your condition over a certain period e.g. the last two years
If you have been hospitalised recently
You will need to:
- Apply for special cover if the policy allows it
- Pay an extra premium
If you suffer from epilepsy and you’re considering applying for travel insurance, it’s important to be aware of the way in which your condition is assessed by the insurance provider. The type and gravity of your condition will influence your premium. Categories include:
- Idiopathic Epilepsy. This is a form of epilepsy that occurs for no obvious reasons. It is recognised by the occurrence of major convulsions and a minor short blackout. The insurer will make an assessment based on lifestyle and the course of treatment.
- Symptomatic Epilepsy. Symptomatic epilepsy is usually a result of brain damage and, depending on the case, can result in a higher premium for your policy.
- Focal Epilepsy. This variation causes complex motor seizures which would result in a higher premium.
The onus is on you to disclose your condition to the insurer, especially if it’s not automatically covered as a pre-existing medical condition. If you develop the condition after purchasing travel insurance, it’s imperative to inform your insurer so that the contract can be modified accordingly. You will most likely be charged an additional premium for the modification.
When you apply for insurance and disclose a pre-existing medical condition like Epilepsy, you will typically go through the these steps:
- Check if Epilepsy is completely excluded from your policy. This will mean the you cannot get cover with the policy.
- Check if Epilepsy is automatically included and under what conditions. Automatically included Epilepsy cover will typically have a condition such as requiring not hospitalisations in the past 2 years. If you meet the conditions then you will be automatically covered.
- If you do not meet the requirements, apply for special cover. Some policies will let you apply using a declaration form.
What do I need to provide in a declaration form?You will be typically need to provide information regarding:
- The name of your condition
- What medications and treatments have been taken for the condition
- Details of any recent changes your treatment medication
- Whether or not you have seen medical practitioner recently
- If you've undergone treatment in a hospital recently
- If you're currently on a waiting list for medical review or treatment
Yes, you must declare what type of medication you are using or when the last you used it was. Most travel insurance brands will cover epilepsy if your condition hasn’t changed within 12 months, or if you’re on only one course of anti-seizure medication. Depending on the variation and the kind of medication you’ve been prescribed, you might have to pay an additional premium.
Here are a few tips to facilitate travelling with epilepsy.
- Be prepared. Have all your travel and personal documentation on hand in case of a medical emergency. Do research to find out about standard medical care procedure if you suffer seizures at your destination.
- Check your medication. Besides making sure that your medication is clearly marked with your name and the necessary dosage, it’s a good idea to store two or three sets of medication in different places (hand luggage, cabin bag, main luggage) in case you lose one.
- Get enough rest. Fatigue can be a trigger for seizures, so make sure you get enough rest on the flight or on the road. Split long journeys into smaller parts so that you can rest.
Most travel insurance policies will cover epilepsy as a pre-existing medical condition, but not if:
- You are on two or more anti-seizure medications, or
- Your medication regime remains unchanged for 12 months
In these cases, the terms of your travel insurance policy won’t cover the costs of medical assistance or hospitalisation.
Living with epilepsy doesn’t mean you can’t travel. Depending on the seriousness of your condition, most travel insurance policies will cover epilepsy as long as you show you can manage it responsibly.