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Can you fly with a hernia, and if so, will it be covered by travel insurance?

22/07/2021

Hernia Travel Insurance
If you’ve been diagnosed with a hernia before taking out a travel insurance policy there’s a good chance it will be classed as a pre-existing medical condition by insurance providers, which means some of them might exclude it from coverage.

However, not declaring a hernia on your travel insurance could prove to be even more painful in the long run, because it could invalidate your entire policy – leaving you to cover the cost of medical care yourself.

Can I get travel insurance with a hernia?

In short, yes, you can still get travel insurance if you have a hernia, but it’s possible the policy might only cover you for other risks and specifically exclude costs relating to your hernia.

Insurers set their own terms and conditions, of course, but whether you’re taking out a single-trip policy for a weekend break in Europe, or multi-trip travel insurance that covers you for ski trips in France during the winter and summer holidays in Turkey and Spain, there’s a very good chance your provider will be unwilling to pay for hernia treatment while you’re abroad if you knew about the hernia before you took the policy out.

And if you do find standard travel insurance that will cover your hernia, you will almost certainly have to pay a higher premium to cover the higher risk to the insurer.

Alternatively, there are several specialist insurers who provide cover for a range of pre-existing medical conditions, which can increase your odds of finding a policy that meets your needs.

Are different types of hernias treated differently when it comes to travel insurance?

Insurance is all about the probability of some adverse event happening, so insurers tend to look at the bigger picture rather than just one aspect.

If you have a hernia some insurers may take into consideration whether it is an inguinal hernia or a hiatus hernia, for instance, but they’re also likely to place greater emphasis on a broader range of health factors rather than base your premium solely on the type of hernia you have.

For example, insurers will also need to think about:

  • How long you’ve had the hernia for
  • Whether you have any ongoing or recurring symptoms
  • Whether you’re in pain
  • Whether you’ve had hernias previously
  • Your age and general health
  • Where you’re going on holiday and the type of care that’s available.
Can you fly with a hernia?

Unless your doctor has told you not to, there’s no reason why you can’t fly. But your insurer may well ask you about the length of the flight as well as the trip itself so that they can gauge the risk of a claim being made.

How soon can you fly after open hernia surgery?

This will depend on the airline you fly with, so check their website or booking conditions before you plan on going away.

As a general guide, though, you should allow at least ten days between serious surgery and flying (about two days for keyhole surgery).

However, before you go flying after hernia surgery, it’s crucial to follow any advice given by your doctor – in the event of a claim, insurers are likely to check.


This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.

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