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Disabled Travel Insurance
Cheap Travel Insurance for Disabled People
Having a disability doesn’t mean you can’t take to the skies and travel the world, and when it comes to air travel improving accessibility for disabled passengers is a key priority for the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.
Beyond our own shores (and our own skies), airlines and airport operators throughout Europe have a similar obligation to meet accessibility standards, and the same applies in many other parts of the world too.
No matter where you’re planning to go for your next holiday, though, you would be wise to consider taking out travel insurance before you set off.
Specifically, you should consider comparing quotes for travel insurance that covers pre-existing medical conditions, since standard travel insurance policies usually won’t be suitable if you have a mobility issue, visual impairment, learning difficulty or some other type of disability.
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Do I need to get a fit note from my doctor before I take out disabled travel insurance?
Whether you’re planning a weekend break or an extended vacation, if you would like to take out travel insurance for your hoiday you will need to declare your disability to your insurer during a ‘medical screening’ process.
However, in many cases you won’t need to get a fit note from your doctor when applying for medical travel insurance, although some insurance companies may ask for contact details for your doctor’s practice in case they have follow-up questions.
If your doctor has specifically advised you not to travel, though, and you decide to travel anyway then your holiday insurance may be invalid even if you have declared your disability as a pre-existing medical condition.
Will disabled travel insurance be more expensive than regular insurance?
You may find that the quotes you are offered are more expensive if you are taking out disabled travel insurance, although the exact premiums you’re quoted and how they differ from the premium for a standard travel insurance policy will largely depend on the nature of your disability and how it impacts the insurer’s risk assessment.
It is fair to say, though, that travel insurance for medical conditions is often more expensive, so it would be wise to compare a wide range of quotes from different insurance providers before deciding on which firm to use.
Will disabled travel insurance cover any loss or damage to my wheelchair?
If you take out the right insurance policy then your insurance company could cover much of the cost if your wheelchair is lost or damaged during your trip.
Some insurance providers may specifically exclude wheelchairs that are stored in the baggage hold during flights, though, so it pays to not only compare the insurance premiums you’re quoted but also compare exactly what each provider is agreeing to cover – and what exclusions they plan to impose.
If you do decide to go with an insurance policy that excludes any damage your wheelchair might receive while it is in the baggage hold it is worth noting that many planes can store at least one collapsible manual wheelchair in the cabin.
However, if there is more than one wheelchair user on board your flight this storage space will likely be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis, and if you use a motorised wheelchair instead of a manual you may find that you are required to store it in the baggage hold even though it won’t be insured during that particular leg of your journey.
Will I be allowed to carry medication in my hand luggage if I have a disability?
Yes, if you have been prescribed medication to help treat the symptoms of your disability you should be allowed to carry this medication in your hand luggage.
Please note, though, that if the medication you plan to carry is above the standard 100ml limit for liquids you will need to advise the airline and the airport in advance that you plan to carry it with you.
You will also need to make sure your medication is still in its original packaging and your prescription label is attached, otherwise it may be confiscated when you go through security.
Some airlines may also require you to provide a note from your doctor confirming that you need to carry this medication with you.
Will disabled travel insurance pay out if I need to cancel my trip or fly home early?
If you take out dedicated travel insurance for medical conditions and the insurer agrees to cover any issues that might arise as a direct result of your disability then they should pay out if you have to cancel your trip.
Similarly, if your disability means you suddenly have to cut your trip short and book emergency travel arrangements to return home then this cost should also be covered by your medical travel insurance, provided your policy includes ‘repatriation cover’.