Don’t Gamble When You Travel

If money and circumstance allows, summer sees many people packing up and shipping out for a week or two of relaxation and a bit of exploring. Most will take out holiday insurance, but some consider this to be an unnecessary extra expense that they don’t really need.

If you think you cant afford to get cover, think again. You can’t afford not to.

GAIN charity is contacted at least once or twice each year by people who have developed Guillain-Barre syndrome whilst on holiday abroad.

This is bad enough if you’re fully covered by travel insurance, but becomes a potentially desperate situation if travelling without cover.

There is no viable alternative to travel insurance when it comes to covering the cost of hospitalisation, medical expenses, extended accommodation needs and repatriation.

This is something we cannot help with.

GAIN provides non-medical information and other assistance within the UK and Ireland. Our personal grant procedure has constitutional limitations and cannot be used to pay for medical fees, patient transportation, or goods or services that are available through other sources. Regrettably, this rules out financial assistance in lieu of adequate insurance cover.


Top of your list is Medical Emergencies

Your policy should cover;

  • Treatment costs
  • Getting back home
  • Reasonable transport & accommodation expenses for family / friend staying with you
  • Temporary emergency dental treatment
  • Access to a 24-hour assistance helpline.

Remember, withholding details of your medical history may invalidate your policy!

Get the right policy for you

  • Consider whether single or multi-trip cover is best
  • Are you travelling within Europe or further afield?
  • Do you need additional cover for sports, etc.
  • What is the total value of your luggage?
  • Don’t forget the extras!

For more information and advice on travel insurance visit

Travel insurance with a pre existing medical condition

You MUST disclose any pre-existing medical condition when buying travel insurance, as failure to do so could invalidate your policy. However, this isn’t always much more expensive than regular travel insurance, and it is worth shopping around or using a comparison website to find the best deal.


  • Guillain-Barre syndrome or GBS (also known as AIDP), is an acute condition. Acute variants include Miller Fisher, AMAN and AMSAN. Although some people are left with residual effects following recovery, the syndrome itself runs a finite course lasting no more than 6 weeks, so unless you were diagnosed in the last few weeks, this is something you have had and have recovered from, even if your recovery is not complete. If you have had GBS in the past, it should not be declared as a pre-existing medical condition because you do not have it now. It is worth noting that a person who has had GBS is considered to be no more at risk of recurrence than anyone else is of developing GBS for the first time.
  • Some variants, such as CIDP, are chronic and often follow a gradually progressive or a remitting and relapsing course. Chronic variants include Mulitfocal Motor Neuropathy (MMN), Lewis Sumner / MADSAM, Paraproteinaemia / PDN and CANOMAD. If you have a chronic variant of the syndrome, then this would be classified as a pre-existing medical condition because you have it currently.



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