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Rare Disease Day takes place on 28th February. It's a day devoted to raising awareness about uncommon medical conditions and the difficulties faced by people living with them. Getting affordable travel insurance can be one such problem. With us, it needn’t be. 

If you are living with a medical condition, you will know that getting travel insurance can sometimes be frustrating. That’s especially true for rare diseases. Some travel insurers may flat out refuse to cover you - most likely because they don’t understand the condition. Others may quote prohibitively high premiums.

Don’t give up.

At World First we do things differently. Why shouldn’t you spread your wings? If you feel well enough to travel, it’s likely we will be able to give you the cover you need without blowing your holiday budget. To coincide with Rare Disease Day, we are keen to spread the message about medical travel insurance that’s a whole lot fairer.

What is Rare Disease Day and why does it matter?

The lack of scientific knowledge on rare diseases causes challenging problems. Patient symptoms are often missed or misdiagnosed by doctors, patients have no advice available to them, researchers have no data to work with and funding to progress medical knowledge is limited. Rare Disease Day seeks to encourage a more comprehensive, global approach to rare diseases, uniting experts, researchers and clinicians across international boundaries in order for patients to benefit from a global pooling of resources.

But what exactly is a rare disease?

Considering how uncommon they are, there are an awful lot of rare diseases - roughly 6,000 affecting around 30 million adults and children. A disease or disorder is defined as rare in Europe when it affects fewer than 1 in 2000 people. The fact that there are often no effective cures for these conditions adds to the pain and suffering - whether emotional, physical or both - endured by patients and their families.

Since Rare Disease Day was founded in 2008, thousands of events have taken place throughout the world to raise awareness of rare diseases and encourage research and funding. You can browse events, share your story or become a friend of Rare Disease Day on their website.

Comprehensive medical travel insurance - without breaking the bank

At World First we provide comprehensive medical travel insurance for thousands of conditions. We’re specialists. As a policyholder you get up to £10 million worth of medical cover for unexpected medical costs you incur while you’re away, including the cost of replacing lost or stolen medication. You will also receive all the normal benefits you’d expect such as cancellation cover, personal possessions protection and cover for missed departures.

Wondering how we are able to cover customers who have been refused elsewhere? It’s simple. We recognise that every person and every disease is different. So we try to take a more personal approach to travel cover. By going into more detail than other insurers in our medical screening, we are able to get a broader understanding about your specific condition and how you manage it. Asking more about you and your holiday is the key to offering the cover you need at a price that’s fair.

We can cover thousands of rare conditions. Including those listed below.

Acute megakaryoblastic leukaemia without Down syndrome

Whether you have been recently diagnosed, are undergoing treatment or have received the all clear, the presence of AMKL on your medical records can make it almost impossible to find good travel insurance. We see things differently. And there’s a fair chance we will be able to give you or your child the cover you need.

Behr syndrome

People living with Behr syndrome require lots of care - often around-the-clock. There’s lots to think about. But that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the holiday you deserve. Medical travel insurance from World First can help.

Diabetes insipidus

There are several different types of diabetes insipidus. They include hereditary central diabetes insipidus as well as diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus with optic atrophy and deafness (also known as DIDMOAD or Wolfram syndrome). No matter which type you or your loved one has, our diabetes insipidus travel insurance can help.

Congenital pancreatic cyst

Congenital pancreatic cysts are incredibly rare. Many insurers simply haven’t heard of them and do not have the medical knowledge to understand them. Whether your child has recently been diagnosed or has undergone surgery, we can help you get the medical travel insurance you’re looking for.

Anal fistula

Anal fistula is a sensitive condition. But we know that in most cases there’s no reason you shouldn’t travel. If your anal fistula is related to Crohn’s disease, take a look at our Crohn’s travel insurance.


Most gastrointestinal stromal tumours are diagnosed towards the later stages of growth. That can make it difficult to get travel insurance. Yet GIST is treatable and can be well-controlled with medication. Take a look at our bowel and bladder cancer travel insurance for more.


Pemphigus can be a very painful condition to live with. But that doesn’t mean you are unable to get out there and see the world - especially if you are in a period of remission. Take a look at our medical travel insurance to find the cover you need for your travel plans.

Browse our medical travel insurance now

Thanks to our comprehensive medical screening, we are able to cover rare diseases and disorders that other travel insurers don’t. To get a quote visit our medical travel insurance page or call our UK customer service team on 0345 90 80 161.

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