Pre-Existing Medical Conditions and Travel Insurance

When armed with a bit of information and pre-planning, taking out travel insurance for international travel with a pre-existing medical condition doesn’t have to be a loathsome process. Actually, several insurers routinely include cover for a variety of low-risk medical conditions, as long as individuals assert them when taking out

What is a Pre-Existing Condition?

A pre-existing condition is defined as any chronic or continuous medical or dental condition that an individual is receiving treatment for or has been treated for in the recent times. However, the definition also encompasses conditions that have yet to be diagnosed but that a sensible person would be aware of. Unfortunately, the time period in which treatment has been received varies, in some cases limiting to the preceding three to twelve months, and in other instances going back as far as a decade.

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What Pre-Existing Conditions are Routinely Covered?

The variety and types of pre-existing conditions that are routinely covered, without the requirement for a medical assessment or an added premium, also varies between insurers. The conditions are usually low-risk, for example acne, asthma, eczema, gout, and hay fever. These are conditions that demand minimal or easily manageable treatments and are not likely to result in hospitalization or demand additional medical intervention while traveling. However, they still have to be declared when taking out travel cover and there can potentially be some conditions attached to whether or not they qualify for automatic cover.

What About Pre-Existing Conditions that are not Routinely Covered?

The Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of insurers would list the conditions that are automatically covered, along with any conditions. The PDS would also encompass requirements and restrictions for other pre-existing conditions, which might include a medical assessment or screening, and if cover is granted for these other pre-existing conditions, any extra premium that is demanded.

Rejection for additional cover for a pre-existing condition does not stop individuals from still taking out travel insurance, but it means they will not be covered for any claims that could be credited to a pre-existing condition. That means individuals would still be covered for medical and other expenses, given they are not caused by a pre-existing condition.

Declaring Pre-Existing Conditions

Declaring a low-risk medical or dental condition is often as easy as notifying the insurer of the condition when asking for a quote. Those with high-risk conditions, or who are unsure about their history with pre-existing conditions, should take into account potentially visiting their doctor or healthcare professional beforehand.

They will be capable of providing individuals with an easier report that lists conditions they have been previously treated for or are currently being treated for. It should include details of the treatment, including any prescription medication and hospital stays. This report does not need to be given to the insurer, but it will simplify answering questions posed to individuals if they have to undergo a medical screening or assessment.

Do Pre-Existing Conditions Have to be Declared?

Advanced disclosure of any pre-existing conditions is not required, but not doing so will place individuals at risk of having claims denied when they result from an undisclosed condition, and in extreme cases could even cause the entire policy to be declared void. Not being forthright about pre-existing conditions is a risk that could have very expensive outcomes.

Furthermore, while pregnancy is not always thought of as a pre-existing medical condition, many insurers do still anticipate it to be disclosed, especially if there have already been complications. cover for pregnancies is typically not offered if the pregnancy is past the 24th week.

About have been helping Australians buy travel insurance online since 1999. Their goal is to help you find the best policy for your needs and offer it at a discount price. has been designed to offer you the easiest way to compare and purchase your travel insurance, choosing from the major Australian brands such as; Suresave, QBE, CHI and Aussietravelcover travel insurance.

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Last updated: Feb 1, 2020 at 8:11 PM


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