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Compare Travel Insurance Travel Insurance Tips Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

05 February, 2019 By Crystal Moran

Having pre-existing medical conditions doesn't mean you can't get travel insurance or that it has to be expensive. It simply means that you need to dig a little deeper when doing your research.

What is considered a pre-existing condition?

What counts as a pre-existing condition? What if you broke your arm two years ago? Or you're living with diabetes? Or you had a pacemaker put in twenty years ago? Every insurer has different rules about what is considered a pre-existing condition, so it's important to check the PDS so you know whether you need to declare your condition.

Typically, pre-existing conditions include chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes, heart, lung or brain conditions, and anything which happened in the last two to five years.

Why is it important to declare pre-existing conditions?

If you have an illness or injury which the doctors say is related to you pre-existing condition, and you aren't covered for that condition, you claim is void and you could be left with eyewatering medical expenses! 

Automatically covered conditions

Good news - many travel insurance brands automatically cover a range of conditions. Often common illnesses like asthma, diabetes and high cholesterol are covered, depending on when you were diagnosed, whether your condition is stable, and if you have additional related conditions. Check the PDS rules to see whether automatically covered conditions apply to you.

How do I declare my condition?

If your condition isn't automatically covered, you will be required to fill out a medical assessment form, and an insurer will decide whether they can cover your condition, whether they will cover you but exclude your condition, and if there is any additional premium.

Many brands have introduced online medical screening forms, where you can answer a couple of questions about your condition and find out immediately whether you can get cover. Other brands will require you to get your doctor to sign a form outlining your conditions. 

Who’s offers online medical assessments?

General Advice Warning: The contents of this article were accurate at the time of writing. Insurers change their policies from time to time, so some information may have changed. You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement of your chosen insurer to understand what is covered and what isn't. The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal circumstances.

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions That May Not Be Covered

There are some conditions that insurers will not cover. This does not mean that you cannot take out travel insurance. It simply means that any claim arising from, or related to that condition will not be covered. 

Conditions such as terminal illness, requiring oxygen, awaiting surgery, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, types of cancer, congestive heart failure, recurring pain or mental illness (including dementia) are typically not covered.

What If I Can't Find Cover For My Pre-Existing Condition?

If you're struggling to find cover you may have luck with travel insurer AllClear. This specialist medical travel insurance provider offers comprehensive cover. Any medical condition is considered. They can offer cover for any age. 

Remember you can still buy normal travel insurance with pre-existing conditions - but it just means you may not be covered for any claims related to, exacerbated by, or arising from that pre-existing medical condition without prior approval.

What's Next?

Once you've done your travel insurance comparison, click on your policy choice and we will direct you to your chosen insurer's site to confirm your quote. Whether you're purchasing online or over the phone, you will usually be prompted to disclose pre-existing medical conditions during the purchase process. When purchasing online, once you have selected 'Yes' to cover pre-existing medical conditions, premium loadings are applied at the end of a questionnaire.

Are You A Mature Traveller?

If you are over the age of 50, finding a suitable policy to cover your pre-existing medical conditions can be more tricky. Read our guide to seniors travel insurance for some top tips.

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Contributor Crystal Moran

Crystal Moran

With a research and journalism background, and certified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice, Crystal is passionate about investigating customers’ tricky travel questions and helping them find the answers they’re looking for. A writer and filmmaker whose favourite trips have been to film festivals in Cuba and South Korea, and campervanning around the USA, she loves getting to know new people and seeing a glimpse of the world through their eyes.

Pre-Existing medical conditions FAQs

Can't find what you're looking for? We answer some of top questions on getting travel cover for pre-existing conditions.

What is considered a pre-existing condition?

Every insurer has different rules, so be sure to check their Product Disclosure Statement before you buy. Generally speaking, any condition involving your heart, circulation, lungs, brain, or has involved any type of cancer will be considered a pre-existing condition, as well as any illness, injury or condition for which you are awaiting or had recent surgery, or have had investigated, diagnosed or treated in the last three months to five years, depending on the insurer.

Is pregnancy considered a pre-existing condition?

Generally speaking, most insurers do not consider pregnancy itself to be a pre-existing condition, and automatically cover pregnant people up to 19-32 weeks, depending on the brand. If you have pregnancy-related pre-existing conditions, such as pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes, these will need to be declared or your policy may be invalid. Learn more about pregnancy travel insurance.

Does travel insurance cover mental illness?

Many insurers now offer cover for mental health conditions and illnesses. Often you will need to declare these conditions if they are pre-existing. Learn more about mental illness and travel insurance.

Does travel insurance cover diabetes?

Yes, many travel cover brands cover diabetes, and depending on the nature of your diabetes, it may be covered automatically without a medical screening form. Learn more about the rules around travel insurance for diabetes.

Does travel insurance cover heart conditions like heart attacks or stents?

Yes, many brands cover for a range of heart conditions, typically depending on factors such as how long ago your condition started, how many medications you are on, and if you've ever required surgery. Learn more about travel insurance for heart conditions and which insurers offer it here.

Does travel insurance offer cancer?

Yes, a small number of travel insurers offer coverage for cancer, depending on the nature of your condition. Our guide on travel insurance when you have cancer lists a few insurers which can offer cover. Otherwise, you can try specialist medical travel insurer, AllClear Travel Insurance.

Which insurers let you declare your pre-existing medical conditions online?

Many insurers have online medical screening forms, so you can declare your condition and find out if they'll cover you straight away. You see which travel insurers offer this in our table above.

further Reading

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Do you prefer your holidays with thrills? If you’re planning on doing some risky activities on your trip- check this guide out first. 


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Want to know which insurers cover asthma?We've got you covered! Check out our handy guide so you can get the most out of your trip.


Pregnancy travel insurance guide

Bun in the oven? Make sure your chosen insurer covers to your gestation limit - it's important to be protected when travelling while pregnant.

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