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Pre-existing medical conditions

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!

Medical costs abroad can be very expensive, so it is vital to ensure that you get the right policy to cover your needs. In order to get the right cover, you must let your insurance provider know of any pre-existing medical conditions that you have. If you fail to do this you may be left facing a massive medical bill when you try to make a claim.

What conditions are covered?

Most insurers have a long list of pre-existing medical conditions that are automatically covered for free, which do not require an assessment or declaration form to be submitted. Check out our other super handy guide which explains what conditions are usually covered. If you have a pre-existing medial condition not listed, you may be able to get cover for an additional fee. Depending upon the seriousness and recency of the condition, your application may require further assessment.

How do I know who-covers-what?

Each insurer has different terms for pre-existing conditions. Some will ask for medical history in the past ten years and others, for the past six months. We encourage all New Zealanders to check how much of your medical history you have to disclose so that you can be confident that your policy covers you should anything happen.

Unfortunately there isn't an easy way to compare pre-existing conditions. (If there was, we would do it!) Each condition is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, so we are not able to give you a definite yes/no answer for all, as much as we wish we could.  The conditions covered and additional costs that apply vary between insurers and policies, so be sure to read your policy documentation of your chosen insurer to check whether your condition is covered.

Why not compare prices first?

Doing your comparison with means that you can compare a number of insurers and policies in one place.  Once you are happy with a few quotes you can then go directly to those insurers to find out about your pre-existing conditions.

Make sure you are speaking to different insurers!

Remember that lots of different brands are all underwritten by the same insurer. For example Worldcare, Webjet, STA Travel, American Express are all underwritten by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited. 1Cover and Columbus Direct are underwritten by Certain underwriters at Lloyds. Southern Cross Travel Insurance underwrite themselves. Covermore are underwritten by Zurich New Zealand. If you find that they don't cover your condition, try another brand that has a different underwriter. We name all the underwriters of the brands we compare within our quote results. Just click on 'more info'.

What's next?

Once you've done your comparison, 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.

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.


Need some help? Use the search box below to find answers to all those tricky travel insurance questions. We’ve got heaps of travel insurance tips to help you get the best policy for your upcoming holiday!


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