What is a pre-existing medical condition?
A pre-existing medical condition is a medical or physical condition, symptoms or circumstances, that started before you took out your travel insurance.
- An ongoing medical or dental condition which you are aware of, or have symptoms of
- A condition you are seeking medical treatment for, or have previously been treated for
- A condition you are taking medicine for
- A condition you’ve had surgery for
- A condition you’re awaiting test results for
- Pregnancy is also included
It’s important to realise that pre-existing medical conditions apply to everyone listed on the certificate of insurance - so the person who buys the travel insurance policy, travelling companions, and close relatives too.
Example travelling companions: If your travelling companion was suddenly admitted to hospital for a pre-existing condition the medical fees would not be covered.
Example close relative: If you suddenly needed to return home because a close relative fell ill, but it was due to a pre-existing condition. Travel insurance would not cover the cost of your flights to return home. If it was a completely unrelated issue then you would have cover.
Typical conditions that are covered:
- Asthma (conditions may apply)
- Epilepsy (conditions may apply)
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure (conditions may apply)
- Congenital blindness
- Congenital deafness
- Diabetes (conditions may apply)
To see exactly what conditions your insurer covers, you must refer to their Product Disclosure Statement which will show a full list, or alternatively call them directly.
Typical conditions that are not covered:
- Terminal illness
- If you require oxygen for your holiday
- If you need to take blood thinning drugs
- Chronic renal failure
- Congestive heart failure
- If you’re awaiting surgery
- Seizures in the past 12 months
- Recurring pain
- Mental illness – including depression, anxiety, dementia
- Fertility treatment
- If you are waiting for an organ transplant
- Alcohol or drug addiction
Refer to your chosen insurers Product Disclosure Statement to see a full list of the pre-existing conditions they exclude.
I have a pre-existing condition, how do I get cover?
For certain conditions, you may have to have an assessment by a medical practitioner before your insurance can be issued. The results will be given to you before, so you can then decide if you'd like to continue to purchase the policy. If you are offered cover, an additional premium may apply. You can of course continue with your policy without the cover for that particular condition.
Typical conditions where you’ll need a medical declaration include:
- If you’ve had surgery in the last 2 years
- Heart problems
- A pacemaker
- A stroke
- Cystic fibrosis
Like any travel insurance policy there are exclusions and conditions that apply to the benefits. Some conditions are included regardless of age, others will have age clauses depending on state of health. See the age restrictions on the insurers we compare here.
Each insurer is different
It’s important to realise that each insurer is different, and some may cover more pre-existing conditions than others.
If you’re struggling to find cover, a good idea is to compare insurers that have different underwriters as their products are likely to vary.
On our website; 1Cover and Columbus Direct are underwritten by Certain underwriters at Lloyds. American Express, Downunder, STA Travel, NZ Travel Insurance and Webjet are underwritten by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited.
See more information about pre-existing medical conditions here.