Travel insurance does cover medical conditions but, like all insurances, there are restrictions and exclusions set within the policy to keep premium costs lower for the consumer. Travel insurance prices are all based on risk assessment. Just as skydiving isn’t covered as it’s too risky to insure, the same goes for serious illnesses and injury. If travel insurers started to cover conditions such as heart disease or cancer, then overall premiums for consumers would go through the roof. Insurers put restrictions on the higher risk illnesses to keep costs down for the average traveller.
John from Wollongong* – “We had to make a claim for a huge medical bill from when we were travelling in the US, but our claim was rejected because my husband had an operation 2 years earlier.” – *Name and places have been changed
Time and time again we receive feedback from customers who’ve had rejected claims with something to do with a pre-existing medical condition, and the majority of these rejections were because the insurer was not made aware of the condition before the start date of travel, or because the condition was never covered in the first place.
Comparetravelinsurance.com.au helps to explain which conditions are covered and why claims are rejected.
Natalie Ball, Director, Comparetravelinsurance.com.au
“What travellers fail to realise is that any previous illness or injury is considered a pre-existing medical condition. If you want cover, you must disclose anything you have sought medical attention for in the past. Even something like a stomach ulcer from 10 years ago. Without doing so, your claim could be rejected as the insurer was not made aware of the condition in the first place.”
Ball suggests “If you’re finding it difficult to find cover for a particular condition, ensure you contact insurance companies with varying underwriters to research a good cross-section of the market.”
What is considered a pre-existing medical condition in travel insurance jargon?
A pre-existing medical condition is considered an ongoing medical or dental condition which you are aware of, or have symptoms of. A condition you are currently seeking medical treatment for, or have previously been treated for, by a medical professional. A condition you are taking medicine for currently or you’ve had surgery for, in the past 12 months. Pregnancy is also considered a pre-existing medical condition.
Typical pre-existing medical conditions are covered:
Typical pre-existing medical conditions are not covered:
If you do suffer from a medical condition that’s not automatically covered, it doesn’t mean you’re unable to get travel insurance at all. Many conditions require a medical assessment before cover can be purchased. And/or you might be able pay a premium to cover your condition to out-way the additional risk.
If you are refused cover for your condition, you will still have all the other benefits of travel insurance and any medical claims that are totally unrelated to your pre-existing medical condition are ok. But you will not be covered for any claims arising from your refused pre-existing condition.
Typical situations and conditions you’ll need a medical assessment for:
Medical bills overseas regularly exceed tens of thousands of dollars and without travel insurance you could see your holiday end in financial ruin.
It’s important to remember that each underwriter has a different list of conditions that are covered, so it pays to shop around and compare different policies and insurers. And the best way to find out what each policy covers is to read the PDS in full.
Comparetravelinsurance.com.au is Australia’s leading travel insurance comparison site, comparing more travel insurance quotes than any other. Their comparison is a free service that allows users to compare many travel insurance quotes in seconds. They provide comprehensive travel insurance information to save Aussies both time and money. Compare travel insurance is owned and operated by CoverDirect Pty Ltd and powered by ‘Compare Insurance’. CoverDirect holds an Australia financial services licence that allows them to provide general travel insurance advice, including their comparison services. All policies listed on Compare Travel Insurance are underwritten by one of Australia’s leading underwriters and include a 24-hour emergency medical assistance helpline.