By Vicky Anscombe on 20 October 2015

Buying travel insurance for a pre-existing medical condition can seem daunting; what needs to be disclosed? What if you’ve been free from a disease for a certain number of years? Do conditions like asthma need to be declared?

We listen to you when you come to us with questions, so here are some of the most common queries people ask us about pre-existing medical conditions.

What factors determine whether my condition/s can be covered and how much extra premium I need to pay?

The additional amount charged for conditions we can cover depends not only on the conditions themselves. It can also depend on factors like the length of your trip, your destination and your age group.

How do I find out if my medical condition/s can be covered or not?

When you’re buying your policy, you’ll be asked to complete our Medical Screening; depending on the answers you give, it will immediately advise if the condition(s) have been accepted or declined for cover. If your conditions are ‘declined’, we can still provide you with cover, but unfortunately would not be able to cover you for claims that relate to or result from the pre-existing medical condition(s).

What if I don’t want my condition to be covered on the policy? Can I choose which of my conditions I want covered, and which conditions I want excluded from my policy?

Where cover for your medical condition(s) is accepted at an extra charge, you may choose to include the pre-existing condition(s) in your policy. You can also choose to exclude them from your cover to avoid the additional premium (in which case claims that relate to or result from the conditions will not be covered).

If you have multiple pre-existing medical conditions that have been accepted, you can either cover all of them, or none - unfortunately you can’t choose which conditions you want cover for.

I’m on medication for high blood pressure, but my levels are normal - do I need to declare this?

Yes, if you are taking or have taken any medication within the last 12 months it will need to be declared as a pre-existing condition. Due to the fact you are relying on your medication to lower your blood pressure, it still poses a certain degree of risk from a travel insurance perspective.

Are any conditions automatically covered, without going through screening?

No, each medical condition will need to be assessed using our medical screening process. However, for common conditions such as high blood pressure, the questions are usually very short.

My medical condition is serious. What are my chances of getting covered?

We may still be able to provide you with cover for your pre-existing medical condition, even if it is serious. However, if you’ve been hospitalised in the last three months, unfortunately we will not be able to provide you with cover for the pre-existing medical condition.

Where you are travelling against medical advice or have received a terminal prognosis, please be advised that you would not be covered under any circumstances (or under any Section of our policy) for a claim arising.

I don’t want my medical conditions to be covered. Do I still need to declare them?

Yes; it is required, as per our terms and conditions, that all pre-existing conditions need to be declared, even if you don’t want them covered. However, if your conditions are “Accepted” you may elect to exclude them and you will not be charged an additional premium.

My condition has been rejected. Does this mean I can’t get travel insurance?

No. All it means is that any claims relating directly or indirectly to the denied condition(s) will not be covered. You’ll still be covered for new medical claims not related to the pre-existing condition(s), and can make use of all the other policy benefits, such as cover for personal baggage and travel delay.

What do you class as 'hospitalisation'?

We consider hospitalisation to be where you have been admitted and kept as an inpatient in hospital for 24 hours or more.

Do I need to tell you what medication I am on?

No - we generally only need to know about the condition itself. If we do need to know which medication is used to manage your condition, this question will be asked as part of our screening process.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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