Travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

Whether it’s asthma, diabetes, a recent injury or a heart condition – pre-existing medical conditions can be an added complication when you're planning a trip, and finding the right travel insurance cover can be hard. When you have your heart set on going on your dream holiday, not knowing if you qualify for travel insurance can be a nerve-wracking experience.

At Columbus we believe in making the most of every moment in life. With our carefully designed travel insurance policies and our easy online medical screening process we want to help you do just that.


We make it easy for you

We’ve kept our medical assessment as simple and quick as possible for you. There’s no need to call up to disclose your medical conditions, you can do it all online while taking out your policy. And don’t worry, we won’t ask you to provide doctor’s certificates or medical reports. Once you’ve answered a few simple questions about your medical condition/s, you’ll immediately see if they can be covered. If cover is available at extra charge, you can still choose to exclude it and pay the normal price for your insurance.

Great cover for your condition, peace of mind for you

Once your medical condition has been accepted and you've taken out a policy with us, you’ll enjoy up to $25 million overseas medical cover, including cover for repatriation. You’ll also be covered if you (and anyone else on your policy) need to cancel or curtail your trip because of your medical condition. 

Want to see a quote?
  • Cover can be offered up to the age of 84 for single trip policies (up to 69 for annual multi-trip policies).
  • Cover for up to $25 million of overseas medical costs available.
  • Insurance for unforeseen medical emergencies and repatriation is provided.
  • Ski and winter sports cover is optional.

Good to know

Why it's good to have medical screening

Many travel insurance companies advertise the fact that ‘no medical assessment is needed’ when you buy a policy from them. But it would be dangerous to assume this means you’re covered for all your existing conditions. Usually this means you’ll be covered for none. Therefore, whenever you buy an insurance policy where your medical condition could be relevant (i.e. any insurance related to your health), make sure you find out if medical conditions are covered, and under what terms.

To disclose or not to disclose…

Some people might think they’re better off not disclosing a medical condition. At first sight this may seem to reduce the hassle and/or cost of taking out a travel insurance policy. But travelling without having disclosed ALL of your pre-existing conditions is a gamble that could leave you stuck with a horrendous overseas medical bill to pay. Claims may be reduced or rejected and, in the worst case, your whole insurance policy could become void. That’s why at Columbus Direct we strongly urge our clients to always declare ALL their medical conditions to us. Although we can’t cover every condition under every circumstance, we will do what we can to support you in finding the right cover for your trip, even if it’s not with us.

If your condition is under control and you don’t think you need it covered under your travel insurance policy, it’s still important to declare the condition. Columbus Direct give you the option to exclude medical conditions that have been accepted before you purchase, so you won't have to get it covered if you don't want to.

Telling the whole story allows us to help you find the best travel insurance policy for you and ensures you know exactly what you’re covered for before you leave home.


Do I have a medical condition?

If you have any medical or dental condition, illness, injury, defect or disease (other than common colds or flu), this may be considered a pre-existing medical condition. Check if any of the following apply to your condition to confirm if you need to declare it:

  • I have received or been prescribed advice, treatment (including medication), or investigation for this in the last 12 months (in the 12 months before booking your trip for Annual Multi-Trip policies)
  • My condition, or a complication that is directly linked to it, is ongoing or recurring
  • I am aware of the condition, or its symptoms, or could reasonably be expected to have been aware at the time of applying for this insurance.

Is there any cover for mental illness?

Our policies provide certain cover for travellers who experience a serious mental health problem for the first time, before they travel or whilst overseas. Cover for certain pre-existing mental health conditions is also available subject to our medical screening and the payment of an additional premium (where required). To find out if your mental health condition can be covered, simply get a quote and complete the medical screening at step four.

I am pregnant – do I have to disclose this?

Pregnancy is not considered a medical condition so you don’t need to tell us about this unless you are currently pregnant and have had any complications of pregnancy. We offer certain pregnancy-related cover as standard up to the 25th week of pregnancy. From the 26th week until the 30th week, our Pregnancy Extension, which includes cover for childbirth and care of the newborn, is available for pregnancies that meet ALL of these criteria.

How long does the online medical screening take?

Depending on the condition you declare and how many conditions you have, the assessment should take between one and twenty minutes.

Will I need to provide any documents?

No, we won’t ask for any doctor’s certificates, medical reports or evaluations. We only need you to complete our online medical screening to be able to tell you if your condition can be covered.

What if my condition can’t be covered?

If we can’t cover your medical condition, you can still take out a policy with us but claims arising from or related to that condition won’t be covered. It'll be your choice to decide if you’re comfortable travelling without having your condition covered or if you'd prefer to take out a policy with an insurer who can cover the condition.

Can I talk to someone about travel insurance for my condition?

Of course you can! If you have more questions or would like somebody to talk you through our medical screening, just get in touch and we'll be happy to help you out.

Please note that the benefits we’ve listed below are just a summary – to really understand what you’re covered for it’s important that you read our full policy wording including terms, conditions and exclusions.

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Why Columbus Direct?

  • 24/7 emergency medical assistance helpline
  • Sydney Customer Care Team
  • 19 day money back guarantee*
  • No credit card surcharge
  • Secure online purchase process

*Provided you haven't travelled or claimed.

2013: Travel Insurance Intermediary of the year award by the ITIJ2011: Best Travel Insurance Provider award from the Personal Finance Awards 2012: Best Travel Insurance Provider award from the Your Money Direct AwardsBest Online Travel Insurance Provider award from the Your Money Direct Awards 

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