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Pre-existing medical conditions and travel insurance – Travel Tips


As most people are well aware, travel insurance like any other insurance has standard exclusions for pre-existing conditions. In the case of travel insurance this is pre-existing medical conditions.  Getting coverage for these will greatly depend on the nature of your condition, how long you have had it, what treatment you have had or are currently taking and other factors that need to be taken in to account.  However, pre-existing medical conditions still seem to generate a lot of confusion among holidaymakers who are confused about what actually constitutes a pre-existing medical condition.  A simple definition: “pre-existing medical condition is an injury or illness that you, your companion on your trip, or any family member upon whom the trip may depend, were seeking or receiving treatment for or had symptoms of on the day you purchased your policy, or at any time in the last two years before you purchased it”.  Standard travel insurance policies exclude pre-existing medical conditions, of which each individual insurer will define, because those conditions may be a reason for you to cancel or cut short your trip. There are special travel insurances available that cover pre-existing medical conditions which often constitute an extra cover on top of the standard travel insurance policy accessed via medical screening for which an additional premium may be necessary.   If you are over the age of 65, buying travel insurance may make it harder to find a reasonably priced travel insurance due to the increased chance of having pre-existing medical conditions.  The same can apply to backpacker insurance for those over age 40.  Regardless of the insurance you find, you need to declare to the company any ongoing medical conditions or those experienced within the last two years.  There are specific situations where coverage is automatically excluded from the majority of travel insurance policies such as:* Travelling against the advice of a doctor or for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment abroad.* When you or your companion have received a terminal diagnosis. * When you are receiving or are on a waiting list for some clinical or in-patient treatment.  Whatever travel insurance package you buy make sure you identify all the pre-existing medical conditions you or your traveling companions might have in order to prevent any financial risks that come with not declaring them.  Think ahead.  Think Smart.

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