When you decide to buy a travel insurance policy you will notice that your travel insurance provider will ask a number of questions-many of which refer to your health and medical history. This can cover everything from previous cancer treatments to high blood pressure, and it is really important that you fill this out before applying for your policy. These questions, along with others to do with your age, destination and trip activities, are all things that make up the final price and amount of coverage your insurer offers.
However, within those questions are some technical terms which could trip you up when you make a claim, if you don’t understand them. One of the biggest is “pre-existing conditions” which can make or break a travel insurance policy.
What is a pre-existing medical condition?
It is vital that you understand what this term means, since it could be the thing that voids your insurance and lands you with a denied claim. A pre-existing medical condition is defined as a medical condition that exists before your effective date of insurance. This is different from a medical condition which is defined as an injury, illness or disease; or complication of pregnancy within the first thirty-one weeks of pregnancy, but that has occured while on your trip and was not a problem before.
Your insurer will outline their own personal terms and conditions surrounding pre-existing conditions, as well as what they specifically define as a pre-existing condition, in their policy booklet. Conditions that are on the more severe end of the spectrum may impede on whether you are approved for emergency medical travel insurance or not, as you pose a bigger risk to the insurer.
How can a pre-existing medical condition prevent me from getting coverage?
Some insurers won’t cover pre-existing medical conditions due to the risk involved. Other insurers will lay out their own terms for which pre-existing conditions they will and won’t cover.
For example, at PrimeLink, we ask about doctor’s advice surrounding travelling, ongoing treatment and test results, lung conditions, transplants and terminal illness, amongst other things.
What happens if I don’t mention a pre-existing condition?
If you become ill or have an accident while on vacation and make a claim for it, your insurance company will foot the bill for any costs incurred as a result of hospital stays, medical treatment or medication, depending on how much coverage you have. However, if your insurer discovers that you have an pre-existing condition, it could be grounds for denying the claim-even if the condition wasn’t related to your emergency. This is why it is vital that you are honest with your insurer from day one and to read your policy details.
Consider a TravelSense™ policy
Since pre-existing medical conditions pose a higher risk you can end up paying out of pocket for a good insurance plan, or missing out on one at all. Luckily, PrimeLink offers a specialist plan called TravelSense™ for those with pre-existing medical conditions. The plan covers all disclosed pre-existing conditions for a manageable price, which means you can rest assured that you will have the most perfect vacation with little to worry about. If have any concerns about your medical condition, have a chat with your insurance broker and see what the best options are available for you.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition and discover that an insurer won’t cover you based on this, don’t worry. There are plenty of travel insurance companies out there who all have their own stipulations about what they will and won’t cover, so have a hunt around and find the right kind of coverage for you.