Pre-existing medical conditions – what you need to declare

Posted on July 13, 2012 by Guest Writer
Mature couple eating healthy

One of the biggest benefits of having a quality travel insurance policy is that it provides a secure safety net so that, should you fall ill while away, you will be well looked after and not left with any added financial strain. This means that you want to make sure you have exactly the right amount of cover, and don’t accidentally void your policy by failing to declare a condition on your Medical Health Declaration.

Visit the doctor

The first rule of insurance is that you need to be healthy, fit to travel and to undertake your planned trip – meaning that seeing a medical practitioner ahead of the trip is often a good idea. If you are worried about a pre-existing condition flaring up during your travels a visit to the doctor is imperative.

Insurance will not cover you if you travel against the advice of a medical practitioner. However, nor will the insurance stand if it is deemed you would be travelling against doctors’ orders had you actively sought advice – even if you didn’t.

This means that a visit to the doctor who advises you to postpone your trip could actually save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Undiagnosed illnesses

On the other hand, if you fell ill on holiday and it emerged that you had a medical condition that you were unaware of prior to the trip, and had not visited a doctor about it, you would be covered because it is an undiagnosed condition. You cannot be held liable for something you were unaware of.

Typically, insurance will not cover you if you have any undiagnosed symptoms that need attention or are pending investigation in the future. This includes issues that you are awaiting investigations or consultations for, or are waiting for the results of investigations where the underlying cause is yet to be established.

You will be covered if…

You ensure to declare all pre-existing medical conditions, as well as making us aware of any changes to health or prescribed medications and we have accepted these conditions in writing.

You can opt out of cover for certain conditions

While some people may decide to lower their insurance premiums by opting out of cover for certain conditions, this short-term saving may not be worth it. Choosing not to be insured for a certain illness not only means that you could be left out of pocket should it flare up abroad, it also deprives you of cover if any other conditions related to that one become a problem. For example, if you decided to omit high blood pressure from being covered on a travel insurance policy and were unfortunate enough to suffer from a heart condition (e.g. a stroke), you would not be covered as the heart condition can be linked to high blood pressure.