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Travel Insurance & Existing Medical Conditions

Travel Insurance & Existing Medical Conditions Blog from Health and Travel Insurance Brokers New Zealand


It has been an incredibly busy few months with more new clients from a diverse range of backgrounds and interests, our Mountain Bikers heading off for the Europe season, and some major travel insurance claims to deal with.

We have found that our major claims have often arisen from existing medical conditions.  We want to remind people that it is hugely important to declare ALL pre-existing health conditions with your travel insurance broker before you travel.  

Pre-existing conditions are usually considered as any medical or physical conditions which you are aware of prior to your start date of insurance.  This is regardless of whether any diagnosis has been made.  ‘Aware of’ includes when you have sought advice, care, treatment, been given medication or medical attention has been sought.  It also includes any condition for which you are awaiting tests results or further investigation or specialist treatment or consultation.

Some health conditions are covered automatically by insurance companies (but you still must declare them), some will be covered through agreement with your broker, and a few conditions may not be covered so will be added as an exclusion on your policy document. 

Some insurers also will look at whether your claim is ‘directly or indirectly’ related to your existing condition, so any consequential costs also would be viewed very carefully.

At Health and Travel Insurance Brokers we can source travel insurance that includes many existing medical conditions.  We have purposefully chosen travel insurance policies from companies that do more than just ‘tick the boxes’, so you can be sure that a proper medical assessment is made when determining if cover can be approved.

The reason it is important to be open and honest with your insurance broker is because the medical costs in foreign countries can be huge, and if insurance providers find you have not declared a condition then you may be facing hospital costs in the tens of thousands – with some claims from overseas hospitals even amounting to hundreds of thousands.  The biggest claim we have had so far was around NZ$320,000 for a ‘near fatal arrhythmia’ stemming from an existing heart condition.  So be warned!

If you have an existing medical condition and you plan on travelling, give the team at Health and Travel Insurance a call. We can source the necessary cover you need to make sure your trip is as stress-free as possible, 0800 855 0772.


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Address: PO Box 10250 Te Rapa,
Hamilton, 3421, New Zealand
Phone: +64 7 855 0772
Fax: +64 7 855 0776
Office Hrs: Monday to Thursday 9am to 4pm

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