Travel insurance for pre existing heart conditions

Here’s how to get travel insurance if you have a heart condition or had prior operations.

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Important:

Travel insurance rules continue to change as a result of the pandemic. Some information may not be accurate at this time. It’s even more important to double-check all details that matter to you before taking out cover. Please note:
    • Some policies may not be available through Finder at this time
    • It’s unlikely that your policy will cover expenses from border closures
    warningFinally, some good news! Travel is picking up, so some insurers have started offering cover again. Just remember, you won't be covered for any pandemic related claims if you do take out domestic travel insurance.

    Heart conditions are treated just like any other pre-existing medical condition when it comes to travel insurance. Most insurers will ask you to take an online medical questionnaire where you can disclose the details of your condition. After you complete the questionnaire, the insurer will let you know if they can offer you cover.

    Get your quote for travel insurance that considers all pre-existing heart conditions

    Specialising in covering all pre-existing conditions - including heart-related issues like heart attacks, stents and those who have undergone pacemaker surgery - these brands don't have blanket exclusions, and consider all heart conditions, including severe ones.

    Travel insurance with heart condition cover. Compare your travel insurance quotes.

    BrandAge limitHow do I get considered for my heart condition?Apply
    All agesYou can declare your condition with a medical assessment.
    All agesAll heart conditions are considered.
    All agesApply online or call the contact number shown on the back cover of this PDS.
    Up to 100 yearsYou can select a Standard or Top cover plan and declare your condition.
    Up to 100 yearsYou can do a medical screening online or over the phone if you haven't had any heart complications in the last five years.Get quote
    Up to 99 yearsComplete medical assessment and additional premium may apply.
    Up to 99 yearsYou can do an online medical questionnaire and you may need to pay an additional premium.
    Up to 99 yearsYou can declare your condition with a medical assessment.
    Up to 99 yearsComplete medical assessment and additional premium may apply.
    Up to 84 yearsYou can do a medical screening online or over the phone and you may need to pay an additional premium.
    Up to 84 yearsYou can do an online medical questionnaire and you may need to pay an additional premium.
    Up to 74 yearsApply online or call the contact number shown on the back cover of this PDS.
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    What heart conditions are covered by travel insurance?

    Heart related conditions can include forms of heart disease and problems with blood vessels. Here are a few common heart conditions that can be covered by travel insurance brands in Australia.

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    How does travel insurance cover pre existing heart conditions?

    Although angioplasty is considered to be minimally invasive, if you've undergone angioplasty or had a stent fitted in your heart, insurers will class this as a pre-existing medical condition and you'll need to inform the insurer about it when you take out a policy.

    You'll need to complete an assessment of your condition and provide the following information:

    • Reasons for the angioplasty procedure
    • Date of the procedure
    • Information about your lifestyle and how you're looking after your heart

    Some insurers will completely exclude atrial fibrillation. However, there are travel insurance brands that provide cover on a case-by-case basis. You'll need to complete a medical assessment so the insurer can better understand your situation.

    Cardiomyopathy affects approximately 1 in 500 Australians. There are several types of cardiomyopathy, the most common being a dilated or enlarged heart, which can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, fainting and even chest pains.

    Since there are sevveral types, the insurer assesses cardiomyopathy on a case-by-case basis when you apply for cover.

    You'll need to complete a medical assessment so the insurer can better understand your situation.

    If you have suffered a heart attack, you can still get travel insurance cover. As with any pre-existing medical condition, you must declare it to your insurer at the time you take out the policy. Whether the insurer covers you and how much it costs will depend on the following factors:

    • Severity of the heart attack
    • Date of your heart attack
    • What surgical measures have been taken to prevent it from recurring

    If you do receive cover, you'll likely have to pay an extra premium and deal with special conditions, limitations and excesses on your policy

    If you've sought treatment for heart palpitations but fail to disclose this to your insurance provider, insurers will consider your heart palpitations a pre-existing heart-related condition even though it may not seem serious.

    Any heart conditions that arise on your trip as a result of palpitations will not be covered without disclosure.

    Many travel insurance providers will not provide overseas cover of expenses relating to an automated implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD or AICD), and policies will specifically list it as a pre-existing condition.

    This means standard policies may not cover any medical costs directly, or indirectly, related to the ICD, such as any other heart conditions which may be connected.

    To get overseas medical cover for ICDs, you can either:

    • Make special arrangements with an insurer to get cover for this pre-existing condition at extra cost
    • Or find an insurer that does not exclude ICDs in their policy, such as InsureAndGo

    To make arrangements for ICD cover, you need to customise your policy around it, and at extra cost. This may let you get more flexibility, but can also cost more than finding a policy which includes cover for it by default.

    It may be difficult to find travel insurance providers that cover ICDs. InsureAndGo is one of few options available, and has a range of benefits for travellers with pre-existing conditions such as options for unlimited medical cover, and does not require testing requirements prior to getting cover.

    If you receive cover for any of these conditions

    You may have to pay an extra premium or deal with special conditions, limitations and excesses on your policy.

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    How can I get covered?

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    Why do I need to declare my heart condition?

    Travel insurers need to assess your premiums accurately

    It is vital that you declare your heart condition when you take out a policy as it is considered a pre-existing condition. An insurer's aim is to provide you with cover for an agreed level of risk and without disclosure of a pre-existing heart condition, the provider is taking on extra risk that they did not agree to. After you declare certain conditions, insurers will assess whether they will cover you as well as decide on the appropriate premiums if they do agree to cover you.

    Insurers can void your cover if you do not declare

    Although it seems like a shortcut to lowering your premiums, if you don’t declare your heart condition to your insurer and you have an incident on your holiday that is related to the heart condition, then you will not be covered for any medical treatment or hospital expenses incurred because of it. If you're in a country such as Japan or America, where healthcare is extremely expensive, then you'll be facing a huge bill that you'll have to pay yourself.

    Matt's $2400 Check-up

    Having booked his long-awaited European holiday, Matt was counting down the days until he would depart on his dream getaway. A couple of days before his departure, Matt visited his doctor for a heart check-up after noticing an irregular heartbeat.

    The condition was deemed non-life-threatening and although Matt was still awaiting test results, he headed off overseas without a care in the world. However, after a week in Amsterdam, Matt became hospitalised with hypertension (abnormally high blood pressure).

    Although Matt was sure these expenses would be covered by his travel insurance, when he phoned his insurance company, he received a nasty shock. Since he had the check-up before his departure, he was classified as having a pre-existing condition which he did not tell his insurer about. The medical and hospital costs he incurred overseas were excluded from cover, leaving Matt severely out of pocket and completely broke.

    Costs Matt faced

    • $2,000 in hospital stay expenses
    • $400 in medical treatment

    Out-of-pocket costs

    • $2,400

    Cover received from his travel insurance provider

    • $0

    Reason

    Matt did not disclose his heart condition once he found out about it.

    This shows the importance of reading the fine print of an insurance policy's PDS to make sure you’re fully aware of what is and isn’t covered. It also acts as a crucial reminder of how vital it is that you notify your insurer of any changes to your circumstances—no matter how insignificant they may seem.

    How do I declare pre-existing heart conditions?

    Insurers offer different methods for you to disclose any pre-existing medical conditions and heart problems you may have. Depending on the insurer, you may have to do one or more of the following:

    • Undergo a phone assessment to answer questions about your health.
    • Fill out an online questionnaire.
    • Fill out and post or email a hard-copy form.
    • Undergo a face-to-face medical assessment.

    Once you’ve provided all the relevant information concerning your health, your insurer will provide a written notice to let you know whether you will be offered cover. You’ll also be notified of any special conditions or exclusions that may apply to your policy and of any premiums you are required to pay before cover will take effect.

    What questions will I be asked about my heart condition when I declare it?

    Typically, you'll be asked for the following information:

    • Medications you take to treat your heart condition
    • If you've changed your medication recently (eg, in the last 90 days)
    • If you've recently seen a medical practitioner (eg, in the last 90 days)
    • If you've recently been admitted or undergone treatment in a hospital (eg, in the last 12 months)
    • If you're currently awaiting a medical review or treatment
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    Travel tips for people with a heart condition

    • Planning makes perfect. You can still enjoy a wonderful, safe holiday if you have a heart condition. The key to a stress-free trip is to plan ahead. Make sure to consider all aspects of your condition and plan for each stage of the trip to make it run as smoothly as possible.
    • Choose wisely. Always keep your condition in mind when choosing your destination and the type of holiday you want to have. Relaxing in the shade on a tropical beach could be perfect, but trekking at high altitude could be a big mistake.
    • Take more than you need. If you’re on regular medication, prepare for the worst and take extra supplies with you in case your travel plans are interrupted.
    • Stretch it out. Make sure to stretch regularly on long flights to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
    • Get it in writing. Before you travel, ask your doctor to put together a letter detailing your condition, the treatment you have received and the medication you have been prescribed.
    • Tell your friends. Make sure that everyone travelling with you knows about your condition. It could save your life in an emergency situation.
    • Stay on track. Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean you can take a break from your diet or your medication. Monitor what you eat and keep your fluids up at all times.
    • Take time to relax. With so much of the world to see and with so little time to see it, travel can be exhausting. Take time to sit back, relax and smell the roses every now and then.
    • Don’t forget insurance. If you’re travelling with a heart condition, travel insurance is essential. Take out a policy at the same time you book your holiday so that you can take advantage of cover if you need to amend your holiday plans.

    man hiking on mountain

    Important safety considerations when travelling with a heart condition

    If you suffer from heart disease and decide to travel, make sure you are aware of the following:

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    Will my credit card travel insurance cover my heart condition?

    Many high-end credit cards come with complimentary travel insurance. If you pay for your trip with your card, you will usually be able to enjoy some form of travel insurance cover when you begin your getaway.

    While this free cover is undoubtedly a bonus, as a general rule, most credit card travel insurance policies will automatically exclude cover for pre-existing medical conditions, so chances are your heart problem won’t be covered. Credit card travel insurance is usually quite limited when compared with normal travel insurance, including much lower limits on cover for overseas medical expenses, so shopping around for standalone travel insurance is crucial.

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    *Information accurate as of August 2015. Subject to change

    Picture: colette_kent, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (image cropped)
    Picture: Shutterstock

    FAQs about insurance for heart conditions

    Picture: GettyImages

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    14 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      JamesMay 6, 2019

      Can you explain the benefits/cons to the Reciprocal Health Care Agreements provided to Aust travellers going overseas including their limitations

        Default Gravatar
        NikkiMay 7, 2019

        Hi James,

        Thanks for reaching out to Finder!

        Reciprocal Health Care Agreements are designed to provide essential medical services to the citizens of each country. This includes cover for the cost of medical treatment for:

        • Visitors from RHCA countries who travel to Australia
        • Australians who visit a country that has an RHCA with Australia

        Without the cover provided by an RHCA, you would have to meet any overseas medical expenses you incur out of your own pocket. This could potentially see you facing hospital bills of several thousands of dollars, so the RHCA is an important tool to help overseas visitors to and from Australia and agreement countries access the medical treatment they need. Check our guide to Reciprocal health care agreement (RHCA), to know what you’re covered for when you visit the country as listed.

        Hope this helps,

        Best,
        Nikki

      Default Gravatar
      IanFebruary 21, 2018

      I have just been diagnosed with Aortic Stenosis, don’t have to use any medication. Can I get travel insurance?

        Default Gravatar
        LiezlMarch 7, 2018

        Hi Ian,

        Thanks for reaching out to finder!

        Yes, even with your heart condition, you may still get a travel insurance. You have to declare your condition and undergo medical assessment though. You may contact any of the insurer listed above.

        Additionally, InsureandGo does not automatically exclude any conditions and claims to assess all conditions on a case-by-case basis. Similarly, Allclear considers all pre-existing conditions. Also, CoverMore may be able to cover you for an additional premium, subject to the outcome of a short medical assessment.

        I hope this information helps.

        Cheers,
        Liezl

      Default Gravatar
      LynnJuly 13, 2017

      My son is 34 years old and had valve cleaned blood infection MRSA. The doctor from the cardio clinic said he is fine to travel. Do I have to pay more insurance and how much more extra would it be?

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        RenchJuly 16, 2017Staff

        Hi Lynn,

        Thanks for reaching out to us.

        There are some insurers that will cover people with heart conditions. You’re actually on the correct page on where you can compare your options and where you can get a quote.

        Insurers offer different methods for you to disclose any pre-existing medical conditions and heart problems you may have. Depending on the insurer, you may have to do one or more of the following:

        – Undergo a phone assessment to answer questions about your health.
        – Fill out an online questionnaire.
        – Fill out and post or email a hard-copy form.
        – Undergo a face-to-face medical assessment.

        Once you’ve provided all the relevant information concerning your health, your insurer will provide a written notice to let you know whether you will be offered cover. You’ll also be notified of any special conditions or exclusions that may apply to your policy and of any premiums you are required to pay before cover will take effect.

        On the table above, you may click on your preferred insurance to see more details then you may click on the green ‘Get Quote’ button to request a quote from them.

        Best regards,
        Rench

      Default Gravatar
      RoseFebruary 10, 2017

      My 78 year old husband has a gallstone diagnosed 1 year ago but not blocking bile duct so would he be covered if taking a cruise to a pacific Islands. Thanks

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        ZubairFebruary 14, 2017Staff

        Hi Rose,

        Thank you for your inquiry. I’m sorry to hear about the medical condition of your husband.

        Your husband can still get travel insurance when taking the cruise. You just have to disclose the pre-existing condition or medical problems to your chosen insurer prior to purchasing the cover.

        If you wish to learn more, we have a guide that talks about travel insurance for gallstones. On that page, you should learn more about how to get travel insurance when you have gallstones or a history of it.

        On the same page, you should also be able to see a form that you can fill out. Provide the necessary details and select the “Get my quote” button. You would then be presented with a list of travel insurance brands based on your given details. Compare them based on various details and select the “Go to site” button (if available) to be redirected safely to your chosen insurer’s website. You can then proceed with the purchase of your policy or get in touch with their representative for further enquiries.

        Moreover, there might be two providers that you might be interested in:

        InsureandGo do not automatically exclude any conditions and claim to assess all conditions on a case-by-case basis.
        CoverMore may be able to cover you for an additional premium, subject to the outcome of a short medical assessment.

        While looking for insurers, please make sure you read the terms and conditions of the policy to learn more and know if it is the right policy for you or not.

        I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

        Have a wonderful day!
        Cheers,

        Zubair

      Default Gravatar
      JeffAugust 12, 2016

      I have had angioplasty 9 years ago and Covermore will cover this pre existing condition for Europe and Japan but not the USA.
      Will any insurer cover this pre existing heart condition for the USA

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        RichardAugust 15, 2016Staff

        Hi Jeff,

        Thanks for your question.

        Whether or not a travel insurance brand will provide cover for a pre-existing condition can vary from person to person. InsureandGo and COver-More are two travel insurance brands that have traditionally been more accepting when it comes to pre-existing conditions. InsureandGo claims to consider all conditions and CoverMore assesses medical conditions prior to issuing travel insurance.

        These are just two providers from our panel that may be able to help and there may be other insurers out there that are suitable for your needs.

        I hope this was helpful,
        Richard

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