travelling

Travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions

From bad allergies to diabetes and everything in between, you can get cover for your pre-existing condition. Here's how.

The good news is that yes, you can get travel insurance that will provide you with cover for pre-existing conditions. In fact, many travel insurers have a list of pre-existing conditions they cover automatically. And for conditions that aren’t automatically covered, it could be as simple as completing an online medical questionnaire and pay an additional premium.

To help you out we’ve broken down the conditions automatically covered by all the travel insurers you can access through finder, along with more information on how to get cover with a pre-existing condition, pre-existing conditions waivers and more.

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

Brands Product Product Details Apply
InsureandGo Pre-existing Gold Single trip

Unlimited cancellation fee

Unlimited overseas medical expenses

$5,000,000 personal liability

$8,000 luggage and personal effects

Get quoteMore info
AllClear Travel Insurance Gold Plus Cover

$15,000,000 overseas medical expenses

$2,000,000 personal liability

Unlimited cancellation fee

$20,000 death cover

Get quoteMore info
AllClear Travel Insurance Gold Cover

$10,000,000 overseas medical expenses

$2,000,000 personal liability

12,000 cancellation fee

$20,000 death cover

Get quoteMore info

Which pre-existing conditions are automatically covered by travel insurance on finder?

Search for your condition to see which travel insurance brands will cover you.

Provider Pre-existing condition Get quote
  • Acne
  • Asthma
  • Benign potitional vertigo
Get quote
All conditions are considered Get quote
american express funeral insurance
  • Acne
  • Asthma
  • Bell's palsy
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Allergy
  • Asthma
Get quote
boomers-travel-insurance
  • Acne
  • Asthma
  • Bunions
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Asthma
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Allergy
  • Asthma
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Allergy
  • Asthma
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
Get quote
All conditions are considered Get quote
  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Asthma
  • Bunions
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Anaemia (Iron Deficiency)
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Anaemia
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Anaphylaxis
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Asthma
  • Bunions
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Asthma
  • Bunions
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Asthma
  • Bunions
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Asthma
  • Bunions
Get quote
  • Acne
  • Allergy
  • Asthma
Get quote
zoom logo
  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
Get quote
Easy Travel Insurance logo
  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Anaemia
Get quote

Is your condition not listed above? Check how you can get cover for these pre-existing conditions

What is considered a pre-existing condition for travel insurance?

For the purposes of getting travel insurance, a pre-existing condition is usually defined as a medical condition:

  • That you are aware of
  • For which you are having or have had treatment in the past
  • You are treating with prescribed medication
  • You previously had surgery for

Steps for getting travel insurance with a pre-existing medical condition

1. Be straight up with your insurer

If you suffer from a pre-existing medical condition and need travel insurance, you must let your travel insurance provider know of any pre-existing conditions you may have. If you don’t, you could be left out-of-pocket in the event where you need to make a claim.

2. Understand what is considered to be a pre-existing medical condition

The definition of a pre-existing medical condition varies slightly between insurers but the term is generally accepted to refer to:

  • An ongoing medical or dental condition of which you are aware, or a related complication you have or the symptoms of which you are aware
  • A medical or dental condition that is currently being treated or investigated by a health professional, or that has been treated or investigated by a health professional in the past
  • Any condition for which you take prescribed medicine
  • Any condition for which you have had surgery
  • Any condition for which you see a medical specialist
  • Pregnancy

Check your product disclosure statement (PDS) or contact the insurer directly to find out how your insurer defines a pre-existing condition.

3. Check to see if your condition is on the automatically covered list

While you’re looking at the PDS make sure you check to see if your condition is automatically covered or excluded by your insurer.

Check out which conditions are typically covered automatically

4. Complete the online questionnaire

If your condition is not mentioned on either list, you’ll need to complete your insurers medical screening process, which will most likely consist of you completing an online questionnaire. These questionnaire typically ask you about how long you’ve had your condition, the type of treatment you’ve undergone, whether or not you’re currently taking any medication and other relevant questions so that they may assess your risk level.

Typically you'll be asked:

  • What is the name of your condition?
  • What medications have been taken to treat the condition?
  • If you have been treated for blood pressure or diabetes, what was the last reading?
  • Have you changed your treatment medication recently? (generally in the last 3 months)
  • Have you seen a medical practitioner recently? (generally in the last 3 months)
  • Have you been admitted or undergone treatment in a hospital in the last 12 months?
  • Are you currently awaiting a medical review or treatment?

If you don't declare your condition, you won't be covered for any claims for losses that have occurred as a result of your condition. In some cases, your insurance provider can also choose to cancel your policy if they feel you have purposely withheld information that may increase the likelihood of a claim occurring.

5. Approval of cover

Once you’ve completed the medical questionnaire you’ll either have your pre-existing condition approved, which will generally result in you paying a higher premiums, or you’ll be told that the insurer won’t provide you with cover for your pre-existing condition.

6. Why get cover if your condition is not approved?

If your condition isn’t approved it doesn’t mean you can’t get travel insurance, it just means that you won’t be covered for claims that are the result of your pre-existing condition; this is called a pre-existing condition waiver.

Even though you’re not able to take out cover for claims related to your existing condition, you’ll still be entitled to lodge claims for cancellation, lost luggage and even medical claims so long as they aren’t related to your condition.

How do I know if my condition is covered?

Insurers vary in how they cover pre-existing conditions, so never assume that you’ll be automatically covered when you buy a policy. Instead, take a look at the pre-existing medical conditions section in the PDS.

This will contain the following information:

  • A list of pre-existing conditions automatically covered by the policy, usually without requiring you to pay an additional premium
  • Information on how you can apply to have any pre-existing condition not included in that list covered by your policy

If your condition is not automatically covered, you’ll need to declare it to the insurer when you apply for cover. This can be done by filling out an online health questionnaire or answering some questions about your condition over the phone. Your insurer will then assess whether or not it will cover claims arising due to your pre-existing condition, and you will typically need to pay an additional premium for cover to apply.

Check the list below for details of conditions which are usually automatically covered, conditions which you must declare, and conditions which are usually excluded.

If your condition is not listed in the policy, you must declare it to your insurance company. The company will assess the condition and decide whether or not cover can be provided. There are some general rules around coverage of certain conditions.

The list below is of conditions generally covered automatically provided the condition has been stable for the last 12 months and there is no planned surgery for the condition.
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Bunions
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Cataracts
  • Coeliac Disease
  • Congenital Blindness
  • Congenital Deafness
  • Diabetes Mellitus (Type I and II)
  • Dry Eye Syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Folate Deficiency
  • Gastric Reflux
  • Goitre
  • Glaucoma
  • Graves’ Disease
  • Hiatus Hernia
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Lipids
  • Hypertension
  • Impaired Glucose Tolerance
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Iron Deficiency Anaemia
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Migraine
  • Osteopenia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pernicious Anaemia
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Raynaud’s Disease
  • Sleep Apnoea
  • Solar Keratosis
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Trigger Finger
  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency.
If you suffer from any of the conditions listed below, you will be covered for any sections of the policy related to medical expenses/repatriation or trip cancellation/lost deposits.
  • Conditions where you have been given a terminal or palliative prognosis with a shortened life expectancy
  • If you require oxygen therapy or home oxygen for the journey
  • Aids defining illness
  • If you have had or are having an organ transplant in the future
If you suffer from any of the conditions listed below, you will need to declare these to your insurance company. The company will then assess the condition and determine if they can provide cover for that condition and/or journey.
  • Cardiac or heart conditions
  • Respiratory or lung conditions
  • Metastatic or secondary cancer
  • Dementia or memory loss
  • If you require the accompaniment of a full-time minder
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Heart problems (e.g. coronary angiography, pacemakers, etc)
  • Any conditions requiring surgery in the last two years
  • Certain kinds of diabetes
  • Epilepsy

Whether your insurer covers your condition will depend on its severity, how recent it is and the extent to which it is being controlled by medication.

How to find the best travel insurance for pre-existing conditions

If you’re looking for travel insurance to cover a pre-existing condition, we can’t tell you which policy is the best choice for you. This is because the right policy depends on your cover needs, your budget and your personal situation, so the best cover for one person may be insufficient for the next traveller.

However, there are a few simple tips you can keep in mind to help you find the right policy:

  • Consider your cover needs. First and foremost, think about what you want in a policy – what are the risks you want cover for and how much protection do you want? How much are you willing to pay for cover?
  • Compare suitable policies. Once you know the type of cover you want, you can compare a range of policies from different insurers. What benefits do they offer and how high are the cover limits? What exclusions and restrictions apply?
  • Treatment of pre-existing conditions. Check the PDS of each policy you’re considering to see how the insurer treats pre-existing condition. Is your condition automatically covered? If not, what do you have to do to apply to have it covered?
  • Compare quotes. Compare quotes across the best policies to see which one offers the best value for money. Does it cost extra to have your pre-existing condition covered?

The key when buying travel insurance for pre-existing conditions is to shop around. Don’t just settle for the first policy you find; compare benefits and limits across several policies to find the cover that best suits your needs.

Travel insurance for seniors with pre-existing conditions

If you’re 60 years or older and you have one or more pre-existing conditions, finding suitable travel insurance can be something of a challenge. The good news is that it’s still possible to find cover, but there are a few key points you should be aware of when searching for the right policy:

  • Cover costs more for seniors. Unfortunately, the risk of illness and injury is higher as you age, so the cost of cover also increases as you grow older. Once you reach 60 years of age, many insurers will start applying an age loading to your policy.
  • Fewer pre-existing conditions covered. Some pre-existing conditions that are automatically covered for younger travellers may not be covered for travellers 60 years or older. For example, some insurers won’t cover seniors for claims that arise due to asthma.
  • Terms and conditions differ between insurers. Different insurers impose different restrictions and exclusions on cover for seniors with pre-existing conditions. For example, if you’ve previously suffered a stroke, some insurers will not cover you if you’ve had any incidents in the past five years, while others only require you to not have had any incidents in the past two years.
  • Age limits apply. Insurers impose maximum age limits on their policies, so you’ll need to check the fine print to make sure you’re eligible for cover. While some providers set this limit as low as 65 years of age, others will cover you up to 100 years or even older.
  • Disclose everything. Don’t be tempted to save on the cost of cover by withholding information from your insurer. Disclose all the details of your pre-existing conditions when you apply for a policy.

Check out our guide to seniors travel insurance for more information on how to find the right policy.

How is pregnancy assessed as a pre-existing condition?

Most travel insurers will cover pregnancy, providing it satisfies the following criteria:

  • Your trip ends on or before your 26th week of pregnancy
  • Claims are for unexpected complications only (not expenses related to childbirth)
  • It does not involve IVF treatment
  • It will not be a multiple birth (i.e. twins)
  • Your trip is not for fertility treatment
  • You have not experienced pregnancy complications in the past
  • You are not travelling against your doctor’s advice

As pregnancy is classed by insurers as a pre-existing condition, you will need to declare it when applying for insurance, be medically assessed and pay a higher premium, due to the higher risk you represent to the insurer.

I’m diabetic... can I get covered?

The majority of travel insurers will automatically cover diabetes, but the devil is in the detail, as each may require certain conditions to be met. For instance;

  • Even though Type 2 diabetes is a less serious form, if you have also had hypertension in the last 12 months, some insurers may exclude you from cover altogether
  • Because Type 1 diabetes requires stricter management, some insurers apply stricter cover conditions such as age limits.

The golden rule with diabetes, as with any pre-existing medical condition, is if you are unsure whether you are covered, declare it to your insurer at the time of applying. You may have to answer a few more questions and pay a higher premium, but it’s a small price to pay compared with receiving overseas medical bills that aren’t covered by your insurance.

Head here to learn more about getting cover if you're diabetic.

Some final questions you might have

Picture: Unsplash

Richard Laycock

Richard is the Insurance Editor at finder, and has been wrangling insurance Product Disclosure Statements for the last 4 years. When he’s not helping Aussies make sense of the fine print, he can be found testing the quality of Aperol Spritzes in his new found home of New York. Richard studied Journalism at Macquarie University and The Missouri School of Journalism, and has a Tier 1 certification in General Advice for Life Insurance. He has also been published in CSO Australia and Dynamic Business.

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28 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    rajgSeptember 25, 2018

    Is there a travel insurance policy that covers pulmonary fibrosis for a person who is 74 years old?

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniSeptember 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Rajg,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Currently we have a page that explains more on Travel insurance for Cystic Fibrosis and would still help you in finding an insurer to cover a someone traveling with pulmonary fibrosis.

      I suggest that you check all the options on this PAGE since you mentioned that the person travelling is 74 years old. Basically, the traveller needs to answer the insurer’s online/phone medical questionnaire to know whether the pre-existing condition will be covered or not. Please note that getting cover will depend on person’s age, the type of travel insurance, and the nature and severity of their pre-existing medical condition.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  2. Default Gravatar
    TinaSeptember 7, 2017

    Travel insurance which covers pre-existing medical conditions such as kidney stones and crohn’s disease.

    • Default Gravatar
      GruSeptember 8, 2017

      Hello Tina,

      The pre-existing conditions such as Kidney Stones and Crohn’s Disease are not included in the list of conditions that are generally covered by travel insurance. However, they are also not included in the list of those excluded.

      To be safe, as we are dealing with something extremely important such as your health, it would be best to contact the insurance provider you are interested in. The company will assess the condition and decide whether or not cover can be provided.

      Hope this helped.

      Cheers,
      Gru

  3. Default Gravatar
    July 27, 2017

    I want cover for Fibromyalgia and Psoriatic arthritis

    • Default Gravatar
      LiezlJuly 27, 2017

      Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks for reaching out. Just to confirm, you have reached finder.com.au, a comparison website and general information service, not actually an insurer.

      While we are unable to recommend a specific insurance company that will provide cover for your condition, you may want to contact directly with the insurers listed above to find out whether or not they can provide you a cover. Please note that terms and conditions vary extensively among companies hence, it is crucial that you declare any medical conditions that are not automatically covered at the time of application.

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

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

  4. Default Gravatar
    SaphireMarch 7, 2017

    Hi, my daughter has Evan’s syndrome.. what travel insurance will cover that and what is included please.

    • finder Customer Care
      ZubairMarch 9, 2017Staff

      Hi Saphire,

      Thank you for your question.

      Unfortunately, we are not able to recommend a specific provider that will provide cover for your condition. You will need to disclose the pre-existing condition prior to purchase the cover. However, there are two providers in our panel who state they will consider all the pre-existing medical conditions:

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

      Cheers,
      Zubair

  5. Default Gravatar
    SusanFebruary 19, 2017

    My spine was fused T2 to sacrum 5 years ago. I am 69. Can
    I want to travel to uk for a month in March 2017. What are my options for travel insurance?

    • finder Customer Care
      ZubairFebruary 20, 2017Staff

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Unfortunately, we are not able to recommend a specific provider that will provide cover for your condition. You will need to disclose the pre-existing condition prior to purchase the cover. There are two providers in our panel that can count all the pre-existing medical conditions:

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

      Cheers,
      Zubair

  6. Default Gravatar
    JayneJuly 11, 2016

    10th July 2016

    To whom it may concern,
    My husband and I are travelling to Vietnam departing Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh.
    My husband had spinal surgery on April 23rd 2016 for an acute lumbar disc prolapse. He had an elective L4 – 5 spinal fusion, L4 discectomy and bone graft.
    He has recovered well and returned to normal working duties fulltime on June 3rd 2016.
    He has no ongoing symptoms and does not take opiates or drugs of addiction for pain.
    He takes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication and Panadol.
    Please advise what further info you provide and could you please provide a quote.
    I am 55 and my husband is 68.

    Jayne

    • finder Customer Care
      RichardJuly 11, 2016Staff

      Hi Jayne,

      Thanks for your question. finder.com.au is a comparison service and not an insurer. While you can compare quotes on our site, we are unable to take into account pre-existing medical conditions as these are assessed on a case-by-case basis by the insurance brand. However, you may find our travel insurance for back problems article a useful starting point for finding cover.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

  7. Default Gravatar
    AnilMarch 27, 2016

    My cousin had ovarian cancer in past. She completed her treatment in October 2015. She is free from that disease. Her doctor advised she can travel to Australia. My question is still she can get the insurance. Travel insurance that covers pre existing medical conditions.

    • finder Customer Care
      RichardMarch 27, 2016Staff

      Hi Anil,

      Thanks for your question. finder.com.au is a comparison service and we are not permitted to provide our users with personalised financial advice. Whether or not a travel insurance brand will provide your cousin with cover will depend on the severity of the condition and the insurer. Some insurers may be able to provide her with cover. However, cover is provided on a case by case basis. You may find our travel insurance for cancer patients page useful.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

  8. Default Gravatar
    tataAugust 17, 2015

    I had my medical exam for our US travel and had flu and chills that time. Result shows in my ekg that i had sinus rhythm and poor R wave progression of which I am not aware.I am an active person, I do running and exercise and i do not take any medication. I purchased an insurance lately for our travel. In the assessment, I was diagnosed that I have a pre-existing condition. Can I get an insurance to cover my pre-existing condition. Thank you.

    • finder Customer Care
      RichardAugust 18, 2015Staff

      Hi Tata,

      Thanks for your question. You may be able to get cover, as this condition may not be automatically excluded. However, acceptance criteria varies from insurer to insurer. You should contact you current provider and see if they assessed this condition when you applied as you may already have cover.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

  9. Default Gravatar
    PamJuly 26, 2015

    I had a craniotomy in April to remove a meningioma and want to have a holiday overseas in October or November is there an insurance company that will cover me I have not had any adverse affect from the surgery I am back to work full time and my next check up with the surgeon is next June, I had been getting cover prior to having the operation as I had the tumour for 5 years before they decide to remove it.,

    • finder Customer Care
      RichardJuly 27, 2015Staff

      Hi Pam,

      Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, exception criteria vary from insurer so there is not a hard yes or no answer. However, InsureandGo claim to consider all conditions and CoverMore assess medical conditions prior to travel issuing travel insurance.

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

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

  10. Default Gravatar
    geoffJuly 15, 2015

    My partner and I will be taking a cruise in December this year for 14 nights, south pacific & NZ my partners father has alzheimers and is over 85 years old can we get travel insurance that covers cancellation in case he is hospitalised by chance?

    • finder Customer Care
      MauriceJuly 15, 2015Staff

      Hi Geoff,

      Thanks for your question. Some travel insurers may cover the costs of such cancellation if you disclose the pre-existing medical condition of any family members and allow for what is called a pre-existing medical condition waiver.

      What exact pre-existing conditions are covered however e.g. Alzheimers, will largely depend on the providers specific policies surrounding general exclusions, so it is best to speak to them directly.

      Hope this is useful.

      Cheers,

      Maurice

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