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travel insurance

see also:

  • travel insurance providers:
      • does NOT include back or neck conditions, nor alcohol or drug dependency
      • migraines are not automatically included
      • does NOT include back or neck conditions, nor alcohol or drug dependency
      • migraines are not automatically included
      • perhaps the cheapest, but no multi-trip annual cover option
      • does NOT cover mental health conditions, STI's, alcohol or drug dependency, or conditions for which you are on a waiting list for treatment
      • does not cover pre-existing conditions unless they are either:
        • specifically insured for, or,
        • are “controlled conditions” of a group of conditions including migraine, but for which a reasonable person would not have needed to seek medical help for in the past 24 months


  • travel insurance is one of those necessary evils for international travel, particularly to countries where there are no reciprocal rights for healthcare treatment
  • a hospital treatment requirement in the USA may be VERY expensive, and for this reason travel insurance providers are VERY careful about what they will pay for, and will be quick to find a way of not paying if there is a way out of it such as a pre-existing condition which you have not disclosed or paid for, or which is excluded.
  • travel agents often take large commissions (~50%) when they sell you travel insurance, so if you can bypass them, your costs should go down.
  • if a non-approved pre-existing condition results in hospitalisation, or you get drunk, or indulge in high risk activities then travel insurance will not save you from being made bankrupt if you run into problems.
  • your luggage may not be covered if you do not report theft to police within 24 hours and get a police statement, nor will it be covered if you leave it unattended or in high risk places such as cars or checked in baggage.
  • check maximum cover per luggage item:
    • unspecified cameras or lenses are covered to $2000 or $3000 maximum depending upon cover as long as you have the original receipts (reimbursement may be repair costs or purchase price less wear and tear depreciation) - if your item is more than this, you need to specify it and its value at the time you are making the cover (this may add 2% (Southern Cross) or 4% (Medibank which also excludes jewellery) of its value to the premium, and you may need to provide proof of ownership or a valuation prior to any claim but generally depreciation is not subtracted from reimbursement)
  • you may have some travel insurance coverage if you paid for your holiday with certain credit cards (eg. AmEx), and if you purchase your own travel insurance, this insurer may try to have your claim processed through your credit card insurer.
  • you must read their Product Disclosure Statements (PDS) carefully:
  • most will exclude high risk activities such as professional sports, parachuting, mountaineering using ropes, scuba diving, motor cycling, alcohol or drug-related events, sexually transmitted diseases, illegal activities, and deliberately exposing yourself to danger (unless it is to preserve life)
  • most will exclude terrorism (although Southern Cross is kind enough to include costs in returning your body to Australia)
  • most exclude kidnapping ransoms (although Southern Cross includes it, but not in high risk countries such as central and southern America)
  • personal liability only if you have not admitted fault or liability AND legal liability is proven in an Australian court or court of the country in which it occurred AND there are no exclusions (eg. vehicle or firearm involved, work-related, criminal acts, whilst intoxicated, etc).

pre-existing medical conditions

  • a pre-existing medical condition is usually defined as any medical or physical conditions, symptoms or circumstances prior to the start of the journey:
    • which You are aware of, or ought to have been aware of; or
    • or which advice, care, treatment, medication or medical attention has been sought, given, or recommended; or
    • which have been diagnosed as a medical condition, or an Illness or indicative of an Illness; or
    • which are of such a nature to require, or which potentially may require medical attention; or
    • which are of such a nature as would have caused a prudent, reasonable person to seek medical attention;

included pre-existing conditions

  • most allow certain pre-existing conditions to be included without extra premium being paid or physical assessment by their doctor, as long as that condition is “controlled” which usually means no admission to hospital in past 24 months, no changes to Rx in past 6 months, no need for medical attention in past 6 months, and some extend this to attendance at an ED in past 24 months, or “experienced symptoms of such a nature as would have caused a prudent reasonable person to seek medical attention”.
  • some such as TravelSure insurance have a very limited number of included pre-existing conditions, and any not in their list (eg. migraine, hypertension, etc) will require assessment if travelling to the US, and also extra cover - be WARNED.
  • Medibank travel insurance has a more exhaustive list of included pre-existing conditions with more clear conditions BUT:
    • these are no longer automatically included if you have required “hospitalisation or attended an ED” for these in the past 24 months - see below
    • generally you will not be able to be covered for outcomes resulting from pre-existing conditions such as:
      • undiagnosed symptoms prior to travel whether or not attended to by a doctor
      • you do not pay extra premium for allowed pre-existing conditions that are not in the included free list
      • terminal illness, require oxygen Rx at home or for the journey, dialysis patients, CCF, AIDS, organ transplant or on waiting list
      • cancer, planned surgery or fertility RX, spinal or brain surgery, seizure in past 12 months, chronic or recurring pain (eg. back pain) requiring regular pain killers or other Rx.
      • immunosuppressant Rx, HIV, mental illness including anxiety, drug addiction,
      • new DVT or PE if you have a PH and not taken adequate precautions to prevent recurrence
      • any cardiac condition for which you have seen a cardiologist
      • TIA, stroke, chronic lung disease (except asthma under 60 years age)
      • pregnancy after 26 weeks
      • you fail in your Duty of Disclosure:
        • give honest answers in your application
        • tell everything you know that a reasonable person would tell (eg. regarding risks on application form)
      • you fail to inform the main insurer (Mondial Assistance) of your admittance to hospital or early return based on written medical advice
      • general exclusions to most insurances:
        • on warfarin Rx
        • you travel against medical advice
        • arises from or is in any way related to anxiety, stress, depression, mental or nervous conditions, or a sexually transmitted disease
        • arises from being intoxicated with any substance other than a prescibed medication taken in its prescribed dose
          • ie. if you go to a party, get drunk and break your ankle, or worse, get sued for injuring someone else, you are NOT covered for anything as a result!
        • arises from your participation in risky activities such as hunt, race, open water sailing, polo, mountaineering or rock climbing requiring ropes, professional sports, parachuting or hang gliding, any non-approved air supported device (licensed ballooning may be included)
travel_insurance.txt · Last modified: 2016/05/25 11:14 by gary1