Friends posing on holiday

Getting travel insurance should be part of the preparation process for every exciting holiday, whether it’s domestic or international. Travel insurance is designed to protect you - however, there is a great deal of confusion around travel insurance and existing medical conditions, or EMCs. To ease this pain point, we’ve broken down the basics with the help of Cover-More.

What is an EMC?

While every insurer defines an EMC differently, Cover-More defines an EMC as a disease, illness, medical or dental condition or physical defect that at the time the policy is issued, meets any one of the following:

  • Requires:
    ○ prescription medication from a qualified medical practitioner or dentist;
    ○ regular review or check-ups;
    ○ ongoing medication for treatment or risk factor control;
    ○ consultation with a specialist;
  • Has:
    ○ required an emergency department visit, hospitalisation or day surgery procedure within the last two years;
    ○ been medically documented involving the brain, circulatory system, heart, kidneys, liver, respiratory system or cancer;
    ○ required surgery involving the abdomen, back, joints or spine;
    ○ shown symptoms or signs however, a medical opinion or investigation has not been sought to confirm or provide a diagnosis; or
  • Is:
    ○ chronic or ongoing (whether chronic or otherwise) and medically documented;
    ○ under investigation;
    ○ pending diagnosis; or
    ○ pending test results.

What Existing Medical Conditions cannot be covered?

There are some EMCs for which coverage will not be granted, such as terminal illness, conditions involving drug or alcohol dependency, or travel booked or undertaken against the advice of any medical practitioner, so it’s always best to know what your policy covers you for before you go.

Girl on holiday

Can I still get travel insurance if I have an EMC?

It’s possible - the first step to finding out for certain is completing a health assessment. Most insurers will simply require an additional premium if you’re approved and want cover for the conditions.
Cover-More provide health assessments online and free of charge. During an assessment, it’s important to be honest - by declaring some conditions and not others, or not declaring an EMC at all you could put yourself at risk by not being suitably covered.
Each insurer has its own variance on what is automatically approved. Cover-More has provided 7travel a few examples of common EMCs and what criteria you must meet for those conditions to be eligible for cover*:

  • Asthma - approved if you are under 60 years of age when the policy is purchased; you have been a non-smoker for the last 18 months; you don’t have a chronic lung condition; and haven’t had an Asthma exacerbation requiring treatment by a medical practitioner in the last 12 months
  • Hip, knee, or shoulder replacement - the procedure was performed more than 6 months ago and less than 10 years ago; you haven’t had post-operative complications related to the surgery
  • Skin cancer - your skin cancer isn’t a Melanoma; you haven’t had chemotherapy or radiotherapy for this condition; your Skin Cancer doesn’t require any follow up treatment

So… what does this mean for me?

Never let confusion stop you from travelling!

When booking your holiday, simply ask your 7travel Holiday Expert about travel insurance. If you want to be covered for a specific EMC, follow your insurer’s EMC process. Be honest about your conditions – by not declaring an EMC, you run the risk of not being paid out, should you need to make a claim.

A few extra minutes in the planning process could make a world of difference later.

For more information on Cover-More’s travel insurance or to get a quote today, click here.

* Cover for these conditions is automatically included on Cover-More policies as long as all the conditions you have meet the Auto accept criteria. If all of your conditions are not automatically covered then a health assessment would need to be completed.
Limits, sub-limits, conditions and exclusions apply. Insurance administered by Cover-More Insurance Services Pty Ltd (ABN 95 003 114 145, AFSL 241713) on behalf of the product issuer, Zurich Australian Insurance Limited (ABN 13 000 296 640, AFSL 232507). 
Any advice is general advice only. Please consider your financial situation, needs and objectives and read the Combined FSG/PDS before deciding to buy this insurance.