THIS month, InsureandGo is reminding travellers to be extra vigilant when declaring pre-existing medical conditions before they travel, to help avoid problems in the event something goes wrong while on holiday.
Health issues, such as high cholesterol or diabetes, could cost travellers thousands of dollars if any related injuries or health problems occur during their holiday and they have not declared these issues beforehand.
"It's not uncommon for travellers with a pre-existing medical condition to head away on a holiday without realising they may not be covered by their travel insurance, if they have not declared a previous injury or a medical condition," said Mr Jonathan Etkind, Commercial Manager of InsureandGo.
"We urge travellers to discuss their pre-existing medical conditions with their travel insurer and check if they are covered within their policy. It's always best to be upfront when purchasing travel insurance. If a pre-existing medical condition is not declared, the policy holder may not be covered for any claims relating to this condition."
The process of declaring pre-existing medical conditions has also become a lot easier thanks to recent developments in the travel insurance industry.
In the past, some travellers have needed to visit the doctor for a medical assessment and to obtain the relevant certificates before applying for insurance. InsureandGo changed this process and was one of the first travel insurance companies in Australia to adopt a simple online screening tool that allows people to declare any pre-existing medical conditions online and receive a quote within minutes. This simple process means Australians have no excuse to travel without the appropriate level of cover.
Over the years that the online medical screening tool has been used, InsureandGo provided cover to 96% of people that applied online. In many cases, this has helped travellers that previously could not travel as other travel insurers would not cover them.
"The reason we introduced the simple online tool was to make it easier for people to declare these conditions to ensure they are properly covered when they travel. We saw a gap in the market for people with pre-existing medical conditions and how the processes were set up. Our expertise in underwriting and skills in e-Commerce allowed us to create a simple customer journey utilising the online screening process," said Mr Etkind.
There are some insurers that cover some pre-existing medical conditions automatically, so Mr Etkind advises travellers to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) prior to taking out cover to see what they can be covered for and what the limits on the cover are.
To apply for a quote, travellers can simply visit the InsureandGo website and fill in the online application form, medical assessments and medical certificates are not needed upon application. Once complete, travellers will be told instantly whether their pre-existing condition can be covered and if any additional premium apply. If the conditions are covered, travellers will receive unlimited overseas medical cover regardless the level of cover chosen.
Australian travellers without travel insurance will be responsible for covering any medical and associated costs they incur. The Australian Government will not pay for any medical treatment overseas or medical evacuation to Australia or a third country.