Here at Planet Earth we recognise that not everyone fully understands medical cover when it comes to travel insurance. We get lots of questions each day and noticed a common theme in the areas of confusion so we thought we write up a handy guide to understanding just what all of the fuss is about.
With over 16 years in the Travel Insurance Industry, we have just about seen it all so our insurance experts have put together what they think are some of the FAQs or misunderstood areas of travel insurance and medical cover. We hope this helps!
WHAT IS A PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION?
Now this might seem like an obvious one but in fact, many people aren’t really sure what a pre-existing medical condition actually is. A pre-existing medical condition is something that falls into all or one of these categories:
- Anything you’re taking medication for
- Anything you’ve been treated for within the last 2 years
- Anything that occurred over 2 years ago that you’re still being treated for today.
For example, someone who had a stroke 20 years ago and is still on blood thinning medication today WOULD be classed as having a pre-existing medical condition. Alternatively, if someone broke their leg 5 years ago and they have NOT received any treatment for it within the last 2 years then the broken limb is no longer classed as being a pre-existing medical condition.
Always remember, if you’re not sure, ask! Our helpful and friendly customer service representatives are always on hand to answer any questions you have so please don’t hesitate to call us.
MINOR AILMENTS; DO I NEED TO TELL YOU ABOUT THEM?
Yes! We speak to so many customers who believe their conditions are ‘insignificant’ and think they don’t need to tell us about it because it doesn’t give them any bother.
Our Planet Earth policies have a list of over 220 ‘accepted and waived’ minor conditions that can be automatically covered on the policy with no additional premium and even though your conditions may be on the list, it’s still extremely important that you declare them to us as some conditions have certain criteria you will need to apply to for the condition to be automatically covered. If you don’t tell us, your medical claim may become invalid.
WHAT LEVEL OF COVER DO I GET FOR MEDICAL EXPENSES?
A Planet Earth policy will cover you up to an amount of £10,000,000 for emergency medical or repatriation expenses. It’s very unlikely a medical expenses claim will exceed £100,000, but it’s not impossible.
It’s best to make sure you have a high level of medical expenses cover just in case it’s needed. Medical bills are significantly higher in the USA, Canada or the Caribbean so make sure you’re policy has sufficient medical cover if you’re planning on travelling to these areas. Most comparison sites will break down the level of cover you get so make sure you check before you buy!
IF I’M TAKING MEDICATION FOR SOMETHING SURELY THAT MEANS IT’S NOT PRE-EXISTING?
We hear this statement almost daily at Planet Earth. It’s very common that people think that because they’re on medication it means they don’t actually have a medical condition.
For example, the ones we hear most frequently are people who are on medication for blood pressure, cholesterol, osteoporosis etc who believe it’s not pre-existing because they’ve got low cholesterol/blood pressure readings, or they’ve never broken any bones. Even though the medication may be for ‘preventative’ reasons it still needs to be declared to us as it is still a pre-existing medical condition.
DO ALL TRAVEL INSURANCE POLICIES INCLUDE COVER FOR PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS IF THEY ARE DECLARED?
Unfortunately, no. Some companies and policies exclude cover for pre-existing medical conditions meaning that if anything should happen to you whilst you are away that is directly or indirectly related to your pre-existing condition, you may not be covered.
It is vital that you check this before you buy as even if your condition is on an ‘accepted and waived’ list with one insurance company, it does not guarantee that this will be the case for all companies.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about travel insurance or our policies then please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comments or using our contact details below:
Contact Number: 0161 439 0333