A major travel insurance company has expressed concern about the number of Kiwi travellers who are unaware of what conditions they need to declare before going on holiday.
Allianz Partners say it's seen a massive increase in the number of customers calling in to discuss pre-existing medical conditions, and many people are unaware they need to disclose conditions including high blood pressure and diabetes.
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"Generally speaking, a pre-existing medical condition is something that you're currently receiving medical treatment for, have received treatment for recently, or is an on-going concern that might not be an issue right now but flares up unexpectedly," Will Ashcroft from Allianz Partners said.
Ashcroft said the common cold or historic surgery would not typically need to be disclosed, but added a pre-existing condition can be "something you are worried about and considering receiving treatment for."
Five common conditions you need to disclose to your travel insurer:
If you've recently experienced any issues relating to your asthma, or changed medication in the last few years, you will need to disclose this when purchasing travel insurance. While asthma can be covered automatically in some instances, it's always best to be safe and talk this through with an insurance company's medical assessor to work out how severe it is and whether it needs to be added to your travel insurance policy.
If you suffer from major allergic reactions caused by items such as nuts and shellfish, you should already be aware of the need to disclose this. However, there are other major allergic reactions to consider, such as allergies to bee stings or other insects that also need to be disclosed. While your allergies might be under control currently, travel can increase your risk to exposure of potential life threatening allergens - so add this to the list to get assessed.
Recent surgery or hospital treatment
If you have been admitted to hospital or had surgery in the last couple of years, this is something to flag to medical assessors. This also includes any upcoming treatment you might have. While there are a number of reasons for treatment, some more serious than others, it is best to talk this through with a medical assessor to determine what impact, if any, your specific treatment may have on your travel insurance policy.
If you’ve had cancer, you will need to disclose this, even if the illness is historic. Cover is provided on a case by case basis, following medical assessment.
Cover is available under some policies for unforeseen medical complications or emergencies in the early stages of pregnancy. Speak with a medical assessor if you're unsure of the specifics around this as they can help explain what cover is available.
And of course, there's that age old lesson that's been drilled into us by Fair Go for decades.
Read the fine print
Ashcroft says a lot of the time, medical conditions can be covered for little to no extra costs, so long as they have been declared.
There are two things that he calls 'firm exclusions': if you're travelling against the advice of your doctor, or have received a terminal diagnosis, you won't be covered for any claim arising from health issues.
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