Having a travel insurance plan has several benefits. Such plans tend to cover:
- Medical expenses arising out of unforeseeable conditions like accidents or sudden ailments.
- Booking cancellations for flights, hotels, and other intermediate stops.
- Loss of or damage to the luggage.
- Need for immediate cash for some reason.
However, having a pre-existing medical condition can change the set of protections you will be eligible to receive, even if you buy travel insurance online
What Medical Conditions Affect Travel Insurance?
Pre-existing medical conditions tend to include ailments, diseases, or health risks that may soon lead to medical emergencies. Generally, conditions like the following are considered pre-existing medical conditions:
- Terminal diseases like cancer, HIV, AIDS, etc.
- Recent organ transplant or surgery.
- Medical issues that may necessitate hospitalization or surgery soon.
- Medical conditions that require regular visits to a specialist.
It is important to understand what medical conditions affect travel insurance. The pre-existing medical condition can be of any nature – you know about it, you do not know about it, have undergone a curative procedure for it, or plan to go for a surgery or curative procedure for it. Your insurer would try to understand the risk of such an emergency getting escalated during your travel, increasing the medical expenses and the discomfort for your group or your family while they are travelling.
Should You Inform Your Insurer About a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?
The short answer is – yes, you should inform your insurer about an existing medical condition. Here is a small example to understand why this is necessary:
Pooja recently finished her first year of working as a banker. She had saved enough to take her parents on a trip to Paris, an idea she had cherished since childhood. She booked the tickets and got travel insurance for her family. Unfortunately, on the trip, her father experienced a stroke and had to be hospitalized. Although he recovered somehow, it added expense to the trip and worry for the family. Later on, Pooja filed for a claim and was shocked to know that her claim was rejected. Later on, she got to know that her father had a minor attack just a few months ago – a fact that her parents had not informed her about.
Such instances are more common than you might imagine. Your insurer will conduct a thorough analysis of every applicant’s medical background, especially focusing on the recent medical history of the past 2 to 3 months.
Now, Pooja was not to be blamed for this juncture. But, she and her family should have known the policies of the travel insurance plan. If she had known about the pre-existing medical condition, she could have taken a more informed decision:
- Get an add-on or a rider alongside her travel insurance plan that provided the protection for her father.
- Wait a few months and let her father recover properly. And go for the trip later, when he is medically fit and out of any risk, with apt medical tests to back the assertion.
- She could’ve done more research on which medical insurance is best for medical conditions? An easy way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to compare travel insurance plans or health insurance policies during purchase considering all primary inclusions that are a must.
Which Travel Insurance is Best for Medical Conditions?
From the outset, it may seem a significant challenge to disclose your pre-existing medical condition to your insurer. Wouldn't it lead to an immediate rejection of the application in the first place? That is not how insurance plans work.
You should talk to one of the advisors at Bajaj Allianz. You will find:
- Policies that allow you to have add-ons covering pre-existing medical conditions.
- Travel insurance for senior citizens: Plans that are specifically designed to cater to the needs of the elderly.
- Alternative routes of mitigating potential medical expenses with different insurance plans or waiting for the trip.
Make a note that for any medical emergency that is not attributable to a pre-existing condition, you will receive the disbursement as per the insurance policy. For instance, if Pooja's father had unfortunately been through an accident and dislocated his shoulder, he could’ve reasonably expected the insurance policy to cover his expenses.
- Should you disclose a pre-existing medical condition to your insurer before the documentation is done?
Yes. You should specify the medical condition in detail and provide relevant reports before you put the documentation. Even if you buy travel insurance online, make sure to go through the exclusions.
- Will you get travel insurance plan approval even if you have a pre-existing medical condition?
Yes. It is possible to get a travel insurance plan, even with an existing medical condition, using dedicated products or add-ons. Disclose it in time, and the insurance advisor will guide you ahead.
- Can your claim get rejected even if you have disclosed your pre-existing medical condition?
Yes. There can be several other reasons for a claim to be rejected. Disclosing it beforehand will ensure you have an add-on or backup to assist you when in emergencies.