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Have a pre-existing medical conditions but need travel insurance?

Source: The Australian – 18 September 2013 – For Australians who have a pre-existing medical condition, finding travel insurance to travel overseas can be harder than it may initially seem, particularly for seniors.

Online travel insurer, InsureandGo provides overseas travel insurance to customers with pre-existing medical conditions and all medical conditions are considered.

InsureandGo customer, 68-year-old Garry Wood who travels to Bali at least twice a year with his partner and who has a heart condition, said it can be really difficult to find travel insurance when you have a pre-existing medical condition.

“I checked out quite a few insurance companies and InsureandGo were definitely the most accommodating for someone with a medical condition,” Mr. Wood said.

On a recent trip, Garry had to be hospitalized for five days in a Bali hospital having developed a severe case of pneumonia. His medical expenses came to thousands of dollars.

“InsureandGo were very good in paying all of my medical expenses – it was no problem at all. I would definitely recommend InsureandGo to other travellers, especially for those with pre-existing medical conditions,” he said.

“We have a villa in Bali so we travel at least twice a year and love it, but I would never travel without the right insurance.”

Australians are travelling overseas in ever – increasing numbers. Overseas Arrival and Departure (OAD) data indicate that Australians took 8.2 million overseas trips (up 4.9 percent) over the last 12 months ending February 2013.

InsureandGo General Manager Sebastian Kaisin said travellers with a pre-existing medical condition may find it difficult to find travel insurance cover as some insurance companies may not be prepared to cover a customer where there’s a higher chance that they may require medical attention while travelling.

“The insurance companies that do cover pre-existing medical conditions, usually require the customer to provide a detailed medical certificate at the point of purchasing the policy, but not at InsureandGo,” Mr. Kaisin said. “But we will require a medical certificate and other supporting documents if a claim is made,” he said.

InsureandGo considers medical conditions by asking customers to complete a specifically designed online form which asks customers to indicate what type of medical condition they have and then provide a quote for a policy based on the level of cover they may require.

“InsureandGo will cover the large proportion of medical conditions but there are some cases where we would be unable to provide a quote,” Mr. Kaisin added.

“Customers aren’t required to provide a doctor’s certificate, medical report or a medical evaluation when purchasing insurance – they just need to truthfully complete one simple online questionnaire and if that condition is covered they will be provided with a quote. It’s that easy,” he said.

“If travellers don’t have the right travel insurance in place, the costs can come into the tens of thousands to get the help, be it medical attention, alternative flights home, or whatever the situation may be that they need,” Mr. Kaisin said.

Smartraveller spokesperson, Paula Ganly, said whatever your age and destination, properly preparing before you leave such as taking out comprehensive travel insurance can help make sure you have a happy and enjoyable trip.

“If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for your medical treatment overseas or medical evacuation to Australia or a thirdcountry. Travellers without travel insurance are personally liable for covering any medical and associated costs they incur,” she said.

“You should ensure that your insurance policy covers all medical expenses for injury or illness, as well as theft of valuables, damage to baggage and cancellations or interruptions to flight plans. It will save you worry and a possible financial burden.

“Always read the product disclosure statement carefully and ensure that you understand exactly what your travel insurance covers.

“Medical costs overseas can be in the tens of thousands of dollars and some travellers face significant financial burden when things go wrong.

“Compare travel insurance policies and make sure the cover you choose suits your needs and is valid for the whole time you’ll be away,” Ms Ganly said.

InsureandGo is one of the world’s largest online travel insurance companies and recently launched in Australia in 2010. Globally, the company covers over 1.6 million travellers every year.