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What is Classed as a "Pre-existing Medical Condition"?

When buying travel insurance, it can be difficult to know what to class as a pre-existing condition, especially when these are so varied and can be stable for some time before you are taking out insurance, such as lifetime conditions. However, pre-existing conditions can be simply defined to ease the complications of applying for travel insurance.

What is classed as a pre-existing medical condition?

Travel insurers class a "pre-existing medical condition" as an illness that you have had symptoms of or treatment for before your insurance being taken out, regardless of whether this is short-term or long-term.

Even if you have had a condition wherein your treatment has now stopped, you may still have to declare the illness as a pre-existing condition for some time afterwards. These can include lifetime conditions such as asthma, long-term illnesses like cancer or heart problems, injuries and chronic conditions.

Additionally, mental illnesses must also be declared before travelling, and these are just as important to declare as physical conditions. However, the definition does differ between insurance providers, with some travel insurance companies offering insurance specifically for pre-existing medical conditions.

Why you need to declare your medical conditions on your travel insurance

You should declare pre-existing medical conditions on your travel insurance prior to taking it out. This will ensure that you are fully covered if any medical treatment is required. If you do not declare these conditions, even if they are stable at the time of taking it out, you may end up not being covered when you travel and being forced to pay expensive medical bills.

This is especially vital for countries such as the USA, which has extensive medical bills that you will most likely need insurance to cover. Declaring your conditions will ensure that you have no unexpected surprises during your trip.

Holiday Extras Cover Ltd and Holiday Extras Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Holiday Extras Cover Ltd 05058680 and Holiday Extras Ltd 01693250 are registered in England and Wales. Registered address: Ashford Road, Newingreen, Kent CT21 4JF.

Holiday Extras is underwritten by Travel Insurance Facilities plc which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address: 2nd Floor, 1 Tower View, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, ME19 4UY. Company number 03220410.