Travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions

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A guide to travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions

Last updated March 26, 2024
Written by Tiana Lee-Collins
Reviewed by Adrian Taylor

Travel with pre-existing conditions

Catriona Rowntree’s explains travel cover for pre-existing conditions

Catriona Rowntree

Why take out travel insurance for pre-existing conditions?

While travel insurance should ideally be a part of planning every trip, it’s also important to get the right cover that suits your needs. Beyond providing peace of mind, travel insurance for pre-existing conditions can help with the following:

  • Medical care can be expensive overseas. Medicare and your private health insurance won’t cover you overseas, and unless your insurer explicitly agrees to cover your pre-existing conditions, you may be paying out of pocket for any medical bills.
  • An emergency evacuation or repatriation back to Australia can be incredibly expensive, but your travel insurance may cover part of this cost.
  • If your approved pre-existing condition causes you to fall ill before your trip or you need to cancel your trip part-way through, you may be covered for cancellations.

Choosing cover for pre-existing conditions

If you’re looking to take out cover for your pre-existing conditions, make sure you understand the following:

  • Not all conditions are covered, and coverage for pre-existing conditions may vary between providers and the severity of the condition. Cover can also vary if you require medication, if your medication has changed or if any other treatment was undergone or recommended prior to purchasing insurance cover.
  • When comparing policies that cover pre-existing conditions, also consider what other travel insurance cover unrelated to your conditions is included, such as luggage cover, cancellations and delays and medical cover, to find a policy that suits your needs.
  • If you’re a senior traveller, be aware age limits do apply on some policies and your premiums may be higher due to the greater risk of needing to claim.

Expert tips for choosing the right travel insurance for pre-existing conditions

Our travel insurance expert, Adrian Taylor, has first class tips on the best way to choose a suitable policy that includes pre-existing medical conditions.

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

Always declare your conditions to your insurer

Always declare any pre-existing medical conditions as part of your travel insurance application. Your insurer will assess these on a case-by-case basis to determine whether you can be covered. This is the best way to ensure you have the cover you need, and there are no surprises if you’re injured or become ill while travelling.

Only compare suitable policies

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, you should only compare products that allow you to declare these conditions to your chosen insurer as part of your application. Not only can comparing help you find a policy that covers your condition, but it’s also a good way to find a great deal on insurance.

Get international cover for domestic cruises

Even if you’re taking a domestic cruise around Australia, your pre-existing conditions typically won’t be covered by Medicare or private health insurance. Even if you’re not visiting an international port or leaving Australian waters, buying cruise travel insurance with medical cover could provide help in covering your medical expenses.

About travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

Why should I take out travel insurance for my pre-existing conditions?


What does travel insurance typically include?

What pre-existing conditions are commonly included in travel insurance?

Pre-existing medical conditions covered for an additional premium


What pre-existing medical conditions are commonly excluded from travel insurance?

My condition can’t be covered, so should I still get travel insurance?

Already overseas

Important considerations


Senior travellers

Credit card travel insurance

Meet our travel insurance expert, Adrian Taylor

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

As the Executive General Manager of General Insurance, Adrian Taylor believes in educating customers about the importance of travel insurance so that anyone can kick back and make the most of their time away from home. While no one wants a disrupted holiday, a suitable travel insurance policy can provide a financial safety net for yourself, your belongings and your trip in case things go wrong.

1 Australian Bureau of Statistics. Health Conditions Prevalence. Published March 2022. Accessed August 2022.