A mother and daughter travelled overseas and on the last day of the trip the daughter collapsed and had to be taken to hospital by ambulance.  The mother made a claim on her travel insurance for the cost of the ambulance. This was declined by the insurer on the basis that the condition that the daughter suffered from was pre-existing and no cover had been arranged for pre-existing conditions. 

The Insurance and Financial Savings Ombudsman investigated the case and discovered that the daughter had collapsed and been taken to hospital on several occasions for similar incidents and that this had not been disclosed to the insurer.  It was therefore a pre-existing condition for which no cover had been arranged and the insurer was entitled to decline the claim. 

It is vitally important that you disclose all pre-existing conditions and arrange cover for them when arranging insurance.  Unless you make a full disclosure and specifically include pre-existing conditions you could face being out of pocket should anything go wrong.  In this case the ambulance trip cost over $1,200.00. 

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Alan Knowsley
Insurance Lawyer
Wellington


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