How to complete a travel insurance medical questionnaire

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Worried about having to fill out a travel insurance medical questionnaire? Here is what you need to know.

A travel insurance policy application will ask questions about your health and medical history once you reach a certain age. The reason? As we age, we are more likely to have medical conditions that increase our chances of needing medical care while travelling. Understanding your medical history will allow a travel insurer to price your policy accordingly.

Completing the medical questionnaire correctly is probably the most important step in buying travel insurance. Claims can be turned down for providing inaccurate information on the application or medical questionnaire, so it’s really important that you do it correctly.

Take your time—and be honest

Travel medical insurance questionnaires can be complicated and a lot of the questions seem repetitive. It’s tempting to quickly scan through the list, ticking off the “No” column as you go, but if a “No” should have been a “Yes” it can be a big problem, should you need to file a claim. You need to take your time and review the questionnaire and coverage documents carefully.

Unsure of what to include about your health history? When in doubt, disclose. You might not think a past treatment is relevant to your current health, but a doctor or claims examiner might disagree. Remember, if you make a claim, the insurance company will request your medical records from your doctor.

How long does it take to complete the questionnaire?

The questionnaire length varies by insurance company, and can be pages long. It is very important to take your time, read every question carefully and be sure not to leave out any information.

If you don’t understand a question, you may want to consult your insurance broker—SBIS—or insurance company for clarification.

It is your responsibility to understand your health conditions, medications and treatments. You may want to ask your healthcare team to review the health and medical history sections of your application to ensure you include any health problems, previous treatments, and/or medications that the insurance company should know about. This way, you can be certain the answers you provide will be complete and accurate.

Now you can see why you should give yourself lots of time and not leave your application for coverage until the last minute.

What types of questions are in the medical questionnaire?

The form will ask if you have ever been diagnosed or treated for certain illnesses. They are often grouped into categories for general eligibility for any insurance, to determine what type of plan you qualify for.

What happens if I forget to include something or misunderstand a question?

If you forget to inform the insurer of a pre-existing condition or provide inaccurate or incomplete answers to the medical questions, any claim you submit can be denied, even if the question that is answered incorrectly is not related to the cause of the claim. That’s why it is so important to take your time and think carefully about each answer. Otherwise, you may be paying for coverage that you can’t use—and you’ll face out-of-pocket costs of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

What is defined as treatment?

The questionnaire will ask about any treatments you have received. Treatment can be defined as being prescribed medication, undergoing surgery or having another medical procedure.  It also includes waiting for test results or pending medical procedures. Some examples are

  • Hospitalization
  • Medication
  • Physiotherapy
  • Radiation treatment/Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Oxygen
  • Or any other procedure prescribed or performed to treat your medical condition

What is considered a change in medication?

The questionnaire will ask about medications you take and if you have had a change in medication. A change in medication can be defined as any of the following:

  • An increase in your current dosage
  • A decrease in dosage
  • A change to a new medication
  • The addition of a new medication
  • The stopping of a medication

An increase in medication and a decrease or stop in medication effects your stability. It’s important to record any change to your medications so the insurance company can determine what this may mean.

And don’t forget…

If there are any changes in the status of your health between when you purchase your travel insurance policy and when you leave on your trip or at any time during your multi-trip annual travel coverage period, be sure to consult with SBIS or your insurance provider to find out if your coverage will be affected.

There’s no need to worry! We’re here to help

Remember, being accurate on your medical questionnaire begins with understanding your medical conditions and medical history. Your doctor and our SBIS team can help you understand the questions so you can provide answers to complete your medical questionnaire properly. Knowing you have done that will give you the peace of mind that you have the coverage you need while away.


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