Working Overseas

Pre-existing conditions

There’s nothing more important than your health, especially when you’re travelling. Unexpected illnesses and injuries can be upsetting and expensive when you’re working overseas, which is why having quality travel insurance is essential.

It’s important to understand exactly what you’re covered for under your Working Overseas travel insurance policy, and how to get additional medical cover if you need it.

Pre-existing medical conditions (PECs) are not automatically covered under your Working Overseas travel insurance policy. However, you can complete a medical assessment if you wish to apply to cover your PEC(s).

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

Different travel insurance companies may have different definitions for the term ‘pre-existing medical condition’. At Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI), we define a PEC as any medical or physical condition that you’re aware of, or should be aware of, that has required medical care within the last three years.

This is a simplified definition; you can find a more detailed explanation on page five of the Policy Document.

Examples of pre-existing medical conditions

Wondering what qualifies as a PEC? Below are some common illnesses and injuries that we consider to be a PEC:

- Anxiety

- Irritable bowel syndrome

- Hernias

- Asthma

- High blood pressure

- Gall stones

- Back pain

- Allergies

- Hay fever

- Eczema

- Sprain

What conditions must I declare?

If you have ever been diagnosed with a PEC, which is type 2 diabetes or a heart, vascular or lung illness (such as hypertension/high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a heart attack, angina, atrial fibrillation, palpitations, a stroke or asthma), you must declare these during the application process.

If you choose not to declare your type 2 diabetes or heart, vascular or lung illness, your policy will be void.

For all other PECs, you can choose whether you want to declare these during the application process.

What do I need to do to seek cover?

  1. During the policy application process, you’ll be asked to answer a few questions about whether you have any PECs.
  2. If you have type 2 diabetes or a heart, vascular or lung illness, you need to tell us about these. To do so, you’ll be taken to a simple online medical assessment to complete.
  3. If you have other PECs that you would like to get cover for, you’ll be given the option to complete a medical assessment
  4. Once you’ve finished the medical assessment, we’ll tell you whether we can offer you cover for your PEC(s) and how much extra this will cost, before you decide whether to buy the policy. If you would like to have your PEC(s) covered, you’ll need to pay the additional cost.
  5. If we’re unable to cover your PEC(s) or you don’t want to pay for the additional cost mentioned above, they won’t be covered under your policy.

How do I seek cover for my PEC(s) after purchasing my policy?

If you have purchased your Working Overseas policy, but you need to add on your PEC(s), please give us a call before you depart on 0800 800 571. We’re open Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 7.00pm.

Common questions about pre-existing medical conditions

We know that PECs can be confusing, but it’s important you understand them, so you know what you are and aren’t covered for under the Working Overseas travel insurance policy. Here are some common questions we get asked about PECs:

Question 1: If I’m taking medication for a condition but the condition is stable, is this still considered to be a PEC?

Yes, any condition which you’re currently on medication for, or have taken medication for within the last 3 years, is considered to be a PEC.

Question 2: My conditions are controlled, are they automatically covered?

No, PECs are not automatically covered. If you wish to seek cover for these conditions on your Working Overseas travel insurance policy, you’ll need to tell us about them during your medical assessment.

Question 3: If I only want cover for some of my PECs but not others, do I need to tell you about ALL of my PECs when I apply for my policy?

Yes, you must disclose ALL PECs that you have. You cannot choose which PEC(s) you want to be covered and which PEC(s) you want to exclude.

What if something happens or changes before I go overseas?

It’s important to notify us of any changes to your health before you travel, so we can confirm what you’re covered for. We’ll let you know if you need to pay an additional cost to get cover for the change in your health. We’ll email you to confirm any changes to your cover, so you can relax on your working overseas experience, knowing exactly what you’re covered for.

If you’re unsure whether you have a PEC, we recommend that you contact us directly by  or pick up the phone: 0800 800 571, so we can talk you through your options. You can reach us between Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 7.00pm.

Issued and underwritten by Southern Cross Benefits Limited trading as Southern Cross Travel Insurance. 

We are a Registered Financial Service Provider and a member of the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme.  Southern Cross Benefits Limited has an A (Strong) financial strength rating given by Standard & Poor's (Australia) Pty Ltd. The rating scale is: AAA (Extremely Strong) AA (Very Strong) A (Strong) BBB (Good) BB (Marginal) B (Weak) CCC (Very Weak) CC (Extremely Weak) SD or D (Selective Default or Default) R (Regulatory Supervision) NR (Not Rated). Ratings from 'AA' to 'CCC' may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.  Full details of the rating scale are available at Standard & Poor's (Australia) Pty Ltd is an approved agency under the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010.

All our travel insurance policies (including but not limited to the benefits, terms, conditions and exclusions) and premiums quoted are subject to change.

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