Grrrr! Travel Insurance Rant!

zanzibar138

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 30, 2007
Wow I'm getting frustrated trying to get someone to insure me!

I have 3 very minor 'conditions' which don't affect my day to day life at all, and even if they flare up while I'm away, the worst that will happen is that I will require antibiotics or maybe a pair of crutches.

First up, grommets. As per my PTR, I'm booked in to get grommets on Thursday. The only reason I'm getting them is so my ears don't hurt so much on the plane. It's a quick, straight forward procedure that does not require any after care and happens all the time! The only reason I'm even listing it as a pre-existing condition is in case a bit of water gets in my ear in SE Asia and I end up with an ear infection.

Second, the specialist also discovered that my nasal passages are quite narrow and one is a tiny bit bent. It has not impacted my life at all, but the specialist said if I have surgery I may not suffer as badly when I get colds, hayfever, or on flights. I plan to have the surgery when we get back from SE Asia, so I feel like I should list it as a pre-existing condition since we're aiming to get an annual policy and so at some point during the year I will have the surgery. Again, not expecting this to cause any issues as I will have completely recovered from the surgery before we travel again.

The last one is the darn shin splints! Again, this is not something I would normally even bother to mention, as there is NO CHANCE that it would cause any problems on any normal holiday. The only reason I want to make sure I'm covered is because there is a small chance that it could flare up during the run. Even if it does, chances are I will just need anti-inflammatories for a few days, and maybe crutches so I don't have to sit down for the rest of the trip :rotfl:

I've applied with quite a few places now, rejected by everyone! I'm really surprised - I thought I was quite a low risk. Having said that, I can see how the risk computer may see me as high risk on paper. One of the places has organised for a manager to call me back tomorrow to see if there's anything they can do for me, but I'm not holding high hopes.

I'm so frustrated! It's not like any of these conditions are going to put me in hospital for a week or anything :confused3 Does anyone have any suggestions?
 

kylieh

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 18, 2006
Have you tried SureSave? They insured DH's heart probs and my DD's knee issues.

Having said that, I don't think anyone will cover you for surgeries you have planned, and depending on who you insure with there has to be 6 weeks between surgery and receiving coverage, regardless of the type, and no coverage for items for planned surgery.

ETA: I forgot to mention the best of luck to receive coverage, I hope that you can. Even if they don't cover those conditions you should be covered for everything else.
 

izzybjenn

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 22, 2013
Hi there. Check out One Cover. For the shock of all shocks we got coverage for my disabled daughter who has active medical issues. Ie seizures etc.

Our peadiatrician suggested it. Might be worth a shot.

Also, people in the disabiility community recommend getting a broker if you are having issues getting coverage but I have no personal experience with them.
 
  • baf65

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2012
    We got cover for my hubby through suresave as well, he had to have stents, but last year he couldnt travel with us as we couldnt get insurance due to travelling within 3 months of his surgery, i would imagine that same thing applies for your grommets

    with insurance just because they wont cover your preexisting conditions doesnt mean you cant have insurance, it just means those any claims arising from those conditions wont be covered...so you are covered for anything else.
     

    zkillian

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2013
    There are some policies I recommend using that cover sudden pre-ex issues and they don't ask any medical questions. In the US they have guaranteed issued policies for people traveling outside their home country.

    Atlas International is a good option and I chose the annual professional plan.
     

    Tashinwdw

    WDW - closest I will ever get to being a princess
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2012
    Good Luck Zanzibar, hope it all works out and you are able to get insurance :flower3:
     

    zanzibar138

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2007
    Have you tried SureSave? They insured DH's heart probs and my DD's knee issues.

    Having said that, I don't think anyone will cover you for surgeries you have planned, and depending on who you insure with there has to be 6 weeks between surgery and receiving coverage, regardless of the type, and no coverage for items for planned surgery.

    ETA: I forgot to mention the best of luck to receive coverage, I hope that you can. Even if they don't cover those conditions you should be covered for everything else.
    SureSave was one of the first I tried. I actually searched these threads for insurance and it was one that had been previously recommended for people with pre-existing conditions. On the plus side, I actually found them very nice and easy to deal with. It was just a shame that the girl I spoke to couldn't help me any further.

    Good point about the surgery. The trouble is, because it's all computer generated, no one has been able to tell me exactly what the issue is or why they can't cover me. I might try ditching the second issue and see what happens. I can't really see any problems arising from that.

    I know I'll be covered for everything else, but I don't want to be left high and dry, especially in the US, if I get an ear infection or injure my leg/s in the fun run.

    Hi there. Check out One Cover. For the shock of all shocks we got coverage for my disabled daughter who has active medical issues. Ie seizures etc.

    Our peadiatrician suggested it. Might be worth a shot.

    Also, people in the disabiility community recommend getting a broker if you are having issues getting coverage but I have no personal experience with them.
    I did also try One Cover, no luck there either.

    The girl at SureSave did actually suggest a couple of brokers. I have yet to call, but at the very least they might be able to give me a bit more information about dealing with pre-existing conditions.

    We got cover for my hubby through suresave as well, he had to have stents, but last year he couldnt travel with us as we couldnt get insurance due to travelling within 3 months of his surgery, i would imagine that same thing applies for your grommets

    with insurance just because they wont cover your preexisting conditions doesnt mean you cant have insurance, it just means those any claims arising from those conditions wont be covered...so you are covered for anything else.
    From what the specialist says, the grommets surgery is extremely easy and simple, almost like getting your ears pierced (but on the inside :rotfl:). He said I will not require any medication or any special treatment afterwards (only the usual no driving or operating heavy machinery until the GA wears off). The specialist said he'd recommend having the next day off for recovery, but he's happy for me to travel any time after that. It seems a bit extreme for an insurance company to require me to wait for 3 months until I travel.

    There are some policies I recommend using that cover sudden pre-ex issues and they don't ask any medical questions. In the US they have guaranteed issued policies for people traveling outside their home country.

    Atlas International is a good option and I chose the annual professional plan.
    I've never heard of that before - sounds like it would be very expensive! I'll check it out :thumbsup2

    Good Luck Zanzibar, hope it all works out and you are able to get insurance :flower3:
    Thanks :goodvibes I hope so too!
     
  • baf65

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2012
    it was the same thing with my DH after having his stents put in, the surgeon said he was in better condition than he was the day before, so less likely to need insurance, the airlines allow people to travel 10 days after an angioplasty, but still the insurance wouldnt cover him so he couldnt come :(
    i guess insurers look at the risk of a claim more so than the safety of the traveller
     

    Luisa

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2009
    I was just looking at the brochure for the travel insurance that comes automatically with our credit cards and it mentions grommets are covered, it's underwritten by Zurich so maybe have a look at them?
     

    zanzibar138

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2007
    it was the same thing with my DH after having his stents put in, the surgeon said he was in better condition than he was the day before, so less likely to need insurance, the airlines allow people to travel 10 days after an angioplasty, but still the insurance wouldnt cover him so he couldnt come :(
    i guess insurers look at the risk of a claim more so than the safety of the traveller
    Oh sorry I had no idea what stents were - for some reason I thought it would have been something a bit more serious.

    It's frustrating because I think there's an extremely low risk of me making a claim relating to grommets :confused3 And even if I did, it would just be one visit to the doctor to get a prescription for antibiotics for an ear infection. I really don't see how it's high risk.

    I guess I really just want one of these insurance companies to explain exactly *why* they will not cover me, so that I can make a more informed decision.

    And it probably makes it more complicated that I want an annual multi-trip policy, so I'm trying to cover things that haven't happened yet, if that makes sense.
     

    jacs1234

    Dreaming of Disney
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2009
    if it were me I'd apply and not mention those things. They really are nothing. Then go to your doctor at home and get them to give you a script for antibiotics you might need and anti inflammatories and just take them with you on your trip.
     
  • BecBennett

    Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2007
    I wouldn't bother with putting splints in as a pre-existing condition. If you're worried about a flare up see if you can get some meds to take with you, so you wouldn't need to visit the doctor. Possibly the same with the grommets?
     

    zanzibar138

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2007
    if it were me I'd apply and not mention those things. They really are nothing. Then go to your doctor at home and get them to give you a script for antibiotics you might need and anti inflammatories and just take them with you on your trip.
    I wouldn't bother with putting splints in as a pre-existing condition. If you're worried about a flare up see if you can get some meds to take with you, so you wouldn't need to visit the doctor. Possibly the same with the grommets?
    Yeah to be honest I'm considering just not bothering with the cover for the grommets and the nasal surgery. I didn't know I could get a script in advance though - I'll ask my doctor about that, it would definitely make me feel better about the possibility of getting an ear infection.

    I really DO want to be covered for the shin splints though, as I don't know what will happen when I run 10km. It's possible (though highly unlikely) that I will get stress fractures, or maybe tendon damage/tears etc. As I said, it's very unlikely that anything like that will happen, but I don't want to be stuck in the US with something like that (which will be right at the start of a 3 week trip) and not be covered. If it wasn't for the run, I wouldn't even consider listing it as a pre-existing condition.
     

    kylieh

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2006
    Are you not getting cover on the shin splints because of the ears, ie they are seeing them as one group of issues? Or are the insurance companies looking at them separately?
     

    zanzibar138

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2007
    Are you not getting cover on the shin splints because of the ears, ie they are seeing them as one group of issues? Or are the insurance companies looking at them separately?
    That's the problem - I have no idea! They just tell me I'm rejected but are unable to tell me why or even which condition is a problem. I'll have to apply again just listing the shin splints and see how I go with that. The main problem with the shin splints is that I have no idea what the underlying condition is that's causing them, and a lot of insurance companies don't list 'shin splints' as a condition. But SureSave does, so I will probably go back to them :thumbsup2
     

    gogo65

    Cheering for Disney
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2007
    Shin splints is normally not a pre existing condition so I doubt that would be causing you to not get cover. I'd be pretty sure the reason your cover has been rejected is the grommets due to the fact you are having surgery.

    I have had surgery four times on my knee, it is a pre existing condition therefore I'm not covered for my right knee. That's fine I'll buy some crutches if need be and wait til I get home. Even if you have a stress fracture etc, you wouldn't need urgent treatment, just ice elevation and crutches.
     

    Aussie Wendy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 4, 2008
    I'm with the others - leaving off the lesser conditions and getting eg antibiotics etc as a precautionary to take with you - most docs will give you whatever you want prior to a trip. Another alternative I'd also consider perhaps not getting the multi trip insurance this time even though it saves some $ if that avoids some of the issues; get single trip for this one and mutlitrip after you are over the other surgery. I really wouldn't tell them about the grommet surgery.
     

    zanzibar138

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2007
    Shin splints is normally not a pre existing condition so I doubt that would be causing you to not get cover. I'd be pretty sure the reason your cover has been rejected is the grommets due to the fact you are having surgery.

    I have had surgery four times on my knee, it is a pre existing condition therefore I'm not covered for my right knee. That's fine I'll buy some crutches if need be and wait til I get home. Even if you have a stress fracture etc, you wouldn't need urgent treatment, just ice elevation and crutches.
    The only trouble with the shin splints is that I really don't know what might happen. I know there's not really anyone can do for stress fractures, so you're right if that's what happens there probably won't be much cost involved anyway. The only thing that might be nice is an upgraded flight on the way home so that it can be elevated, but after 3 weeks it would have healed quite a bit already. I'm more concerned about tendon injuries - I would imagine that if I damage/tear a tendon, it's probably something that would require treatment straight away :confused3 Not sure how much I'd enjoy a 3 week holiday with severe tendon damage. But again, I really don't know much about that sort of thing.

    I'm with the others - leaving off the lesser conditions and getting eg antibiotics etc as a precautionary to take with you - most docs will give you whatever you want prior to a trip. Another alternative I'd also consider perhaps not getting the multi trip insurance this time even though it saves some $ if that avoids some of the issues; get single trip for this one and mutlitrip after you are over the other surgery. I really wouldn't tell them about the grommet surgery.
    I think I'll still go ahead with the annual policy - so far we have 3 trips that it will cover, not to mention the domestic travel that will be covered as well (we don't normally get insurance for domestic, but it will be nice to have it there as a bonus). I plan to have the next surgery pretty much immediately when we get back from SE Asia, so there should be plenty of time between then and the next trip for me to be fully recovered (more than 6 months if I can get in straight away). I don't think I'll bother to list that as a pre-existing condition either. I'll see what happens if I just try to get the shin splints covered :thumbsup2
     

    zanzibar138

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2007
    Ick! Just picked up the travel insurance thing again (had a few days off to calm my nerves).

    Called Suresave (because now I have a registered application file, so I can't just start a new application), and advised them that I was aware of the risks of not listing the surgeries as pre-existing conditions, and that I would now just like to list the shin splints.

    Well, apparently they can't do that now! Now that I've listed grommets and possible surgery, I can't take it back :headache: I suppose it serves me right for trying to do the right thing... The guy I spoke to is going to get his supervisor to call me tomorrow and see if they can help me any more, but in the meantime, he told me to feel free to have a play around on their website with the screening process to see if I could figure out exactly what the issue is.

    I did have a play around, and found out that the issue is definitely the grommets. Any time I ticked the 'yes' box for having been in hospital in the last 3 months, I got rejected.

    So my new plan is...

    Apply for just a single trip insurance to cover our (very close) trip to Singapore, listing the recent surgery as a pre-existing condition, but I won't be concerned if they won't cover it, as long as they'll still cover me for everything else. And if they won't cover it, go to the doc and see if he'll write me a prescription for some antibiotics, just in case. The quotes I'm getting are coming in at around the $200 mark, so financially, it is a real shame that I can't make this part of an annual policy :sad2:

    By the time our next overseas trip comes around in February, it will have been more than 3 months since my surgery, so I'll apply for an annual multi-trip policy with just the shin splints listed as a pre-existing condition (which, going from my experiments, should be covered with an extra fee and excess). I'll try to have my nasal/sinus surgery as soon as I can when we come back from Asia (hopefully mid-late March). Then it will be more than 3 months since the surgery by the time we go to the US late August, and I should have had plenty of time to fully recover (and it will also be less of an inconvenience to my training schedule!).

    How does that sound?
     

    gogo65

    Cheering for Disney
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2007
    I checked the tid website, and they list pre existing conditions regarding chronic pain only that requires regular medication or Regular ongoing treatment, shin splint wouldn't fall into that category.
    I hate to burst your bubble but I doubt any travel insurance company would pay for you to travel business class with tendon damage.
    I had a complete tear of my acl while skiing in NZ, which required a full reconstruction and the most I got was an extra seat on the plane, which had nothing to do with travel insurance and just qantas being nice. I could have had my surgery there but wanted to get home so flew home for the surgery within 24 hours of injury. Travel insurance paid for my crutches and the full leg brace which was around $150.
     



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