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Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions

When buying a private medical insurance policy, customers often ask about pre-existing conditions and whether they will be covered by a health insurer. ActiveQuote explains exactly what a pre-existing condition is, and how it will be treated by your private medical insurance provider.

What is a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition is any medical condition you have received medication, advice or treatment for, or experienced symptoms of, before the start of your health insurance policy.

Will health insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

Health insurance is designed to provide cover for unforeseen medical conditions that develop after the start of a policy.

Health insurance policies are not designed to cover pre-existing conditions, or conditions that are related to them, however under some circumstances it is possible that a pre-existing condition can become covered - this is usually if the insurer believes it is no longer likely that the condition will return.

What are my options if I have a pre-existing condition?

Your choice of underwriting will determine whether your pre-existing conditions will be covered in the future. There are two common types of health insurance underwriting- full medical underwriting and moratorium.

Full Medical Underwriting

  • If you choose this option you will need to complete a Medical History Declaration. This means answering questions about your health.
  • Your insurer will then review your details and decide what you can be covered for. Your doctor may be contacted for further information.

Full medical underwriting will usually exclude pre-existing conditions from the cover along with any conditions related to it.

This means when you receive your policy document you will know exactly what conditions are excluded from your cover. You could, in the future, ask your insurer to review the exclusion.


  • If you choose this option, you will not need to complete a Medical History Declaration.
  • The insurer will automatically exclude any pre-existing medical conditions for which you have asked advice on, received treatment for, or suffered symptoms of, during the five years before your policy starts. However, if you go treatment, symptom and advice free for two continuous years after the start of your policy, your insurer may reinstate cover for that condition.
  • We would never recommend you avoid being treated for a certain condition in order to gain cover for that condition.

As with full medical underwriting, any new conditions that occur after the start of the policy will be fully covered.

General Medical Exclusions

Please note that there are certain conditions which will never be covered on an insurance policy. Each insurer will have its own set of "General Exclusions" so you should check these before you apply. General Exclusions usually include chronic conditions, cosmetic surgery, sexually transmitted diseases, normal pregnancy and maternity, GP services and accident and emergency.

If you still have questions about private medical insurance, Compare health insurance policies online now, or call one of our advisors for free on 0800 862 0373.

Medical Insurance and Pre-existing Conditions | Health Insurance | ActiveQuoteOur guide to pre-existing conditions and private medical insurance will help you find an affordable health insurance plan with the best level of cover. Compare quotes and buy online.    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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