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Arthritis And Travel Insurance

Arthritis is generally considered pre-existing medical condition. This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get travel insurance, but you do need to disclose your condition before you book your cover.

With arthritis, you’ll need to declare your specific type of arthritis whether it’s osteo, rheumatoid, or psoriatic.

It’s important that we know about your arthritis - that way you’ll know if you’re covered or not if anything happens to you because of your condition.

there are a few travel insurance possibilities* if you have arthritis:
  • You can obtain travel insurance, but if you want your arthritis to be covered, you’ll need to pay extra; or
  • you can obtain travel insurance but it will mandatory to purchase coverage for your arthritis; or
  • your condition won’t be covered at all, but you can still purchase travel insurance. 

Please note, there’s a possibility we might not be able to cover you at all, but we will tell you this during your medical assessment.

*based on arthritis being your only pre-existing condition

How do i let you know about my Arthritis? 

The process is simple and quick. You don’t need to call us and you don’t need to provide doctor’s certificates or other documents. All you need to do is fill out a simple questionnaire when you’re purchasing a policy online.

You’ll be asked about pre-existing conditions during your online purchase and if you select ‘yes', you’ll fill out the questionnaire. This is where we’ll ask you everything we need to know about your arthritis.

Once you’ve filled out this questionnaire, you’ll immediately find out your travel insurance options.

Get A Quote & medical Assessment 


travelling with Arthritis

Arthritis is a medical condition that damages the body’s joints, causing discomfort and pain. There are many different types of arthritis and the severity of the condition varies greatly.

The three common types of arthritis are:

Because arthritis directly affects the joints, mobility can become an issue, especially while travelling. This means people with arthritis might have to make special arrangements or take extra precautions while travelling. Taking some extra steps will make travelling easier and more enjoyable - just the way it should be.

Please note, the below is general advice only and is not intended to replace the advice or information from a registered body or your doctor.

before You Go
  • Research your desintation thoroughly. Depending on how painful your arthritis is and how well it’s managed with medication, you might need to choose your destination or accommodation based on infrastructure (so there aren’t too many steps or steep inclines). You might also want to be close to public transport or have cars be able to pick you up easily. Additionally, there’s some evidence that weather can have an effect on joint inflammation, so this may be worth asking your doctor about.
  • Make sure your airline knows about your arthritis. You can request an aisle seat, extra leg room, or even request a wheelchair at the airport if your arthritis causes you a lot of pain and you’re flying for a long time. Also, some medication for arthritis needs to be injected, so you will need to take needles with you. Ask your GP for a note authorising this to avoid any problems at the airport.
  • Take lightweight luggage. If you get swollen knees or wrists, this is important, especially after a long flight. And as tempting as it can be to pack a lot - keeping it light will make life a lot easier!
  • Take more medication than you need. Before you leave, ask your doctor about getting extra refills of your prescription. You’ll need your medication on your trip, but also when you get back.
  • Pack your own anti-inflammatory foods for the flight. This is key, if food tends to aggravate your arthritis.
During your Trip
  • Take part in activities that are low-impact, but still get you moving. For a lot of people who suffer from arthritis, holidays are an ideal time to walk regularly and keep flexible.   
  • Use neck support and back support help you to maintain good posture. This can reduce pain and discomfort. And if you need extra  support under your feet, you can use a provided footrest, or a use carry on bag to keep your feet raised. 
  • Stretch and move around regularly. In fact, you can set a timer if you need to. This is especially important on a long flight. During a long journey, get up and walk around every 45 minutes. 
  • Do seat exercises. Talk to your doctor about what will help prevent stiffness in your joints while sitting during the flight and also decrease your risk for deep vein thrombosis.
  • Use heat or ice packs. If you use these at home, you can use them on a flight or at your destination.

arthritis Related FAQs

  • What if the person i’m travelling with is Arthritic?
  • If you’re travelling with someone and they’re named on the policy, you will need to make sure that, where necessary, their medical conditions are declared. For adult travel companions, you’ll need to declare their condition if you have their permission to do so and are aware of their health and medical conditions. If you don’t have permission, they will need to do it themselves.

  • Will your policy cover for replacing lost medication while I’m abroad?
  • You may have a provision to claim for stolen medications along with other items if your bag is stolen or misplaced by the airline (Check the Policy Wording). Please note, we only cover the original cost of the medication. Visiting a doctor to get a prescription won’t be covered as this is considered routine management of your condition. 

  • How does arthritis affect my frequent traveller policy?
  • Cover for arthritis on a Frequent Traveller policy works in the same way as single trip policies. You will need to complete a medical assessment to determine if we can offer the cover for your arthritis when you apply for a quote.

  • What if i have arthritis as well as other pre-existing medical conditions?
  • If you have other pre-existing medical conditions that are not on our automatically covered list, then generally, you will need to disclose them.

  •  What if i forgot to tell you about my Arthritis?
  • If you forgot to disclose your arthritis and your policy has not started we might be able to add in it. You can call our Customer Care Team to carry out an assessment for your condition.

    Please be aware that depending on the outcome of the assessment you may need to pay an additional premium.

    All terms, conditions and limitations will apply in the same way as if you had declared the condition when you purchased the policy.



Do you need to know About...


Pre Existing Conditions

A pre-existing medical condition is something that must be disclosed when you’re purchasing travel insurance. Find out what they are and how they affect your travel insurance.


You or someone you’re travelling with is going to have a baby…so you’ll need to find out how travel insurance works for pregnant women.


Repatriation is the process of returning a person home after a medical emergency or at worst case death. Being covered for repatriation, so read the ins and outs.


It’s important that you have all the right vaccinations before you travel. From malaria to meningococcal, find out what you need to know about vaccinations and travel insurance.


One Last Thing: Handy resources for arthritic travellers

Arthritis New Zealand has a range of tips for people who are travelling with arthritis. There’s tips and information on how you could help and make things easier for them when you’re away.


Be informed. Be prepared. If you're across The New Zealand Government's SafeTravel website, you'll have all the latest information for your for your trip.






visit safetravel

IAMAT are a non-profit organization who help travellers plan a healthy trip, and connect travellers with reputable English-speaking doctors. They are a useful point of contact for anyone travelling with a health condition.

The Ministry of Health New Zealand aims to deliver better health outcomes for Kiwis. Their website has a myriad of information on arthritis that can help you plan out your trip better.