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Hip & Knee Replacement And Travel Insurance

Unless you meet the criteria below, hip & knee replacement is considered a pre-existing medical condition. This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get travel insurance, but you’ll need to disclose your condition when you’re booking your travel insurance.

Your hip/knee replacement is not considered a pre-existing medical condition if:
  • You haven’t seen a doctor or health professional (no matter how minor) about your condition in the 90 days prior to buying your travel insurance; and
  • If it is not chronic or ongoing; and
  • You underwent surgery more than 12 months ago; and
  • Your condition has been stable for the past 12 months with no hospital visits or changes to your medication in that time; and
  • There is no planned surgery, treatment or specialist review.
If you don’t meet the above conditions, you’ll need to disclose your condition. It might mean that:
  • You can obtain travel insurance, but if you want your hip & knee replacement to be covered, you’ll need to pay; or
  • you can obtain travel insurance but it will mandatory to purchase coverage for your hip & knee replacement; 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 after you have disclosed your condition and we have made an assessment.

How do I let you know about my hip & knee replacement?

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 hip & knee replacement.

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


Get A Quote & Medical assessment


travelling with Hip & Knee Replacement

What is a knee replacement?

Knee replacement surgeries are usually undertaken by people who suffer from severe arthritis of the knee that continues to affect their day to day activities despite ongoing treatment to relieve pain.

What is a hip replacement?

Similarly, a hip replacement surgery is a procedure which replaces a painful hip joint affected by arthritis with an artificial joint. If someone has exhausted all other treatment options, they may choose to have a hip replacement surgery to relieve hip joint pain.

Travelling requires a degree of mobility, so you should make sure you’ve taken all the necessary steps to keep yourself safe and healthy on your trip.

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

before You Travel
  • Speak to your health professional about tips to reduce your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).  Book an appointment with your doctor before you go to inform them about your travel plans. Your doctor will be able to advise you on exercises, compression clothing, braces and/or medication that can help minimise discomfort and ensure you have enough pain relief medication for the duration of your trip.
  • Make sure your airline knows about your hip & knee replacement.  You can request an aisle seat, extra leg room to improve blood circulation, or even request a wheelchair at the airport if your hip & knee replacement causes you pain and you’re flying for a long time.
  • Think carefully about the activities you’re participating in. Talk to your doctor about the types sports and adventure activities that you’re taking part in. For example, instead of a challenging hike, you might opt for a walk with flatter trails.
  • Be prepared during airport security checks. The metal components in your hip and knee replacement could alert the metal detectors. Don’t be worried about extra screenings - you might just need to tell airport security staff about your hip & knee replacement.
  • Research your destination.  If you want to minimise risk for trips and fall, your destination should have decent infrastructure. Luckily, tools like Walk Score and Google Street View can give you some insight before you even get to your destination. You can check out your neighbourhood before you get there, and you can see how close you are to public transport and other amenities
  • Consider appropriate footwear.  Good support and non-slip sole is your best bet if you’re going to do a lot of sightseeing - and supportive shoes can also be stylish! Also, if you’re doing water activities or visiting beaches, you can use water shoes to minimise slipping.
During your Trip
  • Make sure you’re comfortable while flying. Neck support and back support help you to maintain good posture, which can reduce pain and discomfort. If you need extra  support under your feet, you can use a provided footrest, or a carry on bag to keep your feet raised. Lastly, talk to your doctor about the best seating positions for you when travelling for a long time - whether by car or plane.
  • Think about your alcohol intake. Drinking alcohol is common holiday, but if you drink a lot, it could lead to you losing your balance.
  • Massage, stretch and move around regularly. This is especially important on a long flight. During a long journey, get up and walk around every 45 minutes. Be sure to massage your muscles with something like a tennis ball to promote circulation.
  • Become familiar with your hotel room/accomodation. When you’re in new surroundings, it’s easy to trip, so don’t store your luggage on the floor and check for non-slip mats in the bathroom. 
  • Consider a car trip.  If there is a choice, you could drive to your destination. A car trip will also allow for more frequent breaks so you can take the chance to stretch your legs and move around regularly.

Hip & Knee Replacement Related FAQs

  • If I’m not covered for hip and/or knee replacement, is there any point in travel insurance?
  • If we are unable to provide cover for your hip and/or knee replacement but are still able to offer you a policy, there are many other benefits we can offer, including medical cover for other unforeseen injuries or illness, cancellation fees and lost deposits, or coverage for lost luggage and personal effects. 

  • What if the person i’m travelling with has hip and knee replacement?
  • 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.

  • I think my hip and knee replacement is covered automatically. Do i still have to disclose my condition?
  • If you meet the criteria for automatic coverage (see the top of this page), you won’t need to disclose your hip or knee replacement.

  • Why is hip & knee replacement considered a pre-existing medical condition?
  • A pre-existing condition could be anything that is chronic or ongoing, or that you take regular medication for. Visit our pre-existing medical conditions page for our full definition.

  • What if I have hip & knee replacement but I don’t get travel insurance?
  • Travel insurance provides cover for a wide range of scenarios. While we might not always be able to cover your hip & knee replacement, we could still offer cover for other unforeseen injuries or illnesses, such as luggage & personal effects, cancellation fees & lost deposits, and family emergency.  

    If you don’t take out travel insurance you will be liable to pay all expenses that you incur when the unforeseen happens.

  • What do I do if I have an accident overseas?
  • If you’re sick or injured, we advise that you or a member of your travelling party call our medical assistance team as soon as possible. Our medical team will liaise with the treating hospital, and if you are covered, may provide written guarantees of payment for reasonable expenses (subject to your claim being approved). If you are covered and approved for medical evacuation, they will arrange this, if it’s deemed necessary.

    For minor ailments, such as those that only require a GP visit, you may choose to visit a doctor, pay for your visit upfront, and then submit your claim either from overseas or once you return home. Make sure that you keep all receipts and reports from your treating doctor, including the diagnosis and treatment notes and any other documents.

    If your total cost of treatment will exceed $1,000 you MUST contact our medical assistance team as soon as possible.

    If you are still uncertain about what to do in relation to an injury or illness, please contact our medical assistance team for further advice.

  • How does a hip and knee replacement affect my frequent traveller policy?
  • Cover for joint replacements 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 condition when you apply for a quote

    If you’re need to get a hip or knee replacement part way through your Frequent Traveller policy, your new condition will be considering a pre-existing condition for the remainder of your policy.

  • What if I have a hip and knee replacement 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  you will need to disclose them by completing a medical assessment when you purchase your policy.

  • What if I forgot to tell you about my hip and knee replacement?
  • You should make sure that you declare your condition, because if a claim arises related to an non-disclosed condition, you generally won't have a provision to claim under your policy.

    If you forgot to disclose your condition and your policy has not started, we may be able to add 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. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to cover your condition even after you have declared it on an existing policy.

    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 

Health New Zealand has handy resources for anyone who has a hip or knee replacement. They have general information, but also link through to many organisations who could help with any questions you have.


The risks of Deep Vein Thrombosis are higher for people with hip and knee replacements. Inform yourself of the risks and strategies before you take a long-haul flight.







read about flying and dvt

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.

Air New Zealand has a special section all about travelling while pregnant. This includes medical clearance, when and how long yuou can fly, and more.