Travel insurance for someone with anorexia nervosa

My daughter has booked flights to Japan in November with a girlfriend. They haven’t bought travel insurance yet. In the meantime the friend has been hospitalised with anorexia nervosa, though she is at home at present but still under strict supervision. I believe anorexia nervosa is classified as a mental health issue and so it can be hard to get travel insurance.
I have two questions: 1. does anyone know of a company which will insure her and 2. should my daughter get her own insurance or joint with the friend.
I presume whichever way my daughter goes, she will have trouble claiming if her friend pulls out due to her illness.


Not financial or any other advice, just personal opinion.

I just did a survey of the policy documents from a few travel insurance companies. None of them specifically referenced anorexia but as you properly wrote, they have a common exclusion for any ‘psychiatric or psycological condition’ treated within the past 5 years, anxiety and depression being commonly used examples.

So, I first suggest you ring a few insurers and ask the question, their procedures, and the add-on cost if any, and be sure to get any positive responses in writing (eg email) just in case.

Since the friend has the pre-existing condition the expected case is all travellers on a single policy might be assessed against her and would essentially pay a higher premium if there was one, or all might be rejected if she would be rejected.

Any event she experienced could also affect your daughters trip if something happened during the trip.

Separate policies seem to be a better option under the circumstances.

You are probably correct your daughter could not make a cancellation claim if her friend pulls out or cannot travel, unless the friend is ‘close relative’ (eg demonstrable defacto relationship) as defined in the policy glossary and the cancellation is medically necessary or falls under a short list of conditions many insurers accept - but for those your daughter would most probably not be travelling either.

Since your question might be of interest to others, please post back anything you discover.


Thanks for your thoughts. I will.


Great advice @PhilT. We’ll also be listening @Janette, and all the best to your daughter’s friend, I hope she recovers as quickly as possible.


I’ve been insured by RAC Travel for mental health conditions. Although they say it’s excluded in the PDS, if you state it as a pre-exisiting condition they’ll quote you cover for it (if able)


An update on this issue. My daughter and her friend have bought a joint insurance policy with Australia Post Travel Insurance which was recommended by the other girl’s mother. They have informed the company of her condition and weren’t charged extra. Hopefully, they won’t need to use the insurance.


Hi Janette. Our reading of the Australia Post policy is that since the condition has been declared, it should be covered for medical expenses.

However amendment and cancellation expenses are excluded for pre-existing mental health conditions by the Australia Post Policy. See this exclusion on page 54 of the Product Disclosure Statement:

We Will Not Pay For Claims Caused By:

anxiety, depression, mental illness or stress (or
arising directly or indirectly from, or exacerbated
by, these conditions) unless referred to and
diagnosed by a Registered Psychologist or
Psychiatrist as a new condition (i.e. not an Existing
Medical Condition) and:

a) You are certified as unfit to travel by the treating
Registered Psychologist or Psychiatrist; or

b) the treating Registered Psychologist or
Psychiatrist certifies that it was medically
necessary for You to amend or cancel Your
Journey to assist a Relative or another person.