Can a travel insurance company treat me differently because of my disability?

The Disability Discrimination Act and the Equal Opportunity Act are laws that make sure you have the same rights as people without disabilities. They say that you have the same right to buy travel insurance as people without disabilities.

But travel insurance companies are allowed to treat you differently if they can show that treating you the same as everybody else would cause them very big problems. These problems are called ‘unjustifiable hardship’.

Sometimes, your disability might mean you are more likely than somebody without a disability to need medical help when you are travelling. Because of this, insurance companies might make you pay more for medical travel insurance. Or, they might say that they will not give you any money for medical costs that come from your disability when you are travelling.

Travel insurance companies are allowed to do this. But they can only do this if they can show evidence (like research or examples from other people) that your disability is an unfair risk. This means that your disability makes you a lot more likely than another person to cost the company a lot of money. If you complain that you are not being treated fairly, you might find that the company might not have this evidence.

If you look after yourself and your disability is well-managed (which means you are healthy and safe most of the time) it might be wrong for you to pay more for travel insurance. You can get a letter or form from your doctor to show this.

If the insurance company wants to treat you differently and you don’t think they should, you can complain to the company. If this doesn’t work, you can talk to Consumer Affairs Victoria.

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