December 19, 2018

Travel Insurance with a Pre Existing Condition

Read more about Travel Insurance

Are you planning a vacation but worried about your pre-existing illness? Read on to learn how trip insurance can help.

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Many would-be travelers hesitate to plan a trip because of a pre-existing medical condition. But your medical condition doesn't mean you can't go on vacation.

Let's first take a look at what pre-existing condition really means.

What is a pre-existing condition?

Most trip insurance plans define a pre-existing condition as follows:

Any condition that is diagnosed, treated, or manifested within the look-back period specified in the policy.

That's a pretty technical sounding definition. Here it is again in simpler terms.

A pre-existing condition is:

  • Any condition that's newly diagnosed during the look-back period
  • Any condition that's treated during the look-back period (this includes any recommended procedures or changes in medication)
  • Any condition that shows symptoms during the look-back period

Look-back periods vary depending on the policy. Some may be a short as six weeks, others may be up to 36 months.

When you file a claim, the insurance company will determine if the claim is related to something pre-existing. Unfortunately, they won't just take your word for it. In many cases, they'll request medical records from your doctor.

How does a pre-existing condition affect my coverage?

Most travel policies exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions. This means any claims, including medical, trip cancellation, or trip delay, will be denied if resulting from a pre-existing condition.

There's one notable exception. If your policy has an emergency medical evacuation benefit, there's a good chance it does not fall under the pre-existing exclusion.

I have a pre-existing condition, so what are my options?

If you have a medical condition that you know fits the definition of pre-existing, your coverage options depend on the type of plan you choose to purchase.

  • Travel Medical Insurance: Focuses on medical coverage; offers limited trip cancellation coverage.

    Coverage for pre-existing conditions on travel medical plans is limited. Most plans exclude any claims related to a pre-existing condition.

  • Trip Cancellation Insurance: Primarily for trip cancellation, trip delay, and baggage; medical coverage varies.

    While pre-existing conditions are normally excluded on trip insurance policies, many plans offer an option called pre-existing conditions waiver.

  • Pre-existing conditions waiver
    A pre-existing conditions waiver is an add-on coverage available on most trip cancellation plans. There is usually an additional cost to add this option to your plan.

    Check the policy wording closely before you purchase the waiver. You're required to buy the insurance plus the waiver within a certain time frame of your trip purchase. The time frame can range anywhere between 10 and 30 days.

    This means that the moment you pay for your trip, even if you're just making a down payment, the clock starts ticking. You must then purchase insurance plus waiver within XX days, as specified in the policy. If you don't, the pre-existing waiver won't apply (and you could lose out on other benefits, as well).

Important to remember

  • Pre-existing conditions are excluded by almost all travel insurance plans. Look for pre-ex waiver add-ons.

  • When buying a pre-existing waiver add-on, be sure to purchase within the time frame specified by the policy.

  • If you file a claim, the insurance company will request your past medical records. Be prepared to provide your physician's information in this case.

More from CreditDonkey:


Travel Medical Insurance


What is Travel Insurance?


Is Travel Insurance Worth It

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