Travel Insurance for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

While trip delay and baggage loss insurance offer valuable coverage, procuring a medical insurance policy before embarking on your journey can be the decisive factor between an expensive vacation and a considerably more costly one. Individuals with pre-existing conditions may be pondering the possibility of obtaining travel insurance, and fortunately, the answer is affirmative.

Definition of a pre-existing condition:

A pre-existing condition encompasses an illness, injury, or medical concern that has undergone examinations, treatments, or a change in prescribed medication within 60 to 180 days preceding the purchase of a travel insurance policy. It is crucial to note that the condition does not necessarily require a formal diagnosis to be considered as such.

Illustratively, suppose you embark on a bike tour of Amsterdam and experience a mild heart attack. If a doctor had diagnosed hypertension (high blood pressure) a few weeks before your trip, this would be categorized as a pre-existing condition.

How to qualify for a pre-existing medical conditions waiver

Qualifying for a pre-existing medical conditions waiver is pivotal in comprehending the implications of a pre-existing condition on travel insurance. The positive news is that having a pre-existing condition does not impede your ability to travel or qualify for medical coverage. Many comprehensive plans encompass coverage for pre-existing conditions, providing financial recourse in case of medical treatment during your trip or the necessity to cancel the trip due to a medical issue.

To mitigate the risk of unforeseen medical expenses abroad or potential loss of a deposit before packing your bags, it is advisable to seek a policy that includes a pre-existing condition waiver. Scrutinizing the fine print on the insurance provider’s website is essential, ensuring that there are no age limitations on most plans, and the premium remains reasonable for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions.

As long as you are medically fit to travel, meeting specific criteria and applying within the designated timeframe allows you to qualify for a pre-existing condition waiver:

  1. The pre-existing condition must be stable.
  2. You must buy coverage at the time of your initial trip deposit or shortly thereafter, with the timeframe varying by company.
  3. The amount of coverage should equal all pre-paid, non-refundable costs.

For example, if you have made a 50% deposit on a safari in South Africa, purchasing travel insurance within the stipulated time specified by the insurance provider ensures eligibility for a pre-existing medical conditions waiver. Delaying the purchase of coverage beyond the specified window renders the waiver inapplicable to your trip.

It is recommended to procure a travel insurance policy immediately upon making the first deposit for a trip.

In the event that you do not qualify for a waiver, the travel insurance company retains the right to review the traveler’s medical records for the last 60 to 180 days (varies by plan), known as a look-back period. This scrutiny is conducted to assess whether a claim is related to a pre-existing condition, thereby influencing its coverage.

Moreover, the pre-existing medical conditions waiver may extend coverage in cases where a non-traveling family member encounters a medical issue mid-trip, although specifics vary by plan.

What constitutes a pre-existing medical condition in the context of Travel Insurance?

A pre-existing medical condition refers to any illness or injury that you have before procuring your Travel Insurance. This can encompass ongoing conditions or those for which you have received treatment in the past. Throughout the quoting process, we will navigate you through pertinent questions to ensure comprehensive coverage in the event of requiring treatment while abroad.

Some of the frequently encountered conditions that fall within our coverage include:

  1. Diabetes: With over 4 million individuals in the UK living with diabetes, meticulous consideration is essential when planning a trip for those affected.
  2. Heart Conditions: Conditions such as heart disease, heart attack, and atrial fibrillation are prevalent and exhibit varying degrees of severity, influencing how individuals with these conditions travel.
  3. Circulatory Conditions: Issues related to blood flow, such as stroke and high blood pressure, remain significant factors to declare when obtaining a Travel Insurance quote. Even a well-managed condition at home may manifest differently when abroad.
  4. Respiratory Conditions: Conditions affecting breathing, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), may necessitate travel with specific medications.
  5. Chronic Conditions: Long-term health impacts are associated with conditions like cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, disabilities, and Crohn’s disease.
  6. Bone and Joint Conditions: Afflictions impacting bones or joints, including arthritis, back problems, or osteoporosis, can influence holiday planning.
  7. Other Conditions: AllClear extends coverage to a diverse range of conditions, encompassing mental health issues, post-surgery scenarios, undiagnosed conditions, and gallstones.

By acknowledging and declaring these conditions during the quoting process, individuals can ensure comprehensive coverage tailored to their specific health needs, promoting a secure and worry-free travel experience.

Qualifying for an Exclusion Waiver for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Obtaining a pre-existing medical condition exclusion waiver with travel insurance entails specific limitations set by insurance companies, and meeting certain criteria is imperative for eligibility.

Amount of Trip Cost Insured

To qualify for a pre-existing medical condition exclusion waiver, it is typically a prerequisite to insure 100% of your prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs. This ensures comprehensive coverage for potential incidents related to pre-existing medical conditions.

Health Criteria

Eligibility for a pre-existing medical condition exclusion waiver may be contingent on your overall health. Individuals with severe medical conditions that are not under control may find themselves ineligible. Additionally, travel insurance policies commonly exclude coverage for individuals with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and certain mental health disorders like bipolar disorder.

Time of Purchase

Timing is a crucial factor, as travel insurance companies often stipulate a specific window for purchasing a policy after making the initial trip deposit to qualify for a pre-existing condition exclusion waiver. For instance, some insurance providers may require policy purchase within 14 days of the first deposit to avail of the exclusion waiver.

By adhering to these criteria and understanding the associated limitations, travelers can enhance their prospects of securing a pre-existing medical condition exclusion waiver, providing a tailored and comprehensive safety net for their travel plans.

Pre-Existing Conditions for Non-Traveling Individuals

The assessment of pre-existing conditions for non-traveling family members by travel insurance companies plays a pivotal role in determining eligibility for claims related to trip cancellation or interruption due to a sudden illness affecting a family member at home. The detailed information regarding this evaluation can be found in the plan certificate for each specific insurance plan.

Some travel insurance companies adopt a similar approach for non-traveling family members as they do for travelers, incorporating a look-back period. Under this framework, coverage is excluded for any condition for which the individual received treatment, diagnostic testing, or medication changes during that designated timeframe. A Pre-Existing Condition Waiver can potentially be acquired if the non-traveling family member is in stable health at the time of plan purchase, provided other eligibility requirements are met. It is crucial to scrutinize the wording of the Pre-Existing Condition Waiver to confirm its applicability to non-traveling family members in such instances.

Alternatively, travel insurance companies may cover trip interruption for the illness of a family member at home through the concept of an “unforeseen worsening of the condition.” This means that if the deterioration of the non-traveling family member’s health was unexpected at the time of plan purchase, it is considered an unforeseen occurrence. While this approach does not impose specific eligibility requirements, the attending physician must confirm that the worsening of the condition was indeed unexpected.

Reviewing the plan certificate for the Pre-Existing Conditions exclusion is essential. If the plan explicitly references “family member booked to travel with you” concerning a Pre-Existing Condition, the company will assess the unforeseen worsening of the condition for non-travelers. In the absence of such a specification in the certificate, the company will evaluate Pre-Existing Conditions for non-traveling family members using the same criteria as applied to travelers.


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