Buying Travel Insurance When You Have a Pre-existing Condition

In the world of insurance, a pre-existing condition is an important topic, as it impacts the type of coverage you can obtain. For instance, in some plans, a waiver for a pre-existing condition is included, as long as you purchase the policy within a certain timeframe – typically ten to 30 days after making the initial payment for your trip.

In these kinds of cases, you don’t have to fill out extra paperwork, nor is there an added fee for the benefit. However, in other situations, you need to obtain specialised coverage for a pre-existing condition, in which case you will have to fill out documentation or pay additional fees.

Does the Policy Include a Waiver?

If your policy allows for a pre-existing condition waiver, you will be eligible for travel insurance benefits in the event that something associated with your condition disrupts the trip. For example, if you go on a trip and suddenly experience a relapse or recurrence associated with your illness, your insurance expenses would be covered under the guidelines established by your insurance provider. Without the implementation of a waiver, you cannot receive financial compensation if you fall ill or have to shorten your trip.

When reviewing travel insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions, it is essential to note how an insurance company defines the term. Generally, most companies define a pre-existing condition as a diagnosed illness that has not stabilised within a specific period of time prior to the purchase of a travel insurance plan. The defined period will vary by the policy and the provider, but it normally falls in a range of 60 to 180 days.

The Definition of a Stable Condition

The term “stable” means that your condition has not worsened or exacerbated in any way – no new medications, treatments, or procedures of any type. During the stipulated period of time, you should not have undergone any additional tests, scans, or assessments in order to qualify.

Travel insurance companies can review your medical history, up to a defined time period, in order to determine whether they believe your claim involves a pre-existing condition. In some instances, they may deny the claim.

Acquaint Yourself with the Terms in the Policy

That is why it is important that you understand pre-existing waivers and make sure you purchase a policy that suits your specific needs. To make sure you succeed in buying the right plan, be up-front and honest with the insurer about any conditions you believe may apply. Also, buy your travel policy as soon as you remit the initial deposit for your trip. Then, familiarise yourself with the details of the insurance plan before embarking on your holiday.

In order to select the right plan, visit an online travel insurance comparison website for those with pre-existing conditions. In order to make sure you are adequately covered, even if your condition is minor, you might need to take a medical screening. A medical screening is a series of basic, multiple-choice questions, all of which are designed to determine the severity of your condition. Some of the questions may seem personal. However, your replies are entirely confidential.

Whilst some travel insurers require that you answer a medical screening over the phone, you can visit sites that will enable you to obtain several quotes after completing a medical screening online. Before you undergo a screening, a comparison insurance site or insurance company will display a medical declaration.

This proclamation covers the kinds of medical conditions that you must declare. Depending on your specific condition, the questions might cover the kinds of medicines you are taking or whether you have recently been admitted to a hospital. You will also be asked about when you were first diagnosed.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Again, you need to be totally upfront with the travel insurance company. In other words, you cannot declare a certain medical condition whilst excluding others. Therefore, don’t list only those conditions for which you are seeking coverage, as doing so may void the policy. Plus, many medical conditions can be covered without an extra charge, even if they are declared.

Insurers base their coverage decisions on how much of a risk they believe your condition carries. For example, they consider how likely it will be that you will have to seek medical treatment whilst on holiday, or if there is a strong chance that you may have to cancel your trip due to illness. Unfortunately, if your illness is considered to be severe, or if your condition is deemed unstable, your insurance plan will be more expensive.

Visit a Comparison Website

If you have a pre-existing condition, it is best to go to a comparison website. That way, you can take the health screening and review the various coverage options offered by several insurers. Doing so can alleviate a lot of the stress and strain that results from reviewing travel insurance plans separately.

Most insurers use one of two basic definitions to identify a pre-existing condition. Under the “objective standard” definition, a pre-existing condition is considered to be one in which the patient has received treatment or medical advice before they enrolled for insurance protection. Under the “prudent person” guideline, a pre-existing condition is one where the symptoms were present and required additional treatment, such as a broken leg.

Basic Medical Travel Insurance Coverage

Therefore, pre-existing conditions can include serious illnesses, such as cancer, or less serious conditions, such as a minor fracture. Pregnancy is considered to be a pre-existing condition as well. Medical insurance for travellers generally covers any new illnesses, injuries, medical evacuations, or the return of an insured’s remains in the event of death.

Generally speaking, the coverage does not extend to a pre-existing condition unless special protection is obtained or if a waiver is included in the policy. In addition, basic coverage usually does not cover you for vision checkups or for preventative care, including immunisation shots or physical exams.

Again, this is why you need to be totally honest about your current health conditions before taking a holiday. If you want to make the most of your time and feel confident about your travel insurance coverage, you need to make sure you supply the insurance company with all the salient details about your medical history.