QuoteWright Travel Insurance Buyers Guide

Pre-existing Medical Conditions

How to understand the pre-existing medical conditions exclusions found in travel insurance plans.

Pre-Existing Condition Period - This is how far back the insurance company will look into someone's medical history, usually beginning from the date that you purchase the insurance.  For most trip cancellation/interruption plans it's between 60 to 180 days.  Travel medical plans can look back even further - up to 3 years.

Travel policies generally exclude from coverage any medical condition for which you are currently being treated or for which you should be treated.  If treatment is given, or should have been sought during this period, then coverage will be excluded. With the trip cancellation/interruption plans, there are usually two exceptions to this exclusion:

  1. the pre-existing condition waiver; and
  2. the taking of a prescribed medication for a conditions that is controlled throughout the pre-existing condition period. Most plans will not exclude taking a prescribed medication for a controlled condition as long as the condition and the medication have both remained unchanged during the entire period.

Policies are almost evenly divided on whether or not the exclusion extends to non-traveling family members.  This is an important point if you're concerned about an elderly family member who is not traveling and who probably has a pre-existing medical condition.  If you are concerned then you should pick a plan that applies the pre-existing medical conditions exclusion to only those family members who are traveling with you.

How do they determine if something is a pre-existing condition?  It's actually very simple.  Travel insurance claim personnel are trained to line up the important dates into a time line which will objectively tell them if the medical condition is pre-existing.  The important dates include: 

  • date of plan purchase,
  • date pre-existing conditions period begins, e.g., plan purchase = 06/01/2014 - 180 days = December 3, 2013.
  • date of departure,
  • date of first trip payment,
  • date/s of treatment taken from Physician's statement (part of claim form), and
  • date first symptoms appeared for current treatment taken from Attending Physician's statement.

If the dates of treatment or first symptoms fall between the date of plan purchase and the first day of the pre-existing period than the condition would be considered pre-existing.

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Case Study

Facts:  Joe had a heart attack 2 years ago and spent several days in the hospital and several months in cardiac rehab.  In the past year he hasn't received care and/or treatment except  for a prescribed medication that he must take daily.  His medication and dosage has not changed during the past year.

Solution:  Joe couldn't qualify for a plan with a "waiver of pre-existing conditions" because more than 30 days had elapsed since his first trip payment, but given his history, Joe's heart attack would no longer be considered a pre-existing medical condition because there hasn't been any treatment or care or symptoms during the past 180 days(longest period for package plans) and Joe was able to find the right plan.


Recommended Travel Insurance Plans

The following are the top 3 plans out of 15 available to you. All coverage limits and premiums are in US $.
Company & Plan Name Pre-existing Medical Conditions Total Premium

Travel Insured International

Worldwide Trip Protector Lite

See Details
60 days
Applies to all family members
See Policy Wording
Get A Quote

Travel Insured International

Worldwide Trip Protector

See Details
60 days
Applies to all family members
See Policy Wording
Get A Quote

Travel Insured International

Worldwide Trip Protector Plus

See Details
60 days
Applies only to traveling family members
See Policy Wording
Get A Quote
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