What is a Pre-Existing Condition and how do I know if I have one?

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Short Answer

Typically, travel insurance providers define a Pre-Existing Condition as a medical condition that has been diagnosed or treated within the policy’s look-back period.

More Detail

A Pre-Existing Condition is any medical condition that has been diagnosed, treated or experienced a change within the policy’s look-back period. Depending on the policy, the look-back period is typically 60-180 days prior to the effective date, but can be 12-36 months prior to the effective date. When purchasing this coverage, you will not be asked to provide an explanation regarding your Pre-Existing Medical Condition when purchasing a policy. However, your travel insurance provider may require medical documentation in the event of filing a claim for an event involving a Pre-Existing Condition.

Conditions that are stable during a policy’s look-back period are not considered pre-existing and can be covered under standard Emergency Medical coverage. This applies to a variety of conditions, such as migraines, allergies, or diabetes, among others.

Pre-Existing Conditions are typically excluded from coverage on travel insurance policies. This can apply to medical and cancellation benefits. However, the Pre-Existing Condition benefit can provide coverage in the event of unforeseen recurrences or worsening of Pre-Existing Conditions.

The Pre-Existing Condition benefit is a time-sensitive benefit, and in order to be eligible you must purchase the policy no later than 14 to 21 days after your initial booking date. Some policies can also provide this coverage as long as the policy is purchased before your final trip payment is made. Additionally, some policies may require you to insure 100% of your trip cost in order to be eligible for Pre-Existing Condition coverage.

Within some policies, the Pre-Existing Condition coverage may also be extended to family members, if you need to cancel your trip due to their illness or injury. In all cases, the family member must be considered stable at the time the policy is purchased. If the family member has received a prognosis of death or is currently in hospice care, please look at the policy certificate to see if there are any specific exclusions related to this, as some policies will not provide coverage.

This information can vary based on the travel insurance policy. Please review the policy certificate to verify coverage. If you have questions about a specific policy, please contact us directly at 800-240-0369. Our customer service representatives are available from 8am to 10pm ET seven days a week and are delighted to help!