Pre-existing condition coverage within travel insurance policies often confuses even the most seasoned travelers. The reason for that may be because the way a traveler defines a pre-existing condition and the way a travel insurance provider defines a pre-existing condition can be quite different.
Even someone who had a heart attack or suffered from cancer five years ago may not be classed as having a pre-existing condition by a travel insurance provider. Similarly, someone who currently has diabetes or high blood pressure may not even need pre-existing condition coverage. Here are some of the most important things to consider when determining if pre-existing condition coverage is necessary:
It is all about the ‘look-back period’
Every travel insurance certificate will define a pre-existing condition based on what is referred to as a look-back period. The look-back period consists of a specific amount of time starting from the effective date of a policy (the date coverage begins) looking back the number of days specified by the policy.
If a traveler has received advice, diagnosis, care or treatment for any condition within that time frame, they are classed as having a pre-existing condition. However, if the condition has been completely stable and controlled within that time frame, it is not considered pre-existing.
Travelers can’t be disabled from travel when they buy the policy
If a traveler does have a pre-existing condition, they can be covered by travel insurance as long as they are not disabled from travel when they buy their policy.
Travelers must insure 100% of trip cost
Travelers must insure all of their prepaid, nonrefundable expenses in order to secure pre-existing condition coverage.
Pre-existing condition coverage is time-sensitive
Travelers who need pre-existing condition coverage should purchase their policies within the first 14-30 days of their initial trip deposit. Pre-existing condition coverage is a time-sensitive benefit that typically isn’t available outside of that window.
By understanding these key points, travelers will be better equipped to evaluate their specific situations based on the definitions within their travel insurance policies.