Travel Insurance - Question About Pre-Existing Condition?

Thanks to the help of our travel insurance provider, USI Travel Insurance Services, we now have some helpful tips on those pre-existing condition questions we receive.

TRAVEL INSURANCE SELECT Pre-Existing Medical Condition - A Frequently Misunderstood Term   Is it really a pre-existing condition?  The term may mean one thing to you, your doctor or your medical insurance company but another to our Travel Insurance Select policy.   The golden number for our policy is 60 days.  The 60 day period immediately prior to the insurance purchase, is what the claims department will review when a claim is submitted.  A new condition, a change in medication or dosage during that period would be considered a  pre-existing condition.  The taking of medication to control an on-going condition if the medication or dosage does not change is not considered a pre-existing condition.  A heart condition, high blood pressure, Asthma, etc. may be considered by most to be a Pre-Existing condition but not necessarily with the Travel Insurance as long as the condition remains stable within that 60 day period.   There always seems to be panic when travelers miss the 15/21 day early purchase window.  They are convinced they must have the “waiver” because they have a medical condition.  Frequently, when questioned, they are referring to a past condition or a present condition that is controlled by medication and in that case would not be considered a pre-existing condition by the travel insurance.    And another fact, the pre-existing medical condition of an immediate family member not traveling does not come into play.  Pre-exisiting conditions only apply to the traveling parties.   The definition in the Description of Coverage is very specific, however, that confirmation is sent once the insurance is purchased.  That document is provided for review on  your co-branded page as well as our web site.   I hope this provides a clearer picture for you of the policy definition of Pre-Exisiting Condition. For further information please visit our website :  


Interestingly, if you phone a travel insurer and get a steep quote, it’s often a good idea to simply phone back and speak to somebody else in the same firm. Very often you’ll get a different quote. There are no hard and fast rules about many pre-existing conditions, and they are open to interpretation.
I always thought that pre-existing means any disease that you already had before you applied for health insurance. I’m glad to hear that you still have a chance as long as it stays stable for 60 days!
Excellent post I found it very informative. Now I can make a better decision on which policy to buy, thank you!
Thank you for the clarification. I know insurance restrictions can be tricky.
Not only this Travel Insurance now is taken as a very good factor for tourism also. Mainly in those countries where traveling would be adventurous like in Nepal. This will be helpful who wants to have a wonderful vacation in countries where tourists are attracted.
Thank you for posting this important information! David from Inside Peru
The article is good but as always using common sense works well too, by hiding or not declaring a pre-existing health issue will not only invalid your insurance but if you have to claim it will cost you alot more financially. Many people think that if they do tell the insurers their premium will increase, this may be the case but at least they will have medical cover. Honesty is the best bet. Graham
In my option, any travel agency has to open a private insurance to protect all customers. thanks, Esther
I wonder if this policy will change with the new healthcare bill? Seems like it should. Craig Sanders
I think it’s a good idea, students must go abroad and witness for themselves the world’s problems, no one can teach better than the experience you get from this. There is another way of doing it abroad, but also could study and work abroad during college. There are many options out there if they choose,
It sounds like a general guide regarding pre-existing conditions coverage is whether or not you are attempting to recoup funds through insurance fraud. If you have a pre-existing condition and purchase the coverage at the same time as your trip payment it is highly likely that you intend to travel. In other words, you may have a condition but you expect to be able to travel, otherwise you wouldn’t waste your time and effort booking the trip only to have to turn around and file insurance paperwork as well. If you book your trip without purchasing coverage, and then discover a condition that would limit or prohibit travel, and then decide you’ll buy the coverage because you now have additional information, you’re really not playing fair. You’re attempting to push an undue amount of risk to the insurer since you believe it is highly unlikely that you will be able to travel. James Kurner
Very clear and concise article on an important issue. It should clear up some concerns on pre-existing medical conditions. Well done
Ment to mention Asthma is usually a big concern for people travelling via airlines. It;s good you cleared this up
Thank you this very useful guide to travel insurance regarding pre-existing conditions. This gives me a good idea of exactly what kind of medical treatment will be covered by insurance companies.
Why does insurance policy have to be so complicated? I think we are paying to much for it and when it comes to payout for some accident we had, they do everything to avoid it
I always thought that pre-existing means any disease that you already had before you applied for health insurance, I’m glad to hear that you still have a chance as long as it stays stable for 60 days!
It’s a shame that I can’t get insurance because I have a pre existing condition. Isn’t that what health insurance is for?
Generally, high blood pressure, diabetes, AIDS, pregnancy, and any such physical or medical conditions which cannot be considered to have occurred overnight are considered pre-existing conditions. However, each visitor insurance plan has its own definition of what is considered a pre-existing condition, hence you are advised to read more about the plan before you purchase it. Any injury, illness, or medical condition that meets any of the following criteria will be considered a per-existing condition: a) condition that would have caused a person to seek medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment before the Effective Date of coverage under the policy, 2) condition for which manifestation, medical advice, diagnosis, care or treatment was recommended, received, or noticed prior to the Effective Date of coverage under the policy. Here is a good educational video explains it , more effectively :
My wife and I cancelled our trip because she was diagnosed with a rare condition requiring surgery that made it impossible to go. The diagnosis was made about a month after purchasing the travel insurance. The travel insurer, Allianz, reasoned that there must have been symptoms during the 120 day look back period and therefore denied the coverage even though notes from the doctor’s file showed that on her first visit (ten days after buying the insurance and booking the trip) he suspected it was one of three different and benign conditions not requiring surgery. The diagnosis of the condition requiring surgery took a CT scan, blood work, two endoscopies and a colonoscopy over the ensuing four weeks after the initial visit to the doctor - again after the purchase of insurance and booking the trip. The irony of all this is that I have been an inh0use lawyer for an insurance company (different line) supervising claims for more than 35 years. If one of my lawyers had denied this claim, I would have expected a lawsuit for bad faith claims handling. If nothing else, please beware of this if you purchase from Allianz and be sure to get a full work up before you purchase the insurance to avoid wrongful denial of your claim when a new condition is diagnosed before you go on the trip.
Most insurers deny coverage for pre-existing conditions to prevent fraud. A fraud is usually characterized by gaining an advantage for the perpetrator. In the case of travel insurance, it is highly dubious that the insured is gaining any advantage by fooling the travel insurer, then going to the trouble of booking a trip, paying the fees and expenses, knowing the insured can get part of it back by making a claim. Better to not book the trip in the first place if you know of the medical condition. What my claim is about is not knowing of the condition, not ever having even heard of the condition, must less having or knowing of any symptoms, even before buyng the insurance and before booking the trip. I have since documented that symptoms did not even exist prior to purchasing the insruance. Still, Allianz has not retracted their wrongful denial of the claim. The bad faith part of this is that the insurer has failed to articulate a grounds for denial other than citing the exclusion in the policy. That’s not how claims handling is supposed to work and is clearly an indication of bad faith and unfair trade practices. A law suit will soon be filed as I am sure this company will not re-evaluate without it. We will seek the punitives and multiple damages allowed under state and federal laws that regulate this industry.
Thanks for your comment, this is unfortunate. Most of the insurance do not care about people, they care only about money. The funny thing is that insurance companies are people too, and yes they do get sick and yes they do die, but for some reason when they are in the position to do the right thing they seldom don’t. I hope everything works out with your wife.

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