What is a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?
When a trip cancellation travel insurance company refers to
Condition", they are talking about medical conditions that
exist in the
Lookback Period that immediately preceeds the travel
Simply put, a Pre-Existing Condition is any medically
documented condition (no matter how minor) an
Insured Person, Traveling Companion or Family Member
has been treated for, consulted with or received advice on.
This includes any adjustments or changes in any
prescription drugs or medication during the Lookback
Period. The condition has to be medically stable.
Medically Stable also includes the idea that nothing
is foreseen or expected to "be a turn for the worse". In other
words if you're given a week to live and you want to buy travel
insurance for a cruise next month, you can't cover the
Pre-Existing Condition. It's like wanting to buy Fire Insurance
when your house is on fire.
Here's some actual policy wording:
"Any injury, illness, sickness or medical condition of an
Insured or Family Member which either manifests itself or
exists during the Lookback Period immediately preceding
the day you buy Travel Insurance, unless the condition is
controlled through the taking of prescription drugs or
medication and remains controlled throughout the
Lookback Period. A pre-existing condition has manifested
itself when medical care, treatment or diagnosis has been
What this means is starting today, if during the Lookback
- You, a traveling companion or a family member, has any
injury, illness, disease, sickness or medical condition
- Has been diagnosed, treated for it, had any prescription
changes (increase or decrease), been advised to be
treated, had symptoms of it, hopitalized, saw a medical
professional for it, etc.
- Then that person has a Pre-Existing Condition as
defined by a Travel Insurance policy. Note: If that person has
a medical condition that's farther in the past than the
Lookback Period, they don't have a Pre-Existing
Why is this important?
You can cancel or interrupt your trip or receive medical
treatment even if you have a Pre-Existing Condition ? if you
follow the rules.
Trip cancellation travel insurance excludes claims due to
conditions. Some travel insurance plans will waive the
exclusion at no extra charge if you get your travel insurance
in the first 10, 14
or 21 days after your first trip payment date (before the end
of these 10, 14 or
Any payment on your trip is considered the first payment.
This includes the tax you pay when you redeem frequent
flyer tickets, refundable deposits or even a trip planning
consultation fee if that fee is later credited toward your trip
You'll protect yourself if you have to cancel or interrupt your
trip or receive medical treatment because of that
pre-existing medical condition. There are three primary
rules to keep in mind:
- You have to insure your trip's full prepaid,
non-refundable cost and
- person with the medical condition has to be medically
stable when you get your insurance and
- You must get your travel insurance in the first 10, 14 or
21 days after your first trip payment date
If you're past the first 10, 14 or 21 days you will be governed
by the "Lookback Period".
What's the bottom line?
If Pre-Existing Conditions are a concern for you or your
you have to buy your trip cancellation travel insurance within
Steve Dasseos is the CEO of TripInsuranceStore.com. You can
compare travel insurance policies at this website. Contact