You may think that a pre-existing condition refers to anything you’re currently getting treatment for when you purchase your travel insurance. However, the definition is actually broader than that. Allianz Global Assistance defines a pre-existing medical condition as any injury, illness, or medical condition that, within the preceding 120 days (including the date of policy purchase), has caused a person to seek medical examination, diagnosis, care, or treatment from a physician, presented symptoms, or requires a person to take prescribed medication (unless the condition or symptoms are controlled by that prescription and there have been no changes).
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It’s important to note that the illness, injury, or medical condition does not need to be formally diagnosed to be considered a pre-existing medical condition. Here are a few scenarios to illustrate this:
- A person experiences sudden, debilitating pain in their arthritic knee, which forces them to cancel their planned hiking trip to Iceland. Since they saw their doctor about the twinge in their knee three months ago, it is considered a pre-existing condition.
- While walking around Shanghai, you have a mild heart attack. Because you were diagnosed with coronary heart disease three weeks before purchasing travel insurance, this is considered a pre-existing condition.
- A person was diagnosed with lupus many years ago but has been in remission. They feel pretty good when they book a cruise to Bermuda, except for a little fatigue and a rash. However, the Caribbean sun triggers a serious bout of lupus, sending them to the hospital. Because they had symptoms when they booked their trip, this is considered a pre-existing condition.
Travel Insurance Requirements to Cover Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it doesn’t mean you can’t get travel insurance or that you shouldn’t travel at all. However, you need to read the insurance policy documents very carefully to ensure you meet all the requirements. As Conde Nast Traveler suggests, “it is better not to make assumptions. Coming home in pain is bad enough, so don’t escalate it by unnecessarily paying thousands of dollars that you could use on your next trip.”
Certain Allianz Global Assistance plans may include coverage for pre-existing medical conditions as long as you meet the following criteria:
- Your policy was purchased within the specified timeframe (usually 14 days from the date of payment or deposit for the first trip).
- You are a US resident.
- You are medically fit to travel on the day you purchase the plan. Don’t assume you’re cleared to travel just because you feel fine that day. If you live with a chronic condition or have recently undergone surgery or cancer treatment, it’s a good idea to get your doctor’s written approval to travel.
- On the date of policy purchase, you insure the full non-refundable cost of your trip with Allianz Global Assistance, including travel arrangements that will become non-refundable or subject to cancellation penalties between the policy purchase date and departure date. Be sure to include your airfare, hotel reservations, tour reservations, and any other non-refundable costs when you insure your trip. If you incur additional non-refundable travel expenses after purchasing your policy, you must insure them with Allianz Global Assistance within 14 days of purchase. Otherwise, those expenses will still be subject to the pre-existing medical condition exclusion.
What is Excluded from Travel Insurance Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions
While most pre-existing conditions are covered by Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance, there are some exceptions. Mental and nervous health disorders and normal pregnancy, for example, are not covered. If you want to ensure that your particular condition is covered, it’s best to speak with an insurance specialist before making a purchase.
Also, check the cap on travel costs. For the OneTrip Prime plan, for instance, the total cost of your trip must not exceed $50,000 per person.
Why Allianz Global Assistance Offers the Best Travel Insurance for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
If you have any type of chronic health problem, travel insurance can save your vacation, or even your life. The best travel insurance for pre-existing conditions is Allianz Global Assistance’s OneTrip Prime plan. This plan provides extensive coverage for covered emergency medical expenses while you’re abroad (up to $50,000). Additionally, you’ll receive emergency medical transportation benefits of up to $500,000 to travel to the nearest appropriate medical facility or return home. This is especially important if you have a serious condition that may require advanced treatment. The OneTrip Premier plan doubles these amounts.
Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance may also include trip cancellation and interruption benefits. This means you’ll be reimbursed for non-refundable travel payments should you have to cancel your trip due to your covered pre-existing medical condition or any other covered reason. Furthermore, you’ll receive personalized, one-on-one help in emergencies from their hotline staff. Every day, they assist travelers experiencing medical emergencies, lost documents, travel delays, and other crises all around the world. However, their hotline experts find it challenging to inform seriously ill clients that their pre-existing medical condition is not covered. That’s why it’s crucial to follow the rules and meet all the requirements.
If you have any questions about choosing the best travel insurance for your covered pre-existing medical condition, feel free to call Allianz Global Assistance’s travel insurance advisors at 1-866-884-3556. Travel happy!
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