What is a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?

A pre-existing medical condition is, as its name implies, a health concern, sickness, disease, etc. that exists before you leave your home province or territory. Within the context of travel insurance, it means a condition you have before you leave on your trip. For example, if you have been treated or diagnosed with diabetes before your trip, you have a pre-existing medical condition.

Not all pre-existing medical conditions are serious, but they must all be disclosed to your insurance broker or provider. Common examples include diabetes, heart problems, strokes, asthma and pregnancy.It should also be noted that if your health changes from the time you buy the policy and your departure date, you must inform your insurer of the change.

Why disclose a pre-existing medical condition?

If you’ve got a pre-existing medical condition, you might be nervous about disclosing it to your insurance broker out of fear that your insurance policy rates will be too high, or that you’ll be denied coverage.

While insurance rates can be higher for people with pre-existing conditions (and yes, coverage can be denied entirely), lying to your insurance company can be a risky and unwise move.

For example, imagine that you have diabetes and you fail to disclose the condition to your insurance agent. You purchase insurance and head to paradise for a week in the sun. Three days in, you have a heart attack and need to be rushed to the hospital. Several weeks and tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills later, you ask your insurance company for reimbursement and your claim is denied.

Despite your pre-existing condition (diabetes) having nothing to do with your medical bills (heart attack-related), insurance claims can be denied if your insurance company discovers you’ve been dishonest on your application.

Can I get travel insurance?

People who have a pre-existing medical condition can still get travel insurance. However, depending on their medical condition, they could have a bit of trouble finding coverage. If you’re having trouble getting a policy and considering foregoing it all together, don’t; there are solutions.

Some insurance companies will offer an affordable option which covers any potential medical bills, excluding ones related to your pre-existing medical condition. In that case, if your pre-existing medical condition is related to your heart, you could exclude heart-related coverage, but still purchase travel medical insurance that protects you if you break your arm while outside of Canada.

Most providers avoid covering pre-existing conditions because they involve a higher level of risk. But PrimeLink Insurance offers the TravelSense plan, which is created specifically for people with pre-existing conditions. This plan covers all disclosed pre-existing conditions and has no stability period, meaning you can travel worry free even if you recently had surgery or changed medications.

This sort of plan is not common, so if you have a condition and have struggled to get coverage in the past, get a quote from us. Self-promotional, yes. But it’s also true.