I have a medical condition can I get travel insurance?
You really want to travel but you have a medical condition, so you’re worried you might not be able to get insurance. You are not alone. Many people who live with pre-existing medical conditions face challenges when applying for emergency medical travel insurance. But even though it can be difficult, it’s not possible for you to get travel insurance that’s both affordable and effective.
What is a pre-existing medical condition?
A pre-existing medical condition is anything that you've received medical advice or treatment for before the effective date of an insurance policy. This can include anything from pregnancy to diabetes to asthma to more serious illnesses such as cancer.
What is the impact of a medical condition on travel insurance?
Insurance companies tend to view people who have pre-existing conditions as high-risk individuals because there is a higher likelihood that they would require urgent medical treatment while abroad (which the insurer would have to foot the bill for). This doesn't mean that you can't get travel insurance, however. It simply means that anything related to your pre-existing condition will not be covered - or, you'll have to pay higher premiums to get that coverage.
In the case of trip cancellation and interruption travel insurance, you may not be covered for cancellations or interruptions relating to that pre-existing condition. This varies depending on the company, your diagnosis, and your health before the departure date of your trip.
But do you really need to get travel insurance?
It is not a requirement by law for someone with a medical condition to have special travel insurance but it is important to have the policy because not having it puts you at risk, both medically and financially. The cost of emergency medical expenses abroad is one of the main reasons people with medical conditions should purchase a travel insurance policy. While the premiums for such coverage can be expensive, you could be saved thousands of dollars for emergency medical treatment abroad as well as the cost of repatriation.
Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance are always helpful if you've pre-booked and pre-paid for your vacation. Again, it will depend on your situation and the insurance company if your pre-existing condition will be a covered cancellation or interruption.
Screening for a Pre-Existing Medical Condition
If you have a pre-existing condition, most travel insurance companies will require you to fill out a medical questionnaire. Answer truthfully, because if you fail to reveal any medical condition or provide false information, a claim may be denied or your insurance policy can be cancelled. You may need to provide some documentation; this depends on your coverage and the insurance company.
Consult your Broker
"I have a medical condition can I get travel insurance?" is a fantastic question to ask your broker. It's important to compare not only the price of insurance policies, but the coverages, exclusions, and wordings to ensure you're getting the best coverage while you travel. There are companies that will cover a pre-existing condition, and a broker is a great tool to help you find them. They can answer your questions and guide you through the process.