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Advice for Visitors to Canada

Finding Travel Insurance with Pre-Existing Conditions

For anyone with a pre-existing condition, especially one that is considered relatively serious, finding a good travel insurance policy at a good rate can be a challenge. Nevertheless, take comfort in knowing that your efforts will produce results - travel insurance with pre-existing conditions does exist and rates are typically based on the nature of your illness. (Also see health tips for travellers.)

Insurance companies take on a greater risk when they insure someone who is known to have a health issue because those individuals are more likely to need medical care when traveling. As a result, they either exclude the pre-existing condition or they charge a higher rate for providing the coverage.

Travel Insurance With Pre-Existing ConditionWhat is a Pre-Existing Condition?
There can be some confusion as to what an insurance company considers a pre-existing condition. Simply put, any illness or disease for which you have been previously diagnosed, even if it is cured, is deemed to be a pre-existing condition. Moreover, if you have symptoms of an illness, even if it has not been diagnosed, it may be considered a pre-existing condition when comes time to buy travel insurance.

Pre-existing conditions can be chronic health problems such as asthma or acute diseases such as infections. If the condition was present prior to the issuance of the policy, it can fall under exclusions or be grounds for a higher premium on the policy.

Travel Insurance with Pre-Existing Conditions Excluded
The cheapest way to get a travel insurance policy is to choose one that simply excludes pre-existing conditions, which means that the policy will not provide coverage for medical bills associated with a condition that was diagnosed or symptomatic prior to the issuance of the policy. This may suit you, depending on the nature of your condition. Here is a good example: cancer survivors, who have been cancer-free for many years, may feel there is little risk of needing emergency medical treatment due to their condition while traveling, so they may decide that taking a policy that excludes the cancer from coverage is a safe bet.

In certain cases, opting for the exclusion makes more sense than paying a substantially high premium for coverage. Nevertheless, there exists a risk factor, and the decision often reflects a person’s level of tolerance for risk.

Bear in mind that failing to inform the insurance company about a pre-existing condition may result in a lack of coverage in the event of a health issue while traveling. If there is any record of the condition in your medical files, the company will have grounds to exclude it.

Most standard travel insurance policies include the pre-existing condition clause, thereby providing you with a large selection of policies and prices.

Getting Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions
In situations where your health condition could possibly require treatment during your travels, you should shop around to find an insurance provider that offers coverage without exclusions. There are some travel insurance companies willing to assume the high risk of covering a number of pre-existing conditions, but the cost is typically substantial. It is advisable to disclose the condition in its entirety and ask for quotes on the rates for coverage. Using brokers or services that can obtain several quotes can simplify your task.

Coverage for a serious illness can be difficult to find and afford, especially if it is terminal. For those seeking to make the most of what time they have left by means of adventure, the cost of travel insurance with pre-existing conditions is invariably an issue. The suggested course of action is to shop around for the best rate. Although you may be tempted to withhold information in order to obtain an affordable rate, failure to disclose all medical data can result in a denial of coverage when you need it most. In such circumstances, you may be required to:

  • Answer many in-depth questions about your state of health
  • Provide access to your health records
  • Undergo a medical evaluation

Travel insurance with pre-existing conditions is available if you are prepared to shop around and pay the required premium. Full disclosure and examination of the options are the ideal way to ensure you have the coverage you need at the best possible rate.


About the Author
Johnny Mangiante is an online journalist. He is also the editor and webmaster for many websites. For more information on Travel Medical Insurance for Visitors to Canada see his website http://www.visitorstocanada.com/.