Do you think you have a condition that may affect your travel plans?  

Travel Insurance for Medical Emergencies

Travel insurance helps you prepare for accidents or medical emergencies.  However, unstable pre-existing conditions are a major reason travel insurance claims aren’t paid out.

Age, trip length and the stability of your condition before leaving on the trip, are all factors which impact coverage, so make sure you have the right coverage for your needs.

Here are a few reasons a condition would be considered unstable. (You’ll need to read your policy wording for a full definition.) If recently:

  • Your condition has worsened or you experienced new symptoms
  • You’ve received new medical treatment prescribed or recommended by a doctor
  • You’ve had an increase or decrease in medication dosage
  • You’ve had a change in medication type or treatment
  • You’ve received a new diagnosis

What You Should Know About Pre-Existing Conditions

The following example demonstrates why it’s so important to understand pre-existing conditions:

37-year-old Thom* travelled to Portland for two months on an extended trip. He had a history of Diabetes and while there, had severe nausea and dizziness. Thom was taken to the hospital, where tests determined his blood glucose levels were too low. He was stabilized and discharged the same day.


However, Thom’s claim was ultimately denied for two reasons: (1) Thom had seen a doctor for his diabetes multiple times within the stability period, just prior to leaving.

(2) The doctor prescribed a new form of treatment for his diabetes; therefore his condition wasn’t stable before leaving for Portland. As a result, Thom had to pay $11,226.16 out of his own pocket to cover his US medical bills.

Don’t let something like this happen to you. If you think you may have an unstable pre-existing condition that could impact your travels, be sure to speak to your insurance broker. He/she can help you determine the right coverage for your specific needs.

* Changed to respect customer privacy

Safe and happy travels,


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  • Anne

    im planning a trip to Arizona for jan and February. I will need medical coverage.
    I did have angina and do take heart medicine which keeps me stable. I also have been undergoing some tests for my stomach,but as yet nothing has come to surface.. I need to know what coverage I need and the cost approximately. Thank you

    • Melissa

      Hi Anne,

      We would recommend emergency medical coverage first and foremost; you should also consider trip interruption/cancellation which will cover prepaid costs like airfare, hotels, and tours in the event you can’t go on your trip.

      Here’s a list of benefits you should be looking for in a good emergency medical travel insurance policy:

      And here’s some more information on trip interruption/cancellation; it also includes a list of situations that would be covered e.g., family medical emergency, schedule change or delay with your airline, etc.

      Another good thing to know: if you’re over 59, you may be required to answer a medical health questionnaire which will determine your coverage and cost. We don’t mean to give you more things to read, but we’re sure you’ll find this blog post very helpful. It breaks down pre-existing conditions and stability clauses:

      If you’d like to talk to one of our Licensed Insurance Advisors and get more information, you can call 1-855-929-TUGO or email Here’s when our call centre is open:

      Have a fantastic trip to Arizona (we’d love to see the Grand Canyon!) and do let us know if you need anything else. Take care!


How Unstable Pre-Existing Conditions Impact Claims

Apr 24 2014