Visitor to Canada Travel Insurance covering Pre-Existing Conditions: A Guide

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Man taking picture in Canada after investing in travel insurance with pre-existing conditions

Finding the right travel insurance for your trip to Canada might feel overwhelming, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions to consider.

Travel insurance, regardless of your condition, helps to protect your well-being and wallet against the unexpected when you visit another country like Canada. But what about if you have one or more pre-existing medical conditions?

Luckily, you can get travel insurance that covers stable pre-existing conditions, if you know where to look. Read our guide to learn more about travel insurance for pre-existing conditions, including what it covers and where to find it. 

What is Considered a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?

As is common in the insurance industry, insurance companies each have different definitions for what is considered a pre-existing medical condition. Pre-existing conditions are those that someone already has prior to traveling. This could include illnesses like cancer, conditions like pregnancy, or even being prescribed a new medication prior to a trip. For something to be considered a pre-existing condition, it doesn’t necessarily need to be diagnosed by a healthcare professional.

Since travel insurance is designed to protect visitors to Canada against unexpected illnesses and injuries, pre-existing medical conditions that would reasonably be expected to require medical attention during this time would not be covered (for example, a prescription renewal).

Canadian insurance companies do not offer travel insurance that covers ‘unstable’ pre-existing conditions.

Finding Travel Insurance with Pre-Existing Conditions

Even though pre-existing conditions aren’t always covered by Canadian travel insurance that doesn’t mean you can’t still find coverage for your trip. In fact, there are three kinds of emergency medical insurance policies that visitors to Canada can purchase that often meet the majority of your needs:

1. Insurance that does not cover any medical expenses that arise as a result of an illness that could be related to any pre-existing medical condition.

2. Insurance that does cover medical expenses that arise from a sudden unexpected illness, which can be related to a stable pre-existing medical condition.

3. Insurance that only covers medical expenses that arise from some illnesses related to a stable pre-existing medical condition.

As you can see, there’s no blanket travel insurance for pre-existing conditions in Canada. However, your unique condition may be covered under these options depending on your age and illness or condition. The requirements to qualify for these plans differ by the insurance company, but many will require a medical condition to be stable for 90, 120, or 180 days before the policy comes into effect. BestQuote can even find a policy (for an extra surcharge) with a ‘stability period’ of only 7 days!

Finding international travel insurance with pre-existing conditions is possible, but always comes with strict rules and qualifications – namely, the pre-existing conditions must be stable for a certain period of time prior to the policy ‘coming into effect’ (aka the day the policy starts). Each company has its own definition of ‘stable’, which should be read before you purchase (BestQuote’s online purchase process forces you to read this before you apply for coverage, so no worries there). 

In general though, to be stable, there can be no change in medication or treatment during the stability period, no changes in symptoms, no new diagnosis or consultation with a doctor to determine a diagnosis….and there can be no scheduled appointments pending to investigate the medical condition in order to determine a diagnosis during that…. (30), 90, 120, 180, 365 days prior to the policy coming into effect (usually this is the day the person arrives in Canada). 

So if you have recently changed a prescription medication that you are taking to treat a chronic condition of some kind, you won’t be able to cover that until at least 30 days after you begin taking the new prescription (not the day the prescription was changed, the day you began taking the new prescription…and don’t count that as day 1, start counting on the next day)! If you visited a doctor to renew the same old prescription a week before your trip, that’s OK as long as you were not complaining to the doctor at the time about some strange new symptoms. If you simply renewed the prescription to treat the same old condition, then that condition will be regarded as ‘stable’.

Sheet outlining what is considered pre-existing medical conditions

Always Declare Your Medical Conditions 

When finding Visitors to Canada insurance with pre-existing conditions, it’s important to be as transparent as possible about your current wellbeing. Travel insurance companies will complete their due diligence at the time of any claim; many VTC insurance carriers do not ask medical questions at the time of purchase but they will be asking lots of questions at the time of claim if the medical bills appear to be because of a pre-existing medical condition. When purchasing, if you speak to BestQuote before you buy and declare all pre-existing medical conditions upfront, that will ensure that you purchase a policy that provides solid coverage. 

If you do not declare everything about your medical conditions, you could be denied coverage if a condition has not been stable for as long as the policy requires. Especially if it comes to light you are not well enough to travel, or had any sudden changes just before travelling.

Compare Travel Insurance For Pre-Existing Conditions

In short, can you get travel insurance if you have pre-existing conditions? YES!

However, will it cover your pre-existing condition(s)? Only if those conditions are stable. 

When it comes time to find visitors insurance for your upcoming trip to Canada, make sure to compare plans using Best Quote Travel Insurance Agency. BestQuote helps compare the broadest group of leading Canadian travel insurance providers simultaneously, including Super Visa Insurance , insurance for short trips, for longer International Experience Canada work visas, or when returning to Canada after a long time away.

Learn more about travel insurance with pre-existing conditions in Canada before booking your trip.

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