Travelling with Pre-existing Medical Conditions

As the temperatures drop and daylight shortens, travellers are thinking about seeking refuge in sunnier destinations. Yet, a growing worry among older individuals revolves around their ability to go on journeys given their pre-existing health conditions, as well as their access to travel insurance to ensure essential peace of mind.

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

Before you embark on your journey, it’s important to know that a pre-existing medical condition is any prior sickness, injury or health issue for which you sought and received medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or medication before your trip. Keep in mind that if your pre-existing medical condition is unstable, you won’t be able to make claims related to it, but you may still have coverage for unrelated health issues. Stay informed to travel confidently.

What does “stable” mean?

In the context of travel insurance, a “stable” condition means that, during a specific period before your trip, you haven’t experienced any of the following related to a sickness, injury or health issue:

Medical procedures or interventions
Changes in medication
Changes in medical treatment
New or more frequent symptoms
Required investigations into complications or new symptoms (except for routine check-ups)

For individuals aged 69 and under, pre-existing medical conditions must remain stable for three months before departure, while those aged 70 and over must maintain stability for six months before their trip. This stability period helps determine if your condition is eligible for coverage under your travel insurance.

What travel insurance options are available?

When it comes to travel insurance options, CAA Travel Insurance1 offers emergency medical plans that cover pre-existing medical conditions if they’ve remained stable for either three or six months prior to your trip departure, depending on your age.

If you’d like to reduce the required stability period for pre-existing medical conditions to just 7 days before your departure, you can opt for CAA’s Pre-Existing Condition Rider2. This additional feature provides coverage for conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, with up to $200,000 in coverage per trip. You can add this rider to your travel insurance policy, whether it’s for Single Trips or Multi-Trip plans, as well as Vacation Packages, at the time of purchase for an extra cost. Importantly, medical records are only required in the event of a claim.

“We don’t want a pre-existing condition to prevent travellers from leaving the country with confidence,” says Kellee Irwin, vice president, Orion Travel Insurance Company, a CAA Company. “With CAA’s Pre-Existing Condition Rider, even if you were recently prescribed a medication, as long as you’ve been taking the new medication for at least seven days before your departure date, you will be protected.”

How do I know if my medical condition is stable or not?

Here are some examples that can help you decide if your condition is stable or not. If unsure, it’s best to reach out to your travel insurance provider for confirmation.

High Blood Pressure:
Your medication keeps it under control/dose and/or treatment doesn’t change – STABLE
Your dose or treatment has changes (increase/decrease) – UNSTABLE

Annual appointment with your doctor or specialist:
They said you’re doing fine – STABLE
They changed your prescription or your dose, or ordered tests – UNSTABLE

Just got a prescription filled:
It’s your usual prescription, at the same dose – STABLE
A new prescription or a change in dose (even if it’s a decrease in dosage) – UNSTABLE (even if you don’t have to take it regularly)

Consider CAA Travel Insurance for your next trip.

Pre-existing medical conditions don’t need to hold you back from travel anymore. CAA Travel Insurance offers emergency medical plans with a Pre-Existing Medical Condition Rider so you can travel safely, sooner. So, go ahead and enjoy epic sunsets worry-free with CAA Travel Insurance. Speak to a CAA Travel Insurance Consultant at 1-833-673-3030 or get a quote and purchase online at

CAA is CARP’s recommended provider for Auto, Home, Travel, Life, and Pet Insurance. Click here to see a list of underwriters covering various CAA insurance products. To learn more about our offerings and special perks for CARP Members, call 1-833-673-3030 or get a quote and purchase online at

1CAA Travel Insurance is underwritten by Orion Travel Insurance Company, a CAA Company, (except in British Columbia). BCAA Travel Insurance is sold through B.C.A.A. Holdings Ltd. dba BCAA Insurance Agency, a licensed insurance agent and is underwritten by BCAA Insurance Corporation. Insurance claims are administered by Orion Travel Insurance Company and its subcontractors, Global Excel Management Inc. Certain conditions, exclusions, limitations, restrictions and underwriting guidelines apply. A Medical Questionnaire is required if you are 60 years of age and older. Not all products are available in all provinces. Discounts may vary by province.
2All pre-existing medical conditions must be stable within 7 days prior to departure. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply.
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