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Not medically able to travel at time of insurance purchase


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I'm currently in recovery from complex knee surgery and approaching final payment with Holland America 90 days before the cruise, at which time cancellation fees begin. I understand I'm dealing with a pre-existing medical condition and that plans that offer pre-existing coverage would be wise (if I get a plan that I can meet the timing requirements), or even better CFAR since there are many unknowns. But CFAR plans cost a lot and only insure a portion of the cost.

 

What trips me up is the standard wording that when I purchase travel insurance, I need to be medically able to travel. Right now I'm not medically able, but the surgeon says that within 3 months I will be fine to travel. I also may be fine to cruise then but unable to handle the other rigors of travel. If I'm not able to travel right now, does that mean the insurance wouldn't be valid for me in 3 months on the cruise?

 

What should I be doing to protect myself best in this situation? Do I need a surgeon's note now stating that he expects I'll be okay to travel later? The best solution is probably to reschedule, but it's a very unique itinerary that isn't offered at another time.

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Trip insurance can be really complicated with all the various rules they have. I have used TripInsuranceStore/Steve for travel insurance for over 10 years. Steve has a lot of info on his website and blog. If you are not fit to travel on the day you purchase your insurance, your pre-existing condition would not be covered.  Here is a link to his site where he discusses this exact topic. https://tripinsurancestore.com/how-travel-insurance-pre-existing-medical-conditions-coverage-works/  He and his staff are really knowledgable and very willing to answer questions! If you give them a call, they may be able to give you some advice on other options to pursue.  I hope that things work out for you!

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2 hours ago, 2InfinityNBeyond said:

I'm currently in recovery from complex knee surgery and approaching final payment with Holland America 90 days before the cruise, at which time cancellation fees begin. I understand I'm dealing with a pre-existing medical condition and that plans that offer pre-existing coverage would be wise (if I get a plan that I can meet the timing requirements), or even better CFAR since there are many unknowns. But CFAR plans cost a lot and only insure a portion of the cost.

 

What trips me up is the standard wording that when I purchase travel insurance, I need to be medically able to travel. Right now I'm not medically able, but the surgeon says that within 3 months I will be fine to travel. I also may be fine to cruise then but unable to handle the other rigors of travel. If I'm not able to travel right now, does that mean the insurance wouldn't be valid for me in 3 months on the cruise?

 

What should I be doing to protect myself best in this situation? Do I need a surgeon's note now stating that he expects I'll be okay to travel later? The best solution is probably to reschedule, but it's a very unique itinerary that isn't offered at another time.

 

 

We faced this after a last minute cancellation of a cruise due to a medical emergency several years ago.  Fortunately, that first cruise was 100% covered.  (As an aside, MANY thanks to CC members who had helped us learn about travel insurance shortly after we joined CC.  This large claim was for the first time we ever used travel insurance.)

 

Not much later, I went to find another "replacement" cruise in about 6 months, once it was clear that DH's medical would be fully resolved in a very few more weeks.

 

Fortunately Steve (of TripInsuranceStore.com) had helped us with that first policy - and also that claim. So I called him again for the "replacement trip" planned for several months in the future. He had barely started to process the new policy, when he suddenly said, "Oh, <DH's name>... how is he doing now?

I replied much like the OP:  The doctors are sure he'll be absolutely fine by 6 months from now, etc., so "no problem"!

 

NOPE!  DH needed to be "fit to travel" THAT day, the same day we started the new policy.  I thanked Steve (a lot!), cancelled the new reservation and got 100% of our money back, thank goodness, because we had just made a fully refundable deposit.

 

About a month or two later, when DH's physician said DH was fine, and "good to go, including on cruises", I asked the physician to write that down on paper and date it!  Later that same day, I made reservations for a different trip AND started the travel insurance... and we kept very careful track of that letter. 😉 

 

Everything was fine, and we had a wonderful trip a few months later.

[Thanks again, Steve!]

 

GC

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On 6/22/2024 at 3:40 PM, 2InfinityNBeyond said:

I'm currently in recovery from complex knee surgery and approaching final payment with Holland America 90 days before the cruise, at which time cancellation fees begin. I understand I'm dealing with a pre-existing medical condition and that plans that offer pre-existing coverage would be wise (if I get a plan that I can meet the timing requirements), or even better CFAR since there are many unknowns. But CFAR plans cost a lot and only insure a portion of the cost.

 

What trips me up is the standard wording that when I purchase travel insurance, I need to be medically able to travel. Right now I'm not medically able, but the surgeon says that within 3 months I will be fine to travel. I also may be fine to cruise then but unable to handle the other rigors of travel. If I'm not able to travel right now, does that mean the insurance wouldn't be valid for me in 3 months on the cruise?

 

What should I be doing to protect myself best in this situation? Do I need a surgeon's note now stating that he expects I'll be okay to travel later? The best solution is probably to reschedule, but it's a very unique itinerary that isn't offered at another time.

Hi 2InfinityNBeyond,

 

I hope your recovery goes well.

 

Don't buy any insurance if you cannot travel today.

 

The insured traveler (you) must be able to travel / take a trip on the day you buy your travel insurance. It doesn’t have to be the exact trip you are insuring. Your doctor has to state that you could leave today on a trip. It doesn’t matter if your doctor says you’ll be able to travel later. You will not be covered if you buy travel insurance today. If you are unsure, ask your doctor if you can travel today.

 

Here's more information:

https://tripinsurancestore.com/what-is-medically-stable/

 

Steve Dasseos

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Thanks Seaside Memories and GeezerCouple (love that name!) for your most helpful answers. I hadn't thought about the risk of even booking far out in the future before cleared to travel. Great solution with the doctor's letter too. All your info most helpful.

 

Looks like I'll be canceling that dream vacation for now and just researching for future. I do plan to check out TripInsuranceStore.com for future. Thought I had a good handle on it all but found the claim process more involved than I anticipated when I had to file this spring.

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Steve, you are indeed a pro on all this! I'll be contacting you next time I need insurance and eager to read more that you've written.

 

We've bought many policies over the years direct from CSA/Generali and been pleased with the ease and the claim process, but made a few mistakes with a recent claim (arranging our own transportation to the hospital and not filing with Medicare simply to prove that Medicare won't cover outside the U.S.) It's working out but quite a process. So much to know!

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