Travel Insurance & Pre-existing Conditions Waiver
The typical insurance contract offered by many of the markets writing travel insurance, especially for cruise ship passengers , exclude claims for cancellation of the cruise, if the canceling results from an illness or injury classed as “pre-existing. There are insurers that will waive the pre-existing condition exclusion if the travel insurance is purchased within 7 days, sometimes 10 or 14 days of booking the cruise.
The loss leader for most of the insurers writing travel insurance is cancellation of the cruise and since the insurers are not in the charity basis, they tend to write contracts that have escape clauses or loopholes. What the passenger receives is usually a small pamphlet outlining what is or is not covered. Rarely will the insured ever receive a copy of the Group Policy that is usually used by the insurers writing this class of business. If you ever have an opportunity to get the policy, it may be more than 18 pages long, filled with clauses that only an insurance expert or lawyer can comprehend. These policies are almost never read or supervised by State Insurance Departments.
You may have a travel policy that you feel will cover pre-existing condition, but the insurer may rule the reason for canceling is not covered. Example: The policy usually covers the insured, members of the family and probably close relatives, such sons, daughters not living at home, grandmother or grandfather . A relative, such as a grandfather, may have cancer and he dies a week or two before the cruise ship begins the cruise so the cruise is cancelled. The travel insurer may refuse to pay the claim on the grounds, “WHAT IS NOT COVERED:” “No benefits are payable for losses due to expected or foreseen events.” Believe me, it has happened.
My travel insurance contract contains a longer worded similar clause. I hasten to point out we do not have an insurance claim.The information has been developed from an actual claim where the pssenger thought she had the waiver of pre-existing condtion but the insurer denied the claim on the aforementioned clause. from an actual claim. I hasten to point out we do not have a travel insurance claim.
A word of Wisdom : “For when they insure it is sweet to them to take your money; but when disaster strikes it is otherwise and each man draws his back and strives not to pay” by a 14th Century merchant, from Underwriter’s At Lloyds.