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Helping You Understand Commonly Used Terms in Your Travel Insurance Policy

If you’re planning to travel this fall or winter, it may be time for a refresher on travel insurance terms—especially if you have a medical condition

A woman with wavy grey hair wearing a grey suit with a white blouse wearing red framed glasses and a mask. She is holding a blue travel mug in one hand with her tickets. On one shoulder she has a black laptop bag. Her other hand is placed on the handle of a suitcase.

Not everyone looks at the fine print on their travel insurance policy, but it’s important to understand what your policy does—or doesn’t—cover. If you’re still unsure, it can help to talk to a travel insurance expert to ensure you have the right coverage for your needs.

You can reduce the cost of your policy by choosing a deductible—an amount of money you agree to pay if you make a claim—to reduce your premium (a higher deductible usually means greater savings). And if you end up being away longer than anticipated, you can always purchase top-up insurance or an extension plan.

Here are some other commonly used terms you may find in your policy and what they each mean.

Pre-existing medical condition(s)

This applies to any medical condition that exists prior to your departure date for which you’ve received a diagnosis or are receiving medical treatment, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart conditions. But this also applies to any medical condition undergoing investigation by your doctor.

Stability and stability period

To determine if your medical condition will be covered, your insurer will consider the stability of the condition and the stability period.

Stability means there hasn’t been a new treatment prescribed or recommended, or any changes to an existing treatment (this can also include decreasing or even stopping your medication). The stability period refers to the time before your departure and can range from three to six months, depending on your age.


Having an unstable medical condition doesn’t mean you can’t travel. You can add a rider to your policy, cutting down your stability period from three to six months to just seven days. In a medical emergency, a rider also provides up to $200,000 for eligible hospital and medical-related expenses incurred as a result of a pre-existing medical condition.

It’s also important to check government travel advisories while planning a trip, after you book and before you depart. If the safety and security situation at your travel destination changes during that time, your travel insurance could be affected.

Read on

To learn more about travel insurance and commonly used terms, visit caasco.com/education. If you’re planning a trip, whether a short or a long one, speak with a CAA Travel Insurance expert who can help you find the plan to meet your needs.

Image credit: Halfpoint/iStock


1To have your pre-existing medical condition covered by your travel insurance policy, the condition must be stable as defined by your policy.

CAA Travel Insurance is underwritten by Orion Travel Insurance Company, a CAA Company. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. A medical questionnaire is required if you are 60 years of age and older. Policy conditions and limitations apply. Subject to change without notice. See full policy for all terms and conditions at caasco.com/policy.