Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Look Back InsuranceBefore going on a trip, purchasing travel insurance is a good idea especially if it is a costly trip. A look back period is the length of time before you purchased travel insurance that the insurance company will “look back” into your medical history to determine if the condition you are seeking reimbursement for is a preexisting medical condition.

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The following article will provide additional information about visitors travel insurance. It will also go into more detail on the purpose of a look back period and what it means to you.

What is Visitors Travel Insurance?

Before looking into the specifics of travel insurance, it is important to understand what travel insurance is. Travel insurance is an insurance policy that you can purchase to cover loss on your trip. There are many different aspects to travel insurance policies and many different factors that determine whether or not a loss has taken place.

Some of the typical things covered by travel insurance are:

  • A missed flight
  • A missed cruise
  • Emergency cash
  • Medical treatment
  • Reimbursement for injuries during travel
  • Rental car protections
  • Emergency evacuation costs

Travel insurance is not necessary for every trip, but generally the further you travel from home, the more you should consider some type of travel insurance.

For example, if you miss your cruise due to something that is your fault or not, there is no reimbursement option and you may be out thousands of dollars. If you have travel insurance, your trip will be reimbursed. This is true for medical expenses that may happen on the trip from a broken bone to a foreign sickness. Some insurance plans will also cover continued treatment that is needed when you return from your trip, which leads to the look back period.

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Why Do Travel Insurance Companies Have a Look Back Period?

You may be wondering why travel insurance companies have a look back period. It is because some people try to get the travel insurance company to pay for medical issues that did not truly arise out of the travel. Before the travel insurance will cover medical treatment or reimburse for treatment that took place on your trip, they will look back into your medical history to see if the condition or injury was pre-existing.

The look back period varies from company to company, but the average look back period is 180 days prior to when you purchased the insurance. The insurance company will look back over your medical history and review your application to make sure you answered all of your questions truthfully. Lying to the insurance company is considered fraud and is punishable with fines, repayment, and even jail time.

How Do I Know If I Need Travel Insurance?

As stated above, travel insurance is not for everyone. In fact, some people will have a level of insurance already available if they make their purchases by using a credit card. Travel insurance is usually recommended if you are traveling overseas, traveling to a dangerous area, or have invested a good sum of money into your trip.

Trips that are for the sole purpose of helping in a third world country or going to an area to assist in rebuilding, travel insurance is a must. Injuries in these types of situations are often unable to be treated in the correct way while overseas and the residual affects may linger after returning home where proper treatment can be sought. Your current health insurance won’t do you any good overseas.

If you will be engaging in any type of physical activities while on your trip such as mountain climbing, scuba diving, rock climbing, or hiking, travel insurance is a good idea as well. There is a higher percentage of possible injury in these situations and travel insurance can cover these expenses.

One aspect of travel insurance that no one likes to think about is death. If you were to die while on your trip, travel insurance will cover the expenses for your body to be sent back home which can be very costly. If you are going into a dangerous situation, this is another reason to consider adding travel insurance.

To find a travel insurance company that will understand and meet the needs of your travel, you should use the free online comparison tool provided here. This type of tool allows you to compare what different top travel insurance companies have to offer side you side. Once you compare rates and quotes, you can choose the company you like best.

Simply type your zip code into the box and compare travel insurance quotes now!