Pre-existing medical conditions travel insurance
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Find out what travel insurance you need if you’re diabetic and how the right cover can help you travel with confidence.
You’re not required to have travel insurance, but if something went wrong on your trip or even beforehand, it could prove to be invaluable.
Many standard travel insurance policies won’t cover pre-existing medical conditions, but diabetic travel insurance specifically caters for people living with diabetes.
With this cover in place, any unplanned complications or cancellations related to your condition could be covered and emergency treatment accessed when you need it.
Diabetic travel insurance should cover you for everything that good standard policies do, so you’ll be protected against common situations like lost luggage and flight cancellations.
But it’s also designed to make sure any emergency medical and hospital expenses related to your condition are covered.
A typical diabetic travel insurance policy may include cover for:
Cover may vary between providers so always check your policy to see what is and isn’t included.
A pre-existing medical condition may push the price of your travel insurance up, but this isn’t the only factor that insurers take into consideration.
Your premium will also be calculated based on factors like your age, where you’re travelling to and how long you’ll need cover for.
The price can vary a lot between providers so it’s always best to compare quotes and check policies to see what’s included and what the excess amounts are.
When you take out a travel insurance policy, you’ll be asked a number of screening questions about your condition so you can be given the right cover.
The questions could include:
If you’re a type 1 diabetic it’s a good idea to do some research before you set off. For example, the NHS advises taking three times as much medical kit as you’d expect to need.
A doctor’s letter explaining your condition and the medication you’ll need to take on the plane can help when you’re going through airport security.
And if you need to use a pump or continuous glucose monitor on board check with your airline before you travel, you may need to complete extra paperwork.
If you need to bring medication with you, take more than you need to cover unexpected delays or losses.
Be aware of time zones that could affect your medication schedule and keep details about the medication and doses you need and will be carrying.
Take your GP's contact details with you as well as your travel insurance paperwork. Before you leave, check where the nearest doctor’s surgery is to your accommodation.
There are a few things you can do to help manage your diabetes when you’re travelling, these include:
List everything you’ll need to manage your diabetes on your journey and once you’re there. Remember to check this list for the return trip too
Get advice from them on travelling and managing your insulin across different time zones. You can also read the NHS guide
Keep your diabetes supplies, ID and any medication you need in your hand luggage. And give some to a partner or friend to take in case it goes missing
You may also need to correct your ratios more, as many people experience high blood sugars when they’re travelling
This can help if it takes a while to have your medication cleared by security
Take extra snacks with you and try to carry extra starchy foods like biscuits and cereal bars which have longer-acting carbohydrates
If you’re taking out travel insurance, you’ll need to let your insurer know if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
If you don’t, any treatment you might need that’s related to your diabetes won’t be covered and any claim you make may be rejected.
So if you want to be certain you’ll be covered while you’re away, you’ll need to tell your insurer about your diabetes and any other medical conditions you have.
Yes, when you take out travel insurance, you’ll be asked a number of questions about your health. Insurers will use this to make sure they provide you with the right level of cover.
The GHIC will provide you with free or reduced cost emergency healthcare when you’re travelling in the European Union.
This is specifically designed to be used for medical care that can’t wait until you get home and includes emergency treatment for conditions like diabetes.
But the GHIC doesn’t replace travel insurance and won’t cover you for all medical costs - for example, if your medical emergency means you need to be sent home.
While Diabetes UK encourages people with diabetes to have the vaccine, whether you need it to travel will depend on when and where you’re going.
You’ll need to carefully check the entry requirements of the country you’re travelling to as well as checking up-to-date advice on the government’s foreign travel advice pages.
If you take out specialist cover like diabetes travel insurance, your policy should cover lost or damaged medication while you’re away.
This will allow you to claim back the cost if you need to buy replacement insulin on your travels.
Yes, your policy should include cover for repatriation - the cost of emergency travel back to the UK due to an accident or illness. But always check the details of your policy to see what it does and doesn’t cover.
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