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Travel Insurance For Diabetes
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Best Travel & Holiday Medical Insurance For Type 1 & 2 Diabetics
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Once you’ve booked your holiday, good travel insurance is a must. However, if you have a medical condition such as diabetes, finding a travel insurance policy can be more expensive and easier.
According to the charity Diabetes UK, more than 4.3 million people in the UK are living with diabetes. If you’re one of them and you’re looking for travel insurance, here’s a rundown of what you need to know.
How To Manage Diabetes During Air Travel
When you take out travel insurance, you will be asked a number of questions about your health. And whether you have type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes or even prediabetes, it’s important to let them know. If you are found to be dishonest or withhold medical information, your policy may be voided.
If you declare your condition under a standard travel insurance policy, it may not cover the resulting costs. Other policies may cover the condition but charge a large premium.
In this case, a specialist policy designed to cover pre-existing conditions such as diabetes may be your best bet.
While you don’t need to take out special diabetes travel insurance, having a policy tailored to your situation can be invaluable if something goes wrong.
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A specialist policy may cover, for example, the loss or replacement of your insulin, while a standard policy does not. And if you’re traveling on a standard policy without full diabetes health insurance, you could end up with an eye-opening medical bill.
According to insurer Staysure, the average cost of medical claims on travel insurance is around £1,650. But claims can run into tens of thousands of pounds. This means that a quality policy can be invaluable.
You can compare policies for your situation on a comparison site. But if you’re struggling to find a policy because of diabetes, or the premium seems too high, the Financial Advice Service offers an expert guide to travel insurance providers that offer cover for critical illness.
When taking out a new travel insurance policy, you will be asked a number of questions about your health. These may include:
Medical Travel Insurance
Regardless of your medical condition, you must answer honestly or risk having your insurance cancelled.
One of the most important elements of a travel insurance policy is the level of medical cover it provides, as medical bills abroad can be incredibly high.
According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), one medical bill in 2020 totaled £124,000 to cover a month of private treatment in Spain following a fall and an emergency return to the UK.
Look for policies with a medical cover of at least £5 million to cover your medical expenses adequately. Make sure repatriation (getting you back to the UK after a medical emergency) is included.
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In addition to travel insurance, diabetes requires a little more advance planning when packing. Bring the following items in your hand luggage (you will need a letter from your doctor in case you are stopped at security):
The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which replaced the EHIC, provides access to national healthcare at the same price as local when traveling in Europe (except Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland).
Some travel insurance providers may require you to have a GHIC as a condition of taking out your policy, while others may remove your emergency medical claims excess if you have one.
However, GHICs are not a substitute for travel insurance because they do not cover you for expenses such as unexpected trip cancellation or loss of property.
Patients With Type 1 Diabetes Spend About $2,500 A Year In Health Care Costs
In addition, the card does not protect you against all medical expenses, such as repatriation, if you have to return home due to an emergency, whether related to your diabetes or not.
In addition to pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, the cost of travel insurance is calculated based on factors such as your age, where you are traveling to and how long you are travelling.
However, the price you’re offered can vary significantly between suppliers, so it’s good practice to shop around and compare what’s on offer.
The best price does not necessarily mean the cheapest. Budget policies may not provide adequate protection for your needs.
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Diabetes is no reason not to travel, but it does make it even more important to have the right policy when you do travel.
Talk to your doctor before you travel, including whether a different climate will affect your diabetes and whether different time zones mean your treatment plan needs to change.
It may also be wise to take more medication with you on holiday than is normally needed as a precaution. Keep the phone number of your diabetes care team with you to call if you have problems or concerns while you are away.
Find out where you can get emergency insulin from abroad – in case of unforeseen circumstances that mean you need extra insulin.
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Check whether blood sugar levels are measured in the same way in the country you are traveling to as in the UK. If in doubt, ask your GP and the charity Diabetes UK for advice.
Store the insulin in the refrigerator after you reach your goal. Hotels can usually help if your room doesn’t have a fridge.
Holidaymakers with pre-existing conditions, including diabetes, should pay more for their travel insurance than those with standard insurance. This is because there is an increased risk of claims for the insurer.
The amount you pay for coverage depends on other factors, such as the severity of your condition and your age, as well as where you want to travel and the length of your trip.
Insurance And Diabetes
If you have complex medical needs, you may need to speak to a specialist broker to find a policy that suits your needs, although this can be expensive.
If you want to keep to a limited budget, you can exclude additional coverage such as luggage, valuable gadgets and cash. Sometimes choosing to pay a higher voluntary premium can also lower your premium.
You can search for travel insurance, compare offers for your situation to find the best quality policy at the most competitive price.
As part of this process, you will need to provide details of your diabetes and other pre-existing conditions.
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The search should then show you the travel insurance policies that suit your needs, listed in order of lowest cost, depending on your circumstances.
Don’t forget to compare the coverage offered and read the terms and conditions, as well as check the payment for each claim.
A diabetes travel insurance policy should cover any medication that is lost or damaged while on holiday. This means that if you need to buy replacement insulin while abroad, you can claim back the cost.
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