28 February, 2024
- By Hayley

Having Asthma shouldn't prevent you from living a full and rich life. While Asthma can pose its challenges it shouldn’t stop you from fulfilling your dreams and seeing the world. It may be tricky to find travel insurance that covers asthma, but that's why we're here! After all having a pre-existing medical condition can be tiring, so going on holiday may be just what the doctor ordered!

Does Travel Insurance Cover Asthma?

The general rule of thumb is that insurers do not cover conditions that already exist before your trip and many will require a medical evaluation before you are given the green light.

However, most insurers do have a list of 30 (or so) conditions that they automatically cover (hurrah!), including illnesses such as asthma, diabetes and osteoporosis. Conditions do apply.

Certain conditions will require you to complete a medical assessment before cover can be granted, which may cost you an additional premium.

Lastly there are conditions that are commonly not covered at all such as cancer, mental illness and heart conditions.

Common Conditions Of Asthma Cover

To get automatic asthma cover the following conditions may apply:

  • You must have had no other lung disease
  • You must be less than 60 years of age at the time the policy was issued
  • You have not experienced any exacerbation requiring treatment by a medical practitioner within the last 12 months

Tips For Travelling With Asthma:

Having a pre-existing condition such as asthma shouldn't curb your thirst for travel, but it's sensible to be prepared should your condition flare up...here's a few tips for safe and healthy travelling.

  • Have a check-up with your doctor so they can give you advice about travel; for example, ask about plans in case of an asthma attack.
  • Take a letter from your doctor with the details of your condition. Be sure to bring the letter with you on holidays.
  • Planning is key to ensuring your asthma is controlled while you're on holiday. This should include controlling your asthma at high altitudes, researching your destination to determine the allergens that may be in the air and avoiding linen and pillows harbouring dust mites. Scuba diving may also excacerbate your asthma so discuss any plans you have with your doctor and ensure your asthma action plan is up to date.
  • Take all the medication you will require with you and be sure to carry it in your hand luggage in its original packaging. It's also advisable to take more medication than you'll need in the event of luggage delays and keep it with you rather than in your stowed luggage.
  • It is advisable to have an emergency plan in case complications occur. This should include a list of any emergency contacts, information about the medications you are on and how these items need to be with you at all times.
  • Make sure your travel companions know you have asthma and know what to do if you have an attack.

Other Reasons To Buy Travel Insurance

Although your health is top priority there are other big factors that can make travel insurance an essential for all travellers!

Lost or stolen luggage: When you’re dealing with illness, the last thing you need is the extra financial stress of a lost suitcase or stolen wallet. Travel insurance will cover you for any lost, stolen or damaged items, provided you look after them.

Cancellations and emergencies: Should your flight be delayed for more than 24 hours, your travel insurance provider will cover any costs you’ve accrued. You’ll also be covered should you miss a flight due to any type of motor vehicle accident or natural disaster. It's best to buy travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday - that way if you have to cancel your trip for any unforeseen circumstance you'll be covered.

Rental car excess: Planning a bucket list road trip? Your travel insurance will usually cover rental car excess, so you can drive off into the sunset, worry free.

Personal liability: Your policy will cover you in the event that you are responsible for another person’s injury. Most comprehensive policies will cover you for up to $2 million in personal liability fees.

What’s Next?

Remember to always check the fine print before you purchase a policy. Don’t simply assume that you’re automatically covered by travel insurance. Check the fine print concerning pre-existing conditions and medical cover to ensure that any conditions related to your asthma are covered.

Phew! Feeling informed? Once you’ve compared travel insurance policies, spoken to your insurance provider and taken all the necessary precautions for your trip there’s nothing left to do but focus on enjoying your trip. Have fun!

*Please note: the contents of this article were accurate at the time of writing. Insurer’s change their policies from time to time, so some information may have changed. You should always read the product disclosure statement of your chosen insurer to understand what is covered and what isn't.

Hayley Kennedy

Hayley Kennedy

Originally from the UK, Hayley took a gap ‘year’ in 2011… and it’s still going! She’s travelled all over the world, volunteering in a Ugandan orphanage, skydiving in Australia, shark diving in South Africa, and skiing in the Alps (and snapping in a ligament in the process!). Certified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice and working in travel insurance for over two years, Hayley is a thrillseeker and a storyteller who loves hearing about customers’ holiday plans and sharing her own tips and must-see spots to help get them inspired.

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