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Compare Travel Insurance Travel Insurance Tips Find Travel Insurance When You Have Diabetes

Finding Travel Insurance When You Have Diabetes

07 December, 2018 By Hayley Kennedy

Having diabetes shouldn't prevent you from living a full and rich life. Certainly diabetes can pose its challenges but it shouldn’t stop you from fulfilling your dreams and seeing the world. It may be tricky to find travel insurance that covers diabetes, 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 Diabetes?

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 diabetes, asthma and osteoporosis. Conditions do apply.

On the other certain some conditions will require 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.

It's also worth bearing in mind that insurance companies may view the risks around type 1 or type 2 diabetes differently. Your condition would thus be assessed based on the type of diabetes you have. 

Common Conditions Of Diabetes Cover

To get automatic diabetes cover, the following conditions apply:

-  You have not been diagnosed with Hypercholesterolaemia, Hypertension or a known cardiovascular disease
-  You have no vascular, nerve, kidney, or eye complications
-  You were diagnosed prior to a certain time period e.g. within the last 6-12 months
-  You must be less than 50 years old
-  Your condition has been stable with no complications for more than 12 months

So Who Covers What?

The following table highlights which insurers automatically covers for diabetes, and/or whether a medical assessment is required before obtaining cover. 

**Click on each row to expand and see more details**

General Advice Warning: The contents of this article were accurate at the time of writing. Insurers 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. The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal circumstances.

Conditions Of An Already Overseas Policy:

  • Who can buy? - You must be an Australian citizen or resident in order to buy a policy. You can also normally buy it if you are on a 457 working visa, a spousal visa or skilled working visa. However cover is not available to those in Australia on working holiday visas.
  • Homeward bound – You must have a booked return trip and be travelling back to Australia in order to buy this type of cover.
  • Waiting periods - You may not be able to claim for any medical incidents in the first few days of your cover - this is known as a waiting period.  A waiting period exists to protect insurers from those who've not bought insurance and then decide they need it later. Usually due to accident or illness and not wanting to pay the expensive overseas medical fees that they incur.
  • Age limits – Just like a standard policy, already overseas policies have age restrictions saying who can and cannot buy. Check out the age limits in the table below.
  • Pre-exiting medical conditions - Conditions that exist before you departed for your holiday are unlikely to be covered. Always read your insurer's policy documentation to see what conditions they cover for free. You should always tell your insurer of any pre-existing conditions when you first purchase your policy – however trivial they may seem.

Is The Cover The Same?

Lucky for you, already overseas policies provide the same great cover as policies that were purchased before you left for your trip. What cover can you expect?

Overseas medical cover
This is one of the most important features of cover. Overseas medical cover includes 24 hours a day emergency medical assistance and may cover the costs for: ambulance cover, medical evacuations, funeral arrangements, messages to family, medical and hospital bills, surgical, nursing and emergency dental treatment.

Cancellation fees and lost deposits
No matter how organised you are, when travelling overseas there are many events beyond your control. This covers you for costs if you suddenly find you can't go on your trip or need to cut short your trip short for some unforeseen circumstance such as illness, an accident or a death of a close relative. Cancellation cover will refund you for prepaid travel and accommodation and non-refundable expenses.

Luggage and personal effects cover
These days, most of us travel with suitcases jam packed with our belongings. Luggage and personal effects will cover you for reimbursement or replacement of your luggage and personal effects which are lost or stolen.

Personal liability cover
Accidents happen! If you're found responsible for another person's injury while travelling you will want to be protected, personal liability bills can run into the millions.

Rental vehicle excess
If you're planning on hiring a car during your trip, your travel insurance will usually cover any rental car excess. So DON'T take out that expensive excess reduction insurance with the rental car company!

Can I Extend My Policy?

If you’ve already bought a policy and then want to extend your trip - it’s much easier to extend your existing policy than it is to get new cover when you’re already abroad.

If you’re already overseas and you either forgot to take out cover, or your previous policy has expired, know that there are options out there for you. It's not too late to take out already overseas travel insurance cover!

This information is provided as a general guide only. You should always refer to your PDS to determine whether the provider in question or policy is best for your circumstances.

I'm Over 50 And I Suffer From Hypertension? What Are My Options?

Even if you are not automatically covered for diabetes, that doesn't mean you can't get cover at all, it just means that you're required to have a medical assessment before cover can be granted.

Additionally; you should be aware that medical cover is just one of the many benefits of travel insurance. There are plenty of additional circumstances in which travel insurance could prove to be very handy! 

What If I Can't Find Cover For My Pre-Existing Condition?

If you're struggling to find cover you may have luck with travel insurer AllClear. This specialist medical travel insurance provider offers comprehensive cover. Any medical condition is considered. They can offer cover for any age. 
Remember you can still buy normal travel insurance with pre-existing conditions - but it just means you may not be covered for any claims related to, exacerbated by, or arising from that pre-existing medical condition without prior approval.allclear

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.

Tips For Travelling With Diabetes:

Having a pre-existing condition shouldn't curb your thirst for travel, but it's sensible to be prepared should your condition flare's a few tips for safe and healthy traveling when you have diabetes.

  • Being organised is the key to ensuring your diabetes is controlled while you're on holiday. Managing your diabetes and maintaining your insulin dosage during long flights is crucial. Being prepared and doing some research into the food options available on your trip can be helpful too. And leaving copies of your documentation to leave with loved ones at home can be a great idea in the event of an emergency. 
  • It's an unpleasant possibility but is advisable to have a written emergency plan in case complications occur. This should include a list of your emergency contacts, information about the medications you are on, your insulin delivery devices and information regarding the blood glucose measurement equipment you use. Any instructions required when using these items need to be with you at all times.
  • Take a spare meter, enough medication, insulin and syringes for your entire trip plus a few days more. It can be difficult to find the right medications when travelling so stocking up on your supplies can take needless stress out of your travels. 
  • Have a check-up with your doctor so they can give you any relevant advice needed for your travel; for example, you may need to adjust the time you take your medication according to your destination's time zone. Ask your doctor for a letter detailing your condition and listing any medication your require for your trip.
  • Ensure your airline knows you have diabetes when you book your trip so they can cater to your dietary and medical needs.
  • Ensure you adequately store your insulin for the climate you are going to. Depending on where you're travelling you may require an insulated bag to places that are extremely hot or cold. 

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 diabetes are covered.

Phew! Feeling informed? Once again, it's important to remember that having diabetes shouldn’t deter you from taking that long awaited holiday!! 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.

Contributor 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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