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
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. Mouseover the ticks and crosses for more details on each.
|Insurer||Type 1||Type 2||Insurer|
|1st for Women||Auto & General|
|Budget Direct||Auto & General|
|Southern Cross Travel Insurance||Southern Cross|
|Tick Travel Insurance||Mitsui Somotomo|
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!
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 up.....here'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.
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!
Diabetes requires management- there's no sugar-coating it!