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Diabetic? Get A Quote For Travel Insurance

Feb 28, 2008
Does diabetes mean you won't be able to obtain travel insurance - or that it will be too expensive? Generally, it depends on the type and severity of the condition and whether it is associated with any other medical condition. Those with well-controlled diabetes should have no trouble finding a suitable policy so there's no reason to give up travelling abroad for your holidays. Diabetes is one of the most commonly disclosed medical conditions in travel insurance policies, along with high blood pressure (hypertension).

There are different types of diabetes and different factors which might affect the level of cover and cost of any travel insurance policy. It is very important, therefore, that you discuss your travel plans with your GP or health care professional. If you are given the go-ahead, then it's time to shop for a travel insurance policy - as well as educate and arm yourself with as much information as possible before you set off to avoid any potential problems. For example, you should:

- First, make sure that it will be possible to obtain travel insurance.

- Take care of necessary vaccinations well before the date of travel in case of adverse side effects or reactions.

- Obtain the EHIC (European Medical Insurance Card) if you plan to visit participating countries within Europe. The EHIC should be obtained in addition to your private travel insurance policy. Under the EHIC agreement, you will be entitled to the same treatment as any citizen of that country, but only in 'state' facilities - not private hospitals.

- Carry a 'Diabetic' identity card or bracelet with you.

- Obtain a doctor's certificate or letter and prescription which states your medical condition and need for the medications. You must have this in order to get through the airport security and customs with your medication and syringes! Don't forget to take adequate supplies for your holiday as well as extra supplies in case of delays or other problems.

- Remember to adjust your medications to account for any changes in time zones as you travel. Always carry snacks with you.

- Your insulin or other medications may be known by different or generic names in other countries, so you should find out before you leave and write them down.

There are different types of diabetes, such as Type 1 and Type 2 (which is the most common type, also known as adult-onset diabetes). Your diabetes and any other medical conditions must be declared as pre-existing conditions. Many travel insurance companies have online screening programs which take you through a series of questions to find out whether your diabetes is well-controlled, whether you have had recent hospital admissions, complications or other medical conditions. Depending on your answers you may be approved or denied for coverage, or you may be required to pay an additional premium for the condition(s) to be covered. It is very important that you are totally honest; otherwise you may find the insurance will be invalidated if you should need to make a claim.

As well as European countries there are other countries which have a reciprocal agreement with the UK for medical treatment abroad, such as New Zealand and Australia. If unsure you should ask your travel agent or check with the Department of Health. Be warned that if your holiday plans include a trip to the United States your premium will probably be significantly more expensive to account for the very high cost of medical treatment there.

Your travel agent or tour operator may offer to include travel insurance free or as part of your package - but do so with caution as they are often very basic! For example, find out whether you will be covered for pre-existing medical conditions, transportation and repatriation. If you find that your policy is not sufficient there should be a cooling off period for cancellation. It is important that you read your insurance policy document thoroughly so that you are aware of the terms and conditions, limitations and exclusions.

This information only provides a brief overview. Contact any of the professional Diabetes organizations or the Department of Health for more detailed information and advice about travelling with diabetes. As airport security procedures are still very strict at the time of writing, you should advise your airline in advance that you are diabetic. Let them know that you will be taking medication and syringes on board and that you will need a special diet.

If you take the time to plan well in advance and prepare for any potential problems you should be able to travel as a diabetic - as long as you have a good travel insurance policy and your doctor's blessing!
About the Author
Jean Andrews is a freelance writer living in the UK. She regularly contributes articles for TIA Ltd who offer travel insurance at great prices online.
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