Diabetic travel insurance

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If you're one of more than 4.4 million living with diabetes in the UK, planning a holiday with your condition can be stressful. It can be difficult managing your normal routine on holiday, but there are plenty of travel insurance policies available to you.

Finding the right policy can give you that extra peace of mind while you're away, especially knowing you're sufficiently covered.

travelling with diabetes

Yes, but you'll have to disclose this when you're searching for a quote. In some cases cover is included in a standard travel insurance policy, others may charge more based on your condition.

  • Whether you can get cover depends on your condition, and if you have any complications or other health issues. Some policies can offer you wide-ranging cover, but some insurers may not offer you cover at all.
  • To find out, you'll need to declare your condition and answer some questions relating to it. It's important to be honest, withholding information or lying about your condition can invalidate your policy.
  • The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) have set up a directory of insurers to help customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions get travel insurance. This is done through their brand MoneyHelper.

What you pay for insurance can depend on various factors. These can include your age, whether you have any complications associated with diabetes, and the level of cover required.

Here's how much you could pay:

Age Price*

*Cheapest price for a 7 night trip to Spain. Based on adults aged 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 years old listing type 1 diabetes as a medical condition. Confused.com data - March 2024.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are classed as a pre-existing medical condition. Getting travel insurance that covers your condition is worth considering. If you need to pay for hospital and medical care relating to diabetes while you're away, your policy can help to cover the costs.

You might not need treatment while you're away, but disruption to your typical routine, diet and change in climate could affect your blood glucose levels. This is why you must declare your condition, so if you do need care, you're covered.

Travel insurance for type 1 diabetics

It's important to prepare before you travel if you have type 1 diabetes. Taking a letter from your doctor that explains your condition and the medication you take can help you navigate airport security, for example.

If you use an insulin pump or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), make sure you bring spares just in case anything goes wrong with your equipment while you’re away.

Travel insurance for type 2 diabetics

If you take medication such as tablets to treat your diabetes, make sure you carry enough for the entire time you're away, as well as some spare.

Travelling across different time zones could disrupt your normal routine in managing your condition, particularly if you take medication. Plan ahead according to the time difference and keep others around you informed in case of an emergency.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

The GHIC has been introduced to replace the EHIC. If you still have the EHIC, it's still valid in the EU for 5 years or until it expires. GHIC works in the same way as a EHIC, it gives UK citizens access to state-supplied healthcare in Europe.

It is not a replacement for travel insurance. What it does provide is entitlement to pay the same price for medical treatment as citizens of that country, or for free. In some countries, you get it at a reduced rate.

If you're dealing with an issue relating to your condition while away, a GHIC doesn't cover costs for medical repatriation, for example.

This is why having travel insurance can be really important. If you fall ill before your trip because of your condition, travel insurance can help you to recover the cost of what you paid. It'll also protect you against the costs of medical bills you incur if you need treatment relating to your condition while away.

When adding information about your diabetes, you’ll be asked questions on the following:

  • Whether you take insulin or other medication to treat your diabetes
  • How many unplanned hospital admissions you’ve had in the last 2 years
  • Whether you are or have ever been a smoker
  • If you have any other medical conditions such as impairment of your kidney function, heart problems, vascular disease, foot/leg ulcers etc. Use the quote process to get more info on this
  • If you’ve ever been advised to take medication for high blood pressure or to lower your cholesterol

You may have a regular routine while living with diabetes at home, so it's worth considering having a plan for when you go away:

  • Make sure your chosen travel insurance policy covers the costs associated with diabetes
  • If you carry insulin, or use an insulin pump or continuous glucose monitor (CGM), keep it in your hand luggage just in case your hold luggage goes missing. Carry extra insulin just in case there are any problems.
  • If you’re visiting somewhere hot, be sure to keep your insulin in a cooling pouch or bag while travelling. Once you get to your accommodation, you can keep it in the fridge
  • Visiting somewhere cold - make sure your insulin or other medication doesn’t freeze
  • Carry a letter from your GP or diabetes team explaining why you need to carry your medication and any equipment you need while you’re away.

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