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Guide to travel insurance for diabetics

We’ll look at how you can save money and get the best travel insurance for diabetics to properly protect your holiday

A photo of Daniel Sharpe-Szunko, the author

By Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Published on: 18 April 2023

8 min read

Guide to travel insurance for diabetics

Travel insurance for diabetics is usually slightly more complicated than standard travel insurance and often more expensive. When you’ve been diagnosed with a pre-existing medical condition, then your travel insurance premiums will usually be higher.

There are loads of options for someone with diabetes to get travel insurance. You can usually save quite a lot of money by following a few simple steps. It’s important to make sure that you pay a fair price for travel insurance with a pre-existing medical condition. You also need to be certain that your cover is valid.

The most important rule is to make sure that you declare your diabetes on your travel insurance application. This helps you to avoid any questions should you need to claim.

In this guide, we’ll look at how you can save money and get the best travel insurance for diabetics. This allows you to make sure that your holiday is properly protected.

SUMMARY – travelling abroad can be expensive and especially to certain regions around the world. That doesn’t mean that you should try to scrimp on your travel insurance. This is especially true for people with pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes.

The cost of medical treatment in foreign countries can be extortionate. The risks can be extremely high for people with diabetes.

More on this topic:

Yes, you should almost always be able to get travel insurance with diabetes unless your medical condition is extremely severe.

It’s worth checking to make sure that travel insurance is available and affordable for you. It is best to do this before you finalise your travel plans. There are some potential issues with travel insurance for diabetics that can make premiums unaffordable and unreasonable.

Is travel insurance for diabetics different?

No, the travel insurance policy itself is essentially exactly the same. The main difference is that it includes your diabetes and anything related to your diabetes.

There are a few potential health risks when travelling abroad with a pre-existing medical condition, such as diabetes. A travel insurance for diabetics policy would take those extra risks in to account. Hence why the price might be different to traditional cover. After booking your holiday, insurance should be the next thing you get sorted to avoid extra risk and costs.

Extra health and medical risks for travel insurance for diabetics:

  • Medical emergency due to diabetes (e.g. hypo’s or hyper’s)
  • Loss or theft of medical equipment
  • Replacement medication
  • Treatment or surgery

When you travel to another country, you would not automatically receive medical treatment should you require it. If you did need to receive treatment or needed medication for your diabetes, then you’d need to pay for it.

Is diabetes a pre-existing condition for travel insurance?

Yes, diabetes will be classed as a pre-existing medical condition. Anything that you’ve been diagnosed with that would potentially require treatment or medication is classed as pre-existing.

In this case, diabetes is a chronic medical condition. Diabetes is one of the most common conditions in the UK and around the world. More than 5 million people in the UK are living with diabetes. Diabetes is also potentially quite serious if it is not managed and especially for people with high blood glucose levels.

Travel insurance for Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes can be slightly different than type 2 diabetes when it comes to travel insurance or foreign travel. People with type 1 diabetes might need to travel with medical equipment such as insulin for example.

Someone with type 1 diabetes can be perfectly healthy and relatively low risk for travel insurance and premiums should reflect that. There are also people with type 1 diabetes that might also be at the other end of the spectrum. In this case, they can have quite serious symptoms.

You should be able to get travel insurance for type 1 diabetes, regardless of where you sit on the scale.

There are specialist travel insurance providers and companies for people that might be classed as higher risk because of their condition. It’s possible you’ve struggled to get travel insurance with type 1 diabetes in the past. You may need to speak to a specialist to get the right cover.

Type 1 diabetes travel insurance risks:

  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Hyperglycaemia
  • Dialysis
  • Insulin and insulin kits
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

What’s covered by travel insurance for diabetics?

Travel insurance is designed to provide you with protection against loss, theft, accident or sickness when travelling overseas. A policy for someone with diabetes will include all of the standard elements and some extra risks from your medical condition.

Travel insurance for diabetics coverage:

  • Medical emergency up to £15 million (usually)
  • Repatriation back to the UK
  • 24/7 medical assistance
  • Cancellation of your trip due to your diabetes
  • Curtailment of your holiday due to diabetes
  • Missed departure (up to £1,500)

How much is travel insurance for diabetics?

It is difficult to say how much each travel insurance policy would be. This is because the prices are based on quite a few different elements.

There are quite a few tricks that you can do to make sure that your premiums are fair and reasonable. Most travel insurance providers will offer cover for people with diabetes. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the best policies or prices.

How to check if your premiums are fair:

  • Compare to other companies
  • Get a quote for yourself with no medical conditions
  • Try to haggle to reduce cost
  • Be prepared to walk away
  • Ask for quotes in writing

If you feel that the prices being quoted are unfair then you can speak to a medical travel insurance specialist.

Premiums for travel insurance with diabetes are calculated based on:

  • Your age
  • Date diagnosed
  • Type of diabetes
  • Symptoms
  • Complications
  • Recent hospitalisation

Best travel insurance companies for diabetics

There are literally hundreds of different travel insurance companies and quite a few travel insurance providers or underwriters. Not all are good for people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes.

Some travel insurance companies don’t actually offer cover for all diabetics. Some will charge extremely high premiums because it’s not the type of business they want.

There are some specialist travel insurance companies for diabetics and these should offer cheaper premiums and better cover. Just because they’re a specialist travel insurance company doesn’t mean that they’re more expensive. In fact it’s usually the opposite.

Best travel insurance companies for diabetics:

  • Just Travel Cover
  • All Clear Travel Insurance
  • Freedom Travel Insurance
  • InsureandGo Travel Insurance
  • Medical Travel Compared

Cheapest travel insurance for diabetics

Cheapest is not always best when it comes to travel insurance and especially for people with diabetes and other medical conditions.

First and foremost, you should make sure that your diabetes has been properly disclosed and is included in your cover. If you’re unsure about the cover that you are being offered then you should compare it to other providers.

You can also get cheaper premiums by speaking to a diabetes travel insurance specialist and find out what they offer.

Generally, the travel insurance for diabetics is found by shopping around and getting several quotes. Some of the things that we would recommend for anyone with diabetes looking for cheaper travel insurance:

  • Don’t leave it to last minute
  • Compare several travel insurance companies
  • Check your bank or credit card travel insurance policies
  • Price comparison websites

Travel insurance for diabetics type 2

Type 2 diabetes can vary dramatically in terms of symptoms and severity levels. Premiums for travel insurance for diabetics type 2 can vary as well.

Levels of type 2 diabetes:

  • Diet controlled (no symptoms or minor symptoms)
  • Tablet controlled (no symptoms to moderate symptoms)
  • Insulin controlled (moderate to severe symptoms)
  • Diabetic complications (e.g. retinopathy, neuropathy or nephropathy)

Someone with mild symptoms and no complications would naturally pay lower premiums for travel insurance than someone with serious problems. Travel insurance premiums for type 2 diabetics are based on risk and any potential requirements whilst abroad, or before you travel.

Health risks for type 2 diabetes:

  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Hyperglycaemia
  • Replacement medication (e.g. tablets, insulin, blood pressure tablets etc.)
  • Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemia State (HHS)
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

Are there any travel restrictions with travel insurance for diabetics?

No, you shouldn’t be restricted in terms of travel destinations or travel periods because of your diabetes. Most travel insurance policies should be able to offer some cover regardless of your travel arrangements or health.

The critical point is whether the premiums are affordable and reasonable enough for it to be worthwhile. There might be certain destinations that are more expensive for cover than others. This should be factored in to the cost of your holiday.

Potential restrictions with travel insurance for diabetics:

  • Destinations (e.g. US and Canada)
  • Length of trip
  • Number of trips (annually)

What’s the age limit for travel insurance for diabetics?

Usually there is no upper age limit with travel insurance for diabetics. You should be able to get travel insurance cover regardless of how old you are and the insurer you apply to.

Travel insurance companies will generally offer cover as long as you’re fit to travel and you are physically well enough. The only real issue with travel insurance for diabetics if you’re older is whether the premiums are affordable.

How to buy travel insurance for diabetics

There are currently around 5 million diabetics in the United Kingdom and most of those will be able to travel overseas. It’s common for people with diabetes to want to buy travel insurance and so this is quite a competitive space.

Here are a couple of options for buying travel insurance for diabetics

1.    Call a travel insurance specialist or get a quote online

After you’ve booked your holiday, it’s advisable to get travel insurance as soon as possible. This is especially important for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

CLICK HERE to get your travel insurance for diabetics quote

2.    Answer some simple questions

You will need to answer a few questions about your holiday plans and your health. This will allow you to get the right quotes for your trip.

3.    Get a quote for travel insurance for diabetics

Compare to other companies and make sure that your quotes are fair and reasonable.

Resources

Diabetes UK – How many people in the UK have diabetes?

Gov.uk – Travel insurance facts

Statista – Travel insurance claims paid by type UK

Gov.uk – Foreign travel advice

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