DIABETES TRAVEL INSURANCE:
How to find the one that best suits your needs.
Your plane ticket is booked and you’re finally ready to head off for some traveling or vacationing. Although diabetes is absolutely no brake to travel and holiday, it’s necessary you do some preplanning before traveling with diabetes.
The first thing you need to do before flying with diabetes, is to make sure your travel insurance covers you in case of a diabetes-related mishap while away from home. Once that is done, you can refer to our check list and our tips to pack your diabetic supplies, which will be the subject of our next articles.
Finding Diabetic Travel Insurance is no easy thing. Most regular insurance policies WON’T COVER anymedical issues related to a “pre-existing condition,”such as diabetes.
In this article, we’re going to be taking a step-by-step look at the essentials you should be aware of before contracting the best Diabetes Travel Insurance for you.
If you’re about to fly, we might also want to read our Tips for flying with Diabetes, right here!
TRAVELING WITH DIABETES: DO YOU NEED A SPECIAL DIABETES INSURANCE?
It is most likely that your social security system won’t cover the medical costs that you incur outside of your country. In the event of an accident, hospitalisation or a complicated intervention, and depending on the country you find yourself in, these costs can run to several thousand dollars.
Furthermore, some establishments will refuse to manage your case if you lack travel insurance or a financial guarantee, sometimes even in life-threatening situations.
It is therefore strongly advisable to take out a travel insurance with diabetes coverage to bear these costs.
DIABETES TRAVEL INSURANCE: WHAT IS IT?
Most regular basic travel insurance policies won’t cover any medical issues caused by a “pre-existing condition.”A pre-existing condition is one you already have, and know you have, BEFORE contracting your insurance policy. Some health conditions won’t affect your coverage, but diabetes will.
Of course, you’re free not to disclose your diabetes to your travel insurer. After all, you might have it under control and choose not to spend your money that way—or you’re a true optimist! In that case, you should know that if something happens to you that can be traced back to your undisclosed diabetes in any way, your coverage will be denied. Travel insurance companies are cunning and will do anything they can to attribute your problem to your diabetes and avoid paying.
And you probably already know that, should you not declare your diabetes to your insurer, you won’t be covered for anything DIRECTLY related to your diabetes, just as we see in the following cases:
CASE 1 – Travel Insurance denying coverage for treatment DIRECTLY related to diabetes.
While in Italy, Robert’s blood sugar levels suddenly skyrocket and he can’t manage tobring them back down. He needs to be taken to the hospital. If his travel insurance policy doesn’t cover his type 1 or type 2 diabetes as a “pre-existing conditions”, he won’t be able to claim any reimbursement.
CASE 2 – Travel Insurance denying coverage for treatment DIRECTLY related to diabetes.
Anna, who has type 1 diabetes, just arrived in Thailand for a 2-week paradisiac beach holidays. Two days later, her insulin travel pack is stolen on the beach. Her regular travel insurance policy won’t cover the costs of buying new insulin in Thailand. She will need to either buy it herself or cut her holiday short and return home.
But what we don’t necessarily think about are those other cases where diabetes is not the first cause of a medical issue, but INDIRECTLY affects it. In most of these cases, a regular travel insurance WON’T entitle you to a claim. But a special holiday insurance for diabetics will. Here are two examples:
CASE 3 –Travel Insurance denying coverage for treatment INDIRECTLY due to diabetes.
While travelling in Mexico, Marie suddenly, who has type 2 diabetes, catches a tropical virus and gets high fever. She could just go to the doctor and get a prescription for medication to lower the fever. That would be covered by her travel insurance. BUT, because of the fever, her diabetes goes completely out of control and she doesn’t manage to stabilize her blood sugar levels. She needs to be hospitalised for a few days. The regular travel insurance WON’T cover anything. This is because if she did not have diabetes, she wouldn’t have required hospitalization.
CASE 4 – Travel Insurance denying coverage for treatment INDIRECTLY due to diabetes.
John, who has type 2 diabetes, is involved in a car accident in France and is taken to the hospital by the emergency services. A priori, it has nothing to do with his diabetes. So he should get insurance coverage whether he has declared his diabetes or not. BUT, in his medical file (which his insurer has access to), the doctors have stated that his diabetes condition justifies that they keep him under surveillance for a few extra days. The insurance company will argue that the extra costs are due to his undeclared “pre-existing condition” and the whole coverage can be denied.
To be clear, declaring your type 1 or type 2 diabetes to your travel insurer is NOT a legal obligation. But should you fail to do it, you won’t be covered for the above cases and similar ones.
TRAVEL INSURANCE DIABETES TYPE 1 / TRAVEL INSURANCE DIABETES TYPE 2
Whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, declaring it to your insurer and contracting a special Diabetes Travel Insurance can entitle you to a much wider coverage. Here are a few examples of things that regular travel insurances WON’T cover, whereas a Travel Insurance with diabetes would:
- Lost or stolen medication (both insulin and or tablets)
- Unforeseen diabetes complications (for example, if you require hospital treatment or expenses due to your type 1 or type 2 diabetes);
- Missing a flight due to your condition (whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes)
So, depending on your health situation and on what you want to be covered for, whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, it is strongly advisable to take out Diabetes Travel Insurance before your departure.
CHOOSE THE BEST DIABETES TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR YOU!
First of all, you need to know that the best travel insurance for diabetics is not necessarily the cheapest one. You’ll need to carefully review your diabetes travel insurance conditions to be sure that it covers you for what you want and need.
Choosing the best travel insurance with diabetes really depends on you. We won’t advertise on any private sector travel insurance companies. But there are a few things to know to be sure that the diabetic travel insurance you choose is the one that best suits your needs:
Does your current travel insurance covers type 1 or type 2 diabetes?
The first thing you need to do is double-check with your current travel insurance provider if it covers “pre-existing conditions” such as diabetes.
For your information, the general “visa,”“MasterCard,” or “American Express” travel insurances that you get when buying your plane ticket with your credit card DO NOT cover pre-existing medical conditions.
In case your current travel insurance does not cover “pre-existing conditions”, ask your insurer if it is possible to waive that restriction (it should be cheaper than buying a new policy with a new company).
And if not, you’ll need to contract specific diabetes travel insurance.
Be aware of the different terms and levels of diabetic travel insurances
There are many travel insurances that will cover you with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). But be aware that not ALL policies will cover you in the same way. Terms and coverage levels may vary a lot from one diabetic travel insurance to the other, and the costs will vary accordingly.
These are the most common terms and conditions that you must pay attention to when comparing different travel insurances with diabetes:
- THE LOOK-BACK PERIOD: In order to waiver your pre-existing condition, some travel insurers ask you to prove that your diabetes is “stable”. Some might ask for proof going back 30, 60, 90, 180 or even 365 days prior to the effective starting date of your policy. Some won’t ask for anything. Be sure to comply with the terms, otherwise you won’t be able to claim coverage.
- THE WAITING PERIOD: With our without diabetes, some travel insurance companies demand that coverage is purchased prior to or within 0, 1, 14, or 30 days of your final trip payment.
- THE SCOPE OF THE COVERAGE: All diabetes travel insurances will cover you for basic travel insurance needs (such as medical emergencies, repatriation, flight cancellation, luggage loss, ). However, as regards diabetes, the scope of the additional coverage can vary from simple medication loss, to full medical care, and even a special coverage in case you miss your flight due to your condition. Be sure the policy you choose fits all your needs before buying it!
- THE COST/COVERAGE RATIO: as for any insurance, the more you pay, the higher the coverage will be. Try to find the policy that has the best costs/coverage ratio for you. Be careful: a cheap travel insurance for diabetics is not always the best travel insurance for diabetics (coverage is often very limited)!
Negotiate and get a cheaper Diabetes Travel Insurance!
Last but not least: once you’ve found your perfect travel insurance with diabetes policy, do not forget to negotiate on it! Know that insurance companies are huge and face a strong competitive market. Call your company, let them know that you’re hesitating between them and a cheaper one, and wait. I’m betting they’ll lower the cost instantaneously!
WHERE TO FIND THE BEST DIABETES TRAVEL INSURANCE?
If you need to find a new travel insurance with diabetes, the following tips might help you out.
There are a lot of travel insurance comparator websites that, once you enter your criteria, will suggest several travel insurances that might suit your needs, comparing their costs, levels of coverage, and different terms and conditions.
Be careful: many travel insurance policies only apply to residents of a specific country. You should search for a diabetic travel insurance company according to your country of residence.
USA and Canada Diabetes Travel Insurance Comparator
If you’re a USA or Canada resident, here are some tips to find the travel insurance for diabetics that fits you best:
First of all, you can check out the Squaremouth Website. It compares travel insurances AND allows you to select the ones that DO cover pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes.
Check out the Diabetes Travel Insurance Guide:
Then, we highly recommend you read the Diabetes Travel Insurance Guide written by the Diabetes Council. It’s really well written. It explains everything, and gives you a list of 25 Diabetes Travel Insurance Policies that could fit your needs. We’re inviting to check out these 3 following travel insurance companies. They are the Diabetes Council’s Top 3 choices for travel insurance with diabetes:
UK Diabetes Travel Insurance Comparator
For UK residents, know that you can ask a quote for Diabetes Travel Insurance directly on the Diabetes.co.uk website, right here (within a partnership with P.J. Hayman & Company Insurer).
It is not a cheap travel insurance for diabetics though. To give you an idea of the costs, we’ve done a simulation and this is what we got:
- One week coverage in Europe starts at 16 pounds.
- One month worldwide coverage starts at 67 pounds.
If those prices scare you away, you might want to compare cheaper options using those travel insurance comparator websites. The three of them allow you to select diabetes as a “pre-existing medical condition” option.
Australia Diabetes Travel Insurance Comparator
Your best chance to compare the different Travel insurance with diabetes from Australia is to check out the Compare Travel Insurance website. Here’s the direct link to it:
Diabetes Travel Insurance for Residents of other countries:
If your current travel insurance policy DOES NOT cover pre-existing medical conditions, consider looking at your local travel insurance comparator websites. They should allow you to select the “pre-existing condition” option and only show you appropriate diabetic travel insurances.
And remember that you can always refer to your national diabetes organisations. They should be able to provide you with the names of travel insurance companies that fit your diabetic needs. If you can’t find the contact information of your national diabetes organisation, try to check out if it appears on the International Diabetes Federation‘s members list right here.
CHECK OUT THE DIABETIC TRAVEL FORUMS
There’s a whole lot of forums where your questions about the best travel insurance for diabetics have already been asked and answered. If we did not manage to give you appropriate answers in this article, maybe someone else did! Here are a few links toward forums where you could find your answers:
We hope this article has made things clearer for you.
Choosing a good Diabetes Travel Insurance can be a hassle.
Should you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to leave a comment on this page or to write us ([email protected]).
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Did you know that Sweet Trip is also publishing Travel Guides specially designed by and for people with Diabetes?
Choose your destination right here and check it out!