Travel insurance for people with diabetes

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Woman using a flash glucose monitor

Travelling with diabetes can need a little extra preparation. Getting a travel insurance policy that will protect you financially if you become ill on your trip is important.

We’ve broken down everything you need to know about travel insurance for travellers with diabetes and some advice on how to prepare for your trip.

Why do people with diabetes need travel insurance?

People with diabetes mostly need holiday insurance for the same reason everyone else does. It gives you financial protection if certain things go wrong on your trip.

If you have any medical condition, including diabetes, you may be more likely to fall ill on holiday. This means you need an insurance policy in place to cover medical costs.

What should travel insurance for travellers with diabetes cover?

A travel insurance policy should cover:

  • emergency medical costs 
  • repatriation if it’s medically necessary for you to return to the UK
  • lost, stolen or damaged medication (like your insulin)
  • costs if you need to cut your trip short or cancel it completely due to illness caused by your diabetes

Do I have to declare diabetes when buying travel insurance?

Yes. Diabetes is a pre-existing medical condition, so you’ll need to tell your insurer about it when buying your policy.

It’s possible that changes in diet, environment and activity can affect blood glucose levels and lead to medical issues.

Insurers need to know about your condition to make sure you get the right treatment quickly if you become ill on your trip.

If you don’t tell us and then need to claim for medical expenses, we won’t cover all or some of the costs even if your claim isn’t related to your diabetes. 

What will my insurer ask during the screening process? 

We'll ask you about:

  • the medications you take for your diabetes
  • whether you’ve been hospitalised with your condition recently
  • if you have any associated conditions, like high blood pressure

Everything you tell us is strictly confidential. It’s simply to make sure we can give you the right cover.

How much is travel insurance for people with diabetes?

The price of travel insurance will generally be higher if you have pre-existing medical conditions which includes diabetes or any diabetes-related conditions.

However, paying for your own medical care abroad would be significantly more expensive.

The price of your policy will always depend on:

  • where you’re going
  • how long you’re going for
  • what you’re going to get up to on your trip
  • the nature of your pre-existing condition 

Does a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) cover my diabetes?

A GHIC or the old European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows you to access medical treatment while you’re in certain countries in Europe.

If you need treatment for any diabetes-related issues, the GHIC or EHIC can reduce the cost of treatment or make it free in some instances.

It’s important to remember that the GHIC is not a stand-in for travel insurance. It doesn’t apply everywhere and only works at clinics that are in a reciprocal agreement with the UK.

It also doesn’t cover you for any of the other associated costs, like the cost of cancelling or cutting short your trip or the cost of repatriation.

Read our guide on the EHIC/GHIC cards, including where and when you can use them.

What preparations should I make for travelling with diabetes?

You should check with your GP or diabetic consultant before you travel. This is so you can:

  • get a prescription for twice the amount of your regular medication – this allows for any unexpected delays or losses
  • get advice on when you should be taking your insulin – especially if you’re travelling to another time zone

You may also use additional devices, like monitoring equipment. You should get a doctor’s letter to take with you on your trip, which explains:

  • the medication you take
  • the monitoring and dispensing devices you use
  • any other necessary equipment like needles or syringes

You can show this letter to customs or security staff when travelling. If you have any medical issues, you can also show this to the medical professionals treating you.  

Read our guide on travelling with your prescription medication.

Flying with diabetes

You should:

  • pack your insulin in a cool bag and keep it in your hand luggage so it’s always accessible 
  • pack snacks in case you experience delays 
  • get to the airport in plenty of time so you can tell the airline and security staff about your medication and equipment

What should I do if I become ill while abroad?

You should contact the emergency services, go to the nearest hospital or seek the medical assistance you need immediately.

You need to contact your insurer’s emergency service or helpline as soon as possible. If you’re with us, our 24-hour emergency helpline is 0292 010 777.

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