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Asthma Travel Insurance
Cheap Travel Insurance for Asthmatics
While there is no known cure for asthma most asthmatics are able to manage their condition very successfully, and for many their asthma should pose no problem whatsoever if they want to take to the skies and see some more of the world.
However, whether you’re setting off on a weekend break or a round-the-world trip, if you plan to take out travel insurance for your holiday and you are asthmatic it is important to realise that your asthma will be classed as a pre-existing medical condition.
This means you won’t be covered for asthma-related eventualities unless you specifically declared your condition to your travel insurance company when you took out holiday insurance.
So, as an example, if you had an asthma attack overseas and needed emergency medical treatment your insurance provider might refuse to pay out if you hadn’t declared your asthma as a pre-existing condition when you took out the insurance.
Provided you have declared your asthma, though, and provided your condition is under control and you experience very few asthma attacks, you should be able to find a medical travel insurance policy that will cover the risk of asthma-related incidents…in addition to the usual cover for lost luggage and cancelled flights that you would expect from a good travel insurance provider, of course.
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Is travel insurance for asthma sufferers more expensive?
Although travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions is often more expensive than ordinary cheap travel insurance, when it comes to asthma many insurance providers may be willing to offer you travel insurance at the same (or very similar) premium, provided your condition is under control and you rarely suffer from asthma attacks.
However, if you are currently struggling to manage your asthma and find that you suffer asthma attacks very regularly then some insurers may specifically exclude asthma-related incidents from your travel insurance policy, due to the higher risk your condition represents.
In that situation it may also be worth seeking medical advice from your own doctor in order to check whether travelling is even advisable at this stage in your treatment.
Am I required to take out travel insurance if I am asthmatic?
No one is required to take out travel insurance, and almost a quarter of UK travellers embark on their trip without taking out holiday insurance, according to ABTA.
However, because your asthma means there is a slightly higher risk that you may need medical treatment while overseas, you may decide that it is worth forking out for relatively low-cost travel insurance for the peace of mind that cover could give you.
Is it safe to fly if I have asthma?
If your asthma is very severe then there is a possibility flying could affect your breathing, due to the reduced oxygen levels in an aeroplane when it’s flying at high altitudes.
For most asthma sufferers, though, flying shouldn’t pose much of a problem, although it is important that you remember to carry your asthma reliever in your hand luggage so that it’s easy to get to if you do start to notice that you’re getting wheezy or your breathing is feeling more laboured.
So I can carry my asthma medication in my hand luggage, then?
Yes, in most cases you will be able to carry your asthma medication in your hand luggage, even if it is above the usual 100ml limit for liquids.
However, it is important that you inform both your airline and the airport in advance that you plan to carry this medication in your hand luggage, and you should also ensure that the medication is in its original packaging with your prescription clearly visible.
You should also bring a doctor’s note with you if you plan to carry medication in your hand luggage.
Will my travel insurance company need to know my asthma triggers?
Although you will need to declare your asthma as a pre-existing medical condition if you take out medical travel insurance, you won’t usually be required to advise the insurance company of your own specific asthma triggers.
However, it would be advisable to bring your asthma action plan with you when you travel, and include your asthma triggers on this plan. That could help to keep your triggers at the forefront of your mind, so that you can take the necessary steps to avoid them if they arise (by, for example, asking your hotel to replace your feather-down pillow if feathers are one of your asthma triggers).
Will I have to bring my asthma medication with me when travelling?
Yes, if you have been issued with either preventative medication or reliever medication for your asthma (or both) you should take this with you when travelling.
When it comes to preventer medication you may be able to leave this in your hold baggage if your flight is relatively short and you’re not due to take it again until after you arrive. This could simplify the security process at the airport, although it’s worth bearing in mind that there is a small risk that you may end up without this medication if your luggage is lost.
If you have been prescribed reliever medication for your asthma this should be carried in your hand luggage, and you should inform the airline and the airport that you need to carry it with you before you are due to travel.
How can I find cheap asthma travel insurance?
Many insurers will quote insurance premiums for asthma sufferers that are comparable with those quoted for standard holiday insurance, provided the condition is well-managed.
So in most cases the key to finding cheap travel insurance for asthmatics is simply to compare quotes from a wide range of insurance companies and then go with the firm that offers the best cover at the best price.
Can I go scuba diving with asthma? And will my travel insurance cover me if I do?
Some asthma sufferers are able to go scuba diving without any issues, while for other asthmatics (for instance, those with athletically-induced asthma or cold-induced asthma) scuba diving may pose a considerable risk.
It’s also worth mentioning that some first-time divers sometimes experience panic attacks while diving, which could pose a particular risk for asthmatics since panic attacks have been known to exacerbate (or even induce) asthma symptoms.
If you are very keen to give scuba diving a try it would be best to speak to your own doctor in order to get their recommendation on whether or not it might aggravate your asthma.
If you and your doctor agree that you should be safe to give scuba diving a go it is important to consider the fact that many standard travel insurance policies, whether they cover asthma or not, may specifically exclude water sports like scuba diving, water skiing or white-water rafting.
It may therefore be necessary to either add water sports cover to your holiday insurance, or take out a separate water sports insurance policy.