Travel insurance for diabetes type 1
AllClear are specialists in providing medical travel insurance and are able to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions who have not been able to find holiday insurance elsewhere in the past. This includes both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
For those who have type 1 diabetes, the pancreas (a small gland behind the stomach) doesn’t produce any insulin – the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. This is why it’s also sometimes called insulin-dependent diabetes Around 10% of diabetes sufferers are type 1.
We know having a medical condition can sometimes complicate matters when travelling. However, as we are specialist medical insurance providers, we work to help those who want to go abroad travel safely. If you or a relative has type 1 diabetes and requires travel insurance, then AllClear could help you find the right cover, ensuring you can travel to the destinations you want to visit with the peace of mind we’re behind you if you need us.
The key benefits you can get
- Medical expenses covered up to £15,000,000.
- Cancellation and Curtailment covered up to £5,000.
- Personal Belongings covered up to £3,000.
- All ages. All medical conditions. All destinations.
Tips on travelling with type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, however it’s considered the most common type of childhood diabetes. If it’s you, or your child, travelling with type 1 diabetes then you may want to take extra precautions to ensure your holiday is well-organised and stress-free.
Planning your trip a good 4-6 weeks in advance is a great way to give you time to think about all the necessary things you might need to prepare, from your medication to any diet changes you’ll need to be aware of.
Medication and travelling with insulin cartridges
- Before travelling, it’s best to speak to your GP to ask for enough medication, insulin and blood monitoring strips for the duration of your holiday. It might be worth asking for some extra supplies in case of delays.
- It can be helpful to make a list of which medication you’re on and the dosages you require. If you’re changing time zones, make sure you ask your doctor the new times you should be taking your medication.
- High altitudes can cause insulin to expand and create air pockets within the cartridge. You may need to do a few air shots to make sure there are no bubbles when you go to take your medication, both on the plane and on the ground.
Travelling by plane and your medical condition
- When travelling by plane, you may need a letter from your doctor to inform flight attendants that you’ll need to keep your medication with you rather than storing it in the hold. It’s best to let the airline know this when you book so that you know in advance if the medication does need to be stored in the hold.
- If you are carrying syringes, make your airline aware of this in advance of you travelling, as you may be required to follow a different process during security checks. It’s best to speak to your GP as early as possible.
Travelling to warmer climates and the effect on insulin
- If you’re travelling to somewhere hot, high temperatures can mean that your insulin is absorbed more quickly.
- Monitoring your glucose levels more frequently will make you aware if your insulin gets low. Speak to your doctor and they can let you know if they think you need to change your current medical care plan. You may wish to request glucose gel from your GP if available.
- If you feel the effects of a hypo, be sure to treat it immediately. Always carry with you a small glass of sugary, non-diet drink, some sweets such as jelly babies, a carton of pure fruit juice, or a pack of glucose gel.
EHIC and your right to treatment for type 1 diabetes
- If you’re travelling within the EU you’ll be eligible for an EHIC. The European Health Insurance Card replaces the E111 and is free from the NHS.
- It entitles you to the same level of medical care as the residents in the country you’re in, meaning it could be free or at a lower cost. However, it isn’t a valid form of travel insurance and wouldn’t cover you if you needed to be brought home in an emergency.
- Always ensure you have the right travel insurance policy to cover you in an emergency.
Caring for your health while you’re on holiday
- One of the best ways type 1 diabetics can manage their condition themselves is to live a healthy balanced lifestyle. If you do this at home, there’s no reason why you can’t do the same on holiday.
- When travelling by plane, let the airline know in advance that you may require extra snacks on board and this should be arranged without a problem.
- While you’re away be mindful of what you’re eating and avoid processed food. It’s important to stay hydrated so always keep a bottle of water with you when you’re out and about (but avoid tap water).
- Although you’ll want to relax while you’re away, being on holiday is actually a great place to stay active. You’ll have the beach or a pool so you could go for a gentle swim each day and some exciting places to explore meaning you’ll be walking around for a significant part of your day.