In the UK alone, around 5.4 million people are receiving treatment for Asthma – that is around 1 in 12 adults, and 1 in every 11 children. The condition affects every person differently, with some having frequent attacks, and other managing to go through weeks, or even months, without any attacks with the help of medication.
While Asthma is considered a chronic, rather than life threatening, condition, it currently cannot be cured and can prove fatal and more advancements are needed, both with regards to treatment and patient education, particularly in developing countries.
Travel Insurance for Asthma sufferers
While most people don’t think they’re at risk of a serious Asthma attack, Asthma UK estimate 75% of people are not in control of their Asthma every day. The risk naturally increases when in a foreign country where the level of air pollution and other risk factors, as well as daily routine, is different to what to what our body is used to at home.
That said, you shouldn’t let your Asthma stop you from seeing the world. You can reduce your risk of complications by taking some precautions before you travel. These should include researching the climate, altitude and conditions at your destination, being aware of the rules the country poses with regards to carrying medication into and within its borders, and the best way to preserve your medication while you are away. You can get more useful advice by reading Ben’s story on the Asthma UK website.
The first thing on your pre-travel to-do list should be sorting out good travel insurance with Asthma cover. Ben says – “Although it might seem tedious to search through all the policies and expensive for something you probably (and hopefully) won't use, it is absolutely essential.”
Is Asthma a pre-existing condition for insurance?
Yes, it is. Unfortunately, insurers believe someone with an existing medical condition is more likely to make a claim than a healthy person, which makes them ‘high risk’, as they might cost the insurance company money. This means that getting travel insurance for people with Asthma may be considerably more expensive. We believe this is unfair, which is why we started our Travel Insurance with Asthma group – you can get a quote here.
Do I need to declare Asthma on travel insurance?
Yes. This is very important, as failing to declare any existing medical conditions can invalidate your policy altogether and leave you out of pocket in the event of a claim. It might be tempting to keep quiet to get a cheaper quote, but this can end up costing you far more in the long run. More information on travel insurance and existing medical conditions, can be found in this article.
Do I need a medical screening for travel insurance if I have Asthma?
Some insurance companies do require you to obtain a declaration from your doctor that you are fit to travel, particularly if you are travelling by air (as the reduced cabin pressure may affect your symptoms). Additionally, as part of the quote process, the insurance company is likely to ask you a series of questions to ascertain the severity of your condition. These may include the following:
• How old were you when you were diagnosed with Asthma?
• Are you a smoker?
• How many types of medication do you take to treat your Asthma?
• Have you been admitted to hospital as a result of an Asthma attack in the last year?
• Have you ever been prescribed oxygen to help treat your condition?
These questions help the insurance company calculate your premiums. You should always answer all questions fully and truthfully, to avoid encountering problems, or even refusal, in case you need to make a claim.
Is there any way I can get cheap travel insurance for asthmatics?
It is important to note that your destination can have an effect on your premiums. Certain places in Europe carry higher medical care costs, and therefore higher insurance premiums. It is worth specifying the exact country or countries you are travelling to while filling out your quote form, to avoid paying higher premiums than you should. Additionally, travel insurance for the North America can be considerably more expensive due to the high cost of medical care in the region.
Another way you can keep your cost down is by joining our Asthma Travel Insurance Group and using the collective buying power you share with other asthmatics to get a discounted quote.