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Travel Insurance Asthma

04:52PM 04/01/2013

If you have asthma, travelling can sometimes carry some concerns and securing a good travel insurance policy can be a bit more difficult than it would otherwise be. While everyone should ensure they have cover in place before they set off on holiday, those with asthma will want to take extra care over their policy, in case they need a safety net while away.

Obtaining travel insurance with asthma can be difficult

Angela Jones, asthma specialist nurse at Asthma UK, said that many people with asthma do struggle when it comes to getting travel insurance. She explained that with asthma being a long-term condition, securing the right policy can prove "very expensive".

The expert did explain that quotes will vary from person to person depending on how many medications the individual is taking and if they have been admitted to hospital. Age, the travel destination and any other conditions the person may have are all also taken into consideration.

One of the reasons that travel insurance is so important for people who have asthma is due to their slightly higher risk of being hospitalised while they are away. Travel insurance will pick up any hospital and treatment costs, and a good policy will also pay for repatriation if you need to return home early. However, due to the increased likelihood of this happening if you are asthmatic, insurance premiums tend to be higher, and some companies may be reluctant to insure certain individuals.

What to take on holiday

Like anyone with a long-term medical condition, people with asthma who are planning a holiday have a bit more to think about than the standard traveller.

Firstly, many insurers will ask that you obtain permission from your doctor or asthma nurse before going on holiday. This ensures that you are fit to travel and are less likely to experience a flare up of the condition while away. If you deliberately don't seek travel advice from a medical professional because you suspect they would advise you not to travel, this could actually void your travel insurance policy. Similarly, if they recommend that you don't travel but you do so anyway and then fall ill, your policy may be redundant. For this reason, it is extremely important to be honest with your insurance company - you don't want to go to the trouble and expense of taking out cover only to find you have no safety net should you come to need it.

Ms Jones spoke about the importance of having all the right medications when travelling.

She said: "It is vital that anyone travelling ensures that their inhaler is working properly and that they have up to date medicines with them.

"It is also useful for people with asthma to have a personal asthma action plan with them to help them recognise the symptoms of their asthma worsening, know what to do if their asthma is getting worse and when to seek medical help should they need it."

Another useful tool people with asthma can pack is an asthma attack card - available from Asthma UK. These are particularly good if you are travelling alone, as the people around you will then know what to do to help you out.

How travel insurance can help people with asthma

Travel insurance provides a financial safety net at the time when you need it. If you are recovering from an asthma attack, you need to be focusing on getting better, not worrying about how much it is all costing you. Travel insurance makes sure you can get the treatment you need without breaking the bank. What's more, it also pays for repatriation, should you you need to return home early.

In addition, a good travel insurance policy will provide access to English-speaking experts, meaning that if you should lose your medication or come across any other problems you can give them a ring for advice and support.

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