There is a saying – “”If you cannot afford travel insurance you cannot afford to travel!!””
Anyone planning to travel, either domestically or more importantly, internationally, travel insurance is a must; even if you think you are fit and healthy.
For any impending traveler, especially if they suffer from celiac disease then travel insurance is necessary. This disease, and any other medical conditions that is suffered, should be approved as a Pre-Existing Condition before you travel.
When applying for travel insurance, an application form needs to be completed detailing dates of travel, the places/countries being visited. You have to make an election to have pre-existing conditions approved. This often requires a separate application form, listing your illness in greater detail, sometimes countersigned by your doctor/GP. This application is then sent away to the underwriters of the Travel Insurance Company and they will then correspond with you. If the conditions are approved, you may have to pay an additional premium – sometimes can be in the vicinity of $200-$300 to have your pre-existing conditions approved.
Imagine going to India and getting a very bad case of gastro-enteritis (Delhi belly) and being hospitalised and then being told that this is not covered as it could have been caused by your celiac disease. Imagine, falling off an elephant in Thailand and breaking a leg and being told, after hospitalization etc, that it was acerbated by your rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis.
In most cases it is peace of mind to know that if a situation like that comes up, you do not have to fight and argue the point. It is in 'black and white' before the travel commences.
There are many medical health funds that also include travel insurance (such as AAMI, Medibank, ) and there are travel companies such as Covermore Insurance, Travelguard and Tesco that offer travel insurance. Make sure you print off and thoroughly read the Product Disclosure booklet and if necessary ring the underwriters to clarify any points.
There are many internet companies that now offer cheap travel insurance that you can buy on line, but many of them do not coverany pre-existing conditions. You cannot even apply to have them covered. These are more designed for people that have no pre-existing conditions and only require straight-forward insurance with no extras included.
Celiac disease is normally automatically covered as a pre-existing illness by larger reputable insurance companies as long as it is initially declared on the original application form. Usually there is no requirement to pay any extra premium to have this approved. If the company is going to charge you an added premium then it might be wise to shop around.
Please ensure you read the policy statements and if necessary ring up the Insurance companies and talk to them. You can never be too careful.
Another great article to read is Be Prepared for Travel.