Asthma And Travel Insurance

Asthma is considered pre-existing medical condition, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get travel insurance. 
 

you might be able to get travel insurance at no additional cost* if:
  • Your asthma has been stable (ie. you haven’t had to change your medication) for more than 12 months^; and
  • there is no planned surgery, treatment or specialist review; and
  • there is no planned surgery, treatment or specialist review. 

If you meet all the conditions above, then you don’t need to tell us about your asthma - you’ll be automatically covered.
you might be able to get travel insurance at no additional cost* if:
  • You can obtain travel insurance, but if you want your asthma to be covered, you’ll need to pay extra; or
  • you can obtain travel insurance but it will mandatory to purchase coverage for your asthma; or
  • your condition won’t be covered at all, but you can still purchase travel insurance. 

Please note, there’s a possibility we can't offer you travel insurance at all, but we will tell you this during your medical assessment.

*based on asthma being your only pre-existing condition.
 

How do i let you know about my Asthma? 

The process is simple and quick. You don’t need to call us and you don’t need to provide doctor’s certificates or other documents. All you need to do is fill out a simple questionnaire when you’re purchasing a policy online.

You’ll be asked about pre-existing conditions during your online purchase and if you select ‘yes', you’ll fill out the questionnaire. This is where we’ll ask you everything we need to know about your asthma.

Once you’ve filled out this questionnaire, you’ll immediately find out your travel insurance options.

 

Get A Quote & Medical Assessment

 

travelling with Asthma

Asthma is a long-term respiratory condition caused by hypersensitivity and inflammation of the airways.

Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and breathlessness. These can vary in severity from person to person. When asthma symptoms heighten, it's known as an 'asthma attack'.

People with asthma have sensitive airways in their lungs which react to triggers. When the airways are triggered and asthma flares up, the airways narrow and produce extra mucus and it becomes harder to breathe. Asthma isn’t curable but it’s very treatable - but it’s important to take precautions when you travel.

Please note, the below is general advice only is not intended to replace the advice or information from a registered body or your doctor.

 

before You Go
  • Consider the weather and air quality at your destination. Weather changes can bring on asthma symptoms, especially when the air is cold and dry.  Also, different countries and cities have different allergens/pollen levels in the air, which may trigger asthma symptoms or an allergic reaction.
  • Ask your doctor to write a letter detailing your condition that you can take with you.
  • Take more medication than you need and/or a spare inhaler/spacer. Carry them with you in case you lose your checked luggage. 
  • Think about the activities you’re going to take part in. Are any of them a trigger for your asthma? For example, scuba diving/deep sea diving could carry more risks for someone with asthma. 
  • Generally, while travelling, it’s easier to use a spacer/inhaler instead of nebulizer - mainly because of size. Speak to your doctor about the best solution for you.
During your Trip
  • Tell anyone you're travelling with about your condition, and what to do if an attack happens. If you have severe asthma, make sure you have a detailed action plan in case something goes wrong. 
  • Make sure you take your spacer/inhaler with you when you’re doing something strenuous, like trekking, for a long time. 
  • If dust mites trigger your asthma, be wary of hotels that look dirty. After all, beds and pillows are the perfect breeding ground if they haven’t been cleaned properly. 
  • Learn a few key phrases in each destination: like 'asthma attack', 'inhaler', 'can't breathe', 'get the doctor' and 'where is the hospital?' Ideally, you won’t ever have to use these on holiday, but they could come in handy. 

asthma Related FAQs

  • What if i have an asthma attack overseas and my puffer/inhaler isn’t helping?
  • We would advise you to see a GP or attend the nearest hospital. If something serious is happening to you, please contact our emergency assistance team, and they will be able to advise you of next steps.  

  • What if i lose my inhaler/puffer on holiday? Will travel insurance cover me?
  • If your puffer or inhaler was stolen or lost, you may have a provision to claim under the Luggage and Personal effects section of the PDS.  Please note, we only cover the original cost of the medication. Visiting a doctor to get a prescription won’t be covered becuase it's considered routine management of your condition. 

  • What if I don’t tell you about my asthma and something happens to me when I’m overseas?
  • Unless you meet the criteria for automatic coverage (see the top of this page), then any claims that you make that are related to your asthma generally won’t be covered.

  • What if my child or the person i’m travelling with is asthmatic?
  • If you’re travelling with someone and they’re named on the policy, you will need to make sure that, where necessary, their medical conditions are declared. As a parent or guardian you can do this on your child's behalf. For adult travel companions, you’ll need to declare their condition if you have their permission to do so and are aware of their health and medical conditions. If you don’t have permission, they will need to do it themselves.

    Asthma may be automatically covered if the terms of auto-cover are met (see top of this page). If  the person you’re travelling with doesn’t meet the automatic cover criteria you will need to complete a medical assessment.

  • How does asthma affect my frequent traveller policy?
  • Cover for asthma on a Frequent Traveller policy works in the same way as single trip policies. Your condition may be automatically covered if you meet all of the auto-cover criteria. If not, you’ll need to complete a medical assessment and we will let you know the outcome.

    If you’re diagnosed with asthma part way through your Frequent Traveller policy, your new condition will be considering a pre-existing condition for the remainder of your policy.

    Unless you meet the criteria for automatic coverage, you’ll need to disclose your condition before you go on further trips.

  • What if I have asthma as well as other pre-existing medical conditions?
  • If you have other pre-existing medical conditions that are not on our automatically covered list, it’s likely you will need to disclose those conditions. If your asthma meets the criteria for automatic cover, you don’t need to disclose it.

  • What if i forgot to tell you about my asthma?
  • If you forgot to disclose your asthma and your policy has not started we might be able to add in it. You can call our Customer Care Team to carry out an assessment for your condition.

    Please be aware that depending on the outcome of the assessment you may need to pay an additional premium.

    All terms, conditions and limitations will apply in the same way as if you had declared the condition when you purchased the policy.

  • I meet all the pre-conditions for asthma, do i still have to disclose my condition?
  • If you meet all of the criteria for automatic cover for asthma, you do not have to disclose this condition.

READ ALL FAQS

 

Do you need to know About...

 

pre-existing Conditions

A pre-existing medical condition is something that must be disclosed when you’re purchasing travel insurance. Find out what they are and how they affect your travel insurance.

Pregnancy

You or someone you’re travelling with is going to have a baby…so you’ll need to find out how travel insurance works for pregnant women.

Repatriation

Repatriation is the process of returning a person home after a medical emergency or at worst case death. Being covered for repatriation is important for people who are travelling, so read the ins and outs.

Vaccinations

It’s important that you have all the right vaccinations before you travel. From malaria to meningococcal, find out what you need to know about vaccinations and travel insurance.

 

Travel Insurer Of The Year 2018

One Last Thing: Handy resources for asthmatic travellers


A not-for-profit charity working with leading health professionals dedicated to asthma. Read their detailed factsheet on living and travelling with asthma.

 

Asthma Australia delivers evidence-based preventative health strategies to over 200,000 people every year. They've also produced a short guide to travelling with asthma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

asthma travel fact sheet


IAMAT are a non-profit organization who help travellers plan a healthy trip,  and connect travellers with reputable English-speaking doctors. They are a useful point of contact for anyone travelling with a health condition.


Asthmatics often travel with medication from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Find out what you need to know on Medicare Australia’s official page for Australians overseas.