There are two non-negotiables when you are travelling with food allergies: always carry your medication and buy allergy travel insurance that covers for anaphylaxis.
Insurance is never fun and can be expensive but it would be much less fun and more expensive to suffer an anaphylactic reaction abroad without it! Make sure you research and buy your travel insurance as soon as you have booked your trip and if you have an annual plan, double check everything is covered each time.
Declare all your food allergies and health issues
It is important that you declare all your food allergies, even if they have never caused a serious reaction. This is true for all any other health issues too, however small. Your insurance may be invalidated if you do not, even if the particular issue does not have a direct influence on your claim.
Check terms for anaphylaxis insurance
All insurers have their own terms but many will charge more, or sometimes refuse coverage, if you have suffered an anaphylactic reaction recently – commonly in the past two years. Some are only concerned if you have been admitted to hospital, so a trip to the emergency room may not be a problem. This is why it is important to shop around and check each plan individually.
Be clear what is covered
Most insurers offer different levels of coverage so be sure you know exactly what is covered by each one. Will they replace epipens if they are used and you continue your trip? Will they cover the cost of an ambulance or transfer to a larger hospital? Does it cover repatriation?
Call the insurers
Most people can easily buy travel insurance online but when you are dealing with pre-existing conditions like food allergies, it can be much better to actually talk to someone. Some insurers will decline you online but when you call up will be happy to cover you after a few additional questions.
Report any changes
If your condition changes, or you suffer anaphylaxis in the period between booking the travel insurance and starting your trip, you need to report any changes to the insurance company. Situations like awaiting tests or investigations can invalidate your insurance so it is important to check with your insurers if anything about your care changes before you travel.
Check claims process
The last thing you want if you suffer a reaction abroad is to be worrying about how to pay. Check how to make a claim when you choose your travel insurance and what to do in an emergency situation. Carry the contact details for the insurers with you, along with any other important details and copies of your passport and care plan.
Check our forums for recommendations of travel insurance in your country and share any tips or experiences you’ve had.