Travel insurance if you have coeliac disease is essential when you travel or take a holiday outside the UK just in case you fall ill and need medical treatment abroad. The cost of receiving medical treatment away from the UK can be very high. For those with pre-existing medical conditions travel insurance can be expensive unless you shop around (this link might help you find cheap travel insurance for people with coeliac disease
Travellers with coeliac disease have in the past paid significantly more for their travel insurance as those with coeliac disease, like many other sufferers of a pre-existing condition have had their premiums raised. The travel insurance companies consider those that are under the treatment of a doctor, even on a routine basis, may be more likely to claim and hence cause them to have to pay out.
For example, a 54 year old male, travelling to the Canada and the USA for 1 week would pay around £13.42 if they didn’t have coeliac disease, but for the same person with coeliac disease, the premium could be £36.41, that’s around 3 times more expensive.
Typically customers with coeliac disease might also suffer with another condition. In our example the premium would still be £36.41 assuming the applicant was taking 2 additional medications for high blood pressure.
Additional rating factors which effect travel insurance are high blood pressure, high cholesterol and whether you smoke.
Coeliac disease and travel insurance
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that occurs in genetically predisposed people of all ages from middle infancy onward. Symptoms include pain and discomfort in the digestive tract, chronic constipation and diarrhoea, failure to thrive (in children), anaemia and fatigue, but these may be absent, and symptoms in other organ systems have been described. Vitamin deficiencies are often noted in people with coeliac disease owing to the reduced ability of the small intestine to properly absorb nutrients from food.
Coeliac disease is caused by a reaction to gliadin, a prolamin (gluten protein) found in wheat, and similar proteins found in the crops of the tribe Triticeae (which includes other common grains such as barley and rye).
Upon exposure to gliadin, and specifically to three peptides found in prolamins, the enzyme tissue transglutaminase modifies the protein, and the immune system cross-reacts with the small-bowel tissue, causing an inflammatory reaction. That leads to a truncating of the villi lining the small intestine (called villous atrophy). This interferes with the absorption of nutrients because the intestinal villi are responsible for absorption. The only known effective treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet. While the disease is caused by a reaction to wheat proteins, it is not the same as wheat allergy.
All of these factors will be taken into account when you apply for travel insurance with coeliac disease.
And finally, those that are awaiting a diagnosis or additional tests face the heftiest premiums as what insurers’ hate most of all is uncertainty, especially around the possible risk of falling ill abroad with a condition that isn’t yet well controlled.