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Travel Insurance for COPD Patients

Getting travel insurance when you suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can often be challenging, with insurers potentially quoting higher premiums. At Holiday Extras, we want to ensure your pre-existing medical condition won't inhibit you enjoying your holiday to its fullest.

Our medical travel insurance is available on both single trip and annual policies at four distinct cover levels. Cover is available whether you're travelling in the UK, Europe or worldwide. If you're planning a cruise and need cover, Holiday Extras also offers medical cover for cruises. We cover the majority of pre-existing medical conditions and all conditions will be considered. This includes COPD.

Why choose Holiday Extras for your COPD travel insurance?

  • - Over 40 years experience selling travel insurance.
  • - Voted best insurance provider 15 years running.
  • - Tailored policies to suit your personal requirements.
  • - UK-based contact centre and 24/7 helpline.

How do I declare my condition?

To declare any pre-existing medical conditions, simply enter your travelling details into the search form at the top of this page and you'll be directed through to our medical screening process. Answer the questions regarding your COPD honestly, as they are designed to provide us with enough information about your condition so we can calculate the most suitable policy for you. This will also be crucial should you need to make a claim that pertains to your medical condition. If you would prefer to speak to someone directly, this can also be done via our friendly insurance team by calling our UK based landline.

Some of the questions you may be asked include:

  • How many medicines are prescribed for your breathing condition (count each inhaler as one medicine)?
  • How many hospital admissions have you had for your breathing condition in the last year?
  • How short of breath do you get when you are walking on the flat?
  • Have you ever been prescribed oxygen other than when you are in hospital?
  • Have you ever been a smoker?
  • In the last year have you had a chest infection or an episode of pneumonia?

Can you fly with mild COPD?

Most people without any form of respiratory condition will experience a drop in oxygen saturation during a long-haul flight. At the most, this results in drowsiness which usually goes away once they are back on the ground.

For people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease however, a long-haul flight at higher elevations may result in a more substantial drop in oxygen saturations, with symptoms including headaches and muscle cramps.

If you are unsure as to whether you fall into the minority of COPD sufferers that need extra measures when taking a flight, then the best thing to do is to visit your doctor before the departure date. You can find out from your doctor whether your oxygen requirements will change at higher elevations, and they may also be able to prescribe a refill on your COPD medications. If your doctor recommends supplementary oxygen during flight, then be sure to contact the airline a few weeks in advance before the date of departure, to find out their policies on supplementary oxygen.

There are also some simple steps you can take to ensure you have a comfortable flight as a COPD sufferer:

  • Carry your oxymeter with you at all times during the flight so you can frequently measure your oxygen saturations.
  • If you notice saturations falling below 90, begin pursed lip breathing.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine, before, during or directly after the flight

Tips for travelling with COPD

Speak to your doctor before travelling

Your first port of call should be to consult your doctor before travelling. They will be able to give you advice not only in preparation for your trip, but also while away too. This includes the aforementioned advice about flying with COPD. They will also be able to provide you with a doctors note confirming your condition, as well as any medications you are currently taking and their doses. This may help in securing medication abroad should you need it.

Do your own independent COPD research

There's a wealth of information online concerning travelling with COPD. Some great examples of this include the British Lung Foundation, COPD Foundation and The National Council on Aging (NCOA), all offering up useful advice for your trip.

Get vaccinated

As a COPD sufferer, you should be vaccinated against pneumonia and be having a yearly flu jab. If you haven't had these vaccinations yet, it's advisable to speak to your doctor about the best time to have them.

Take into account your environment

Find out what sort of climate and weather your destination experiences. If you are visiting an urban location, remember that many cities outside of Europe have more lax pollution restrictions and experience excessive smog and haze at certain times of the year. Taking basic precautions, like wearing a dust filtering mask may greatly reduce your discomfort. Additionally, areas with higher altitiude, such as mountainous regions can make exascerbate existing breathing issues.

Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is sold and administered by Holiday Extras Cover Limited, registered office address: Ashford Road, Newingreen, Hythe, Kent CT21 4JF.

Holiday Extras Cover Limited is an insurance intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, registration number 828848. You can check this by visiting the Financial Services Register

Holiday Extras™ is a Trading Name of Holiday Extras Cover Limited. The insurance is underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited. Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales with company number 13436330 and whose registered office address is 10 Fenchurch Avenue, London, United Kingdom, EC3M 5BN.

Great Lakes Insurance UK Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 955859. You can check this by visiting the Financial Services Register