About this group
Our travel insurance for cancer patients | Travel insurance for terminally ill cancer patients | Travel insurance for pancreatic cancer | Travel insurance with breast cancer | Holiday insurance with prostate cancer | Getting cover if you're awaiting tests, results or diagnosis
Our commitment to create travel insurance for cancer patients
The process of getting travel insurance can be difficult if you've been affected by cancer.
It can involve a lot of shopping around and answering distressing questions relating to the grade, stage and prognosis of cancer.
Travel insurance options of cancer patients are so poor that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has called on insurers to do more to help consumers.
The FCA invited Bought By Many and other insurers to the launch of their call for feedback and to submit ideas to help people with cancer get access to fairer travel insurance.
Along with submitting our ideas, we're in the process of designing a new product that will give members of this group a better experience of getting travel insurance.
We aim to offer travel insurance for cancer patients, whether you're undergoing treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy as long as you're fit enough to travel.
Join this group to be the first to find out about our new travel insurance for cancer patients policy.
Bought By Many believes people affected by cancer should be free to travel and shouldn't have to jump through hoops to access travel insurance. We understand that patients and their doctors are often best placed to make decisions about whether it is safe to travel, not insurance companies.
Travel insurance for terminally ill cancer patients
Many people with terminal cancer travel abroad to visit somewhere they've always wanted to go or spend time with their loved ones.
It can be particularly difficult to get travel insurance for terminal conditions, however, 'terminal' can have a relatively wide definition so it's important to give an insurer all the information you have from your doctor when trying to get cover.
It's likely that the cost of cover will be expensive but do shop around because there can be a big difference in prices.
High quotes can put some people off getting travel insurance but it's worth considering the cost and stress involved if something does go wrong.
It can cost tens of thousands to get treatment in foreign countries or a flight home with a medic and your family or friends will have to arrange treatment and deal with officials in a language they may not understand.
Sometimes it can be more expensive for those with terminal cancer to get a quote too far ahead of a trip. That is because a condition may get worse before the trip so there is more uncertainty for the insurer.
Although many companies exclude terminal cancer, some can help. We're looking to create a product that can help people but until then try, InsureCancer.
Travel insurance for pancreatic cancer
There is a range of pancreatic cancers, including ampullary cancer and lymphoma. The ease of getting travel insurance will depend on the stage and severity of the condition.
Pancreatic cancer has one of the worst survival rates of the 21 most common cancers. For terminal conditions, it's worth reading the advice in the section above.
Insurance companies base their prices and ability to offer insurance on the chances of something going wrong so if you feel you are fit to travel it's vital you have medical evidence to support that.
Our travel insurance aims to make the process of getting a quote and going abroad much simpler. Join this group to be the first to hear about any updates.
The charity Macmillan offers advice on where people affected by cancer can currently go for insurance.
Travel insurance with breast cancer
Many people who are undergoing or have finished treatment for breast cancer are able to live normal lives and that includes having a holiday or taking a trip abroad.
Despite feeling fit and healthy they may find it difficult to get a reasonable travel insurance quote because of the medical questions insurers ask all people. These can be generic and don't feel like they take into account individual circumstances.
Once you have completed them, the insurers that can offer cover may ask for more information. Insurance companies have different views on cancer so although some may refuse quotes others take a greater interest in personal circumstances.
Breast Cancer Care recommends having the following information to hand when looking for insurance:
- The type of surgery you have had
- Chemotherapy – the drug combination you were given and when
- Hormone therapy – the drugs are you taking
- Radiotherapy – whether you have had or will have it
- Any drugs you're currently taking
Those who are undergoing treatment can be turned down. And insurers will often ask if you've been turned down by another insurer, which can then lead to more companies refusing cover if you answer yes.
Those in remission or who have made a full recovery may find it easier to get travel insurance. However, it's important to answer any questions about past breast cancer treatment truthfully otherwise you can invalidate your cover.
If you've recovered some companies may offer travel insurance that excludes breast cancer. This can keep costs down but make sure you're aware of the costs associated with any treatment related to cancer that may not be covered in case you're left with the bill.
Holiday insurance with prostate cancer
As with other forms of cancer, those diagnosed with prostate cancer may find it difficult or more expensive to get travel insurance.
Prostate Cancer UK has produced a fact sheet about travel that is worth reading.
It suggests shopping around for quotes from mainstream insurers as well as specialists and brokers. It also says to make sure you registered for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which doesn't cover all treatment but does give you access to some care in state hospitals.
But a good travel insurance policy should cover most medical treatment for a condition.
Prostate Cancer UK says you will be asked about the following when getting a quote:
- When you were diagnosed
- The stage and grade of your cancer
- The treatment you’re having or have had
- Any follow-up care you’re receiving
- Any side effects you’re having
- Other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure
- Other medical treatments you’re having
Getting cover if you're awaiting tests, results or diagnosis
Travel insurance companies may also refuse cover for those with an undiagnosed illness who are awaiting tests or results.
Medical screening questions will often ask whether you’re undergoing treatment, on a waiting list or awaiting a diagnosis. That means people who are undiagnosed or may not even have cancer can be refused cover.
Insurers base their decisions on the likelihood of needing to pay out a claim so if there is information related to results they do not have it makes it harder for them to offer cover.
It's always worth shopping around because insurers have different policies relating to cancer. And specialist companies like InsureCancer may be able to help.
The policy we're developing aims to help people at various stages of cancer treatment and diagnosis, so sign up to this group so that you will be the first to hear when it is ready.
Top questions answered by us
What is the current process for getting travel insurance as a cancer patient?
Most insurance companies do not offer online quotes to people who have pre-existing medical conditions, including cancer. Those looking for a quote are often asked to answer personal, distressing questions, only to be rejected altogether or asked to call the company instead. Even when cover can be offered, it can be simply unaffordable (cancer patients have been quoted thousands of pounds for a 2-week holiday in Europe) – in which case the only alternative is to get a policy that does not cover anything to do with the cancer. Cancer sufferers who opt for this should read the small print of their policy carefully, as if they become ill due to their immune system being weak following chemotherapy, they may not be covered, since the insurance company can claim this is related to the cancer.
What are the considerations for cancer patients travelling abroad?
Most insurance companies will require a letter from your doctor confirming you are fit to travel. However, even if you are, there are several factors to consider when choosing your holiday destination. You should look into the level of health care in the country you are travelling to and whether you would feel comfortable being treated in the local hospitals, should the need arise. You should also look at what health risks are involved in travelling to the country, such as food poisoning, insect bites and even the length of the flight from the UK. Finally, from an insurance point of view, North America and some parts of the Caribbean come with astronomical premiums, due to higher local medical costs - so, if possible, you should avoid these locations.
What is the EHIC?
The European Health Insurance Card grants UK residents access to state health services in all countries within the European Economic Area (EAA) at a discounted rate, or sometimes for free. The card only covers treatments that are offered to local residents as part of state care, and these might not include everything the NHS provides. The EHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance and does not provide cover for some events, including the need for repatriation.