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Travel insurance for Cancer and pre-existing medical conditions

21 September 2010 06:50

Mrs Semple’s husband underwent an operation earlier this year to remove a cancerous growth.  He was given the all clear after the operation and told the operation had been a success, removing all traces of cancer.

At the end of August, Mr and Mrs Semple were finalising details for their forthcoming holiday to the USA.  Mr and Mrs Semple have worldwide travel insurance through their bank, but MacMillan Cancer Support advised Mrs Semple that the standard travel insurance policy provided through her bank would probably not cover her husband, because of pre existing medical conditions.  They gave Mrs Semple a list of insurers to contact who should have been able to insure her husband.

“I must have contacted 30 or 40 companies to try and get travel insurance for my husband Bill.” Said Mrs Semple.

“I spent a whole week phoning insurance companies and trying to get quotes online.  Many of them were not able to give me a quote, a lot of the people I spoke to didn’t have a clue what I was talking about, my bank didn’t return my calls to discuss the level of cover provided and the online forms asked questions which had no relevance to Bill’s medical history.

“After a week of struggling to get anywhere I went to an online forum where I was able to ask an insurance broker for advice.  He suggested three companies, World First being one of them.  By sheer coincidence, that same week, I received an update email from Talk Talk, and there was a blog post about World First Travel Insurance on it.

“I went online and found that the World First system was simple and easy to use.  I completed the details for my husband and bought an annual policy for just £105.00.

“It wasn’t until I was speaking to my daughter-in-law that I became aware of the fact that I may not be covered by my existing policy with the bank, because I will be travelling with someone with pre existing medical conditions.

“I phoned World First and they confirmed that when you take out travel insurance you have to tell the insurer about the health of anyone upon whom your holiday plans depend. This is because if you have to cancel the holiday, or make any other medical related claim, you wouldn’t be covered had you not disclosed this when taking out the policy. 

“Having spoken to World First it is clear that the standard policy I hold through my bank would not cover me if anything were to happen because of a medical issue, purely because the policy was set up as a standard policy.  I’ve never spoken to them about the policy, never answered any health related questions or discussed travel plans, so clearly it is never going to cover me if something were to go wrong relating to a health issue, either my health or that of my husband.

“World First added me to my husband’s policy for an extra £35 and now we are both covered.

“After this experience I told all my friends, and was shocked how many of them assume their travel insurance policy provided through their bank covers them for any travel and activities, no matter what pre existing conditions they may have.  It is scary to think just how many people don’t realise that they are not covered.  And also worrying for all the people who take out medical travel insurance for the person with pre existing medical conditions, but fail to disclose any information about their travel companion to their insurer.

“I am delighted to have found World First Travel Insurance.  I know that now, if anything was to happen, both Bill and I are fully covered and all we have to worry about is enjoying ourselves on holiday.”