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Cancer sufferers struggle to find travel insurance

25 January 2011 09:30

Cancer sufferers struggle to find travel insurance

People who have suffered from or who are undergoing treatment for any form of cancer often struggle to find travel insurance to provide cover for their holiday. This often results in them being unable to travel or, alternatively, they run the risk having to cover the costs of treatment abroad if they travel without travel insurance.

People with pre-existing medical conditions are deemed to be a 'high risk' for insurers. As a result of this they will often find themselves in a position where they are either refused a policy, without even being given a quote, or are quoted for cover at such an extortionate rate that it can be more than double the cost of the holiday itself.

Some companies can quote more than £1500 for a policy to cover a week long holiday in Europe, whereas others can provide the same level of cover for less than £300. It depends on a number of factors, from the medical history and screening requirements through to the destination, nature of the holiday and duration of stay. Each insurer will have different terms and factors and those that offer a specialist service and cover pre-existing medical conditions will always be the best place to look first for cancer travel insurance.

Anyone who is suffering from, or who has undergone treatment for cancer in recent years can spend many hours researching medical travel insurance in the hope that they will be able to find a policy that will cover them. Organisations such as Macmillan Cancer Support help by providing lists of insurers that may be able to provide cancer travel insurance, however each individual case is assessed on the perceived risk to the insurer and not all insurers will be able to provide cover.

Having cancer or receiving treatment for cancer shouldn't stop anyone from going on holiday, heading off on the adventure of a lifetime or planning excursions abroad. A number of travel insurance specialists do provide tailored policies specifically for people with pre-existing medical conditions and people with cancer. These policies are designed especially for people who may be more likely to require medical assistance whilst on holiday.

Tips on finding cancer travel insurance and cover for pre-existing medical conditions

  • Look for travel insurance specialists and those that offer cover for people with pre-existing medical conditions and cancer rather than a generic travel insurance provider;
  • Shop around, insurers often use different medical screening so not all policies will come out at the same price;
  • Check the screening criteria – some insurers will only ask for medical history and pre-existing conditions for the past 12 months, whereas others will want details for the past three of five years
  • Don't leave it to the last minute to try and find travel insurance. It will take time to find an insurer that can provide the level of cover required at a price you are willing to pay, so give yourself time to do the research and get the best possible cover.

It's not impossible for people with cancer to get travel insurance, but it can take time and will cost more than a standard policy.

It's also important to remember that anyone who is travelling with someone who has a pre-existing medical condition also needs to declare this to their insurers. Failure to disclose that you are travelling with someone with a pre-existing medical condition, be it cancer, angina, diabetes or anything that has required treatment, could invalidate the travel insurance if the holiday is affected as a result of the pre-existing condition.