Graham - Macmillan

Travel insurance

A blog about getting travel insurance when you're affected by cancer. Mainly written and updated by Graham from Macmillan's information team – but anyone can contribute.

Latest Entries
  • New booklet and media coverage about travel insurance and cancer

    The winter 2013-2014 edition of our Getting travel insurance booklet is now available to order. You can also read the information on our updated web pages.

    If you've read previous editions, you’ll know that the booklet features a list of insurance companies that may be able to insure people affected by cancer. We print a new version every six months, at which point we add or remove companies based on your recommendations.

    For this new booklet, we’ve tried to give more details about each insurance company - what they can and can’t cover, and whether they cover people who are terminally ill, for example. We know from your feedback that some of you have called companies we’ve listed in the past, only to have a bad experience with them or find that they won’t cover you. So the descriptions are now worded to give as much detail as possible.

    I hope you find the new edition useful. As always, please do get in touch with me (through the community or by emailing with any feedback about our travel insurance information or about your experiences with companies.

    Media coverage

    ITV recently covered the case of one family affected by cancer who are struggling to get travel insurance. Click below to watch the video.

    An image of a video player, showing a father and daughter who are affected by cancer 

    The Telegraph also ran this article, which gives some general advice about getting travel insurance when you’re affected by cancer and also features a list of specialist companies.

    Have you tried getting travel insurance recently? Were the companies you contacted helpful? We're currently preparing for the next update of our travel insurance information, so please let us know. 






  • Winter sports and travel insurance

    A white Christmas may not be on the cards; not for most of us in the UK at least. But I imagine some of you are planning to head overseas to find a winter wonderland?  Perhaps not for Christmas, which is now just around the corner, but shortly afterwards in January, February or March? These months are the peak of the ski season in Europe, when many thousands of people take to the slopes for winter sports.

    If you’re planning on doing winter sports on your holiday, it can add another layer of difficulty to getting travel insurance. Travel insurance companies will generally ask about whether you have any activities planned, and winter sports are considered high risk activities. As a result they may increase the premium (the cost of the insurance) or the excess (the amount you need to pay towards any claim you make).  

    Standard travel insurance policies often do not cover winter sports. Instead you often need to arrange special winter sports cover with the travel insurance company. The high cost of medical bills if you get injured on the slopes means that getting the right cover is crucial for this type of holiday.    

    It’s worth asking other community members about their experiences. Last year, Susan said:

    Try gnu insurance. I'm in chemo will be on 4th cycle when we go skiing in march and they gave me a quote. Some of the other specialist companies couldn't quote me.

    Some people chose to arrange travel insurance that does not cover them for any cancer related medical treatment. Earlier this year PinkyToes said:

    I was diagnosed with an Ogliodendrogliomia in 2005. I have always been able to get travel insurance... It even covered me when I went skiing. The only thing about it was that it would not cover me for anything which was cancer related. As long as you inform the company that you have cancer they will insure you but will tell you what they won't insure you for. Obviously, when I went skiing, you have to cover yourself in case you do injure yourself on the slopes.

    And back in 2010, paulie9 said he had arranged cover that didn’t include cancer cover through his bank:

    I have completed an online quote at Lloyds TSB for a week skiing in the US. It allowed me to exclude my pre-existing cancer (which I am confident will not cause me problems) and gave me a price of £85, similar to quotes before my illness. 

    Whether or not you feel comfortable getting cover that doesn’t include cancer-related medical treatment will depend on your situation. It’s often best to speak with your doctor or cancer specialist before making this decision.

    A search online reveals that:

    • Good to Go Insurance promises: ‘Ski insurance from can cover all types of pre existing medical conditions up to a high level of severity, sometimes even a terminal prognosis.’
    • insurancewith says: ‘As specialists in providing travel insurance for people with serious medical conditions insurancewith offers affordable pre existing medical condition travel insurance policies that include winter sports cover. ‘
    • Holiday Extras sell a ‘Latitude’ insurance policy which covers people with cancer: ‘including for cruise and ski holidays’.

    These are just a handful of insurance companies I found while looking online, and you may well find others.

    Have you gone on a winter sports holiday and arranged travel insurance? How did you find the experience? It would be great to hear your recommendations or any challenges you faced.


  • Travel insurance round-up, September 2013

    Affected by cancer and looking for travel insurance cover? You might find it helpful to search for the most recent discussions on the Online Community.

    Below is a round-up of recent comments and experiences.

    • It came up in a discussion that the Facebook page Melanomamates UK has lots of conversations about getting travel insurance (including to the USA) if you have melanoma. Please note: you’ll need to be logged into Facebook, and then request to join the group, before you can view its contents.
    • In another discussion it was said that International Travel and Healthcare (0845 257 2587) 'came in with a reasonable price and were very helpful'.
    • One community member said they had had 'a few traumatic days' trying to sort out travel insurance, and unfortunately they hadn't had much luck with our list of travel insurance companies. They did say that InsureCancer (0845 880 0168) and InsuranceWith (0845 1542 111) had both proved helpful.
    • Another community member managed to get cover for her father with InsuranceWith and said: 'If you are in the same position - it's hard work, gets emotional (due to being rejected or countless clauses) but it is possible, so don't give up.'
  • Travel insurance - your views count

    As I write this blog, an electronic version of our new Getting travel insurance booklet is currently whizzing through cyberspace to print.

    Once we’ve printed copies, our Getting Travel Insurance booklet will be available through the usual channels:

    In the meantime... fancy a look?

    You can download the PDF version here. After all, you helped us create it.

    This is the first edition of the booklet where we’ve used comments from this blog (like the ones left on this post about travel insurance companies) to help us gather feedback on companies.

    It’s been brilliant to hear your views about companies that can help, and ones that aren’t so good.

    Thanks for all your participation!

  • Getting travel insurance: useful online resources

    If you’ve read the last two posts on this blog, you’ll already be well aware (and quite possibly tired of me harping on about!) our travel insurance information and list of travel insurance companies. So for this post, I thought it would be good to highlight some other really useful websites that could help you find a reasonable deal.

    Here are some online resources from other charities that you may find useful:

    • Cancer research UK produces a list of travel insurance companies that visitors to its website have recommended. Some of these companies are the same as ones in our list, but there are other suggestions in there too. As with our list, there’s no guarantee these companies will be able to help, but at least these contacts could be a good starting point.
    • Prostate Cancer UK produces this fact sheet for men with prostate cancer who want to travel. It includes information about travel insurance.
    • Breast Cancer Care has this information page. Also, try searching through its forum and – much like Macmillan’s Online Community – you’ll find discussions about companies that people are sharing their thoughts on.
    • Maggie’s offers a PDF with a long list of travel insurance companies they’ve contacted, which offer travel insurance to people with a cancer diagnosis.
    • Lymphoma Association has this PDF fact sheet about getting travel insurance when you have lymphoma.

    Popular price comparison websites, such as these ones, are worth a look too:

    They let you fill in an online form and get a range of quotes from different providers. For some people, filling in an online form to describe the details of your health condition is less worrying than calling up a company. 

    This blog post gives a handful of examples of online resources. Have you found any other websites useful?

    Finally, just a quick note to say thanks very much to everyone who has commented on this blog so far! We really value your comments about travel insurance companies, and are taking them into account as we revise our Getting travel insurance booklet, which should be printed in July 2013. Thanks again.

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