Travel insurance for a Sarcoma sufferer wishing to travel to the USA

  • 1 reply
  • 10 subscribers

I have had a recurring Sarcoma for the past 17 years, during the first 11 years the Sarcoma was surgically removed, and no further treatment required. However, in 2018, after surgery in 2017, the tumore recurred, but some nodules appeared on the abdominal wall, which required treatment.  I have been on various chemo treatments, the last of which I was on for 3 years until March this year, as it was found that although the main tumur ws stable, the nodules on the abdominal wall were growing slowly by millimetes.  I am currently on watch and wait until August when my Oncology team would decide on the next course of action.

I have been trying hard to obtain travel insurance to go and see our son, who lives in the USA, but have not been able to. Reasons given by insurers are where we are going, and the fact that the nodules are growing.  The fact that that does not mean I will keel over whilst away, does not seem to make a difference. I have been feeling very frustrated, and frankly depressed, thatI cannot make insurers understand that travelling with Sarcoma will not impact my journey for a maximum of 10 days to see our son and his family, who have just had a new child we haven't met yet.

So anyone out there who might be in a similar position, who might know of a way we can obtain travel insurance, even if my cancer is not covered, as I have done that in the past on many occasions but insurance companies now seem to insist on including.

Any advice or help would be appreciated.



  • Thanks for your question  , I’m sorry to hear that you’re having problems getting insurance for your trip to the USA.


    You can find discussions around travel insurance from people in similar positions to yourself on our online community here. There is also a directory of FCA approved travel insurers who may offer cover to people with a pre-existing medical condition on the MoneyHelper website, as well as on the British Insurance Brokers’ Association website.


    You can also check with your bank or credit card as some of these accounts come with travel insurance. Just make sure that if you do have this, that you speak to them about your health to make sure they can still cover you. It’s important to check that any cover you have already, or any policy that you take out covers pre-existing medical conditions as some will make exclusions. If an insurer offers a travel insurance policy with a cancer-related exclusion, this means the person insured wouldn’t be covered for any claims relating to the cancer. If this is the case, it’s important to consider the risk of not being covered if the person experiences any problems related to the cancer while they are away.


    Insurance companies use medical screening systems to assess the risk of offering insurance, but many companies use the same system, so the medical questions will often be the same.  However, the premiums offered by companies using different systems can vary considerably so you should bear this in mind when shopping around. If the questions asked don’t seem to fit, or don’t allow you to explain the cancer diagnosis fully, it’s worth asking the insurer if it’s possible for someone to manually underwrite the policy. This is where a person, rather than a computer looks at the health situation of the person looking for cover and decides about whether or not to offer cover and at what price. Some other insurers may do this as standard.


    I know you’re travelling to the USA but if you did go to Europe anytime it’s worth knowing about the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) or GHIC (UK Global Health Insurance Card). This is available to use within most European countries, it’s free and currently allows a person access to emergency state healthcare at reduced cost or sometimes for free.

    It wouldn’t pay for you to get home due to a health problem but would cover treatment that is needed to allow the person to continue a stay until their planned return. It even covers treatment of pre-existing medical conditions.


    A guide on how to access health care in participating countries can be found here.


    To apply for the GHIC card, click here.


    Alternatively, phone the automated service on 0300 330 1350. Existing holders of these cards should double-check the expiry date so that it is valid before travel.



    Financial Guide


    The Financial Guidance Service will not advise you on the merits of buying, selling, cancelling or making a claim on a specific financial product from any company or otherwise provide you with any regulated services. As a guidance service, we do not provide financial advice or carry on other activities that are regulated and we are not authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. No part of our service constitutes, nor is intended to constitute, a financial promotion within the meaning of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 nor an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity.

     The aim of the Financial Guidance Service is to provide you with information to help you make informed decisions about your personal finances. For financial advice, including recommendations to buy, sell, cancel or make a claim on specific financial products or to obtain any other type of financial services, you should speak to a financial adviser or company who is permitted to provide you with those services. You can find a local financial advice firm or other type of firm who provides regulated services on the Financial Conduct Authority's website -

     The information that we provide you is for general guidance on your rights and responsibilities and is not legal advice. We are not liable to you for any information or services obtained by you from, or given to you by, a third party.

     If you need more details on your rights, please contact a financial, legal or other appropriate professional adviser