Travel insurance issues

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My wife has been diagnosed with Stage 0 oesophageal cancer, which we understand is not immediately a major concern.  It has been confirmed that it hasn't spread.  As a result of letting our insurance company know that she was having an investigation they suspended all of her pre-existing conditions until the diagnosis was confirmed.  Next week, she will have a procedure to excise an area that should leave her cancer free and under continuous surveillance thereafter.

Assuming she is clear, how does this affect her insurance?  Will Stage 0 be looked upon more favourably or not?  If we have to change providers, is it best to ring rather than use online quotes?  What else should we be aware of?

I am also under investigation for some (non-cancer) ailments but they haven't been diagnosed / confirmed.  How does this affect my insurance, which is also suspended for all pre-existing conditions?

Thanks for any help and comments that follow.

  • Hi  

    Thanks for your enquiry. I’m sorry to hear about your Wife’s diagnosis but I hope that we will be able to provide some information to help with your search for travel insurance.

    A cancer diagnosis can make it harder to find affordable travel cover. However different insurers have different underwriting criteria which means that some insurers may be more willing than others to offer cover to someone with a pre-existing condition (like cancer).  The price insurers are willing to charge to offer cover can vary a lot too, so it’s always worth getting quotes from a range of different insurance providers.

    It is better to complete an application over the phone rather than online as this will give you more of a chance to explain yourself and your wife’s medical situations to an insurer.

    Unfortunately, we are unable to recommend a specific company to provide travel insurance as this is an activity we are not regulated to provide. However I hope the following information helps you with your search.

    We often find a good starting place when looking for affordable cover is to use other peoples experiences. If you have not already done so, you can visit the travel insurance section of our online community here. On this page you will find posts from people affected by cancer sharing their experiences of which companies they have approached and who they have managed to get cover from.

    I’d also suggest you take a look at the Travel Insurance directory on the MoneyHelper website which you can access here. The directory can be used to search for FCA approved travel insurers who may offer cover to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

    Another website which may be useful is British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA). They have a travel medical directory which can be used to search for travel insurance for anyone who has a serious medical condition. Their directory also meets the FCA criteria for a medical cover firm directory.


    You can search their directory for travel insurers in the link below:


    Find Insurance - BIBA


    * Please note Macmillan does not endorse any particular company or product that may be advertised on BIBA or MoneyHelper website.   


    Insurance companies use medical screening systems to assess the risk of offering insurance, but many companies use the same system. When you come to apply for cover you might find the medical questions will often be the same. However, the premiums offered by companies using different systems can vary considerably so it is worth persisting and 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 travel insurers may do this as standard. On the directory on the MoneyHelper website it will tell you how each company does their medical screening.

    If you’re travelling within most European countries, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is free and currently allows a person access to emergency state healthcare at reduced cost or sometimes for free. To apply for the GHIC card, click here.

    I hope this helps and that you are able to find suitable travel cover. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


    Kind regards,



    Financial Guide

  • Thanks for your reply.  I will use your suggestions.