Holiday/ insurance

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I’ve just been told they have successfully removed my breast cancer and I will soon be getting an appointment for chemo, can I go on holiday before it all starts? Will I be able to get insurance? 

  • Hello  ,


    Thanks for getting in touch.


    It’s possible that your insurance premiums may increase due to your cancer diagnosis and treatment. Usually, an insurance company will ask questions about whether someone is under active treatment as this is more likely to have an impact on the price.

    I’ve included some information that will hopefully help you shop around for cover.

    Firstly It may worth looking on our online community. We have a helpful travel insurance group here. On this page people affected by cancer discuss their experiences trying to get travel insurance and post recommendations of companies they’ve personally used. By using the information provided by others who have been in a similar position, hopefully you can make a shortlist of companies to try. 

    Another option for finding travel insurance is the Travel Insurance Directory which has been created by MoneyHelper (a separate organisation to Macmillan).

    The directory can be used to search for Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved travel insurers who may offer cover to people with pre-existing medical conditions. Please visit their directory by using the link below:



    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.   

    It’s also worth considering if you have any travel insurance cover in place through your bank account or a credit card? They won’t usually automatically cover for pre-existing health conditions, but if you’ve got this cover already through a product it’s worth checking on. They may be able to offer full cover if a top-up fee is paid.

    You may find when applying for cover, that a lot of companies will ask you very similar or even the same questions. The medical screening systems they use are often the same, which leads to a bit of repetition with the questions. Please don’t let this put you off, despite being asked similar questions each company will have their own quote at the end if they can offer cover – so it is worth persisting and shopping around. If you’re struggling to properly explain your situation with the questions asked, you can ask if it’s possible for the company to manually underwrite the policy. This is where a person would look at your health situation and decide whether to offer cover and at what price, rather than a computer making the decision. Some companies may do this as their standard procedure.

    You may encounter some companies that offer a policy with a cancer-related exclusion. This means you wouldn’t be covered for any claims relating to the cancer. This could affect the premium considerably, but it’s good to consider the risk of not being covered for anything relating to the cancer (Cost of treatment abroad and/or Repatriation)

    One last thing I’d like to mention is about the insurance those you’re travelling with have. Some policies may cover cancellation if something happens to a ‘close family relative’. The exact cover would be explained in your policy documents, it’s a good idea to check exactly what may be covered. Some companies may only cover cancellation due to a close relative’s illness if it was disclosed and they were told about the person’s health conditions beforehand.


    There are other things you might want to think about when travelling following a cancer diagnosis. Our Travel & Cancer booklet has lots of information that you may find helpful:


    I hope this helps you but if you need any more help please do let me know or call the Macmillan Support Line (freephone) on 0808 808 0000.


    You can respond by replying via this email or alternatively you can also talk to us via our webchat service.



    Kind Regards


    Will Quinn

    Financial Guide