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Travel Insurance withdrawn

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18 months ago I was diagnosed with follicular non hodgkins lymphoma and no treatment was required at the time but I was regularly monitored,  I took out a specialist policy with insurewith and renewed this policy at the end of May this year.  On June 11th I saw my consultant again and all my bloods were ok but the lump on the left side of my neck had increased in size and he said I might need treatment and was given an appointment to see him again 4 months later.  About two weeks after I saw him I started to get pains in my neck and noticed that this lump was increasing in size and five weeks after I had seen him I got in touch with my GP who arranged for me to go straight to the surgery.  She said the lump had grown considerably and immediately requested an urgent appointment with my consultant who I saw 1 week later.  He immediately arranged for a PET scan and a biopsy using a screen.  I told him at the time that I had two holidays booked.  In fact one was last week in England and the second one is on 1st October to Guernsey where they have no NHS and just private health insurance.  He told me to go on the holidays and he would work around them.  I saw my consultant yesterday with the results of all the tests undertaken and he recommended a course of chemotherapy to try to reduce the size of the neck lump as it is apparently still growing and he said he would start treatment after I had been to Guernsey.  I agreed to all of this.

When I got home, in agreement with my son, I rang my insurer to tell them of the change in circumstances and after going through all of their questions they informed me they were withdrawing my insurance cover.  I was so shocked and angry.  I am waiting for one of their customer service people to call me back which could take up to five days .  I was offered a partial return of my premium or something to do with cancelling.  Apparently it is quite legal for them to withdraw insurance in this manner.  I am not ill and in very good health and the treatment will not commence for another 5 weeks and now I am finding it almost impossible to get insurance.  This is one of the few occasions when I did not use my credit card to pay for the holiday because the trip has been arranged by my local Ramblers Club and so the money was paid direct to the person organizing the holiday.  I am very unwilling to travel without insurance and wonder if you have any suggestions

Liam W - Macmillan
Posted by



I am sorry to hear about the experience you’ve had with your insurer and the way it’s made you feel. You are right in that that can withdraw their insurance after a change in someone’s health. Though I can understand it can be frustrating, especially when the trip is not long away leaving you with not a lot of time to find an alternative.


Regarding if we have any suggestions, at Macmillan we aren’t able to provide any recommendations. However, we do have this page on our online community. Here people affected by cancer share their experiences of trying to get travel insurance and recommendations of companies they’ve used personally who they’ve found supportive. I hope this can get you started on finding somewhere that will be able to offer you some cover.


When you’ve found a few places to try, it is worth trying more than one (or as many as you can) as each company will have their own underwriting criteria. This means that while the questions you get asked may be very similar or the same, at the end of it you may end up with some very different prices for you cover if the companies are able to provide it. So by spending some time shopping about you could save quite a bit.


It's worth checking too if you have any cover in place through your bank account or maybe a credit card if you have one. Make sure you contact the company to check they can still cover you if you find you do have existing cover though.


Good luck in your search, I hope you’ll be able to find some cover using the suggestions of others on the page above. If I can help you with anything else, please let me know.

Financial Guide
Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.