Travel insurance

Diagnosed with glioblastoma in November, surgery in December and having completed 6 weeks of radio- and chemotherapy, I turned my attention to booking a holiday in France with my family. i was aware that the standard cover provided by an European Health Insurance Card  (EHIC) would not cover every possible emergency and started phoning around for quotes from companies, including some from this page on the Macmillan website and a list of companies provided by the local Maggie's Centre. I found that almost all companies used an identical health screening questionnaire, completed either online or by telephone and came up either unable to offer cover or with quotes close to £1000 for one cancer sufferer and three healthy family members for a week. One company, Insurancewith, used a different questionnaire followed up by a detailed telephone interview by a very knowledgeable staff member. The cost was a fraction of the other quotes I had obtained - the company website probably gives the explanation: "In the past, travel insurance medical screening systems based their assumptions on a person’s medical condition using the same databases and analysis as life insurance companies. This meant many providers were risk adverse. Travel underwriters, who are financial risk experts rather than medical experts, avoided severe conditions such as cancer and genetic diseases as life threatening risks best avoided, on the presumption that they would incur hugely expensive claims. This attitude does not reflect modern improvements in medical treatments and outcomes. This is slowly beginning to change - many relatively healthy people, who just happen to be living with cancer or other medical conditions, can go on normal family holidays and are no more likely to be taken ill during that fortnight abroad than anyone else. The ethos behind Insurancewith is to fully understand the medical condition of the individual, and the actual risks they pose, and not rate on the perceived risk of the condition."

There may well be other companies like  this out there, but my advice is: Shop around! 

  • I went to Jersey last year the insurance cost £1000 . We shopped around it was all pretty much the same everywhere . I wasn't ill once had a great time but felt aggrieved about the cost . My next visit to my Oncologist he asked how much it was , he just shook his head and and said go without it next time. But then again you just never know.thats what insurance is. But now I know I will check them out first. Thanks
  • Hi Tony,

    I'm Libby, I work on the Macmillan website, editing the content in our cancer information section.

    Thank you for sharing your experience here and I'm pleased you found cover. 

    We're always looking for people who can offer us advice about getting travel insurance. All of the companies on the page you found on our site have been recommended to us by other people in the same situation. We'd really appreciate feedback from anyone who can help us to improve this list for others who need it.

    If it's okay with you, I'll pass on your comments to the people who create this content, and ask them to look into the company you suggested.

    If you, or anyone else, have any other suggestions on this topic, or the rest of our info, we'd love to hear from you. You could contact us directly at 

    I hope you have/had a lovely holiday.

    Best wishes,


  • Thanks Libby, feel free to pass on my  comments and I'll send some more  information on other companies I  tried by email


    Best wishes



  • Hi Tony I was diagnosed with an Ogliodendrogliomia in 2005. I have always been able to get travel insurance and it was definitely a lot more cheaper than £1000. 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 incase you do injure yourself on the slopes. I can find out for you who did my travel insurance if you want. Just let me know. Emma
  • Bring this one back to the top to get it refreshed

    My wife has a Anaplastic Astrocytoma and has come through a craniotomy and 33 treatments of Radiotherapy and apart from hair loss is in a pretty good way. We want to head off for a week in the sun in the next few weeks as she deserves a few days lying in the sun to recharge her batteries.

    Looking at Travel insurance has been painful with all websites and insurance companies I have tried using tried and tested questions that lump people suffering with Brain Tumours in with volcano's for 'likelihood of issues' whilst on holiday. Most quotes have been around £1000 which seems ridiculous.

    Is anyone aware of companies that apply a little bit more medical 'nouse' when reviewing applications for insurance or companies that will insure for all things except those that relate to the existing Brain Tumour?

    P.S. I tried the company at the top of the thread but they seem to have changed their processes and now perform the same 'bucketing' questions as all the rest.

    Anyone got any tips?

  • Hi Dannyboy, 

    We already had a holiday booked when mum was diagnosed and whilst her consultant thinks its a good idea for her to travel and enjoy the holiday - travel insurance companies are telling me otherwise - its so frustrating. I have received 2 quotes  from the same company (world travel I think) one for £2600 and another for £160 and other telling me they wont insure her - so we are sitting down with the Macmillan nurse next week for her to help us answer the questions correctly...(I'm hoping this will make a difference)

    ...Ive seen on here that Eurotunnel are very good. 

    I'm not looking anymore until I have spoken to the nurse but will be interested to see if anyone can recommend other companies.

    Hope you manage to get away with your wife without needing to take out a 2nd mortgage.


  • Hi Dannyboy28, can you advise if you managed to get a decent priced travel insurance please and who with as I am beginning the dreaded search for the same condition so thought I'd seek advice on this page? 


  • Hi Beckyb00

    I’m writing this from Strasbourg where we’ve come to see the Christmas markets after getting reasonable travel insurance. I’ve had 2 craniotomies, the most recent was last year. I still have a residual grade 2 glioma and the 1st surgery has left me with epilepsy. All this was declared to INSURANCE WITH. They quoted me around £50 for the trip. I asked about an annual policy and that was no problem. Got an annual one for Europe for around £135. Very pleased with that. 

    I got the single quote online easily enough - questions on appointments, check ups, drugs etc all very specific but ok if you’ve got your paperwork ready.  I wasso pleased with quote so tried to do annual but must have input something incorrectly as kept going around in circles. Ended up ringing them and did it all on the phone. 

    Strasbourg is lovely and it’s lifted my spirits no end to be able to travel and have peace of mind with insurance. If you’re Well enough to travel and got the doctors support then go for it. 

    Hope you find a reasonable quote. 

    Best wishes


  • Hi Tracy

    That sounds fantastic, I'm pleased to hear you have been able to travel.

    My problem is our intended destination is New York and I'm finding many companies find it too expensive to cover a trip to the USA. 

    I shall certainly try Insurance With. Thank you very much for the recommendation.