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Travel insurance for cancer patients

If you're living with cancer but love to travel, can you get travel insurance for your trip?

We've looked at points to consider that may help you find cover, and where to go for expert advice.

Posted: 30/1/2022 | By Amanda Duffy

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Travel insurance is so important. It’s the best way to make your trip as worry-free as possible, and if you've suffered from or are suffering from cancer then that peace of mind is even more precious. Luckily, finding travel insurance for cancer sufferers is possible as companies look to consider all conditions. It used to be the case that insurers would either charge huge amounts to cover the risks, or simply refuse to cover cancer patients. Today there are many specialist policies on the market that can help people with cancer make trips abroad with proper insurance cover to protect them.

Find out about getting travel insurance with a pre-existing medical condition like cancer

Travel insurance for people with cancer

More than one in three people develop cancer in their lifetime. For many patients, a holiday promises a well-needed chance to relax, but finding a policy that covers your condition can be hard. So how do you get travel insurance if you have cancer? It depends on a few things. If you know what insurers are going to ask, you can prepare as best you can and make getting holiday insurance easier.

You can make a start by asking your doctor if you should be travelling with cancer. They will be able to explain if it’s appropriate and safe. If you can go abroad, you will need to make sure you have support and the right medication with you.

If you have cancer, you may already have seen the NHS page on all the different kinds of cancer, and their outlook for treatment. This page is a good place to begin arming yourself with the facts before speaking to an insurer.

How to get travel insurance

Getting the right holiday insurance for people with cancer is crucial. It means that if you need treatment while you’re away, you won’t have any nasty surprises when it comes to the bill. It also means that if you need to cancel your holiday because of your condition, you won’t lose out financially.

So when you call to get holiday insurance, you should make sure you have the following information:

  • the kind of cancer that you have
  • the names of any medication you have been taking
  • the dosage
  • The date and nature of your recent treatments

You should expect to answer lots of questions about your prognosis so it will make it easier if you have all the information about your condition and treatment to hand.

What kind of holiday insurance is there?

One of our tips for getting travel insurance with cancer is to look hard at the insurance policies on offer and see which one best suits your condition and planned trip away. As there are many forms of cancer, each carrying a different level of risk, our medical questionnaire is designed to assess whether or not you can get cover. Answer all questions as accurately as you can to ensure that the correct level of cover can be offered to you. Your type of cancer will not be the only factor - travelling to places where medical costs are significantly higher can affect what insurance options are available. Therefore opting to stay in Europe rather than visiting countries such as the USA might affect the cover you can get. Single trip cover might mean you pose less of a risk - considering you are going on one journey rather than several - so you might want to look at this sort of possibility if you've suffered from cancer.

Medical treatment

You should try and choose a destination that’s suitable for your needs. A good tip is to check ahead and make sure that there are appropriate facilities where you’re headed. Do they have a good hospital nearby? Are there doctors you can rely on, and will there be pharmacies where you can get medical supplies if you need them?

Another good tip for travelling with cancer is to get a Global Health Insurance Card (Ghic). A valid Ghic means you can access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland. Just remember that the Ghic card isn’t a replacement for travel insurance: you are likely to still need specialist holiday insurance with cancer support.

Where to find more advice

If you are looking for more tips, then help is at hand. Several leading cancer charities publish specialist guides online that can really make a difference. Cancer Research UK have lots of advice for cancer sufferers looking to go abroad, including a guide to travelling with medication.

You can also find more tips for travelling with cancer from Macmillan, who can offer you valuable advice including tips from real people talking about how they manage.

How you get holiday insurance if you have cancer is up to you. There are policies out there, but you should always go in armed with the information you need and with realistic expectations of where and when you should go.

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