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Guide to travel insurance with cancer

It can be more complicated to get travel insurance with cancer so here is everything you need to know

A photo of Grace Lynch, the author

By Grace Lynch

Published on: 17 May 2023

6 min read

Guide to travel insurance with cancer

It can be more complicated to get travel insurance with cancer compared to standard travel insurance. Your premiums will usually be higher and it’s important to get the right advice to avoid paying more than you should.

There are still options available for someone with cancer who wants to protect their holiday with travel insurance. The main thing to remember is you must declare that you have cancer on your application. if you don’t, you risk getting the wrong policy, not having enough cover or your cover being invalid.

More on this topic:

Yes, it can still be possible to get travel insurance when you have cancer. Insurers can however be more hesitant to offer travel insurance to cancer patients. This is because having cancer can increase your risk of needing to claim due to becoming ill abroad or cancelling your holiday.

Is travel insurance with cancer different?

Travel insurance doesn’t automatically include cover for pre-existing conditions like cancer. This means a more specialised policy can be better for the level of cover you need. Cancer could lead to medical issues while on holiday and overseas medical treatment can cost hundreds or even thousands of £s.

Travel insurance can offer you peace of mind that you are well protected from the moment you buy your policy. If you need to cancel your holiday due to ill health, most policies will be able to save you from massive financial loss.

There is another situation that can arise when you need cancer travel insurance. You could be offered cover with ‘exclusions’ attached. Put simply, an exclusion is something you cannot claim for.

How does travel insurance with cancer work?

Whether you have cancer currently or have had it in the past, you will likely face some extra questions when you apply for insurance policies. For travel insurance, there are a range of questions you may be asked such as:

  • Where are you travelling to and for how long?
  • Do you have any other medical conditions?
  • How long ago were you diagnosed with cancer?
  • Are you recovered (in remission) or receiving treatment/have treatment planned?
  • What stage and grade of cancer do you have?
  • Are you terminally ill?
  • Do you need to bring medication or medical equipment when you travel?

These questions will be asked as a part of a medical screening during your application. The questions asked can vary depending on the insurer you apply to. It might be tempting to hide certain facts about your medical history. We would always advise against this, as this could lead to your cover being invalid or not right for what you need.

Is cancer a pre-existing condition for travel insurance?

Yes, cancer will be classed as a pre-existing condition when you apply for travel insurance. If you have one or more pre-existing conditions, it is always best to declare this when you apply.

This helps the insurer get an accurate estimation of cost and make sure the policy you receive has the right level of cover. You also risk your policy not paying out if you need to claim due to medical reasons and you haven’t declared cancer on your application.

Can you get travel insurance for cancer patients (currently in treatment)?

If you are currently receiving treatment for cancer (e.g. chemotherapy, radiotherapy), it can be harder to get insurance cover. You are at higher risk of experiencing medical problems that could lead to claiming on your policy. This will make insurers warier of offering cover, or you might have to pay more.

Can you get travel insurance for cancer patients in remission?

If you have recovered from your cancer and are now in remission, your options for cover can open up slightly. Some insurers will have different rules around this, so it is always best to check policies across a few.

Some providers will offer travel insurance cover for patients who have been in remission for 3 months. Some may prefer to hold off on offering cover until you have been cancer free for several years.

Can you get travel insurance for terminally ill cancer patients?

Believe it or not, it is still possible to get travel insurance cover with terminal cancer. The key is approaching the correct providers who can offer this type of cover. You will also need a note from your GP confirming you are well enough to travel.

What is the best travel insurance for cancer survivors?

Once it has been months or years since you were given the all-clear, it can be a lot easier to get travel insurance. A wider range of policies will usually be more accessible to you and the pricing can be far lower.

The longer you have been recovered, the more policy options should be available to you. The main options for travel insurance include:

  • Single trip travel insurance: covers one specified trip only
  • Annual travel insurance: covers multiple trips within one year (12 months)

Travel insurance will cover you in various situations and can be incredibly useful. Travel insurance is designed to protect you in the event something unexpected happens while you are on holiday. Travel insurance covers:

  • Lost luggage
  • Lost or stolen valuable items
  • Cancelled or delayed flights

A specialist travel insurance policy for someone with cancer will cover all the standard elements plus extra risks.

Travel insurance with cancer will cover:

  • 24/7 medical assistance
  • Cancellation of your trip due to cancer
  • Holiday being shortened due to cancer
  • Medical emergencies (usually up to £15million worth of treatment)
  • Missed departures (cover up to £1,500)

How much is travel insurance with cancer?

How much you pay for your travel insurance will vary depending on several key factors. The insurance underwriters will ask a few basic questions about your trip (destination, trip length etc). You will then also be asked some questions directly relating to cancer like:

  • When you were diagnosed
  • The stage and grade of your cancer
  • Your prognosis
  • Do you have a note from your doctor confirming you are well enough to travel?
  • Where are you going? (The cost of medical care in each country can vary and your level of cover needs to be tailored to this)

The amount you pay will also depend on:

  • The amount of cover (£s) you want (your sum assured)
  • The type of cover needed (single trip or annual)

The best ways to check the price you are offered is fair:

The best way to find the policy you need at a reasonable price is to compare the options available to you. If you have cancer, you might find these options are more limited compared to standard travel insurance cover.

Are there travel restrictions for travel insurance with cancer?

You shouldn’t be limited on where you can travel with cancer travel insurance. It is best though to check with your doctor before arranging a trip, to make sure you are fit to travel.

You should always check travel insurance is available and affordable before booking a holiday. If you have cancer this is especially important, as you don’t want to end up stuck with massive medical bills if you require medical treatment.

You will need to consider if the premiums are something you can afford and if another destination may be cheaper for you.

Potential restrictions:

  • Travel to the US or Canada (premiums can cost far more as medical costs in these countries can be higher)
  • Length of trip (cover can be more limited for longer trips)
  • Number of trips (annual travel cover)

According to Cancer Research UK, around 375,400 people are diagnosed with cancer each year. If you need travel insurance with cancer, here are a few options for you.

1. Call and speak to a travel insurance specialist (or get a quote online)

It is best to get travel insurance as soon as possible once your holiday is booked. If you have cancer it is worth checking pricing and policy availability before making travel plans.

CLICK HERE for your travel insurance with cancer quote

2. Answer a few questions about your holiday and health

You will be asked some questions about your medical history (medical screening) and your travel plans.

3. Get your quote for cancer travel insurance

You will receive quotes specifically tailored to you and your situation. Make sure you are 100% happy with what is on offer before agreeing to a policy.


Cancer Research UK – Travelling with cancer

Cancer Research UK – Travelling abroad

NHS Inform – Travel and cancer

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