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Travel insurance with cancer

Many insurance companies are reluctant to cover cancer patients due to the high risk of them making a claim, cancelling the holiday or needing access to medical treatment. It is however possible to arrange travel insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition like cancer, provided you get the right advice first.

Cancer travel insurance can be useful in a variety of situations. These policies can help protect you from financial loss in the event you lose a valuable item, need expensive medical treatment while away or have to cancel your holiday altogether.


Can you get travel insurance if you have cancer?

A main first question you might have is “can I get travel insurance if I have cancer?”. It is possible in some cases to get travel insurance that covers cancer but travel insurance won’t automatically include cover for pre-existing conditions.

This means it is always best to speak to a travel insurance expert, so you get the right amount of cover in case unforeseen events happen. These policies are designed to protect you if anything unexpected happens while you are away and help prevent loss of money spent.

What does cancer travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance can give you peace of mind that you won’t lose out financially if something unexpected happens when you are away. A travel insurance policy gives you proper protection from when you buy your policy to when you are home again.

Cancer could lead to serious medical issues before you travel or while you’re on holiday. The cost of overseas medical treatment can be extortionate for someone with cancer, which is likely to be unaffordable for most people. You could also need to cancel your holiday due to ill health and suffer a huge financial loss without the right cover in place.

When you buy travel insurance, you will be covered for a range of different events including:

  • Loss of luggage
  • Loss of passport or other valuable items
  • Cancellation cover
  • Cost of emergency medical treatment

How much is travel insurance for cancer patients?

Underwriters will typically ask questions about your condition and your cancer diagnosis, the stage and grade of your illness, as well as the prognosis. They may also need access to your medical records, or a note from your GP confirming that you are healthy enough to travel.

Your premiums for cancer travel insurance will also depend on:

  • Sum assured (£’s)
  • Term of cover (years)
  • The severity of your cancer/ type of cancer
  • Where you are headed on your travels (for example, if the USA is your destination, you may find premiums are higher due to the costs of medical care in the country)

Exclusions for travel insurance with cancer

Another potential outcome when applying for a non-standard cover such as cancer patient travel insurance is for an ‘exclusion’ to be applied to your policy. This means that you may have certain conditions which can be linked to your cancer excluded from your policy.

Which is the best travel insurance for cancer patients UK?

There are a couple of options for travel insurance for someone with cancer. It is important to think about how much cover you need before applying. The main travel insurance options are:

  • Single trip cover: you are covered for one specified trip, this can be more cost effective if you are not a frequent traveller
  • Annual travel insurance: you are covered for all trips taken within a 12 month period. Useful for more frequent travel, as this saves the hassle of multiple applications.

When applying for travel insurance for cancer sufferers, it can be helpful to have the answers for the following questions:

  • The length of your trip and where you are going
  • Any other health conditions you have
  • How long ago you were diagnosed?
  • Are you currently receiving treatment, have treatment planned, or in remission?
  • Have you had surgery related to your cancer?
  • What stage and grade of cancer you have?
  • Do you need to bring any medication or medical equipment on your trip?
  • Is your cancer terminal?

Every insurer is different, so the questions you are asked can vary. You may not have the answer to all these questions, and this is fine. Just answer the questions you are asked as openly and honestly as possible.

Travel insurance for cancer patients in remission UK

Even if you have been diagnosed with cancer in the past and have now recovered/are in remission, you may still have difficulties securing travel insurance due to your risk of claiming. Different insurers will also vary on their policies for travel insurance for cancer in remission

Travel insurance for cancer survivors

Getting travel insurance after cancer can be much more straightforward than getting cover during your treatment. Travel insurance after cancer treatment can be more accessible and cheaper, especially if it has been many years since you were given the all-clear.

Can you get travel insurance for terminal cancer patients?

You might assume insurers will refuse to provide you with insurance cover if you have been given a terminal prognosis. If your doctor has stated you are fit to travel, there will still be travel insurance options available to you.

It is key in this situation to make sure you are speaking to the right insurers, so you don’t waste any time. Our amazing travel insurance partners are proud to offer travel insurance with cancer cover for:

  • Travel insurance for current cancer patients
  • Travel insurance for cancer patients in remission
  • Travel insurance for terminally ill cancer patients (terminal cancer travel insurance)

There are currently 3 million people in the UK living with cancer according to Macmillan Cancer Support. Here is the best way to compare quotes for travel insurance with cancer.

1.Call our travel insurance experts or get a quote online

No matter what stage or grade of cancer you have it can be useful to get specialist cancer travel insurance advice. It is also advisable to get travel travel insurance as soon as you buy your holiday in case anything happens.

CLICK HERE to get your quotes online

2. Answer some simple questions

You will be asked a few quick and easy questions about your travel plans plus a medical screening questionnaire. This helps make sure you get the appropriate cover at the best price.

3. Get your cancer travel insurance UK quotes

You will be able to compare quotes tailored specifically to you and your circumstances from our carefully selected travel insurance partners.

Other insurance products for cancer

Can you still go on holiday if you have cancer?YES – you can still go on holiday if you have cancer, provided your doctor states you are fit to travel.
What are the top 7 signs of cancer?Every type of cancer will have slightly different warning signs but there are several symptoms that could indicate cancer.

1. Unexplained weight loss
2. Pain
3. Extreme tiredness
4. Changes in bowel or bladder function
5. Skin changes
6. High temperature
7. Unusual bleeding or discharge
What is the main cause of cancer?There is no one main cause of cancer but there are several things that can be classed as risk factors. This includes:

Frequent alcohol consumption
Poor diet
Air pollution
Family history of cancer
UV rays (skin cancer)
How long after cancer can you get travel insurance?This depends on the insurance provider you apply to. Some will happily offer cover after a few months and others will want to wait longer.
What are the 4 stages of cancer?There are 4 main stages of cancer:

Stage 1 – The cancer is small and hasn’t spread

Stage 2 – The cancer has grown but hasn’t spread anywhere else

Stage 3 – The cancer is large and has spread to surrounding areas e.g. lymph nodes

Stage 4 – The cancer has spread to one or more other organs (known as metastatic or secondary cancer)

Useful resources

Cancer Research UK – Travelling with cancer

Cancer Research UK – Travelling abroad

NHS Inform – Travel and cancer

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What does Martin Lewis say about travel insurance?

Martin Lewis provides lots of guidance for holidaymakers who are searching for the best deals on their travel insurance. One of the biggest recommendations from Martin Lewis travel insurance advice is ‘ASAB’ (As Soon As you Book), which basically translates to suggesting that you should buy your travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday.

In an interview on This Morning talking to Martin Lewis about travel insurance, he claims that he is constantly being asked by consumers, “what can I do if I’ve been diagnosed with a medical problem and I can’t go on holiday because my travel company won’t give me a refund?”. According to Martin Lewis travel insurance recommendations, 50% of the value of your travel insurance cover is before you are due to travel.

Top reasons for holiday cancellations before travelling:

  • Sickness or illness
  • Accidents causing an injury
  • Emergency at home
  • Family emergency
  • Work commitments
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Martin Lewis Travel Insurance - iam|INSURED

Is it worth taking out travel insurance?

Almost all financial experts such as Martin Lewis and citizensadvice.org.uk, strongly recommend that you take out a travel insurance policy and that you do it quickly. The financial and emotional impact of not having travel insurance while overseas can be catastrophic if you require medical treatment or if you are victim of a crime.

The cost of travel insurance is generally affordable for most holidaymakers and you should factor this in to the cost of your holiday. Risking not having travel insurance and then having a medical emergency when you are overseas, especially in certain destinations, can cost you thousands.

What does travel insurance cover?

Most travel insurance policies will provide the same core elements such as medical emergencies, repatriation, legal expenses, loss, theft or damage to personal belongings, and cancellation or curtailment of your trip. The types and levels of cover can vary dramatically from one policy to another so you should make sure that you’re getting the cover that you want and that you need.

Also, some travel insurance policies won’t cover you for certain destinations, activities or types of holidays, such as:

  • Cruise holidays
  • Winter sports
  • Worldwide travel
  • Pre-existing medical conditions

Note: Travel insurance will generally exclude any accident or injury that has happened whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

What is classed as a pre-existing medical condition for travel insurance?

According to one of the UK’s top travel insurance providers, Staysure clearly states that ‘you must declare ALL pre-existing medical conditions when your take out a travel insurance policy’. Witholding any information about your health or medical history could expose you to the risks of rendering your cover invalid and therefore class any claims as ‘null and void’.

Any of the following pre-existing conditions must always be disclosed on your travel insurance application:

  • Cardiovascular conditions (e.g. blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease etc.)
  • Cancer(s)
  • Any Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

You should also let your travel insurance provider know about any of the following medical investigations, tests or treatments in the past two years:

  • Symptoms (whether or not you have consulted a doctor)
  • Medication or treatments
  • Scans or investigations
  • Medical appointments and check-ups
  • Surgery
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How much should I spend on travel insurance?

According to a recent travel insurance survey carried out by Forbes Advisor’s Analysis (Average cost of travel insurance 2023), the average cost of travel insurance is between 5% and 6% of the cost of your trip.

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