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Cancer Travel Insurance

The facts about getting travel insurance with Cancer

There are many reasons why someone may need travel insurance despite being diagnosed with Cancer. You may want a holiday to come to terms with your illness or recover from your treatment, or maybe you’d like to go on holiday to celebrate being given the all-clear.

Many insurers 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, even if you have a pre-exisiting medical condition, although premiums may be high. Some insurers may, for example, agree to insure your trip, but will exclude cover for any claim that is related to your Cancer. So, if you have to cancel your trip because your Cancer makes you too ill to travel, or you have to go into hospital on holiday to have treatment, then the costs for this will be funded by you.

What does Cancer travel insurance cost?

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
  • 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)

Cancer travel insurance rates/ratings

Rates for any non-standard cover such as Cancer travel insurance will vary from one insurance provider to another depending on their underwriting philosophy. Insurance providers use a risk based scale to determine the amount you will pay for your cover which uses a ‘percentage loading’ or ‘£’s per mille loading’. All insurance companies have their own underwriting criteria which will also change over time, so can be difficult to predict unless you regularly speak to them.

Percentage (%) loading for Cancer travel insurance

A percentage loading basically applies a % to your standard premium based on the levels of risk calculated for your own circumstances. Your percentage loading will apply a multiple to your Cancer travel insurance premium, which will be based on your health at the time of your application. You should also know that some insurance providers have different maximum levels to others, so some are prepared to take on higher risks (e.g. 250% or 400%).


Basic premium% loadingFinal premium

Per mille loadings for Cancer travel insurance

You may also find that a ‘per mille loading’ could be applied to your Cancer travel insurance premiums, but this is more rare and only tends to be used for more severe cases of risk. A ‘per mille loading’ will be an additional amount that is applied to your premiums which is based on the amount of cover you are applying for (e.g. £2 per thousand £’s of cover). The other difference with a ‘per mille loading’ is that it can be applied for the whole term of your Cancer travel insurance policy, or for a period of time from the start of your policy (e.g. 2, 3, 4 or 5 years).

Exclusions for Cancer travel insurance

Another potential outcome when applying for a non-standard cover such as Cancer 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.

If you are recovering from Cancer

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. Some might insure a patient who has been clear for three months, while others may refuse to give cover until you have had the all-clear for a few years. All underwriters will normally ask for access to your medical records and a note from our GP saying you are well enough to travel. Ask our helpful experts Iam Insured for the options open to you.

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