Shall I cancel our holiday or can I get sufficient insurance?

My husband was diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the Liver due to alcohol in December 2015, although he probably had the disease a while before that. He gave up drinking 4 years ago this February. We went on a pre-booked holiday to Croatia and even before we got there I knew he wasn't well, anyway he ended up in hospital for the duration of our holiday and an extra 3 days because he had ammonia in his blood. The insurance company had been informed of his Cirrhosis and so we were able to claim for the loss of our holiday and additional costs, but obviously they wouldn't insure us in the future. I pre-booked a cruise around the Canaries for this August before we went to Croatia. Since the Croatian trip Jeff, my husband has deteriorated and been in and out of hospital for blood transfusions because his red blood cell count keeps dropping, with Hepatic Encephalopathy. Jeff has his first appointment for assessment for a liver transplant. My problem is do I cancel the holiday (I have 90 days before we sail) and lose the deposit, do I try and get insurance, does anyone know who the best insurance company is?, or I have the option to transfer the deposit to another holiday with the same cruise line for a future date? Can anyone help please?

14 Replies

  • Only a personal guess but you may well struggle to get insurance due to hubby displaying symptoms of decompensated cirrhosis & having a previous claim for his cirrhosis abroad. If he was stable then you might get some - though it doesn's sound like he's very stable at the moment and if they are progressing to transplant assessment have they given you any timescale for that - we were told my hubby was going to be assessed in May 2014, before three weeks were up he was in, assessed, operated on for another condition and listed.

    Are you even going to be able to go away in 90 days time? - hubby doesn't sound well enough and what appointments are due? If he is still dropping red blood count etc. it doesn't sound a good time to travel.

    Do you have to fly out to meet your cruise ship? There might be implications there too with cabin pressure and portal hypertension issues. Has he had/got varices?

    I would be tempted to see if the cruise company will hold your deposit for a future booking - if hubby ended up poorly aboard ship you'd be in a bit of a pickle & it doesn't sound like he'd be well enough for a holiday at this time.

    Hope you get some joy.


  • Hi Katie

    The 90 days doesn't start until about February, but I can see your point. I think I'll have trouble getting any type of insurance until my husband's stable. We don't fly to the port as its leaving from London but its still a bit of a drive down. Think I'll wait until he's had his appointment at Leeds and then decide.

    Is your husband OK now?

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.


  • Unfortunately/fortunately however you see it, hubby never got a transplant. He was on the list for 10 months but his blood results improved meaning he came out of the qualifying criteria for T/P. He also lost his spleen as a result of the operation on an aneursym they found in his splenic artery and this seemed to boost his platelet count and improved his blood clotting time. In himself he still feels quite rough, he has Hepatic Encephalopathy symptoms - confusion, memory difficulties and disrupted sleep plus chronic fatigue. He feels no better than he did on diagnosis back in April 2012. So, we are now just treading water waiting to see where life takes us. We just try to live for everyday and trust that docs are keeping a good eye on him.


  • Hi Katie

    I'm sorry to hear that your husband didn't get the transplant. It seems as though it's a bit of a lottery whether you get put on the transplant list and this I find quite worrying. I know that even though we have an appointment at Leeds there's no guarantee we'll reach the next assessment but we've been given a bit of hope for the time being.

    It's horrible watching someone you love cope with this disease but I hope the doctors can keep your husband comfortable.

    Take care


  • Don't get me wrong if hubby needed to be back on the list he would be, he was delisted because he was actually doing 'too well' medically. He was actually on the list for 10 months. He is still being monitored and would be reassessed if he detiorated.

    If your hubby is poorly enough to require it and yet well enough to get through it he should be listed.

    St. James's do things differently than Edinburgh where we go. Hubby was in Tuesday to Friday with all the various tests, meetings, chats etc. done in the four days then the multi-disciplinary team met on the Friday afternoon with us getting the news about Friday tea time. We were elated when he was listed but then a bit deflated the next year when he got taken off the list but we've come round to the idea that the time isn't yet right. It's a big op and it's a life saving one - if you don't yet need your life saving (only improving) then a new liver isn't worth the risk.

    Make your holiday decision after your visit to St. James's because if he does get listed you'll be putting holiday plans on the back burner for a bit.

    All the best, Katie

  • We got insurance in 2015 after declaring cirrhosis & it wasn't much more expensive but can't remember who with, Sorry

  • My husband was put on the transplant list in October. We went to Greece in july and st James said it would be good for him to have a holiday and luckily he was fine despite decompensated cirrohosis and all the symptoms. He paid £100 for insurance -will try and get you the name of it.

  • You should be able to claim for the cruise as it was booked before you knew of the to your insurers provide the evidence of when you booked. Be insistent hun otherwise they will try to fob you off. Def talk to them about cancelling to limit their liability. Best of luck x

  • hi bonair my wife has HE and cirrhosis.

    I would suggest you postpone. If tell the cruise company the situation it would be in there interest to postpone as well

    as for insurance I got my wif insured with diamond insurance

  • Thank you, I'm swaying towards the idea of cancelling, but will try diamond insurance.


  • The British Liver Trust have a list of insurers who are willing/able to cover liver disease under certain circumstances

    AllClear Insurance Services Limited

    AllClear House 1 Redwing Court Ashton Road ROMFORD RM3 8QQ

    Tel: 01708 339295 - Gold/Gold Plus

    Tel: 01708 339026 – All other enquiries

    Free Spirit Insurance

    P J Hayman & Company Ltd

    Stansted House

    Rowlands Castle


    PO9 6DX

    Tel: 02392 419845 (Quote FPM25) £10 discount when purchased online

    Holiday Extras Ltd

    Ashford Road



    CT21 4JF

    Tel: 0800 042 0309 (Quote WK289 for pre-existing medical conditions)

    I can't work out how to attach the file they sent me so these are just a couple to try. Whilst they aren't cheap, you can at least travel and I think whatever happens with hubby the sun and change of scene and the chance to be "normal" will probably do him the world of good. We hope to travel end of May and I will see the GP to get a fit to fly letter just to cover us. Good luck and I hope it works out OK for you.



  • Thanks that's great

  • If none of these can help ping me back - there are more in the list but I didn't want to copy and paste them all as it would make the email too long!! x

  • Thank you, that's really kind.


You may also like...