Travel insurance

Hi all, have a quick question re travel insurance abroad.

Our insurance is due for renewal - we are living in the UK and renew annually. Only plans this coming year are trips to Barcelona and maybe France to visit friends.

I was diagnosed with CLL October 2016 Stage 1 W&W. Second apt with haematology consultant this Friday (I have plenty of questions thanks to you guys!)

As I am not on treatment do I need to declare my CLL or do I wait?

Many thanks in advance!

25 Replies

  • Hi Kath,

    I'm just about to renew my annual travel insurance again and use World First. Others on here use them too but you may get other recommendations to try. Here's the details;

    Whilst you can declare your CLL and ask them to disregard it for cover, if you don't declare it as a pre-existing condition, you risk invalidating the whole policy. You must declare all conditions when they screen you by phone. Please be aware that they are required to ask if the cancer is terminal. It's a standard question but can be upsetting if you're unprepared.

    They'll ask very detailed questions and I've found them sensitive and thorough. They're also much cheaper and cover conditions others won't. Pre-treated, early CLL didn't cost me a great deal more.

    Just be aware they, along with most insurers, will require you to have free EHIC cards to use in public hospitals in the EU. They required me to use the public hospital for an injury I suffered abroad.

    Good luck!


  • Thank you very much for your detailed reply Newdawn - in the back of my mind I thought we should declare and it's really against my principles not too - but it was niggling me.

    Thank you also for the link - I realise once I retire and go on long haul trips that it's probably best to insure for single trips but this year we'll probably take out annual cover as we have a few train trips planned in the UK.

    Will take a look now (we are having one of those weekends where we are clearing our outstanding paperwork!)

    Thank you again X

  • As Newdawn says; if you KNOW you have it you have to declare it.

    Some travel insurance companies will insure excluding CLL. So if you are at Stage 1 you might consider taking the risk of a policy that does not cover CLL associated problems/cover.

    I have used Staysure for long haul travel insurance now I am post treatment.

    Lots of travel insurance tips on this website.

  • Thanks, devonrr - that is good advice, will look in to it :)

  • I, like Newdawn have used World First, who are actually a broker. I found them very good.

    However, I tried to make a claim and the insurer URV(?) refused (not medical, missed departure). My claim is currently with the Insurance Ombudsman as I feel they have been unfair.


  • That's interesting Rob. I suppose we only ever know the value of an insurance company when we make a claim. Generally however they seem to have excellent reviews and won the Best Travel Insurance Company 2016.

    Hope you manage to get some successful resolution. Companies generally won't pay out on missed departures however but hopefully you'll be able to demonstrate circumstances that warrant cover.

    In reality there seem to be very few companies who will cover cancer without huge premiums but we need to feel confident with their customer service in the event of a claim.


  • Based on my interactions with World First over three years I was very happy with them. I thought their approach on the phone showed more consideration and empathy than any other insurance company I approached.

    There is a section on missed departures in their policy and I believe one of their four scenarios fit what happened to me. They claim my situation foe not, giving a reason that, as far as I can see is not documented or implied anywhere.

    Shame really.


  • Worth challenging then Rob. Good luck!


  • Sorry to hear that, it does sound like a minefield, but hopefully you get some good result from your claim in the end. We are only travelling in Europe this year so that should make things a little less complicated I hope :)

  • In case you have not seen Cancer Research has a section on travel insurance. I have used JD Travel Insurance to travel to Canada whilst in a post treatment period albeit 2 years after and found them pretty reasonable. In fact a quote 3 years post treatment was relatively cheaper. World First appears on the list as well but as with any insurance worth getting quotes.

  • Thanks Bluejays - that's very helpful - will take a look. This forum is brilliant so much support - thanks again 🙂

  • Hi every traveller, If you have the insurance company disregard CLL in your coverage, in a far fetched situation, what happens if you develop an infection, let's say from a broken bone or if you required your appendix out while on holiday, had to have a long hospital stay due to infection complications, etc. No pun intended, but where do you stand then?

    Sandy Beaches

  • World First booted me off my annual cover and quoted over £400 for a single trip to Spain. They were really helpful and the people who I spoke with tried their best to sort something better out. In the end I moved and went with Allclear. Hopefully they're ok.

  • We had the same problem post treatment with World First (even though my husband is now a better risk than he was whilst on W&W). Unfortunately they weren't even helpful or polite.

    We now use Good to Go.


  • Thank you - that does sound rather excessive so I will def check the other one out too - my work starts today !

  • Thanking you - that does sound rather excessive - another one for my list - looks like I'm in for a busy time 😏!

  • I'm looking too Kathp and need cover for USA as that is where my son and his family live. I plan to go there more than once this year so need an annual policy. Last year I had a good value world-wide incl USA policy from MIAOnline £260 for my wife and me (W&W). This year MIA refused cover even though I am still W&W and on 12 monthly review. World-First want £648.55 and want £417.95. So I am still looking!

  • Oh wow that is so unfair - haven't started looking in earnest yet, it's making me wonder whether my long haul trips will ever come off when I retire (Australia to stay with friends, India, China and America are also on my wishlist). At the minute we've only done Europe and Egypt is the furthest I've travelled. If I find out any good news when I start researching, I will be sure to pass it on. Good luck with your endeavours!

  • Hi All - this is all new to me having been diagnosed with CLL December 2016 and still coming to terms with it. My wife and I generally take 3/4 world wide holidays p.a. and one of the things I was concerned about was the cost of travel insurance. I would like to thank those concerned for all the recommendations etc. I have just completed an online application (as a couple) for w.w. (excluding USA and the Caribbean) annual insurance and was pleasantly surprised - £391.86. I was expecting a quotation in the high hundreds.

  • I use World First for my wife & myself & I've found them very reasonable, although as others have said you really don't know until you claim.

    Their questioning was very detailed & they don't get scared at the mention of CLL, which I've had in the past when some insurers who refused me cover at the mention of CLL. Somewhat annoying being Stage A with a low count & no symptoms. There is also an excess for me relating to any issues associated with CLL & both my wife & I have an excess because we take Statins.

    I would recommend everyone to declare all of the illness though, because the first thing most insurers do when someone makes a claim is ring the claimant's doctors to see if they had a known problem.

    They also asked whether I had a EHIC card (I think it's called) & from what they said they seemed to suggest that if I used it they wouldn't charge me my excess.

  • Hi this all very helpful and I'd like to thank you all for your suggestions. Went on to World First and declared my two medical conditions (although untreated scoliosis wouldn't score high) plus my husbands heart condition and was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't much more than we paid last year. Of course the proof of the pudding is in the eating as you say - once making a claim.

    Many thanks one and all 🙂

  • Glad to be of help.

  • "Pre-existing" condition is the question (at least here in the US). Ins. companies have their own definition of this word - thus, it may NOT be what you think(it's usually how long since you've seen the doctor). So, READ the fine print.

    Here, in the US, "TravelGuard" (AIG) is, I believe, about the only travel-insurance company who covers "pre-existing" conditions - but you have to let them know when you book the trip, AND then pay for the whole thing up-front.

    Again, I only know about trip travel insurance for the US.

  • FWIW, I had to cancel a cruise last year, as I was in the hospital with CLL-complications (my definition). "TravelGuard" (US) for some reason didn't see it that way, and fought me all the way. They were very polite, but they apparently just didn't want to pay. That's the insurance business!

    I finally won, but what looked like a "no-brainer" at first, turned into a real fight. Just realize, they don't pay because they are nice guys. They pay only if they have to.

  • Tryandtry sorry you have had a bad experience but I guess it's as you say - the companies will hold out as long as they can. Glad it worked out in the end!

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