Travel Insurance Excluding CLL: My Second post... - CLL Support

CLL Support

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Travel Insurance Excluding CLL

ScruffyDuck profile image

My Second post on insurance. I just got a quote from Aviva for a 15 day trip to the US. They excluded my CLL but said I could still travel on their insurance since I declared it. The quote was considerably lower than my recent experience clearly because of no CLL. I don't have symptoms or any alarming blood results. However given the nature of CLL and the connection to reduced immune system I am inherently nervous about taking up their offer. Has anyone else had this experience and did they accept or reject such an offer?

Many thanks


28 Replies
Newdawn profile image

These exclusions worry me Jon because insurers can be devious and if for instance you needed to be hospitalised for pneumonia, they’d simply say it was due to the CLL. So many conditions can originate or be exacerbated by the CLL, it may prove difficult to separate causation. I once developed sepsis within hours and it would cost you an absolute fortune to pay to be airlifted home if the insurance company insisted it was CLL related. Just my take on it.

An example is, when I had a fall, one of the questions was ‘was it caused by a diabetic hypo?’. I don’t suffer diabetic hypos but they never miss a chance!

P.S this is an unlocked post so this will be accessible on the internet.


in reply to Newdawn

This reminds me of a long time ago I had a new CBR 1000 Hurricane motorcycle....and it got so so hot about 3 weeks after I bought it that the pavement melted and it fell over doing almost $1000 damage (lots of fairings, mirrors and such). I claimed on my comprehensive because I wasn't even near it when it happened...and they made me claim on my Collision part of insurance saying "It had a collision with the pavement" But then they could raise my rates as if I had been in an accident....

Jm954 profile image
Jm954Administrator in reply to

Oh dear! I can see it falling over like that because I've seen it happen, very slowly over but down they go. :( No damage done to the one I saw it happen to though :)

Also seen it happen with mud, again no damage.

in reply to Jm954

Mine went over hard...I know what you are saying they go slooooow...but I had a broken mirror, cracked cowling, was a lot of damage. It is possible someone kicked it over (not likely in Maine back then...but possible) except there were 2 others that fell because of the heat and melted tar right near mine. That was a heavy I ever owned

mrsjsmith profile image
mrsjsmith in reply to Newdawn

Hello Dawn and Jon,

this is a very useful tip. I luckily have a friend with two properties in Tunisia, one with an infinity pool and he keeps asking me to stay ! I used to insure with the Civil Service but I always thought I could get on the next plane back if I felt unwell but would like to be covered if I broke a leg or lost all my luggage ! I will make sure I am properly covered if and when.


Colette x

Newdawn profile image
NewdawnAdministrator in reply to mrsjsmith

The chance of anything catastrophic happening is very small but I once came back from holiday with a dreadful chest infection early in my CLL journey. The GP wanted to admit me to hospital but I insisted on staying home. The worry for me is always the plane having to de-tour or land and the costs would be unimaginable!


mrsjsmith profile image
mrsjsmith in reply to Newdawn

Thank you for prompt reply Dawn,

sadly I will not think about travel until next year when, fingers crossed treatment will have settled down and no more dramas. Just wish my friend would not keep sending me enticing pictures of his lemon trees and pool…



Kmegood profile image
Kmegood in reply to Newdawn

I happen to agree with your comments . I never attempted to travel until I became 6 months stable which meant 6 months after my last chemo treatment . If I ever have to go through any new treat I wouldn’t travel without being covered for CLL. The insurance can blame many things on CLL.

Try If you leave stuff out they will invaildate any claims

I think that I will only travel to places where there is a military hospital since I am retired from the US Navy and can use them any time. My wife and I are going to Hawaii in a little less than a month and thankfully there is a large one there. I feel so fortunate to have this benefit.

I never really thought much about travel insurance or the chance of something happening until my last trip to Hawaii - so I was younger and saw myself as invincible. The second day there my sister and I went horseback riding. I left on a horse and returned in an ambulance - broken shoulder, broken ribs, two sprained ankles, messed up knees. Fortunately my whole family was there (parents and siblings), I did not have to be airlifted home, and Blue Cross covered the medical part. I don't travel much, but travel insurance is the first thing I check now.

I travel with no insurance

Redlion profile image
Redlion in reply to Lola69

I wish you good luck because you will need it if/when something goes wrong.

Lola69 profile image
Lola69 in reply to Redlion

You are right!

I travel, quite frequently, with the CLL exclusion and have done so with the same insurer since 2003. I had to cancel a trip in 2005 after I fell off a ladder, they paid up without a problem, maybe a CLL linkage was a step too ludicrous to make. I remain on W&W so my current situation is perhaps rather different to others. Unfortunately this insurer does not offer vehicle insurance!


I would never take the risk of excluding CLL. Insurers are known to refuse paying out on any technicality, and they definitely would use CLL as an excuse. Unfortunately accidents happen when on holiday or you could pick up an infection. I hear this many times. Hope this helps. Hazel UK

Lola69 profile image
Lola69 in reply to Hazel33

I picked up an infection but only showed symptoms 2 days after I arrived back home

I had the same problem when I declared that I had CLL on my annual travel insurance with Lloyds Bank. I now take out additional insurance with World First for destinations outside Europe

It isn't worth the risk, particularly to USA. Try Insurancewith

I think , for all the reasons already given in replies, it would be most unwise to proceed with cover with this exclusion. I am three years into "w & w " with fairly stable blood readings but , because we travel frequently have always taken out full travel insurance which includes CLL. Have posted the results before as insurers and their attitudes change year by year but have copied below the details of the most competitive earlier this year *.

Back in April , when in the Maldives, I picked up a staphylococcus aureus infection in my leg and had to be flown back to Male for hospital treatment. The medical team confirmed that whilst the infection was not caused by my CLL , the recovery period would be aggravated by my weakened immune system as indeed was the case. There is little doubt that if I had insurance cover with a CLL exclusion, any payments would not have been met.

* Have been insured for past three years with Avanti who have always been the most competitive (last year £795 ) but this year they have changed their underwriters and can no longer provide cover on an annual basis.

Similarly other companies who specialise in travel insurance for persons with various health conditions , Freedom and Staysure can not quote on an annual basis but might be able to provide one off trip cover. JD Travel could not quote.

Only three companies quoted - All Clear insurance at £1587.55 and that excluded cancellation cover! World First quoted £ 732.09 which included an additional premium of £185 to include CLL but the best quote came from Insurewith who came in at £622.09.

All three companies had fairly easy online sites and asked very similar questions about health history. There is no doubt that full world wide cover including US and Caribbean is more expensive , for obvious reasons. It would be much easier to arrange one off trip insurance but if you take more than two /three holidays a year then the full multi trip cover is better value.

Discounting the astronomic cost of travel insurance for us CLL sufferers, having a compromised immune system has put me off travelling abroad anywhere as the chances of picking up bugs on aircraft and crowded ferries are quite high. I have been hospitalised in the this country twice in the last two years since completing FCR treatment due to chest infections, the last thing I want is to end up in a foreign hospital worrying if the insurance company is going to wriggle out of paying.

I got annual EU travel insurance with WorldsFirst for about £70 recently. At the time of quotation I was 4 weeks post treatment on Ibrutinib. Can recommend.

This is news to me, as most of my travel has been stateside it never occurred to me that I wouldn't be covered 100% with my Medicare & supplement. I've been to Central America and the Carribean but as a volunteer with medical units I always felt "covered." What I'm hearing is that if I travel to Europe or Asia or wherever I have to buy a separate policy to cover me? Sign me ignorant and naive but looking forward to traveling probably without a supplemental health coverage because I'd rather spend the money getting to or at my destination.

If you look on your passport's first page it states that Medicare doesn't cover anything outside of the United States. However your supplement might but you would have to read the fine print to know for sure. I don't think I would ever travel without travel insurance - even before I had CLL.


kathymac52 profile image
kathymac52 in reply to pkpayne

When we took out our supplementary insurance, we indicated that we wanted out of country coverage. It is an additional rider, but we think it is worth it.

pkpayne profile image
pkpayne in reply to kathymac52

I think you are right! Best to be prepared.


I don't think Medicare would cover you outside the US and if you have additional cover then you would need to check the coverage to see if it did cover you outside the US. It seems common for US citizens to be unaware of the issue of travel insurance. My own sister who lives in the US and is a US citizen used to travel without such cover and got a nasty bill when she got sick in Rome. While health care is cheaper outside the US an air ambulance or medical repatriation by scheduled flight is not cheap

Be very careful. Does not matter with what ailment you may come down with and of course I hope none, but whatever it is the insurance company will try to pin it back on yourCLL. Of course they would cover a broken bone but even then they may try to say it is because of white cells in the bone marrow. Going to the US is so risky because your medical bills can go into the hundreds of thousands. I am avoiding the US as well as many third world countries. It is unfortunate. Betst to go somewhere in Europe or UK Scotland or Ireland where medical costs are not so high and some countries have reciprocal health benefits with UK and Eurooe for instance as an Aussie I have medicare reciprocal agreement with hospitals in UK and many European countries and so for any Aussies out there google Medicare International reciprocal agreements- you will find it useful

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