Oesophageal Patients Association

Just Looking for Comments re discrimination

Something I would like to share, had Ivor Lewis procedure at Bloomfield Chelmsford March 2010, Now full recovered with no major issues, but this recent experience has really annoyed me,went onto "Confused.com" to get best deal on my wifes car insurance, they came up with RAC at £156 after discussion re me as second driver and declaring that I was a surviving cancer patient I was advised that the premium would have to go up to £228, I think this is discrimination against us survivors as such I will never do business with the RAC again, has anyone else experienced such a negative response?

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9 Replies

Hi seventrees

first of all I'm delighted to hear that you are doing well after surgery.

On your specific question there is no doubt that there is a tendency for insurance companies to "discriminate" against cancer patients/survivors. This is particularly true for things like travel insurance which is a widely experienced issue.

At the same time we do all have rights when it comes to such pronouncements by an insurance company and I would suggest that you have little to lose by challenging them to justify why they are suggesting that you are a higher risk to drive the car?

See this article on Cancer Research UK's website. cancerhelp.cancerresearchuk...

I should emphasise that I have no legal training so it may be that I'm completely wrong. I'll certainly be interested to know the outcome as I would imagine that many of us drive cars.

Good luck and stay in touch.



With regards to travel insurance and the RAC, I have taken out a Barclays 'premier' account. It costs 25 pounds a month, and includes travel insurance and RAC cover, as well as many other benefits. Had a HSBC account which offered the same. I am sure there are other accounts too. Make sure you the terms and conditions.



Here is a link to Macmillan's page about travel insurance:


Personally, I have never heard of car insurance being a problem before. There is a general rule that you should not drive car after surgery until you feel able to make an emergency stop without difficulty, and some insurance companies ask for a doctor's certificate that you are fit to drive again. The sort of thing that is dealt with on the NHS Choices website (this one happens to be about a hysterectomy but it is the principle that counts!).


So I wonder how the car insurance company would react to a doctor's certificate that you are fit to drive? It is certainly worth challenging them, if you have the energy.

Do let us know how you get on.



I have not mentioned my past cancer, I did not get asked about my health, I am with saga. It does not sound right or fair!

I know with the travel insurance I get this yearly from the post office, my first or second year after my op I had to speak to someone, go in depth about the cancer I had, this did not change the cost. Now because it is over 2 or 3 years, they don't need to know about it! Good Luck, hope you get to challenge it.


Hi Seventrees, I've never had anything like that. I've had both legs removed and a cancer patients/survivor. I've declared my health and physical state when applying for car insurance and it has never altered my costs. I would challenge them, find out their reasons for upping your premiums.



Hi, Its any excuse to increase their profit. the fact you have to have insurance to drive is how they get away with it.



My travel insurance put my premium up by £10 when I told them I had a Hiatus Hernia & Ulceration in my Oesophagus. Once cancer was diagnosed, they were still happy to insure me for everything except my cancer. They even refunded the £10 that I had paid. I cannot see why a diagnosis of cancer would put any extra onto the cost of motor insurance.


I have asked around. One person said that they had used Saga for their car insurance for years and not had a problem.


Thanks for all your comments, I am going to have a look at all the options and will let you know the outcome,



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