My Ovacome
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Travel Insurance Moan

Hi all, just here for a moan.

I have spent 2 hours on the phone today trying to get my travel insurance organised. After the first call I was declined. I then phoned the company I used last year who charged me around £40 for my weeks skiing. This year there were all sorts of extra questions, culminating with the bombshell that they have to record both Ovarian Cancer and PPC as different conditions. Now I have to wait for up to 10 working days for them to phone me to ask me more questions.

I don’t know how every one else feels, but I was frazzled by the end of the calls - it’s hard enough being ill in the first place, but having to explain and clarify a really difficult set of ailments seemed so demeaning and upsetting. Generally I make light of having cancer and feel really positive, but today has really knocked my mood.

The young woman I spoke to was kind in a sort of detached sort of way. I know she’s not medical and that the insurance company have to assess risk, but I’m really fed up. now.

Anyway, I know some of you lovelies have recommended companies on here, and I just wonder what you all think is a reasonable amount of money to pay for a week’s holiday for just medical cover, if you’re happy to share.

Thank you for listening to a moan, it’s good to have you to here.

Love to all, Ali

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Hi Ali, when I was NED after first line treatment, I paid £40 for a week in Lanzarote. I was pleasantly surprised by that, but I could answer all the questions confidently, as at that point there were no shades of grey. I’ll hopefully need insurance for 2 weeks in the USA, and I’m dreading what that’s going to cost! Vicki x

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Hi. I have used MIA Travel recently for Mum's insurance, about £90 for a week in Majorca. Also used InsuranceWith, cover (including for the OC) was also £90 for a week in Cyprus. I thought that was pretty good given Mum had just literally had her uretic stents replaced the week before we flew.

Mum is now on a trial after some progression so it will be interesting what the cost will be when I take her away again in May.

Hope you get it sorted and enjoy your holiday x

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whenever I've travelled (Crete, USA, Croatia, Spain) I've used Boots medical travel insurance. I found them easy to get through to (once spent 40 mins trying to get through to Insurancewith no word of a lie!) they are comparable with insurancewith so have continued to use them. They all ask a load of questions which can be upsetting if you let them get to you. Interesting about noting PPC as different to OC. That's a tricky one, as when I asked The Prof the other day if he could tell from my notes if I was one or other, he couldn't differentiate and said they are treated so similarly. It would be nice to have a definitive answer in my case but I guess it's just one of those things

If it helps I've paid in the realm of £60 for Europe, I know the US was a lot dearer, can't remember exactly possibly around the £100 mark?? Hope you manage to sort something soon xxx

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I’ll have a look at Boots - thanks for the tip, Sarah.

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Try eurotunnel, they will only cover Europe but you don’t need to be travelling with them. They don’t even want to know what’s wrong with you. In the event of a claim your doctor must be able to confirm:

You will be covered for claims arising directly or indirectly from any existing medical conditions, so long as your doctor can confirm that at the time of purchasing the insurance or booking the journey (whichever is later):

you were fit to travel;

your medical condition(s) were stable and there was nosign they would get worse;

you had not been diagnosed as suffering from a termina illness

you did not know that you would need medical treatment or consultation at any medical facility during your journey; “

You need to ask your onc to say they would be prepared to write such a letter in the event of a claim. It saves answering many questions, even more important if you both got pre-existing conditions. You can read all the info on their website. They offer Winter sports cover too.

Hope you get it sorted.

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We have used Eurotunnel - recommend them.

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I’ve just spoken to a lovely woman at Eurotunnel Insurance - she even ensured that I was sitting down before she told me how much!! I am really grateful to you for recommending them - the premium is really low and they will cover me for the year, in Europe as long as I’m fit to travel. Thank you, love Ali x

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That's great, Ali. How lovely to get someone sympathetic. There need to be more people like that and companies being kinder to what is, after all, a very common condition and one that doesn't always cause emergencies! Have a lovely trip. x

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Thank you ladies for your responses. I have a few other conditions - asthma, a shoulder problem and acid reflux to name some of them which are bound to increase the premium a bit, along with the need for ski cover. However, the quotes I have found so far are in the top hundreds for the week - that’s a big jump from £40 last year.

What I did establish is that if you fail to declare everything you have seen a doctor about in the last two years and any medication they have prescribed, the policy may be void - hence my declaration of haemorrhoids! 🙀🍇!

I may ask a broker to look for me (at the insurance, not the haemorrhoids!) but I’m not sure I want to discuss my ailments across the counter to a young person I may have taught in primary school!

Anyway, I imagine I’ll bite the bullet and pay up in the end!

Hope you are all well, Ali x

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Hi

I don't understand why two separate conditions as I understood PPC which was my diagnosis started in the ovaries but spread to the peritoneum and other areas in the abdomen. Treated as per ovarian cancer as the chemo for that worked the best. Perhaps I haven't got this right but I haven't ever said anything other than PPC when talking about insurance for travel. I have only used Insurepink and my bank . Not covered by my bank now as I have had a recurrence so last night I logged on to MIA and obviously didn't answer the questions quite right as they quote £1300 plus for travel to Fuerteventura. I will have to ring up.

I am sure there will be lots of help here. Insurepink was dear but we were going on a cruise for a week.

Enjoy your trip.

Maureen xx

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Thanks for that Maureen - I’m afraid I’m very cynical about the insurance companies - I feel they put obstacles in the way of getting things right and then won’t pay up because you forgot to mention the ingrowing toenail you had in 1974!

Today’s experience has made me wonder if I’ve got two cancers now! My consultant said they were the same, but how do I persuade the insurance people otherwise - todays lady said the questions have changed from last year.

I did the MIA online thing today and found the website very hard to manage - I didn’t seem to be able to go back when I had missed something, so I gave up in the end.

I shall resume the hunt tomorrow, checking your recommendations.

Hope you get yours sorted too - enjoy your holiday, Ali x

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It's often the case that what you say you have has to fit into a particular 'box' on their computer form, and there are some things that just don't fit! Really irritating. I have a minor condition called urethral caruncle (yes, I know... :) ) a few years ago and they didn't have a box for it and I was quite cross as they wanted to put in more serious conditions like cystitis instead ... I have never had cystitis, I just have a minimally prolapsed urethra! I probably wouldn't declare it now I have the big C. You really have to watch them. We went for Eurotunnel's fairer approach - no lengthy medical screening (and let's face it, these get worse the older you get) and you can go if your onc/GP declares you are 'fit to travel'. It must save them a lot in admin costs too.

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I understand how you feel! I looked in November. In the end I rusked going without insurance ( but would not advise it!).

I believe there is a company that was founded by s woman who had cancer herself- somewhere I have the details.

Here is an article which might help? Or make you laugh or cry either way! But a lady chats about her experience with various companies.

thisismoney.co.uk/money/hol...

I don’t feel like I’ve been if any help- sorry.

Keep us posted....

Nicky xx

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Hi Nicky, thanks for your response. I’ve called my CNS so she can dictate to me my exact diagnosis for me to tell the insurance company. I may still risk it - my bank account covers me for anything else, but all my current conditions aren’t covered.

Hope you are well, I’ve noticed you haven’t been around for a while.

Love Ali xx

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Hi again Nicky,

I’ve just read the article you sent the link for - the woman didn’t mention any other ailments or if she needed to declare anything else. She was also incensed by a quote of more than £100 - I’m looking at £500 and more. Also, one company I’ve explored expect you to declare all visits to the doctor, tests, diagnoses, drugs etc for the last 5 years! I can remember that far back!

Never say never though!

Ali x

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Hi, try HolidaySafe. I obtained an annual policy for Europe for £140 last year, having been declined or quote £1000 plus for 8 days by several other companies. I did it all online without having to speak oeak to anyone and it was easy to complete the application. I wouldn't mention minor ailments such as haemorrhoids. I know skiing adds to the premium but i hope you manage to find a good quote and have a fantastic holiday!🏂⛷ x

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Good morning,

I’ll try HolidaySafe. I know it seems trivial to mention the small ailments, but I’m fairly confident that if something does happen, even if it’s entirely unrelated to the serious problems, they I’ll use anything they can find on your medical records - which I’m certain they can access if you claim - to avoid paying out.

I’ve always been a bit cynical about their motives.

Thanks for your response, I’ll post when I’m sorted as I know it helps othe too!

Best wishes Ali x

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Hi Ali. I should mention that I was 69 at time of obtaining the insurance, which usually adds to the cost! Good luck☺Jane x

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****EDITED**** I have NOT used this company and would be interested to hear if anyone here has. Although it seems to score high on TrustPilot for cost and ease, Im not sure whether this is true for claims or follow-up to medical declarations****

Someone on the Penny Brohn HU site recommended a company called Alpha Travel Insurance & it came in with really good value whilst she was having treatment... link here, healthunlocked.com/pennybro...

I havent used them but did do a 'dummy application' which came out well and they seem to score well on TrustPilot BUT do please do a bit of research yourselves as its not just the cost but also how easy it is to claim should you need to.

Sx

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I’ll give that a go later today - I sometimes think I over research things and should just bite the bullet and accept that it’s going to be expensive to do the things I want to do. Hey ho!

Thanks, Ali x

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Hi Ali... after sharing the recommendation from the PB site, Ive done a little bit more digging and whilst Alpha TRavel seem to come up quite cheap and easy to obtain, reading the (albeit minority) low scores on TrustPilot does suggest that there may be some problems with claims and delayed issues with medical declarations... Sorry if ive given you a bum steer... Perhaps best to wait and see if anyone here has experience of actually using them as Id hate for you to waste time. Sxx

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Hi Ali, I'm going to Norway in 9 days time, hoping to see the northern lights, but we'll also be snow mobiling and dog sledding so need winter sports cover too. We're only going for five days, but the insurance has cost almost £300 with All Clear insurance. I've just bitten the bullet and paid it because we really want to go.

Hope you have a fantastic skiing trip - where are you going?

Paula xxxx

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Hi Paula,

We’re going to Italy, just north of Turin - a resort called Cessna. Norway sounds lovely - I may be in Bergen in June, meeting my errant husband after his second sailing holiday of the year. In October he sets off across the Atlantic via a number of islands. That trip is 10 weeks, so I’m calling in favours then if things go pear shaped with me!!

Have a great time, I may have to bite a similar bullet so will check with your company too. Thank you for the info, have fun, Ali x

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Pleasure x

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Your husbands sailing trip sounds fantastic!! How wonderful. One of the trips hubby and I are doing that I'm in the midst of planning/mapping/booking is driving from home in England to Istanbul and back, leaving end of April - on the outward route we are going to drive the entire boot of Italy and we'll be going across from France into Italy just north of Turin as well!!! I haven't got my insurance quote for that trip yet, but I very much suspect I will be wincing when I get it :D

Have a fantastic skiing trip.

Paula xxxx

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Wow Paula, I hope you track down the best deal. It sounds brilliant!

While the bloke is gadding about the Atlantic, I will be with one friend visiting every county in the U.K. then with another ticking off an alphabetical list of the places to stay around Europe that we haven’t done already. We’re struggling to find with somewhere starting with q and x! May be well have to go to China or Mexico for them!!

Happy travelling, Ali x

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Thank you :-)

What a great idea! Haha, yes Q and X will be a struggle - There is Xanthi in Northern Greece, other than that China or Mexico it is!!!!

Have a wonderful time

Paula xxxx

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Aha! Xanthi! I’m onto the travel agent now!!

Ali xx

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Quimper and Aix last Chapelle in France spring to mind. Non voyage!!

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Sorry my fingers have come over all dyslexic again. I meant to type Aix la Chapelle and bon voyage! !!

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Thank you for those suggestions. Judging by my on-going struggle with the Insurance folk, non voyage is probably accurate!!

Ali x

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Your local Maggie's centre might have a list of companies-ours does !

Hope you get sorted and have a lovely holiday x

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Sadly my nearest Maggies centre is about 50 miles away, but I may ring them and see if they can help. Thank you, Ali x

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Something else to think about when considering travel insurance, is it's probably wiser to insure everyone who's going on the trip with the same company as the one with pre-existing conditions, particularly for cancellation and curtailment cover:

"If you or a travelling companion has a pre-existing medical condition, anything from high blood pressure to diabetes, you can get more travel insurance cover by making sure that you are all covered on the same travel insurance policy.You may think that you can save money by covering the healthy travellers on one policy, probably a cheaper one, and the traveller with the medical conditions on a separate travel insurance policy. This may be true in the short term, buying travel insurance in this way will probably work out cheaper, however it could cost you more in the long term because it leaves you with a potential gap in your travel insurance cover.

When you are all insured on the same travel insurance policy you will all be covered for cancellation in relation to your companions medical condition, provided that the condition was declared at the time of purchasing travel insurance. (All pre-existing medical conditions need to be declared when you buy travel insurance, even something like high cholesterol which is controlled by medication).

In the event that you are forced to cancel or cut short your holiday due to something related to your companion’s medical condition, so long as you are all insured on the same policy, you would all have travel insurance cover in place to be able to cancel the holiday and make a claim to recoup the cost. In contrast if you are all covered on separate travel insurance policies it is very unlikely that anyone insured separately from the traveller with the medical condition would have cover for cancellation in these circumstances.

The last thing you want if you have been forced to cancel a holiday due the illness of travelling companion is to find out that you will be unable to make a claim to recoup the cost. A separate travel insurance policy is unlikely to provide cover for cancellation due to your companion’s pre-existing medical condition because it is a risk that you were aware of, but they would not have known about and therefore not provided cover for.

Covering all of your travel companions on the same policy from a travel insurer who specialises in covering medical conditions may work out a few pounds more expensive initially, but it can save you money in the long term because of the additional cover you will get for cancellation with regards to your companions pre-existing medical condition."

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I agree this is important too, although I retain my cynicism about insurance companies and their need for a giant profit!

Definitely something to bear in mind though.

Ali x

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I buy mine through Islands insurance in the channel isles where I live.

They are a branch of Farmers union. I am 62, I paid £80 for a YEARLY policy, excluding all Cancer claims. Period. Until I have reached 5 years clear.

Everything else, including skiing, is covered but breaks can’t exceed 6 weeks.

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Oh, that’s £80 Worldwide too, as I visit my youngest in USA

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I had spent hours trying to find travel insurance and had been quoted premiums in the thousands for a two week Med cruise. My Mum then told me about an advert in her Womens Institute magazine.

I now have annual worldwide cover and it costs me £195. I also add my husband and youngest daughter for an additional £100. I think this is a bargain.

There are absolutely no medical questions. You just have to be fit to travel and have not been given a terminal diagnosis.

So if you are a member of the WI (annual membership is about £40) live in the UK and aged 50 to 79 I would definitely recommend them.

You just google WI insurance and it is provided by Open Insurance.

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I’ve just looked at this and it seems almost too good to be true. I am not a member of the WI, but think it would be worth the extra annual subscription. I’m not sure how they define terminal - after all, life is a terminal disease, but I suppose there must be a time when the medical profession can tell you if you will make it for another year. I’ve had the go ahead for this trip, but will check with my team first.

Another thought - I wonder if any other organisations use the same insurers for their members - I’m a member of the National Trust, so will explore that avenue too.

Thanks for the heads up on this one, I’ll let you know how I get on.

Ali x

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Glad to hear it may work for you too Ali.

My father who is very much a "belt and braces" spent ages checking this out for me before I went ahead. He came to the conclusion it was all legitimate. During his research he also confirmed that the upper age threshold is extended so long as the annual premium continues to be paid via a direct debit.

I have told a number of people about this policy and they have successfully obtained cover. This includes my clinical psychologist who has passed the details onto other clients.

Juliax

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Thanks, I’ll give them a go too.

Ali x

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I would second January-2016's advice about getting your doctor to write a letter with those statements about your fitness to travel ( even if the insurance company doesn't require it, it's a hedge against future problems). I think they are used to being asked for such things.

And also the consideration of traveling companions on the same policy... even though it's pricier.

I so agree with how awful those conversations with insurance companies make you feel... almost like giving up the ghost, when you're feeling fit and looking forward to doing something you probably wouldn't if you weren't.

When I started out on this cancer lark I worked through one of those lists from the cancer charities and lost the will to live. They were all so expensive, I'd set that aside and follow the tips on here as we're saving you some work!

I learned, when exploring this for a recent trip down under, that not all companies manage risk in the same way and I was certainly drawn to Insurancewith as their approach is a reasonable policy rate but with a pricey excess if you do end up having to claim for anything cancer related. I say pricey, but overall probably less than you're asked for up front by some of the others. Up until then I'd used MIA but they wouldn't cover me. MIA are keen on places with good health facilities so skiing in Europe should be fine. I also found their phone staff more pleasant than others, generally.

Finally, make sure you have an up to date EHIC and do not under any circumstances go without insurance. Cancer may be centre stage but we can all be involved in car crashes, falls, have a stroke etc etc etc!

I hope you have a great time. xx

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Thank you for the tips - I have an EHIC card, but recently discovered that a friend of mine had been travelling for years on an out of date one - he assumed it never ran out. Always worth checking.

I will be phoning both companies you have mentioned, but am still intrigued by the suggestion by Flamingobeef18 of joining the WI and accessing their policy. By chance, even though I live in the middle of Birningham, there is a new WI group at the end of my road - I’d already seen it advertised so I’ll go along to see what they do.

Best wishes, Ali x

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Yes I thought of them too if all else failed. There's a group near me in London, but they never seem to have anything on their agenda I'm remotely interested in doing!

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Wow, again, thank you all for these fantastic recommendations and support. I now feel ready to get back on the phone and get myself sorted.

Stay as well as you all can, loving you all, Ali x

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