My Ovacome
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Travel Insurance

Hello to everyone. Have just tried to get a reasonable quote for travel insurance. What a nightmare. Only just trying to get an idea if a cruise or once in a lifetime trip to las vegas is viable. Does anyone know of reliable but reasonable travel insurance. The specialist companies I tried quoted more than the cost of the holiday. I dare not book without insurance. Has anyone attempted a holiday without insurance, will the companies let you travel without checking first. I am stage 4 with lung spread but have been so for four years and am on no treatment. Any ideas very much welcomed. Keep strong and positive all you amazing ladies.

22 Replies

It is so difficult, isn't it? I have a feeling I saw a question like this on the Macmillan site on their forums. Maybe Macmillan could help? I think they have experience of this in their survivorship programme.

Good Luck xx


Dont know if you have tried TESCO, but my oncol nurse said a lot of the ladies go there for their insurance.


the Cancer Research website has a whole page dedicated to travel insurance with a list of contacts which may be helpful:



I am doing a 400km charity cycle across Kenya in October - I have taken 'normal' travel insurance, and provided them with an 'exclusion' letter. ie: They do not cover anything related to the cancer I had in 2008. I had to get a letter from my GP stating that I am not on treatemnt etc etc [I HATE insurance companies! hard not to start a rant heh heh]

It seems logical to have insurance, but not to pay the earth for something you will probably not need. I am covered for everything else - and IF I need treatment for anything to do with cancer [which I won't], I have a credit card with which to pay for a flight home.

I am confident doing this as I am positive that IF the cancer returns, it's not going to suddenly cause a massive problem overnight. I will go and see my specialist for a thorough check up the week before I leave, mainly for my own peace of mind.

good luck finding one!


and good luck with the cycle ride .... can we sponsor you ?


thanks! I'll need it ;)

anyone can sponsor me, it's great because it's not just ONE women's cancer, it's three - ovarian, breast and cervical. We had to raise an initial £2800 to qualify [been fund raising with events all year, and I have reached about £4800 so far yay!!]

the link is here:

the trip details are here:

thanks for the thought :)


Hi I ;m one of the support line nurses at Ovacome and i'm really sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing. Unfortunately it is not uncommon and anyone with cancer seems to be penalised more than other illness as far as insurance is concerned. Macmillan has a good section on travel insurance including lists of possible insurance companies who maybe able to help. It is SO demoralising going through the medical vetting procedure only to be given a very unreasonable quote at the end especially when you have to do it several times Have you tried MIA insurance who I believe are able to insure people in your situation? I understand that you might want to go to the states but the premiums are much higher to go America because of the cost of health care were you to be taken ill. As someone else mentioned it may also help to get a letter from your doctor.

All the very best



I travel only in the EU - taking with me my European health card (reciprocal health servives available free to all EU members throughout the EU) . I also have a normal annual travel isuranceI and I declare my cancer as a pre exisiting condition to my travel insurer and tell them that I will make no health claims on the policy that are due to the cancer.


ps I heartily agree with Optimiste's rant about insurance companies. They never pay anything out anyway even when you go through all the hoops and obstacles ....... they will find yet another bit of small print ...... so absolutely avoid shellling out huge amounts on very expensive policies. There is a whole world out there to visit but in my view the US is to be avoided. .....wherever you go the best insurance is make sure you have enough money or credit on card to get you back to UK quickly should you need to. Health services in all EU countries (and Turkey, though you might have to pay in Turkey ) are all excellent.


here here Suzy! Oh, and CRUK etc will all recommend SAGA - I would rather stick needles in my eyes than ever take a policy with them. I rang them after I had my initial surgery, as I had had an annual travel policy with them for about 6 years [travelled a lot for work to all sorts of places].

The INSTANT the man on the phone heard the word cancer he became incredibly rude, and the upshot was, they cancelled my insurance and wouldn't even have an exclusion. Even my oncologist was shocked - she advised me to complain. I spent the next 2 days in tears because of the way he treated me.

I also have that European health card- - you can apply for it online. If you have to pay, you can apply for a refund I think.

USA? avoid! ;)


Yes had similar nightmare and similar thoughts as Optimiste - and the companies were often insensitive and one was absolutely appallingI had to tell the guy I was getting off the phone now, goodbye.I seem to recall MIA wouldn't insure me as I was between treatments. In the end I just went with everything BUT the cancer insured with our standard insurer - I'm sure even they'd end up tracing a lost bag back to cancer should I have to claim tho!!

So effectively I went with no insurance - I told myself if something happened I'd pay the hospital on credit card and it would probably still be cheaper than the ridiculous prices I was being quoted - thousands for a trip to canary islands!! I too said "that's the price of another holiday - and a five star one at that!"

Talking with one company who were also stupidly priced but at least human, I discovered that premiums go up if you are only just out of treatment / in treatment or awaiting treatment and they take into account if it has spread from the primary site which mine has so that's why the premium was getting into astronomical amounts.

I also checked for my 'escape' route - i.e. were there regular flights home should I start to feel unwell just so I knew I had that option too. One good thing is you are going to an English speaking country so should anything happen communication will not be a problem - my Spanish is not great. I went and had a lovely time and didn't worry about it (most of the time) and the holiday was over much too soon!! Good luck with whatever you decide xxx


Have just returned from Ireland for two weeks and found a firm for insurance. It cost over £25 for limited cover! A friend of mine and his wife have cancer and after trawling around found that Marks and Spencer gave them the best deal. As I am over 50 I tried Saga, as I have my home insurance with them. They didn't want to know!



I managed to get insurance last year from MIA. Quite reasonable considering that I had just finshed my chemo after surgery for Stage 4 and I hadn't had my end of chemo scan. No one else would insure me or the quotes were mega high. However, this was just for a holiday in Europe. I think it's more difficult if you go further afield. Worth a try.

Chris R


What I did was, since I have a annual policy which excludes ovarian cancer (of course) was as follows: I bank with the Co-operative Bank, which includes the option of adding additional packages to your main account, one of which includes travel insurance. I chose that one. Luckily I have private health insurance also, via my husband's job, but infortunately the details of my particular health insurance do not include worldwide cover and medical evacuation if necessary. Obviously I check my cancer status with my oncologist first, and if he teels me not to travel I don't. But last year after checking with my oncologist and also a gynae onc specialist nurse, who had access to all my scans, CA125s etc., I went on a 2 week holiday to Bali. I had no problems at all, I followed the basic precautions i.e. drink only bottled water, eat no salads you haven't seen prepared, choose your meals carefully. etc., and I took with me a supply of antibiotics suggested by my GP and a few other items such as factor 50 sun cream and plenty of DEET insect repellant.

The entire trip cost us less than £2,000, it was a wonderful holiday, a treat my husband had been planning for me ever since we discovered I needed chemo. I behaved for the 6 days like a spoilt child, I do not know how my husband put up with me, but we thoroughly enjoyed the last 8 days. I would go again, but this time I would chose another airline, since I didn't enjoy the flight at all. It was too long, etc. But there are lots of easier and cheaper flights to the same destination, which are much better because they involve 2 or 3 stops. That gives you time to use a decent loo, have a coffee or tea, and gear yourself up for the next flight.

Sorry if I've made anyone jealous, particularly our sisters who are alone. As I have said, I am lucky to have a wonderful husband, who takes care of me extremely well. I am surprised that he didn't hit me though, because as I say for the first 6 days I behaved like a spoilt child. We changed hotel twice until we got to the place we'd first tried to book, whose website was down, alas. If you want more details send me a message, please.



I had the same problem last year, wanted a 3 week cruise to San Fransisco then 3 weeks to see my son and family in LA. In the end we couldn't cover the cancer side of the health insurance, so just used our annual policy (with the exclusions). When we arrived in SF I knew I was going down hill, so we had a few days with my son then booked and paid for a ticket home . The cruise return went from San fransisco, and I couldn't get back there to get it.

Now we've got a new granddaughter over there and I desperately want to see her, but don't think I can risk it again. I'm 5th line treatment now, so nobody would insure that!


I also now use M &S for my annual travel insurance (matters arising from the cancer not covered ) Civilised people other end of the phone and also I paid a small supplement for "independent traveller " insurance , which means I am covered in the event of cancellations and expenses due to volcanic dust . I feel myself to be a volcano risk as I had flights cancelled due to BOTH of the last 2 volcanoes that have affected european airspace. The first time, April 2010,I was trapped in Mallorca when due back for my next chemo . I arrived 4 days late after restrictions were lifted. Had I not been able to get a flight to UK I would have been quite happy to go to a Spanish hospital for treatment.(no insurance was paid out by my then insurer for all the extra expenses incurred. )


Hi I used MIA , they are online but you need to ring them to get a quote, I have holiday

insurance with my bank but would'nt insure me for the cancer so MIA insured me for cancer and knocked off the price of lost baggage etc because I was covered for that with bank insurance. It is worth giving them a ring telephone number is :- MIA INSURANCE 011268782745

All the best Gwyneth.


I use Sainsbury's - last year they wouldn't cover me for cancer - I was 12 months out from surgery and six months from my last chemo. I took the same view as many here - I could get a flight home quickly and cheaply etc. I took the insurance but without cover for anything ovca related.

A pleasant surprise this year when they agreed to cover me, including cancer related issues for an additional premium of £35.00. I took the cover but didn't pay the extra - again I was travelling to Europe and felt I could get a flight home easily and in addition, my three month check was a week before I travelled so felt confident about this.

I don't know about travelling to the US and whether they provide cover.

Just thought I'd add my pennyworth. I hope you get your trip sorted out soon.


I have had the same experience a everyone else. I have travel insurance but it excludes anything connected to oc. I have just come back from Poland and before travelling tried one the firms mentioned in the recent Ovacome Newsletter article on travel. In their blurb in that article they said that "a terminally ill patient could expect to pay around £150 for a 10 day trip to Europe". I am not in that category, although I am having chemo, and they quoted me £600 for a 10 day period after requesting confirmation from my GP that I am fit to travel. So I too took the view that I could fly home if need be, and that Poland was part of the EU. I will now follow up some of the suggestions here before my next trip.

My oncologist told me last year that I shouldn't think of US as a travel destination because of the cost of medical treatment.

Good luck to all of you wanting to travel.



My oncologist says insurance is vital in case we need to be repatriated. I got an annual policy last from citybond suretravel covering all of Europe for just over £400 . . A friend of mys sister's and her husband went to the states without insurance, he had a stroke and they are stuck in Florida with him in a nursing home and passports confiscated because they cannot pay the ever mounting bills and she is destitute! I decided that I would miss out on the states and exotic locations after that being over 70 and a cancer sufferer with 2 lots of chemo over 2 years.


Sorry I have only just joined this site so rather late in answering this question. I came across a very useful article in the travel section of The Telegraph.

Another article also said that if you had a joint insurance before your partner had cancer, most insurance companies will not cover the fit person because the are travelling with a person with pre existing condition.

One suggestion was to speak to the Macmillan Nurses as they have a list of providers, and another company that was mentioned was WORLD FIRST 0845 908 161

Below is the article from the Telegraph :-

Unfortunately, matters can be complicated when it comes to what the insurance industry calls "pre-existing medical conditions". Even if you're prepared to pay extra for proper cover, you may end up with a massive bill and tiresome stipulations, or find your insurer refuses to provide anything at all.

Cover that excludes a pre-existing medical condition is also available, as you say, but the small print on the policy will usually exclude anything that's connected with the condition.

So if, for example, you'd just finished chemotherapy and you picked up an infection while travelling, because your natural immune system was weakened, your insurer may reject a claim on the basis that it's related to the cancer. Obviously this could result in you having to meet the cost of large medical bills.

It's essential, then, to find an insurer who takes a reasonable stance. A spokesman for JD Travel Insurance, which specialises in medical cover for travellers, says she believes that if a doctor is happy that a patient is well enough to take the trip, and their travel plans are realistic, cover should be available at reasonable cost. But reasonable cost also depends on where you're travelling.

Within the EU and in other destinations where there are reciprocal care arrangements, bills for medical treatment aren't excessive, but in North America and parts of the Caribbean costs are far higher so premiums will be too.

Also bear in mind that complications can arise when it comes to a terminal or incurable prognosis. Many people have conditions that may be life limiting, but not in the short term, and so can continue to travel. In this case, it's important not to give your insurers the wrong impression of your illness and, in doing so, undermine your chances of finding cover.

Spend time phoning around insurers to gather quotes, as prices and the extent of cover can vary considerably. Every case is assessed individually by insurers, but as a general rule, if your consultant has given you a time limit on life expectancy, the further in advance of travelling you buy a policy, the greater the cost and difficulty.

That said, if you've booked a holiday, you'll need to get your insurance in place as soon as possible. It may feel a bit like chicken and egg, but the good news is that when it comes to medical cover, there are some insurers who are prepared to go the extra mile.

The following specialise in pre-existing medical conditions: Avanti Travel Insurance (0800 066 5604; www.avantitravel; All Clear Insurance (0845 250 5250;; Insurancewith (0845 230 7159;; Freedom Insurance (01223 454290;;

JD Travel Insurance (01689 859102;; PJ Hayman (0845 230 5000; and World First (0845 908 0161;

Hope someone finds this useful.


as follows :-


I have used a company called Insure With set up by a couple of ladies following their own problems experienced following breast cancer, all telesales staff are trained and lovely to deal with, theprice Is really reasonable 30 pounds for turkey 112 for Canada 12 for Italy as compared to between 600 and 1000elsewhere. Do not consider no insurance or an exclusion which will amount to the same thing if the worst should happen. I read in our local paper that our MPs mum suffering from oc decided to visit a son in America on the plane she collapsed in agony, from a blocked bowel, the costs of taking her off the plane and treatment in the states was 500000 pounds yes half a million this nearly bankrupted the family can you imagine the stress? Poor poor family not the pick me up tonic they were after,. I was really gutted when I got my first quote for insurance but on finding insure with I have travelled the world despite 3c oc and being only a few months post chemo initially so keep trying and enjoy your trip jane


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