I nearly fell off my chair... at the cost of my travel insurance

I knew it would be higher than before... I had read some of the blogs about it ... I went to some of the insurers on the Cancer Research site when I needed insurance for an upcoming week in Rome which I desperately need. I need to de-stress in a big way.

This process NOT HELPED by getting a quote of almost £500. For a WEEK. In EUROPE. After being declared in complete remission. Doing nothing more dangerous than pasta-hunting, waiter-flirting (well it is Rome) and sculpture viewing.

After three more quotes of over £400 I had to give up and exclude my cancer from the cover entirely.

Bloody crooks and shysters, the whole insurance industry.

Had to blow off steam, sorry. Now returning to state of zen-like calm. Almost.


Sue xxx

60 Replies

  • Hi Sue! You're right, it's a real racket. I think a lot of us have come up against this one. I was talking to some of our group earlier this week and a lot of us have had to get insurance with OC, and linked conditions, excluded. I haven't been able to insure myself for this for years. However, being pragmatic, if you're feeling we'll and the oncologist has said it's likely you'll be ok to go, it's likely (hoping, fingers crossed, a fair wind in the right direction etc. etc.) that you'll be ok in terms of emergencies linked with OC. However, don't fall off your Vespa while you're ogling those waiters! I hope you have a truly wonderful time. Your very own Roman holiday

    Love Wendy xx

  • Am pretty sure I'm fine right now but it's so unFAIR as its when we are least well that these breaks are most needed, and most penalised. I know the insurance industry prices based on risk but its disgusting behaviour, really. And the sheer difference in prices I think totally disproportionate!

    Am sooo looking forward to it. My dad was a sculptor and lived there for years but I have only ever gone there for business trips before and you don't get to see much of the art that way!



  • Hi Sue,

    It is terrible isn't it? I had this problem....then I found an online insurance company called MIA in order to get insurance with them you have to ring them up, I found them to be very good, but I haven't used them for a while and I thought I read that they switched to a different company and had increased their prices...but I don't know as I haven't tried ...the odd thing is that when I was first diagnosed I found it very difficult to get travel insurance for quite some time until I found MIA but since I have had a recurrance and considered incurable my original travel insurance through the bank will insure me now... well I had to wait until I was six months into remission...I think this is very odd...I thought I'd ring them to see where I stood and that is what they said...even though they asked me if at anytime have I been told it is terminal and I said "yes but I am now in remission for a second time"...the first time I was in remission I wasn't insured by them at all for the two and a half years remission... now I've been in remission for twelve months I am insured (I don't get it) and wonder if I did need to use it whether it would stand up....I am not convinced it will... but I only go to Europe and if I was sick...I would get a flight home (I think) I do understand your frustration though the world is no longer our oyster.... Lots of love x G x :-/ ;-)

  • MIA tel number is 011268782745 they were much cheaper than anyone else when I used them (in my two and a half years remission)

  • I forgot to say that Mia only insured me for medical insurance ie my exhisting condition... I asked them to knock off lost luggage, delayed flight etc because I was already covered through my bank insurance, that way it brought the price down, I thought it was very good that they tailored it to fit...and not add on unnecessary expense on stuff I was already insured for...love x G x 8-)

  • Hi Gwyn, My husband spoke to our bank today re travel insurance, they said they would cover me for everything other than the cancer as it hasn't been 12 months since I was diagnosed ( and I'm not in remission). To be honest if I didn't feel well I wouldn't go on holiday, we are looking to go to Florida next year, and hopefully things will be as they are now.

  • Hi Chris,

    So you could go with MIA and use their cover for your cancer...(if you wanted) and ask them to knock off everything you are covered for with your bank insurance...that way it will cut down the cost (that's what I did) love x G x :-)

  • Yes Gwyn, it's worth checking out, It's disgusting that cancer patients whether in remission or not are penalized because of their misfortune to be ill. I will keep a note of MIA number for future use. We aren't planning on going yet, around this time next year all being well. We are taking the family and the look on my grand children's faces will be priceless.

    love Chris 8-)

  • I have tried searching for MIA with no success can yougive more details A web address or full title would help!

  • I am sorry Margaret I might have written the number down wrong the website is :- miatravelinsurance.co.uk

    MIA stands for "Making Insurance Accessible"

    Tel +44 (0) 1268 782 745 this is how it is written on the website

    I hope this helps... if and when you ring them up they are not a company that pushes insurance on you... they let you think about it...unlike some.

    Best wishes love x G x 8-)

  • Yep, you're right. It IS unfair. There are quite a few unfair things when we're at a low point and some of them are hospital parking charges, employment opportunities (or lack of...). My own low point was when my husband, rushing in to see how I was after my op, forgot to pay parking ticket and was fined by the hospital, even after explaining by letter what the circumstances were. These people are bloody leeches! :-/

    W xx

  • Hi

    I was quoted £500 from the insurance companies recommended by Cancer Research, for 5 days in France, when I didn't want to cover he plane tickets (bought them before diagnosed and had already effectively written them off) and I was staying with family! I couldn't believe it! We have the EHIC cards already, and what I really couldn't believe was the company that tried to frighten me into paying for their over! In the end I didn't bother, my family would have taken me to the correct doctor and have driven me to a ferry port to put me on as a foot passenger and I would have been met in England it it had been needed.

    I think it's a real con......another lot told me the policy cost would be reduced to about a third if I no longer had a prescription for strong pain killers, or any "leftovers" in the house!

    Hope you have a great time, I'm waiting for my scan results before making any plans, but am plotting a holiday too!


  • Hi Sue

    It's a shocker, isn't it. When I asked my onc. about going on a break a month or so after chemo, and what would happen if "something happened" while I was away, she said that it was very unlikely that whatever happened would be an emergency, which I was comforted by.

    Have a wonderful time in Rome and report back pls!

    Monique x

  • Dear Sue

    I have ongoing travel insurance with my Bank. It's part and parcel of my bank account agreement that covers: travel insurance, extended warrantee on electrical appliances, gadget insurance, RAC membership, legal assistance, key and card insurance and a few other services as well.

    I don't have to make a statement re health before I travel, nor do I inform the bank when I intend to travel. I am just covered any time I'm away from home. The holiday insurance cove has been excellent - and in the last two years since having cancer I've made two claims. The replacement cost of a pair of Chanel sunglasses which dropped into the sea one weekend when we were sailing and more recently the replacement cost of an I-Pad which was stolen at Paddington. For an extreme sport such as skiing I take out an insurance in the resort to cover accidents, mountain rescue and hospital care in an alpine hospital or health centre.

    I take the view that I have a serious disease and if I need emergency treatment relating to that condition whilst away I have enough money in the bank to get myself home. I really don't need insurance for my cancer as it would be a bit reckless to turn up at an oncology unit in another part of the UK or another country and expect them to deal with a problem because they wouldn't have full access to my hospital notes. I do have a collection of medication on prescription from my GP in case of emergency to keep me comfortable until I get back home.

    Hopefully you can find some insurance to cover accidents, loss or theft and delay to your holiday and you can go off knowing these things are covered. Make sure you know how to get home should you need to and that you have the means to do so. I doubt very much that you will if you are only away for a week and are in good health when you depart.

    Oh dear I'm afraid this isn't a terribly sympathetic response and I hope you're not cross with me for posting up an entirely different opinion from most other people. I hope I haven't offended anyone.

    Bon voyage. Enjoy your much-needed holiday! xxxx love Annie

  • It is late cancellation costs that might be a problem if one had a relapse and could not go due to treatment! I do not book ahead because I might need treatment as a result I did not get away to the sun this year because of the sciatica!

  • Hi Margaret,

    Likewise I never book a holiday unless it is last minute, as it does cut down the likely hood of it being cancelled...love x G x 8-)

  • Hi Annie Actually,

    I agree that it is unlikely that anyone will need insurance for the cancer, as if we get problems we are more likely to come home, But (and it is a but) I wonder though if maybe I had a fall and say for instance I broke my leg or worse... whether or not they would actually find a loophole to say it is because of my exhisting condition that I fell over (just food for thought)...saying that I have gone to the Canaries without bothering to cover my condition and I was still in the unisurable bracket as it was less than six months after chemo... but I took the risk love x G x 8-)

  • Dear Gwyn,

    An interesting scenaro - but one that is covered by my E111 in a European country. If I have an accident skiing and break some bones I'll show my card and I'll be sorted out in an alpine hospital. I wouldn't need to make a claim on my travel insurance. I'm not going to tell the hospital as I go in that I have cancer but I'm sure they'd treat me all the same as they have sworn the hyppocratic oath and have a duty to look after me.

    What I was trying to say, I think, is that we should not let our horizons close in on us because we have cancer or spend ludicrous amounts of money on insurance when it would be cheaper to buy an emergency flight home. I have a huge admiration for Gill (Midwife Gill) who's now on an African Safari watching animals drinking from a waterhole right outside her hotel bedroom. She hasn't let her chronic situation hold her back - and hers is more chronic than most - and I admire that though I'm probably not brave enough to follow her intrepid example.

    I hope Gill will post up an account of her adventures and perhaps some tips about preparing to go away without health insurance for Cancer. I'm sure they will be an inspiration to everyone!

    I retired yesterday and received my last pay-cheque. Holidays abroad are now probably outside my budget so perhaps I ought to mind my own business about overseas travel insurance for cancer!!!

    Love Annie Actually

  • Hi Annie Actually,

    First congratulations on your retirement :-) :-) enjoy!!! you will probably find you are better off financially (this is often the case) and more time for travel. 8-) 8-)

    Yes I see your point about about the E111 that does make a difference now we are in Europe... your opinion Annie is as valid as everyone else's and "No" you shouldn't mind your own business (as you put it) I for one like your input so please don't stop...a very valid point about not limiting ourselves just because of insurance I totally agree with you. When I broke my leg on holiday (before cancer) and I was insured it really didn't make much difference... I wasn't insured for loss of work or ruined holiday as it was the first day.. in fact I wan't insured for much as I remember... so like I've said before... I really don't think insurance is worth the paper it is written on... but some insurance is essential (like house insurance) love x G x 8-)

  • Mind you, you also have time to set the world to rights now Annie!

  • I had a very strange day yesterday but managed to pull myself together. I so rarely feel out of my comfort zone but yesterday morning I did. Retirement, and any change in life, is like a door opening to new opportunities but just for a few hours I seemed to be hovering on the threshold unable to step through. My lovely colleagues had compiled a photo album of everyone who'd worked in my team and people in my division. Each person had added a comment or two. It was such a thoughtful present and must've been quite a task to contact a great number of people and collect photos and comments. It was very strange to think that I've worked so closely with all these people and I'm very fond of them all but inevitably I shan't keep in touch with some of them.

    If only we did have the time to set the world to rights. It certainly needs it! xxxx love Anie

  • Hi, Annie.

    It's not an E111 you need these days, it's an EHIC card. They're available free, but have completely replaced the E111 cards, which are no longer valid. You can order them online - just google to find where.


  • Thanks for this Barbara. I dug out my passport and card just to have a look and it is indeed an EHIC card. I'm really grateful you mentioned this as it's expired!!!!

  • I had to order new ones for my husband and myself in a hurry before we went on holiday to Ireland last May!

  • Hi Sue,

    I get the double whammy as I am over 70! I got an annual insurance for Europe for about £400 in 2010. I'll look up the company later and pass it on. The annoying thing is that I am actually fitter than most because I take care of myself. In europe any health problems, in an emergency, are covered by the E111. The trouble is insurers will try to claim any problem is linked to the cancer and so not covered so repatriation with a broken leg and they try to wriggle out of paying up.

    I adore Rome but have not been for about 10 years do enjoy it!


  • Ahhh Margaret,

    I have only just read this, but my thoughts exactly (see comment above) I agree that they will probably try to blame any event down to our exhisting condition...love x G x 8-)

  • Why would you need to be repatriated with a broken leg if it's been plastered up and you're been given some painkillers? I'd hang around in my holiday destination as I'd be no worse off there than I would be at home - perhaps even better cared for. I speak from the perspective of having had a couple of skiing accidents. I've been patched up on more than one occasion and out skiing that afternoon or the next day.

    You've just mentioned ANOTHER place I haven't been!!! Do you get a good discount on European Rail journeys? If I'm still skiing when I'm 75 I get a free lift pass in France.

    love Annie

  • I agree you wouldn't need repatriation for a broken leg...having broken my leg on holiday on the first day and was there two weeks...but I wasn't looked after either... (and I had to hobble around in the heat), they didn't diagnose a break until I got home...but repatriation is definitely needed if an accident is more serious...you would want and need the right diagnosis then... you said yourself that they patched you up.....and then you was out skiing the next day....so not serious then ? a very different scenario if it was serious... my son nearly died on holiday (with food poisoning) and I am sure he was glad he had insurance then...this is the problem we none of us have got a crystal ball on what will happen home here let alone abroad... so it is all down to choices either to take risks or not... Love x G x 8-)

  • Yes I agree - totally agree - with having a good insurance if one is holidaying outside Europe.

    My most spectacular skiing accident was plummeting down a 30m off-piste slope and miraculously managing to avoid the huge rocky outcrops on the way. How I got to the bottom with one ski still attached and still alive is a mystery. I managed to jam the back of the one ski in the snow and did a forward dive in a pike position for the last 10' hitting the left side of my head on packed ice.

    I gave myself concussion, damaged my pelvis and lost a full 1" in height. I could still ski with all that. The reason I had to get patched up to ski the next day was because I pulled a ligament in my knee when I took my skis off to be checked out in the hospital! lol

    My daughters say I'm like a cat with 9 lives. My former boss called me 'indestructible'. Sadly I think this cancer will see me off but I'm not going to let that worry me yet!

    love xxxx Annie

  • The airline often will not fly you without a qualified nurse and other arrangements, even with a broken leg/arm etc! They also get concerned about the risk of DVT!

  • oh my word. It gets worse and worse. At least EasyJet didn't chuck me off when I was unwell before flying to Montpellier a couple of weeks back. Can they insist on your having a nurse if you're compos mentis? I'd better ask the right questions and sort everything out before going skiing!

    xx Annie

  • This wasgleaned from Benidorm ER (what rubbish one watches in the early hours! LOL) someone who had abroken leg couldnot fly home until the insurance was prepared to pay for provision of a nurse and a seat that would accommodate his injury!

  • oh dear - well at least I'm skiing in France and if Easyjet won't have me I'll get the TGV to Paris and go Eurostar. What a palaver.

    I don't watch much television. Sometimes Martin finds fab nature programmes and I love them. I often wonder how much is 'set up' for the cameras in these reality type programmes. However they do pass the time in the middle of the night if you can't sleep.

    How is your recovery going Margaret? Are you feeling comfortable? Have you got plans to get back to your various activities and parties? You always seem to have such a full life.

    xxx love Annie

  • See above, it seems the E111 isn't valid any more Margaret - you need an EHIC card now ( unless you have one and just stuck with the old name!)


  • I know!I have the new card but E111 is the shorthand I know! Just much easier to use!

  • I agree x G x

  • Hi Sue

    I had the same problem but finally found MIA who charge around £100 for Europe which covers everything including my husband. They even insured me at the end of my chemo before I had my final scan and I was stage 4. Hope this helps.

    Love Chris x x

  • Hi Chris,

    I agree that MIA is very good, and I'll knock off the price of anything that I am already insured for, so it tailor fits your need... Love x G x 8-)

  • Thanks Gwyn. We'll try that next time. Never thought of asking them to knock off things already insured. Was just thankful to find someone we could afford.

    Love Chris x x

  • Hi Chris,

    I find them so easy to talk to, when I mentioned I was covered by my bank insurance for lost baggage etc the girl (or lady) suggested to knock it off, they also knocked off cancellation because I booked last minute, but covered me for curtailment (cutting my holiday short) but like I said earlier that I am now covered by my bank insurance which is odd seeing as I have had a recurrance and deemed to be incurable... I am still not convinced that they have got it right (the bank I mean) I didn't use MIA last year... this is why I haven't mentioned what it cost me as I can't remember.. but I know it was a lot cheaper than others.

    I Leo like the system they have that you can store and update your medical condition online so if needed it is easy access to other medics.

    Love x G x 8-)

  • Don't know why the mistakes again!!! "Leo" should read "like" but as usual my iPad changed the word Doh! :-(

  • I cannot find my insurance booklet but I think it was Citibond. I must try MIA for the cancer cover and just pay the £50 over 70 premium to the bank! Last minute booking is much the best idea to cover cancellation problems but what if there are problems like ash clouds or snow?


  • Every time I fly from a London airport I get snowbound. About 8 years ago, I was bound for Cuba. There was a complete white-out and Heathrow Terminal 2 ground to a halt. I was told to come back 24 hours later to catch my flight. My flight plan with Iberia touched down in Madrid and as the London/Madrid leg of the journey was still operational I asked if I could fly to Madrid, spend the night there rather than Heathrow, and catch the onward flight to Havanna the following day.

    They were most accommodating. I did just that and I arrived in Havanna 24 hours late to be reunited with the baggage from the plane's hold. I didn't think to claim on my travel insurance as I had such a great time and an unexpected and enjoyable night in Madrid. Mind I did look ridiculous arriving in northern Spain in January with just hand-luggage and wearing light trousers and a sleeveless top!

    As for an ash cloud - I think the courts decided yesterday that RyanAir were responsible for paying compensation to passengers. Presumably not even the insurance companies would try to blame ovarian cancer for creating an ash cloud!! lol

    love Annie

  • Hi Annie Actually,

    Both Tony and I lost our luggage on holiday, we were halfway through our holiday before our luggage arrived, but it is surprising how liberating it is not to have choices on what to wear.... we didn't make a claim either as we had a very good holiday... I don't feel the need to make a claim unnecessary..other people though we're telling us to milk it...we did have extra expense as we had to buy one or two things but when we got home we just didn't bother.

    You are right about the ash cloud it has been on the news recently. Love x G x 8-)

  • We think alike Gwyn. I'm horrified by this growing idea of cashing in on insurance, whip-lash claims, no-win-no-fee legal advice, and the rest of it. At the end of the day it seems to me this is what is putting up insurance premiums and what is causing insurance companies to make claims difficult. I read of an MP recently who made an insurance claim for whip-lash after a car had hit his stationary vehicle - but photographic evidence of the accident revealed he wasn't even in his car or anywhere near his car at the time of the accident! Obviously he got whip-lash when he returned to his car and found a note left on the windscreen by the honourable person who'd caused the damage.

    So I agree with you. Insurance policies aren't really worth much more than the paper they're written on - but that's due to the dishonesty amongst the general public.

    In the same vein I think a fair cop is a fair cop and if we don't pay parking fees, or speed then we have to face the consequences. There really shouldn't be an excuse for breaking a law that protects the common good.

    Oh I am on my high horse this morning. Is this something to do with being old, being retired and starting to become a grumpy old women!!!!

    love Annie x

  • Hi Annie Actually,

    Teehee! I meant to say as well... that if you have an accident skiing and you have broken something they won't allow you to fly home, my son (same son that had food poisoning) on another holiday skiing in Canada had an accident and shattered his knee cap but didn't involve his insurance because he wouldn't have been allowed to fly home.... so he took the chance and came home at the end of his holiday...

    I am reminded of Frenchdeb on holiday here from France she wrote and asked us if she should cut her holiday short and go home...her husband had to meet her as she was so poorly she couldn't get home by herself....eight days after her arriving home she died...so none of us knows what lies ahead...so the scenario of us being able to get home could be questionable, this is why people are concerned about insurance..they don't want to cause stress to their family if they are sick abroad... so I think maybe our discussion is over simplifying this. Love x G x 8-)

  • Hi Annie,

    If you think you are on a high horse.....you should read my comments on the Wig blog....I had a right old rant LOL x G x 8-)

  • This has all cheered me up immensely, I love lighting touch paper and watching the ensuing explosions!!!

  • You!!! young lady have got a wicked sense of humour :-/ ;-) I thought you like lighting candles!! are you sure you can produce a calming one?

    Grrrrr love x G x I think it is your fault it has rained as well !!!

  • Hi there I got a great quote and both me and my husband have cancer and we got a quote of £140 for the both of us from Insurewith.......I found out about them of another cancer sufferer.

  • Hi Sue,

    Know exactly how you feel, after being told I was In remission the first thing I wanted to do (apart from tell everyone of course!) was to book a holiday in Europe. Like you I was shocked at some of the quotes in the hundreds and about to give up when I spoke to a company called insurance with, they asked lots of questions about stage, remission etc and then quoted me less than forty pounds, though this did not include cancellation, but did cover for any cancer related problems whilst I was away. Their no is : 0845 2307519

    Good luck


    Jan x

  • Hi there

    I've always used MIA without too many problems. I've just finished my third cycle of chemo, see my oncologist on 20 February and hope to get a 'fit to travel' note on my records from her. If you have that MIA will insure you for around £60 for two weeks, you need to be four weeks clear to fly to Spain, Balearics etc and 12 weeks clear for the Canaries. I believe this is because if you do take ill on holiday you must go to a state hospital, MIA will provide all the contact details, however, if you had to be flown home, it would cost so much more from further afield. They were taken over last year, however there was only about a £10 difference in the cost of the insurance I got.

    Word of warning - they will ask you every detail of treatment, hospital stays etc - so have them all written down beforehand. I keep a book with all the information and add to it as I go along. Otherwise it's impossible to remember it all off the top of your head!

    I had tried other companies and like you was horrified at the prices, so they're well worth a ring.

    Good luck. Cathy xx

  • Thanks for the information in this thread. I have been dreading trying to get travel insurance after a particularly distressing phone call with a woman at a call centre a few years ago. I have book-marked MIA and will start with them the next time I am looking for cover.

  • Hi everyone

    I have not been insured for OC all the time I have been diagnosed enjoying a six week hol in Canada in 2005. The hospital always said it wasn't an issue as could get back if needbe. However with my recurrence and the tumour pressing on the bowel it is now a different propostion. I had three bowel blockages last year which would have been difficult abroad as it came on very quickly. We now enjoy Narrow boating and touring caravanning in UK as there are so many places to see. Just need the weather........ Do miss the skiiing though perhaps make it to the Cairngorms next year.

    Hilary xx

  • Which all goes to show that on this forum we have pretty much all the wisdom of the world in microcosm!

    I really wish I had asked you lot before even starting this process - but I will need it again in any case and it sounds like it was of use to several people (plus giving Annie a chance to have a good unload!!! :-D )

    Sounds like MIA are definitely worth a shot. I had to exclude the OC in the end but I am fine right now so not remotely worried. And I have my EHIC card so I plan on forgetting it all and buggering off. Not going quite yet though, not til 25th, so you don't get rid of me just yet ;-)

    Thanks all for the great info!


    Sue xxx

  • And I hope to be following you soon, see my onc on 19th feb, and hope to get a break, so will go last minute with a cancer exclusion on our bank Tavel insurance. We could, of course go in the motorhome, but it might take us a few days of travel to find the sun I want. Easy to get back if I'm poorly though!!!

    Happy holidays to us all

    Love n hugs


  • I had thought of going without insurance or excluding OC but was dissuaded by my doctor and oncologist who said although it was unlikely that anything would happen in a two week period, because our bodies are so weakened by chemo/treatments etc there is a much higher danger of contracting something: so many problems can be caused by flying, also fluid build up, blockages, I have an ileostomy (stoma), so that is always an issue. I think insurance companies would always try and say it was because of the OC and I wouldn't want to end up with a huge medical bill or cost of having to be flown home.

    So I definitely think it's worth trying to get insurance. I meant to add that I also have type 2 diabetes and as stated above a stoma because of the OC, and yet MIA was still only around £60 so well worth a phone call.

    All the best. Cathy xx

  • Hi Sue, do you have a European medical card? I can't remember the name exactly, but you can apply only from the department of health, and it will arrive through the post. It ensures that if you get ill, anywhere in Europe, you can have access to care for free, even if it is for something cancer related. I got a free PET scan last time.


  • Hi ladies, just to add to your comments on the rip off we have to endure when trying to get travel insurance!! Last May I went to Oz for 3 weeks on my own to see my son, wife and new grandson. I was quoted £3k plus for travel insurance!!! My flight on Singapore Airlines was £1300. ....so in the end I decided to leave out the C word and wing it so to speak!!

    We had planned to go to Florida this year but so far quotes for insurance are mad!! They have even said in some cases that my partners premium will go up as if I was taken ill, he would have to accompany me home. Also, even tho I would be covered for broken bones - some insurance companies are asking ' Could your bones be extra brittle due to chemo ? ' Ker- ching!!!!!!

  • OUCH -- and how unfair to spill the impact onto your partner! Money grabbing

    b&st€rds, the lotoif them....

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