Insurance for holidays

Hi, I have been diagnosed with incurable cancer and sadly have a prognosis of one year, I am starting chemo next week, I am not looking forward to this, I had cancer in 2010 and chemo then. However I know this is very different this time around. I am doing all poss to boost my immune sytem ready for this. In september myself and my family are going on a much looked forward holiday, in Portugal,can anybody advise on insurance, best deal, how much is it likely to cost? Thank you.

17 Replies

  • You are in my prayers. I'm still alive after 2 years with the same prognosis and could not have hoped it was possible. I'm hoping you have similar luck to me. Enjoy your holiday!

  • This is a company set up by professional insurance broker with cancer to help people with medical conditions obtain travel insurance at very competitive rates so may be well worth contacting.

    I expect you already receive Chris Woollam's mailings? Today's begins "Too many times, people with 'terminal' cancer have come to me for a Personal Prescription. And, do you know what I tell them? There's no such thing as 'terminal' cancer. Galina is 13 years over her 'terminal' ovarian cancer; with John it is 12 years since the personal prescription just two weeks after he'd been sent home to write his will. There was nothing more orthodox medicine had to offer. "

    He is an evangelist for his viewpoint and I often find him too extreme but he circulates an amazing amount of info and research. The "personal prescription" is something you can apply to him for (for which there is a cost, I don't know how much).



  • Crazybaby,

    I agree with Maria50ec. A lovely doctor I know who has helped me with cancer says "accept the diagnosis but not the prognosis". When your doctor said it is "incurable", perhaps he/she ought to be more specific and say "modern medicine cannot cure you". Modern medicine can be great in many circumstances but very poor when it comes to chronic illnesses. It has limitations but it's not the only tool we have available.

    Kris Carr is a rather fab lady in New York who was given a rather grim prognosis. She begged her doctor for anything that might help and he vaguely mentioned "lifestyle and diet changes". She grabbed that opportunity and did everything she could to help herself and is now doing great. Read more here

    A great book to read is Radical Remission by Kelly Turner. (much cheaper on kindle. You don't need a kindle. Just download the kindle app free to your PC, tablet or smart phone.) She interviewed people all over the world who overcame cancer when modern medicine had all but given up on them. It's a fascinating and uplifting book and I really encourage you to read it. Here's a quick overview of the book

    I have spoken with Chris Woollams and he's extremely knowledgeable and helpful. He is a bit extreme! but he will be able to suggest things to support you that doctors are not legally permitted to tell you unless they want to be struck off. His site is amazing.

    I hope you get the insurance you need and I wish you a lovely holiday.

  • Thank you so very much for all your help. I will investigate all the links you have sent me, the books look very interesting, Lots for me to investigate! Very grateful, thank you. Will let you know how i get on with it all. :)

  • Try ringing Saga Holidays for advice. I have booked a holiday with them which includes insurance cover. I have had cancer treatment, and expected them to refuse insurance cover or make it very complicated and / or very expensive. But after completing the holiday application form online which included basic health/insurance cover questions they asked me to phone and asked a few more simple questions. So I feel they would give good advice, and probably offer an insurance cover quote even if your holiday is not booked with them (they have a separate Insurance Service also). Best wishes.

  • Thank you very much for replying to me. I will investigate saga. I really hope i can get insurance, as I have a very poor prognosis of one year. Thank you again for your help.

  • Thankyou. I have recently remembered that about 10 years ago (when I was 60 - I am now 70) I did some (dreary) call centre work which involved being a mystery shopper by phone - calling insurance companies for quotes. The work involved being given a basic profile and improvising from that during the call. A few calls involved asking for holiday insurance cover for myself as an older woman with a terminal illness. This was a bit daunting at first, but I realised that the call handler at the other end was likely to be more embarrassed than I was and I started to enjoy being an assertive older woman with serious health problems but wanting a good holiday, improvising - inventing grandchildren I was travelling with, etc. Quotes were usually given quite easily. I don't remember any refusals to quote but that may have happened. I can't remember the £££ , but I know that quotes and range of cover usually varied enormously from company to company. Some policies were very basic. Others (including Saga I noted) gave very detailed cover - provision of car, provision of emergency support and accommodation, that kind of thing. But most, if not all quotes, made the proviso that the policy would not cover any matter arising from pre-existing conditions. So in effect I would be covered for general emergencies - cancellations, breakdowns, problems with the accommodation etc. So if you or a member of your party feels up to it, why not make a list of an assortment of insurance companies and ring them for quotes? We had to make up a false name and address - so why not do that? It was, as I said, generally dreary, but sometimes it became almost enjoyable, creating an imaginary life for myself. And tell them no, you do not want anything in the post, and you do not use email - you just a quick quote over the phone. Best wishes once more.

  • Hi Jackie, thank you so much for that info. That sounds like fun, ringing and pretending to be someone else! Ive definetely got some lines to investigate now, I really hope I can get insured, Ive heard some horrundous stories in terms of costs, I mean like over a thousand pounds for insurance! My holiday isnt even costing that much! Talk about making money out of peoples misery! Thank you once again for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it. I am writing a blog of my cancer journey, if you are interested in reading/following, here is the link. Take care and all the best to you.


  • Crazybaby, firstly so sorry to hear you're having to go through this all again. But you sound positive and clearly have a good family around you too.

    I have always used for my travel insurance. They are specialist travel insurance company who specialist in people with long term conditions. Unlike many other website and organisations they have medical practitioners behind the scenes who are able to assess each case individually. I have recommended them often to friends and only once were they unable to help out for a friend close to the end who had a dream of going to the USA. I also took part in the filming of a episode of Rip off Britain about travel insurance and how companies won't insure or exploit cancer survivors… sadly the episode offline but my blog about it is still up

    Anyway, my advice would be to speak to specialist insurance companies, such as InsuranceWith. Give them a call with all the dates and facts and figures to hand.

    I see that Insurance With has been recommended below as has Saga Insurance. Saga only recently started insuring long term conditions and I've not used them personally but again know someone in her late 60s who has.

    Good luck with finding the right insurance for you… and all the best with your future.

    Have a fabbo holiday too x

  • Thank you very much for all this information, I will investiagte all your links, and really do hope I can find some insurance, as my prognosis is one year :( Thank you again for replying to me.

  • Hello there, thank you I just want to say that I think its brilliantt that you made this film, i havent had the time yet to sit down and watch but I most certainly will, and well done for exposing it. Its outrageou.s that insurance companies can do this, talk about making money out of peoples misfortune, its disgusting. I really do hope I can get covered as I am incurable with a one year prognosis, and I hope its not going to wipe out all my money, Ive heard of people paying over a grand and a half for insurance for a holiday! I will also follow your blog. I am also keeping a blog of my cancer journey, if you are interested here is the link. Thank you once more and all the best.


  • Hi Crazybaby,

    I've just been looking at your blog too.

    Thank you for the comments about the BBC programme. It certainly got a great reaction at the time it went to air and showed up a lot of 'ahem' areas of excessive pricing and taking advantage of people's desperate circumstances. Without a doubt particularly the comparison websites that use the same methods and forms to calculate and therefore are almost identical in their excessive costs.

    However I understand things are changing (possibly partially due to this film and other lobbying that highlighted it) and I hope that there will be a big shift in insurance companies 'risk assessments'. One of the things they 'blamed' for the high cost was that they were assessing you as a person over a long period of time. Where as in reality that's fine for a 25 year mortgage but for a two week holiday they should be assessing the risk over this period of time only… that's where companies like InsuranceWith differ… they look at the risk from the point of sale until the point that you return back from your holiday. i.e. if you were taking a holiday in September (even with your prognosis), the risk is substantially less than you taking your holiday in June next year. Does that make sense?

    Call InsuranceWith and talk it through with them.

    vis a vis your prognosis… I've never liked anyone being told this is the date… they don't know how strong you are… we're all individuals… I've got a friend who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 7 years ago… told she had a year… and she's fighting fit now and really pissed off she wasted a year fretting! Likewise another friend with ovarian cancer was told she had a couple of months… she went to Australia for 6 months to spend time with her sister… returned looking super healthy and fit to the UK and lived for another 6 or so months. A friend with secondary breast cancer told she had months and again told the medics that couldn't be right because she had lots to do including turn 40 which was a couple of years off… she lived blinking well (we went on some amazing adventures overseas and in the UK) and made it to her 40th in style. Another friend with breast cancer told a few months, several years ago… she's as outrageously behaved today as she has been for years!

    What I'm saying is don't live to their prognosis… live to your dreams and desires.


  • I wish you well. What type of cancer is it? I was diagnosed with secondaries recently, it's the 5th time in 28 years. I have put of the Capecitabine chemo tablets for now, instead I'm going down the supplements route - going sugar free and plenty of exercise. If you can, get to The Penny Brohn Cancer Centre in Bristol it's amazing!

  • Hello and thank you for replying :) I am going to penny brohn, yes I agree it is amazing there, Im really looking forward to going back. So much to offer there, I am very interested in being sugar free, I am hoping to get a one to one with a nutritionist there at Penny Brohn to help me with this. I have lung cancer, with spread to spine, I am starting chemo this week which I am not looking forward to, I am doing supplements as well, and would like to do more exercise but am finding I am totally lacking in physical energy at the moment. I also had cervical cancer five years ago so its not the first time I have had to fight the battle however this one is very different, I have been given a prognosis of one year :( But I am not taking what the doctors and consultants say as set in stone and am doing all I can to prolong that time...... keep in touch :)

  • Well done, and best of luck with chemo and all other supplements, you are in safe hands at Penny Brohn Centre!

    Do you know of 'The Urban Dispensary', Colston Ave, Bristol (near the top of Christmas Steps)? Max the owner is very knowledgeable - well worth a visit. I'm on a tincture of Turmeric and Astragalus also Q10, Omega fish oils and Selenium - Pharma Nord is a great supplier ~ (through Amazon). If you shop on line for anything and want to support the work at Penny Brohn (or any charity of your choice) - sign up to every time you shop on line, a % of the cost goes to PB - it costs you nothing. My purchases, this year have raised £72. It's great for the online grocery shop on those days when you can't face going out! I've also got my friends and family to use it as every penny helps and together they soon mount up!

    Elizabeth Thompson - a Medical Homeopath is excellent, Elizabeth has worked closely with PB for many years, she is an amazing, kind an insightful lady who has been able to help me through all sorts chemo and radio therapy treatments. You may like to read 'The Cancer Survivors Club' by Chris Geiger - very uplifting! Keep up what you're doing and enjoy a fantastic holiday.

    Kind Regards

    Mary x

  • Hello Mary, thank you so much for your reply and all that information is really appreciated. Ive got some treatments booked in at Penny Brohn which I am really looking forward to trying. Ive just spent a fortune on supplements! I wish I had known about shopping online with the discount thing and the percentage to PB! However I did buy a few books when I was at penny brohn the other day and I usually buy something there, Im also donating some of my art to sale in the shop for them. Maybe I can see Elizabeth at PB and book her in if she is available. I havent read the Chris Geiger book yet, have you been following my blog,? Here is the link if you are interested ! Many thanks again and all the best to you :)


  • Wow, just read the blog - amazing! Wishing you well.

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