The facts and myths about travel insurance and cancer
By Garry Nelson of AllClear Insurance
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Garry Nelson is Head of Marketing at AllClear. Garry has been at AllClear since 2002 and is passionate about the company's aim to ensure that everyone has the right to travel regardless of age or medical history.
The availability and cost of travel insurance for people who have cancer or are in remission has been heavily debated in the media. Cancer can have a devastating effect on those diagnosed with the disease, as well as their loved ones.
After treatment, many understandably choose to go on holiday to relax, unwind and spend time with their family and friends. Given the change in circumstances, it is vital that comprehensive travel insurance is available.
Garry believes there is a lack of clarity around the issue of travel insurance for those declaring cancer, and has provided the facts behind some common misconceptions.
I will not to be able to find comprehensive travel insurance if I declare my full medical history because I have had cancer or are living with cancer.
There are specialist insurance providers that offer comprehensive travel insurance that provides protection against medical expense costs abroad, trip cancellation and curtailment (cutting a trip short), as well as cash, valuables and baggage cover.
Specialist insurers are not trying to catch you out when requiring you to complete a medical screening process; they’re simply trying to accurately assess the risk of a claim being made while ensuring you have the appropriate level of cover for your trip. It is essential that you declare all conditions to make sure you are properly covered.
I am in remission from cancer and so no longer need to declare my condition to my travel insurers.
This is one of the more damaging and potentially costly myths. To ensure comprehensive cover is in place, it is vital to declare any cancer conditions regardless of whether you are in full recovery, as well as any other medical conditions you live with.
Failure to do so could lead to your claim being declined, or partially declined, and leaving you to face potentially expensive medical bills abroad, should there be a medical emergency.
I won’t be able to afford travel insurance now that I need to declare cancer.
This is not the case. If you go to a specialist medical travel insurer, risk profiles are calculated on an individual basis according to your medical conditions, the duration of your trip, the countries being visited and your age.
It is worth bearing in mind that medical treatment is more expensive in certain countries, and this impacts the cost of the premium. Countries like the US and Canada are renowned for being extremely expensive, but so too are destinations like Spain which is a particular favourite among UK travellers.
I won’t be able to get travel insurance if I’m currently undergoing chemotherapy or on a waiting list to receive treatment.
Again this is a myth. In reality, specialist medical travel insurance providers will offer travel insurance if you are receiving treatment for cancer. You will be asked to provide details of your treatment, and asked to confirm that your doctor has said you are fit to travel.
If you’re on a waiting list, some specialist insurance providers will offer additional cover in case you need to cancel your holiday because your treatment clashes with your trip.
I don’t need to tell my travel insurance provider that I am waiting for results of a potentially cancerous lump or symptom.
Yes you do. Unfortunately, you are not able to get medical travel insurance while still waiting for a diagnosis. Once diagnosed, AllClear will be able to provide a quote.
I only need to declare the most serious of my medical conditions.
This is untrue, you need to declare everything, however minor you might think it to be. It is vital that a full medical history is provided to your insurer, and that all previous and current medical conditions are declared – even if they appear unrelated. Failure to do so could result in the cancellation of your insurance or a claim not being paid.
I can’t buy travel insurance because my cancer has spread.
Yes you can. Specialist medical travel insurers can offer travel insurance after cancer has spread. You will be asked to provide details of your treatment as well as details of any change in condition. You will also be asked to confirm that your doctor considers you fit to travel.
My travel insurance covers cancer treatment abroad.
Elective medical treatment is not covered by most travel insurance policies. You will need to obtain specialist insurance if you are travelling abroad for medical treatment.
Garry Nelson believes it extremely
important that we communicate the advice learned from this wealth of experience
because there are still many people who believe travel insurance is not an
option for them if they've had cancer. This article has been formed from our
interviewing AllClear's own customer service department to understand the most
common cancer-related queries and misunderstandings that they deal with.
You may also find interesting:
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- Booking Senior Travel Insurance? Choose your destination wisely
- Insurance - its not just for travel
- Pre-existing medical conditions and travel insurance
- Suggestions for travel insurance for the over 50s
- Travel Insurance and the EHIC card revealing the truths and the myths
- Truths and Myths about Travel Insurance for over 50s
76 people found this feature helpful