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travel insurance to cover advanced cancer?

(35 Posts)
triplets Fri 04-Jan-13 23:08:53

Came home this afternoon to find my dh in a very worked up state. He had been phoning all these companies who advertise cover for cancer sufferers. After answering all their questions every one has turned him down. His dream has been to go back to the States, West Coast or Florida. He was diagnosed after our last road trip in 2008, bowel cancer that had spread to his liver. Over the last 5 years he has had chemo/surgery/chemo/surgery to bowel/liver/lung. His current situation is he has had no chemo for over 2 years and is currently in remission. The only time he ever looks or feels unwell is when he is on chemo. We only ever know the cancer is back if a routine ct shows a new re-growth. It is so unfair, when you think of all the people walking around with blocked arteries etc who could be on holiday and suddenly have a heart attack, with cancer it is not just going to strike, he is not suddenly going to keel over. I felt so sorry for him, he just felt so dejected. Most of the companies were recommended on the MacMillan site too. Can anyone offer advice please? Thank you.

CajaDeLaMemoria Fri 04-Jan-13 23:14:43

This is a tough one....

He might find that he can be insured to go to other places but not the States, due to their health care system and the costs.

He might find that an insurer will cover him for other conditions but not cancer, so you'd have to pay for anything relating to that yourself should your husband need treating abroad.

Or it may be that nobody will offer cover. Usually the Macmillan links are good, but I found nobody would insure my grandpa with bowel cancer either. They did insure his wife (breast cancer) but refused cover to him.

I just wanted to say that I sympathise, and it feels like such an injustice when nobody will insure you. It's horrible.

The only thing I can recommend is speaking to his doctors/consultant to see if they will support his application and state that he is at present fit to travel etc, which did make a company offer to unsure my grandpa, but the quote was huge so we didn't take them up on it.

All the best.

BlueyDragon Fri 04-Jan-13 23:15:13

Can't help I'm afraid, triplets, but I'm interested in the answer as I've had surgery and now chemo for Dukes C so not as advanced as your DH but anticipating similar problems in getting travel insurance.

Maybe give Macmillan a call and see if they can suggest anyone beyond the list? Or try the Macmillan forum or the Beating Bowel Cancer one? Sorry if you've already tried these.

Best wishes to you and your DH - I hope his remission is for good!

BlueyDragon Fri 04-Jan-13 23:17:35

Caja, that's a good point about the costs of the US system making it prohibitive. Hadn't thought of that.

triplets Sat 05-Jan-13 00:02:35

Sorry to hear about you Bluey xx
It is unfair, because you would never know if you saw him that he had cancer, also technically he is cancer free atm, its sooooooooooo frustrating. We could go and risk it, because its 99.9% he will be fine, its just I would be scared. He feels as though he is spoiling things for us and has suggested me and the kids going on our own............could never do that.

digerd Sat 05-Jan-13 12:06:33

First congratulations that his cancer is in remission and ensure he has regular endoscopies to check on the bowels. The liver must be scanned, and he was lucky they found that in time. My DH was in remission from Lung Cancer and secondaries in the brain, but sadly, a year later the cancer returned, in a different form in his liver. Despite another 6 months of aggressive chemo, it failed to work.
Some forms of cancer are more difficult than others to beat, but early detection is essential.
I know of only one person who did have a sudden death, and that was from an undetected brain tumour secondary of undetected lung cancer < years ago> in his 40s

So sorry you are having difficulty with travel insurance but I cannot help there. Especially as DH really wants to go, but I can understand the insurance co. side too.

Delatron Sat 05-Jan-13 16:30:45

Really feel for you and your DH. I had a similar situation 2 years ago after finishing chemo for breast cancer. Tried to get insurance everywhere, even cancer specialist insurers and it was either ridiculously expensive or they said no. It is horrid having to go through your diagnosis over and over again with these companies.

I found it was the US that they were the most strict about. In the end I weighed it all up and went without the insurance, I was covered for everything else just nothing to do with cancer. Risky and probably not recommended but I needed the holiday, seems such a shame that when you need a break abroad the most the companies won't insure you. Calling Macmillan is good advice and maybe looking somewhere other than the US?

Good luck.

invicta Sat 05-Jan-13 21:21:13

On the Cancer Research site, there is an article about travel insurance, with a list of suitable insurance companies

ClareMarriott Sun 06-Jan-13 12:23:26

Triplets ( and anyone else ) There is a company called All Clear based in Romford Essex who deal with travel insurance for people with pre existing conditions. Their telephone number is 0845 250 5350. If you google All Clear you will find their website

triplets Sun 06-Jan-13 22:27:28

Have tried All Clear...........declined, tried 15 companies today, and was even turned down by most for Europe. Many said they would only consider if he had been all clear for 5 years. It really is very depressing. W have tried all companies recommended by Cancer Research and Macmillan and those given by our oncologist! Seems if you don`t have secondaries you have more of a chance. We are not giving up yet!

isw Tue 08-Jan-13 08:29:36

Have you tried insure and go?

lazyhippo Tue 08-Jan-13 09:02:26

Apologies if you have already tried this, but could try asking an insurance broker?

neriberi Tue 08-Jan-13 13:40:18

you could try freedom insurance. http://www.freedominsure.co.uk/AboutFreedomInsurance

triplets Tue 08-Jan-13 14:21:29

Thanks everyone, yes we went to lour local broker who are really good but they couldn`t get us anything. Hope on the horizon though! One of the comps he called on Frid was set up by a lady who had this prob herself, she had advanced breast cancer. They deal in cancer, the staff working for her have or had cancer. But they also turned him down. On Sat night I emailed them and said how very cruel and misleading their website was etc. Yday I got a reply from the founder of the comp saying she was distressed to hear we were not happy with their service and could she ring us personally today between 4-5pm to see if she could help. Fingers all x`d!!

Best of luck triplets, I've seen a few of your threads looking for a holiday. I hope you all get away.

triplets Tue 08-Jan-13 21:37:49

and no one rang.............what a surprise!

Delatron Tue 08-Jan-13 21:52:11

Sorry to hear that triplets. You think having had advanced cancer herself she would have been more sympathetic. Another strongly worded email is needed
perhaps?

I really feel for you and hope you manage to get your trip away.

triplets Thu 10-Jan-13 21:55:16

She rang today!!! Spent over 30 mins on the phone, wanted to know everything and now has gone away to make her decision, he is going to be so disappointed if she says no, I think they are our best bet. Fingers, toes x`d!!

BlueyDragon Sun 13-Jan-13 07:28:23

Do come back and update, triplets. Fingers crossed for you all.

Gigondas Sun 13-Jan-13 07:49:43

Do let us know what happens triplets as this is all too common. I think someone said euro tunnel insurance is ok for advanced cancer .

tribpot Sun 13-Jan-13 07:59:41

Fingers crossed.

ClairesTravellingCircus Sun 13-Jan-13 08:07:02

Just seen this, hope you get the right answer.

Fingers crossed from me too.

IamtheZombie Sun 13-Jan-13 14:02:58

Have you tried InsuranceWith? You can fill in the questionnaire online and get an immediate quote.

triplets Sun 13-Jan-13 22:38:19

It is Insurewith we are still waiting to hear from Zombie. They were the first company we phoned because the owner had had cancer herself. Initally they turned him down, I sent them an e-mail saying how I feel they give false hope, the owner replied and then phoned again taking alot more info. The latest is she is passing the info onto the underwriters and they will make a decision by Tues. So far we have tried 31 companies! Will let you all know, thank you for your support. x

IamtheZombie Sun 13-Jan-13 23:06:37

triplets, just go to their website. I am still undergoing active treatment for breast cancer. At the time I completed the on-line questionnaire I had had a mastectomy and was less that 2 months post finishing 6 cycles of chemo and 2 days from finishing my course of radiotherapy with a full year of Herceptin yet to start. I got a full year multi-trip policy for something like £78.

As I recall they offer 3 levels of cover. I can't remember what the differences are. For example, the level I selected may only cover me while I'm travelling in Europe. Have a look at the website.

triplets Tue 15-Jan-13 16:55:04

Hi Zombie, well they have called and our willing to cover him, £500 for a one off three weeks to the States but with a £1000 excess and no cover for cancellation. Will only cover for treatment. Also won`t go ahead until he gets the result of the next scan which is 31st Jan. We know where we stand.

Gigondas Tue 15-Jan-13 17:07:31

Am glad you got an answer but not that surprised about the carve out. Hope scan goes well and you have a great trip.

IamtheZombie Tue 15-Jan-13 18:26:07

I'm glad they're willing to cover him but a bit shocked at the cost! As I said, I just did mine through their website (having tried numerous other MacMillan listed companies' websites - all of which either refused cover outright or would only do single trip cover at the sort of cost they've just quoted you). I suspect though that it is high because of the rather outrageous cost of health care in America.

IIRC, there were 3 levels of cover. I think I opted for one that only covers Europe. I am American, but knew I wouldn't be planning any trips there for the duration of the annual policy as I would be tied to 3 weekly hospital visits for the entire time. It took me nearly an hour to complete all the information required, but I had an email response within minutes accepting me.

I also don't have cancellation cover but as the main things I wanted were the delays, lost luggage, etc. cover that doesn't bother me.

As you said in your OP, it's not as though the cancer is suddenly going to strike me (or your DH) down. I think if the GP and Oncologist are willing to say that someone is fit to travel (which mine certainly were should it have been necessary) that should be taken into account.

Fingers crossed that the scan on the 31st is clear and you can wing your way across the pond soon after.

triplets Tue 15-Jan-13 22:37:02

Thanks for your messages................they rang back late this afternoon to say they had misquoted me.................good I thought..............er no, the cost is £560 and 68 pence!

BlueyDragon Wed 16-Jan-13 06:52:23

shock at the cost, triplets, but at least you finally got a quote. Does this completely knock the trip out of the ball park?

triplets Wed 16-Jan-13 23:38:41

Hello Bluey...........hmm, it is alot of money, but there seems to be no choice if we do want to go to the States. I knew it would be high, and am actually amazed that they will cover at all! It is a stressful experience trying to get insurance, bad enough having the disease. We are not making any decision now until we get the scan result on the 31st Jan. The scan is tomorrow, my dh`s birthday........he is obviously anxious even though he has had 5 yrs of scans. Tonight he completely lost it with one of the boys, then snapped at me..............been abit of a stressful week.

siluka Fri 18-Jan-13 15:11:19

I have an inoperable brain tumour and have used a company called It's so easy travel with no problems. Have always had reasonable quotes as well.

triplets Fri 18-Jan-13 15:51:36

Thanks for that I will ring them, do you have regular scan just to keep an eye? I have a friend in the same position and another friend who had hers removed 18 months ago as it had grown.

chocoluvva Fri 18-Jan-13 23:59:18

Hi.

This thread has struck a chord with me as I finished treatment for Dukes C bowel cancer just over a year ago.

I'm so pleased you've managed to get travel insurance albeit bloody expensive.

I hope you have a really lovely trip to the states smile

triplets Sat 19-Jan-13 00:19:36

Hello Choco.................sorry you too are having to deal with this, good things do come out of it, we have met and made friends with such lovely people we would never have otherwise met..........we always try to find something good out of bad. Good luck with everything xx

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