Travel insurance for cancer patients

Searching online for travel insurance when you have cancer can be a challenge – you’ll see more choices than ever, thanks to specialist providers and larger companies who now assess people on a case by case basis. 

Searching online for travel insurance when you have cancer can be a challenge – you’ll see more choices than ever, thanks to specialist providers and larger companies who now assess people on a case by case basis. 

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
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Posted 15 JANUARY 2021

How easy is it to find travel insurance for cancer patients? 

For some people, it can be difficult to find the right travel insurance when diagnosed with cancer. This might be because living with cancer, or going into remission, is becoming more common. By 2020, Macmillan Cancer Support estimates around one in two people will get the disease in their lifetime**. And with increased remission rates, it’s fair to expect that more products will come to market, with better and fairer provisions made for travellers with pre-existing medical conditions, so finding the right fit for your unique circumstances can sometimes seem overwhelming. 
Discovering the types of cover most suited to your circumstances makes the search for travel insurance as stress-free as possible – both before and during your holiday. We can help steer you in the right direction with our fast, tailored comparison tool and tips for navigating through any complexity.  

** Macmillan estimate based on; Maddams J, Utley M, Møller H. Projections of cancer prevalence in the United Kingdom, 2010-2040. Br J Cancer 2012; 107: 1195-1202. 


Following new restrictions implemented on 5 January 2021, you can only travel internationally or within the UK if you're legally permitted to do so while the UK is under full lockdown restrictions.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. See latest FCDO advice for further information.

Any insurance policy purchased to cover a trip to a destination where the local authority, or the FCDO, has instructed citizens not to travel, will not be valid.

For more information, please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

Until then, stay safe.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

Our panel includes insurance providers who quote cover for all medical conditions declared on our website, with no exclusions.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) has also launched on its Money Advice Service website a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone, if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers’ Association on 0370 950 1790.

Can I get travel insurance if I have cancer?

You can get travel insurance if you have cancer, but you may have to use a specialist insurance provider. You might have to pay a higher premium in case you need treatment abroad or need to cancel your trip because of your cancer. A mainstream insurance provider may insure you but might not include any cancer-related claims.

What do insurance providers need to know about my cancer?

If you have cancer, or a pre-existing medical condition, your travel insurance needs to be carefully assessed. Ultimately, it pays to provide as much detail as you can, as honestly as you can, in case you ever need to make a claim.  
Insurance providers may ask lots of questions, so if you’re in remission or know the state and grade of your illness make sure you tell a provider as much as you can - and be ready with a letter from your doctor confirming you’re ok to travel. 

Does it matter where I travel to?

It might, as some places have high medical costs, so treatment can be more expensive. It’s best to run through some options with a provider if you’re unsure.

What if I’m in remission from cancer?

It’s good to tell a potential insurance provider full details of any treatments you’ve had in the past, or how long you’ve been in remission. Premiums can vary according to your condition’s status – both now and in the past. 

How can a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) help if I have cancer? 

An EHIC entitles you to free or discounted treatment in state hospitals in a number of European Union countries and in some overseas territories too. However, it doesn’t carry the same range of benefits as travel insurance. 

After Brexit, and the UK officially left the EU with a deal in place, things have changed. You won’t be able to apply for an EHIC anymore, but, if you have one already, issued before the end of 2020, then it’ll still be valid until the expiry date.

However, the UK government has introduced a replacement called the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). If you don’t have an EHIC, or once yours expires, you can apply for a GHIC here, and it should arrive within 10 days. The GHIC will offer the same cover as the EHIC did in EU countries.

We can help you compare

We’ve made it as easy as possible for you to compare providers. You can now search based on your requirements and compare policies from across a range of insurance providers.  
Once you find the most suitable level of cover you need, relax and concentrate on enjoying your break.  

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