Travel Insurance and Cancer

Searching for travel insurance with any medical condition is depressing, let alone cancer. This post from 2016 describes briefly our experience finding travel insurance.

2020 Update: Cancer and COVID-19 Cover

We took out a joint annual travel insurance policy via Eurotunnel in 2016 and were going to renew this year until we found out that it doesn’t cover anything related to COVID-19 or any other pandemic. While we don’t mind travelling without cover for holiday costs like cancellation, we really don’t want to risk not being covered for emergency medical bills.

A quick check on the EHIC site showed that the EHIC card gives the same level of cover in Europe as a citizen of that country has. Several countries expect their citizens to have private top-up medical insurance because the State doesn’t fund 100% of health care costs even for emergency care.

I spent a few depressing days looking at travel insurance. My ME makes little difference to premiums but Husband’s cancer is inevitably a different story. Several companies who say that they specialise in insuring people with pre-existing conditions don’t actually cover anyone with cancer even if they are currently well and expected to stay well for the foreseeable future.

Eventually we went with Staysure, who do cover cancer. The policy seems pretty comprehensive and includes COVID. A joint annual policy with them cost us about £400, which is over four times what our previous policy cost but we do have peace of mind. It also includes winter sports if we want to do a bit of skiing and has a more generous length of stay – 50 days as opposed to the Eurotunnel limit of 30 days. I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to take advantage of that though!

We have absolutely no affiliation with any insurance company and gain no benefit from providing details of insurance companies here. We’re just hoping that it might help someone.

2019 Update

We were able to renew our annual policy but were told that it is now only available to Eurotunnel customers, that is people who have a booking reference number. Once the policy has been bought it continues to cover travel by other means eg planes or trains.

If you do not wish to make a booking with Eurotunnel they will give you the number of their insurance provider so that you can contact them directly.

Eurotunnel UK telephone number: 01303 282061

What follows is part of the updated (2017) policy documents but the full Eurotunnel Travel Insurance Terms and Conditions can be read here.

The Eurotunnel Travel Insurance Declaration and Summary can be read here.

Health conditions and health exclusions

These apply to Cancellation or curtailment charges – Section 1, Emergency medical and associated expenses – Section 2 and Personal accident – Section 7.
It is very important that you read the following carefully as they apply to all people to be covered under the policy.
If at the time of purchasing this insurance or booking your journey (whichever is later) you have any existing medical conditions, you should discuss your travel plans in advance with your doctor.

1 You will be covered for claims arising directly or indirectly from any existing medical conditions, so long as your doctor can confirm that at the time of purchasing the insurance or booking the journey (whichever is later):

• you were fit to travel;

• your medical condition(s) were stable and there was no sign they would get worse;

• you had not been diagnosed as suffering from a terminal illness;

• you did not know that you would need medical treatment or consultation at any medical facility during your journey;

If you need to make a claim arising directly or indirectly from any existing medical conditions, your doctor will be asked to confirm all of the above in writing.

2 You will not be covered if you travel against the advice of a doctor or where you would have been advised not to travel if you had asked for their advice before beginning your journey.

Notes (continued) – Indirectly related claims

An indirectly related claim means a medical problem that is more likely to happen because of another medical problem you already have. Sometimes these conditions can lead to the development of other conditions. For example if you:
• suffer from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other lung disease, you are more likely to get a chest infection.

• have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, you are more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke.

• have osteoporosis, you are more likely to break or fracture a bone.

• have or have had cancer, you are more likely to suffer with a secondary cancer.